Sunday, February 20, 2011

One week

One week from tomorrow I will be leaving Switzerland and arriving in the Republic of Congo. Friends and family have been asking me if I'm nervous or excited and the answer is YES. I feel nervous, excited and a little indifferent. I think the indifference is due to not really knowing how I should feel. If I'm honest with myself, I think I'm more nervous than I let on. It's the fear of the unknown that gets me. Sure, it's going to be a great adventure, and I'm a pretty relaxed traveler, but I'm also a very curious person. What it's going to be like? How hot is it really? What am I going to do in the five days between when I arrive and when I leave Brazzaville for Impfondo? I'd like to know now, not wait. I've waited 12 years to get to this point-of being a physician-missionary, fully trained. Technically it's been 20-22 years if you count lofty childhood dreams. So another week won't be so bad.

On the other hand, I can hardly believe it's almost here. The goal has seemed so far away for so long, I'm a little afraid of actually accomplishing it. What if I can't handle missionary medicine? Should I make another goal, another big dream?  There's one I have in mind, but I have no idea on how to accomplish it, nor the skills to carry it to completion. It's definitely a God-sized project. I'll have to wait to see how He shapes my future...

In the meantime, there are things to be done here. For starters, I should probably pack my bags. It won't be as hard as it was when I was in the US, because I don't have nearly as many things. But figuring out how to distribute the weight between the bags is a different becomes a little like a puzzle, and I enjoy the challenge. There are a few things to be done in town-purchasing some swiss chocolate to bring with me as well as one or two items requested by missionaries in Congo, returning my visa to the 'Controller des Habitants' (they don't let you keep it-it's a plastic credit-card sized card), changing my Swiss Francs to Euro's (it will be easier to exchange the Euro for local currency in Brazzaville than Swiss Francs), and dining with friends.

Saying good-byes again will be difficult. I've made some wonderful friends here and feel truly blessed by God to have had the chance to know them. Then there will be the good-byes to my family via Skype. We'll still be able to talk via Skype when I'm in Congo (at least I hope the connection will be good enough for phone calls), but won't be able to video chat. It's been nice to get to visit with my nieces and nephews via video on Skype, and I will miss having that option. Did you know you can play "catch" via Skype if you have an imaginative 4 year old?

So, if you could, take a minute or two to pray for me this week as I prepare to leave. Pray I get everything done I need to accomplish, that I can sleep well so that I may arrive in Congo well-rested, that I make good use of the remaining time here, pray that God will help calm my anxieties as I lift them up to Him.

1 comment:

ShankToo said...

Laura, I just wished you to know I pray for you and will continue to do so. I trust your week is going well and the to do list is getting shorter.
May you know the Lord's peace and strength these final days in Switzerland and have a safe and timely trip to your new home.
Sleep well.
A new supporter Carol