"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)

Do not be afraid

So you know how you seem to always have dreams about something that is coming up that's making you nervous? Dreams where you aren't prepared..ridiculous ones like you forget to wear pants or something similar. I think I'm really nervous about the trip, because last night I had the strangest dream. In my dream we were at New Day Orphanage, but it was set up like a really large hospital. I woke up and was running late to meet Chris and John to cast patients for the prosthetic legs but I couldn't find my clothes. In my search for clothes, strange things kept happening that prevented me from being where I was supposed to be. When I finally got to the right area in this huge building, I was too late. Chris and John had already finished everything, and I had wasted my whole time looking for clothes and where I was supposed to be. It was just terrible. 

So many people keep asking if I'm getting excited about our trip. I really am excited, but I think I'm may be more nervous. I have a bad habit of letting anxiety get the best of me rather than just letting go and trusting God. A friend posted a song on Facebook the other day and it really hit home. I downloaded it and kept listening to it throughout today. Just need to keep telling myself that God is with me, Do not be afraid. 

Tanner Clark-Do Not Be Afraid

The supplies made it there!

Earlier this week, John sent me a text that our supplies shipped on the crate have made it to New Day Orphanage! The supplies made it...without the crate. Apparently they were having trouble transporting the crate, so they unpacked everything and delivered it that way. The crate will follow later but at least the supplies are there waiting for us. Hopefully all of the supplies made it. 

With just 24 days left, Jason and I are starting to make a to-pack list. Anything we need to take and aren't using now is getting stacked on the guest bed to make sure we don't forget anything. Even when I'm staying somewhere else for one night, I'm always afraid I'm forgetting something. So, two and half weeks away from home...I'm going to be double and triple checking I get everything. 

Tonight is our last dose of the typhoid vaccine medication and we are so glad! We opted to do the oral vaccine versus injection because A) it was cheaper and B) it lasts 5 years instead of only 2 with the injection. It's really specific on how to take the medication. It consists of four pills that you take every other day, with a full glass of water, an hour before a meal, and must be completed at least one week before leaving. Jason has been having nausea the mornings after taking the pill, so he's super glad today is the last day. Next, we have to start taking the malaria medication two days before we leave, during our time gone, and for a few weeks when we get back. 

Radio announcement

Robin (John's wife) is doing a prayer team for the mission. She emailed an update out yesterday. The crate should arrive by April 1st to New Day...yay! Also, a radio announcement has gone out to tell the surrounding areas that we are coming and when we will be there. The local radio station is a major form of communication in Zambia, so the best way to let people in the area close to New Day Orphanage know about the opportunity for amputees to get a prosthesis is to make a radio announcement. Here is what Robin sent out about the radio announcement:

Other news, New Day Orphanage has put an announcement out through the Macha radio station about the arrival of the Prosthetic Promises team. They have been receiving calls every day about leg and eye patients from the radio station.  The team will meet everyone on April 19th at the radio station and assess who can be helped.  Again, many people have high hopes for this service to make their lives easier.  Please pray for the hand of God to make the decisions.  The team wants to help everyone but only so much can be done in their allotted time, so they take the ones that can benefit the most from their work.  The hearts of the rejected people are broken and so are the hearts of the team.

My first thought on reading this: Whoa! Then I re-read it and thought it over more. So...yay! people are getting the announcement and responding, which is wonderful. We will be meeting everyone at the radio station to assess and choose who we can help. When John and Chris went in 2012, Blu (co-founder and co-director of New Day) had met with the people who responded to the radio announcement before they arrived and had already selected who could be seen. I'm sure this was incredibly difficult for Blu, though John and Chris had given him information and guidelines of sorts to help him in choosing who they could help. But now we're going to meet with everyone and decide. Oh the heartbreak! To meet all of these people and hear their stories, and then we may not be able to make a prosthesis for everyone. I pray there will be exactly the number of people who come that we can make a prosthesis for so we don't have to turn anyone away. 

Other news from mine and Jason's end: we finally have all our vaccinations and medications in order. This took WAY longer and was FAR more complicated than necessary. The confusion was mostly my fault for not doing my research more thoroughly, but thank goodness it's done. 

Good news!

There's so many things to tell, I'm not sure where to start. :) First of all, I'd like to point out that today is 40 days until we leave. I love the significance of 40 days here....several points of good news and preparations happened this week (patience...I'll get to that) and it's 40 days until we leave. I'm looking at this 40 days as more of the "major change/transformation at the end" significance we see in the Bible rather than the "trial" 40 days. 

First..an update on the crate. It has moved and is on its way to New Day, just slowly. It's rainy season in Zambia right now, so apparently this makes for slow travel for something large like our crate. We pray for timely travel and its arrival before us to New Day.

Next is great news that we have more equipment purchased and several things donated. Suzanne O'Connor, who is a prosthetist/orthotist in Dallas, bought us a nice heat gun and air hammer. A big THANK YOU to Suzanne for your donation! 

Also, I talked with Chris yesterday, and she has bought a Trautman (carver/sander machine) and vacuum pump for the trip. These will not fit in our suitcases, so we will be paying extra for those to go on the flight. 

Prosthetic Promises also received a VERY generous donation this week from a couple from my home church in Clifton, which will go to covering these last purchases, extra baggage fees and other expenses. Praise God for this donation! We are so very blessed with all of the donations we have received and the prayers from everyone. 

Crate Update

Apparently our crate that had arrived in South Africa has been stuck in Johannesburg. There was the additional charge once it got to South Africa that was paid, but we are unsure why the crate has not been moved towards its final destination at New Day. John will let me know as soon as he hears something. The company that shipped the crate is checking into the issue. Please pray the crate transportation doesn't get held up much longer. It'd be nice to know all of our supplies are awaiting us to get to New Day rather than a "down to the wire" situation. 

In other news, it's just 46 days until we leave! I'm excited but getting nervous. For some reason, I'm beginning to feel like I'm preparing for a major exam. Do I know enough and am I prepared enough to pass the 2 week exam on prosthetics? *Insert flash backs to preparing for my board exams here.* Prosthetic Promises' new website design is finished and up. Visit www.prostheticpromises.org. Go to the About Us page and read about John and Chris. I think my nervousness stems a lot from the fact that I have NEVER been on a mission trip; they have been doing mission work for a while. I'm continuing to mentally prepare and pray for knowledge and strength when on this trip.