After recently talking with a friend back home, I realized I had not updated my blog since the end of June. Being as a few months have passed since then, I thought I should take the time to update what’s been going on here.
For those of you who know me well, you know that if I’m not communicating very much, by phone, email, or other forms of communication, I’m likely not doing so well. I tend to hide away when feeling down or stressed. With all the changes that have happened here, I have been both, and thus most of my communication has come to a grinding halt. So, should you be one who checks my blog regularly and finds there is no recent update, take it as a sign to send some more prayers my way.
It’s been a challenge to balance my life with having call every other week. Sometimes there are not too many emergencies and not to many calls during the night, which makes for easier times, but other times I have several nights of interrupted sleep. I’m thankful to Stephen and Anna, who look out for me, provide cold water and meals, as well as my Congolese neighbors, the Ngalipe’s, who also look out to be sure I’m eating and resting when possible. Without them, it would be that much harder.
Suzy, the pharmacist came for a month in August and helped with payroll and some other pharmacy things. It was nice to have another addition to the team, even if it was for a short while. I enjoyed having a housemate again.
In September I left to go to Kenya for a conference with Samaritan’s Purse. It was good to get away from the hospital, but still not as relaxing as I would have liked it to be. It took quite a while to be able to relax, and then it was time to leave again. The travel there and back was stressful at best, which left me tired and worn out upon my return. (Mostly due to travels to and from Impfondo.)
On my return, I started back to work right away, taking call, jumping back into things. That first week back was a bear...unfortunately not well rested from my trip, along with a busy week of call resulted in quite a few tears. The second week was better as I was able to catch up on some much needed sleep. I’m now into the 4th week back, and things are okay, much of the time.
There are several things on my mind which I think are provoking the stress. One big one is the departure of the Wegner family in January of 2013. Not only am I losing Stephen as a fellow physician at the hospital, but I am also losing two good friends, and the Interim Medical Director. Currently we do not have anyone to take the place as Interim Medical Director, and so the duties are likely to be split between me and another missionary here, a nurse ophthalmologist. This leaves big questions in my mind: Can I handle the responsibilities? Will I become too worn out with only short-term physicians helping out with hospital rounds and call? Will God provide a medical director to help out, or is this a task I am to learn to perform?
Then comes questions for the future: what will I do when I finish my time here? I’d like to continue as a missionary, but with what sending agency, and where? Return to Impfondo? Or elsewhere? Take some time to practice back home before heading out again? I think it could be beneficial to get more experience under my belt back home. Now that I know more of the types of things I need to know on the field, I can work to learn more in areas where I am deficient.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love my work here. I enjoy the challenges (but sometimes get tired of them). I love the people (though I may not understand them, or understand their culture). I love doing what I’ve dreamed of doing since childhood, though it’s not quite as utopian as my dreams. ;-) But no one ever said being an adult was easy. Fortunately, I have a Guide to help me know what to do next, to whisper encouragement to me (if only I’ll take the time to listen), to walk with me and support me along the way. In all my busyness of ‘working for the Lord’, sometimes it’s easy to forget to spend time with Him, to listen, and be content in Him. So please pray that I make time for Him each day, that He will show me the way I am to go, and to take comfort in Him.