Thursday, May 22, 2008

Beautiful Words...

My beloved speaks and says to me: "Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away..."
Song of Solomon 2:10-13

Monday, May 19, 2008


Amanda and I had SO MUCH FUN!!!! We crossed the finish at 4 hours 28 minutes. I have to say that we definitely had the two BEST fans possible. Emma and Tiffany found us on the course FIFTEEN times!!! Such a feat is practically unheard of. We felt very special.

Friday, May 16, 2008

An Impulsive 26.2

I decided about 8 days ago to run the Fargo marathon, after a 1 1/2 month break in training. My knee just wasn't healing enough to press on, so I had to give up Boston qualifying aspirations (for now) and be satisfied with watching this one from the sidelines. Ouch. Well, after a long rest period using biking and swimming in cross-training efforts, I ran a mile. Surprise... I felt nothing! So the next day I ran a bit longer. Again, nothing. At this point I was thinking... I'm already registered for the marathon, why not go for it? I don't pretend to think that I will run it very fast, but crossing the finish line would be a great treat. In addition, I'm going to be running with my friend Amanda from work. She also is having left knee issues so we'll be good encouragement to each other, and will have a blast I am sure. However, as I studied the map this afternoon I've been thinking... wow. It's really far. Especially considering the fact that the last long run I did was 2 months ago, and even then I only went 16 miles. But my theory is that marathons are almost entirely mental. We'll see how it goes. I'm definitely willing to drop out if my knee starts acting up again, because I am already registered for Chicago in October. I am thankful for the opportunity to at least try tomorrow!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Conversation with the Giuas

I spoke with Carlos and Pascua on the phone this morning and got an update on what has been happening lately in Mozambique. With a new baby girl in the house (Jessica) Carlos is excited to have almost a full soccer team:). In addition to their 3 daughters, Carlos and Pascua also have living with them Dominga, who is in grade 5 and the same age as Nysha. Carlos proudly announced that Dominga is doing very well in school, and is first in her class! Dominga's mother is very ill, and he asked for prayer for her healing. Their hope is that Maria will get well enough so that she can live very close to Carlos and Pascua so Dominga can go back to living with her and remain in the community. Carlos also asked for prayer for a friend of Pascua's who recently found out that she is HIV+ and is very suicidal. Pascua also has family members who are sick and need prayer.

As always, it was great to hear their voices and to just be blessed by my Mozy family. They are eagerly anticipating Dara and Laura coming on Sunday, and are also excited about a new round of chickens in the coop at Rubatano. They are 5 days old now and I am sure very cute. It's really too bad about their tragic end.

I wish you all could hear one of Carlos' stories... especially the time when "the tank was full" (translation: he needed to use the bathroom) and he ended up getting chased by and needed to confront a VERY scary dog. There is nothing more hilarious. He also asked in all seriousness if I had a word from the Lord that the man for me would come from the USA, or the UK, or Africa, or somewhere else. I told him I didn't have any clue, but was amazed to know that a man so burdened with the needs of so many others would care about something so insignificant in comparison. The topic made me chuckle, but I definitely felt loved. Something Carlos didn't say but that I took from the conversation was that he is tired. I could hear his voice thick with exhaustion, even amidst the periods of giggling and other periods of serious prayer requests. Though he very rarely asks for it, HE needs our prayer.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Update Letter

Hello my friends!

It has been nine months since Sarah and I got home and nearly that long since you received anything in the way of updates from me. This has probably been a relief to the email inboxes of many of you, while others may be wondering where in the world I went. I've been around, but for once in my life had very little to say. Now, coming to the other side of what I think of as a "desert" season in my life, what I have learned through immense struggle can be summarized in a few verses from the pen of Paul.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus might also be revealed in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

You may remember that when I first got home I was hoping to be back in Africa within a few months, but God seemed to say no to that desire and asked me to stay. And even though I knew He was right, I was still angry with Him. I felt betrayed somehow... as if God had played a cruel joke on me, leading to a place and breaking my heart for it, then calling me out and keeping me there. This wasn't the only issue. I also felt deep guilt over some choices I had made and thought of myself as a failure and disappointment to God. Satan jumped on all these things and began doing his utmost to break me down... throwing in my face everything he possibly could and making me feel worthless... a failure... crushed by guilt. However, I could not let on that I struggled. There was my foolish pride to contend with... I am supposed to have it all together, right?

