Tag Archives: religion

Sticky Post – Kenya Dig it?

This is a sticky post that will stay at the top of the page from 10/4 until 10/19.  Please scroll down for daily posts about the 2008 Kenya Medical Mission Team.

I’m going to be AWOL for a short while – so I am apologizing up front for not responding to your comments, or for commenting on my regular blogs that I read.  🙂  But I have set up this site to post daily updates while I am gone.  Each day will bring a new post with that days’s scheduled events and prayer requests.

The center of our ministry area is in Kapenguria, Kenya, where Pokot Outreach Missions has a medical clinic and is building a hospital and a church.  Word on the street is that we will be spending most of our time around Mt Elgon on the Kenya-Uganda border this year.  We will be serving the people of the Pokot tribe by hosting clinics where they can receive free medical care, wound cleaning, and receive medicine.  The Pokot tribe is located in the NW area of Kenya and numbers nearly one million. They are primarily herders and keep sheep, cows, goats and – sometimes – camels.

They recently had a 7 year drought and malnurishment is rampant in that area.  Last year was a good year, with plenty of rain – enabling the Pokot to produce their best crops in nearly a decade.  That all changed this last year, though.  It started with the civil war in S Kenya following last year’s Presidential election in December.  The fighting drove up the cost of transporting food, fuel and goods.  Then there was the weather: a dry spring, followed by heavy storms that flooded what little crops they had.  It has been a debilitating year for this isolated people.

Only 1 in 5 Pokot children survive to reach age 5.

Let that sink in for a minute.  Malnurishment, parasitic disease, burns and malaria are some of the biggest causes for childhood mortality.  It’s so bad that mothers will typically have older children care for the youngest children after they have stopped nursing.  This is so that the parents don’t become too attached to their children.  This is a common site everywhere we went last year:

Children caring for their younger siblings. Isnt this girl beautiful?  This picture has haunted me for the last year..

Typical sight: Children caring for their younger siblings. Isn't this girl beautiful? This picture has haunted me for the last year..

So, check back for daily updates on what we will be doing.  And if you want more information on Pokot Outreach Mission, check out the website of their US counterpart: Harvester’s International Missions: www.him-usa.org

Now – I’m off to finish my last cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and double check my packed luggage before heading off to the airport.  See you on the 19th!

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Countdown – Day 24

24 Days left until I head to West Pokot, Kenya.

24 days until I get to work with an amazing team of people in some crazy heat.  Until I get to experience the joy of serving alongside my brothers and sisters in helping a remote – but not forgotten – people.

 

The problem is, I’m still here in my life.  In my world.  Caught up in the details and distractions that I face everyday.  What to wear to the office. Where to grab lunch. When will I be able to squeeze in a workout?  Does he like me? Do I want this relationship? 

 

Distractions seem to have taken over my life.  Relationships, job stress, home stress.  My mind finds time to focus on anything but preparations for the trip and quiet time with God.  (um – mostly because I can’t quiet my mind!)

I’m going on a retreat this weekend – to get away from the everyday buzz and re-focus, re-center.   I really just need the strength and willpower to remove myself from the center of my universe, allowing Him to take his rightful place there in my life.

 

Oh – and 24 days until I can have chocolate! 🙂

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Investing – Leadership Summit

Lately I’ve been doing a lot more investing.

In myself – career goals, leadership skills, and- yes – a little pampering too.

And in my relationships with others.

My schedule has always been sort of an issue for me. Always so jam-packed. I was always a girl on the go. Things to do! People to see! But since I was always in a rush – I hardly had time to really slow down and enjoy my friendships. More importantly – to really spend time pouring into the people that mattered to me. And to make sure that I was keeping “fueled” for the tasks prepared for me.

I took today and tomorrow off of work to attend a live satellite broadcast of The Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Church in IL. The minimal cost in dollars and vacation days is already beyond worthwhile to me. There are so many gems that I will be taking away from this conference.

I love watching and learning from people who are passionate about their mission in life. Whether it’s in the classroom or the boardroom. In the field overseas – or in an inner city. Today we heard from Bill Hybels on “The High Drama of Decision Making”, where I was challenged in my journaling as well as thinking about my decision making process. His new book Axiom has just been released – I recommend it.

Next up was Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission. All I can say is Wow. This is a group of people who have dedicated their lives to rescuing people from so many forms of injustice around the globe. Including slavery, police brutality and sex trafficking. I can’t imagine the immense evil these people see every day. The staff has two daily prayer and reflection times each day to help bolster them. Gary spoke powerfully of Leadership that Matters to God. And how to continue when things seem hopeless, frightening, and hard.

Next up was Bill George – former CEO of Medtronic and Professor at Harvard Business School. He is also the author of Authentic Leadership and True North. Both have been highly recommended – and I will add them to my (ever growing) reading queue. Bill spoke of “Finding Your True North” about what is imperative in 21st century Leadership. One key note I have is “Follow your compass, not your clock”. It’s not about the timing – but the direction that you are heading in. Easier said than done for an impatient person like me!

Wendy Kopp – CEO & Founder of Teach For America. This woman knew her mission in life when she was 22 yrs old. She has lead this organization since 1990 and I am inspired by her passion for her vision: One day all children in this country will have access to an excellent education. Teach for America has a bold vision for growth. I encourage you to support them.

Lastly (But not Least!!) We heard from John Burke and Efrem Smith in the last two sessions. They spoke on Leading in New Cultural Realities. John leads Gateway Community Church in Austin, TX, and Efrem is the Pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis, MN. These were the talks that fired me up. I took so much wisdom from these last speakers to bring back to my small group, my high school group, and my workplace. I am especially excited to try John’s 60/60 experiment that he discusses in his book Soul Revolution. And I can’t say enough about Pastor Smith! He was on fire today and I am truly inspired to have more passion for my ministry. One quote from him: “When Jesus comes back, that will be the ultimate justice. Until then, it’s just us.” We are Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. We are God’s plan to redeem this broken world with His love.

No pressure. 😉

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Inner Voice

You know that inner voice? That one that prompts you to take action, tells you when a situation is not good for you, lets you know when you’re doing something right? Some call it a conscience, conviction, a gut instinct. But I know it is the Holy Spirit working in me.

And I know that I need to listen to it better. That I need to slow down and quiet my life so that that voice inside me is so loud that I can no longer ignore it. It has never been wrong – so why don’t I trust it more?

The other day I found myself in a situation. And my “gut” was telling me to get out of there. To walk away, run if I have to.

To. just. go. now.

But I didn’t. The fleshy part of me won, and I wished like heck that it hadn’t. Sometimes the world whispers things in your heart – the most sensitive piece of you. Offers you some turkish delight. And for a minute, the voice of truth inside you is on mute. Overpowered by all the other noise.

You only get one chance at life – although, fortunately, life does sometimes give you a second chance along the way. Which voice am I going to choose to listen to? Because, after all, it is a choice that we all make. We can’t blame someone else for all of our mistakes.

What do you do to tune in to the Spirit working inside of you? How do you drown out the lies, and amplify the voice of truth?

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