Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On board the ship

When coming to Mercy Ships, I had a lot of ideas. I believed that somehow I would be involved in the patient’s lives. That my adventures would be glorious…
…or something of that sort.
This was not what God had in mind.
So many times our perceptions of what God wants are mangled with our own truths. Truths, which are really lies. The lie that I would do wonderful things is more harmful than I imagined, thankfully not to anyone but to myself. In its own methodical way, it distorted the truth and caused me to think I am not useful.
…I am useless.
God did not create useless beings.
From what I can see, there are two reasons why God brought me to Africa, and neither really have anything to do with the Africans. In truth, it is the first time I have lived in the country and not fallen head over heals for the country. Instead, I have fallen for the African Mercy.
My first reason for being on board, as far as I can see, is for the sake of the people on board. God has shown me his love for the beauty in the hearts inside of the human beings inside this home of ours. Sometimes I see a woman walking down the hall, and the thought comes to my mind, “do they know just how beautiful they are?” Multiple reasons could show their beauty. Some people have an amazing gentle spirit that lights up everything they do, like my friend Lydia who dances in church. The first time I saw her dancing I wondered exactly that: Does she know how beautiful she is. Lydia you are beautiful beyond measure. Other people have a brilliance wherever they go and bring the sun with them. They almost literally light up people’s lives. Becca, my roommate and a pediatric ward nurse, seems almost constantly chirpy and is impossible to stay unhappy around for long periods of time. Becca…wow. Others, see God in everything. It’s almost as if they are dancing in their spirit. What a child like faith and love can do to the whole countenance. Leah, is one of those, she shares her voice, love for God, and joy in the midst of trouble. Leah, my breath is taken away by who you are. There are so many others. I have never met a woman I could not call beautiful, either inwardly or outwardly. Don’t hide it, face it, and show it. I hope these thoughts don’t seem weird or slightly gay to the casual audience. Know that my love for the people on board this ship is genuine.
There is a camaraderie here, found rarely even in families. We see each other every day, yet there is very few cat fights or all out rows. People call even the highest up by their first name. When trouble comes down on someone, there is always a hand waiting to be laid on them, in prayer. Yes, there are faults with this ship, and the people inside, but God has given me a love for it and them.
My second reason for being brought here is most likely the changes being done for me. The shy, quiet, inwardly thoughtful girl, with no self esteem is gone forever. I once had a prophecy given me in YWAM about unfurling my outer layers (the metaphor of a banana was used) to reveal my true self. What joy I have in proclaiming, it is true! God is good. What a powerful God we serve.
Finally, and I know I said only two, God is slowly showing me my purpose. I have always been drawn to a good story. I love movies, books, TV shows, anything with a good plot and characters. In addition, I have loved to tell the stories in my head through writing. I believe God wants to use that. With so much time and space on the ship, I have ample opportunity to write, plus many case studies with the variety of people who come to work on board.
God is amazing
I apologize for not writing sooner, but the thought of having nothing to report froze me, until God gently reminded me, I have a reason for being here.
With much love