I had gotten my own apartment in Fargo and started a job in the NICU at Meritcare. Right away I knew that's where I needed to be because I was learning SO much, but I still didn't like it. Yet even though I was angry with the Lord and my heart was broken in more places than I knew existed, He was still working... guiding... speaking... loud enough so that I would HEAR Him. I can be incredibly impatient and have the consistent yearning to back back overseas right now... yesterday in fact:). However, my time in the NICU has shown me how much there is to learn, and how valuable experience and education could be in the future in a third world country. He began to give me a desire to go back to school to get a Masters in Nurse Midwifery, and I started actively searching for schools. It has been a 3-month long process and quite a roller coaster ride of options, but I believe I'm on a course now that is actually going to happen and is the right one. Though not set in stone, the current plan is to enlist in the Air Force as a nurse beginning either in August or in October. There are many reasons for the Air Force (and I'm sure many more which I cannot see now...), one of which is the fact that they pay for a huge chunk of graduate school. I will most likely be stationed in San Antonio and work in the NICU there. In January I will begin studying through an online program and after 3 years will be finished with my Air Force contract and have the degree I long for. I have made it sound very simple in these few sentences, but in reality I am quite terrified about the whole thing. But I know it's right. Somehow it's precisely because of the fear that I know it's right.

A few weeks ago I was talking to good friends Nick and Troy... telling them how much I miss my best friend. They prayed for me and said "Ginna, go after Him." I've been going after Him... giving Him my frustrations and my fears, my doubts and my failures. Giving Him the broken jar of clay that is me and trusting that He will fill me again with the treasure that is Him. I feel like I'm coming out of the desert... not understanding my Lord ANY more than when I went it (in fact, filled with tons more questions than I've ever had before) but loving Him... OH, loving Him and experiencing His love in a completely new and wonderful way. You know what I think is strange? We all try so hard to avoid pain because it is, to state the obvious, so painful. But really it is only through pain and struggle that we grow. And I need to add that in the midst of this spiritual struggle I've experienced in a new way how beautiful that body of Christ really is. Through many highs and even more very low lows I've been loved by everyone around me so deeply and purely it has often made me cry. Thank you. I can't say that enough.

So if you wonder if the year in Mozambique was just a one time thing my answer is... I HOPE NOT!!! I want to devote my entire life to working in the poorest parts of the world. Maybe Africa... maybe somewhere else... Asia? The Middle East? I'll go anywhere. The coming three years will be further preparation, and I'm excited about this new season!

Please keep praying for Mozambique. Pray for Carlos and Pascua, their 3 girls, Rubatano Home Based Care, all of the patients and volunteers, the baby clinic and the mission. Two of Sarah's friends are nurses who are beginning the Footprints program. They are being trained in South Africa right now and will be going to Mozambique this Sunday, living in our house and driving our faithful Toyota. I'm THRILLED. More than a little bit jealous, but thrilled all the same:).

A few friends and I are going to be running the Chicago marathon for World Vision again this year! I'm excited to once again have the amazing opportunity to raise funds for children in Africa.

If you want to check in on me from time to time I do update my blog quite regularly...

God bless you,

P.S. Please pray with me, fervently, for the people of Myanmar.

Myanmar Cyclone

Please be praying for the people of Myanmar. Estimates have soared to over 100,000 deaths... an unfathomable number. At this moment relief teams wait in Bangkok and elsewhere for visas to be able to enter the country. It's taking much too long. For what it's worth, I'd like to be among them and am spending the afternoon researching relief organizations who are sending (or who will be sending) medical personnel.