Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another week gone by...

Well, a week has gone by since we arrived home from Mali, West Africa. This morning, our team had a debriefing meeting. We shared stories from our trip and prayed for the missionaries and the hospital in Koutiala. It was a very good meeting. I was reminded again of how God's been using my blog to bless people around the world. The response to my blog has been amazing. I have been surprised by the number of people following my blog and even how they've been encouraged or blessed by certain things I've written. I truly believe that God has placed all of these words on m mind to share with everyone.
So, what's on my mind tonight? Well, there's been a couple things on my mind lately. Leading up to the trip, God had placed The Pledge of Allegiance to the Bible on my heart. (I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God's holy word. It's a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. It's words will I hide in my heart, that I may not sin against God.) At the time, I didn't think too much about it, but the scripture (Psalm 119:105) it's based on came up in devotions at the hospital. This verse has also come up in my personal devotions. So, God is saying something to me, right? Well, my mind wanders back to 4-H camp many years ago. Whenever we were out at night, we made sure to have flashlights so that we could see the path and make it to our cabin, the campfire, the bathroom, or the outposting site. So, if I take that and apply the scripture to my life in general, God's saying that I need prepare myself for whatever may happen in life. God's word is a bright ray of light/hope if we use it or go to it when we're feeling down or when we feel lost in the dark. Ephesians 6:14-18 talks about the Spiritual Armor we are given from God. In particular, I think the Sword of the Spirit relates to what I'm talking about. A note I have here is that "Spiritual warfare with Satan is won or lost with our usage of God's word." So, God's word is a lamp to light our path through life and it is also a weapon that allows us to defeat Satan's attack on our life. This sounds like a great reason to spend more time in the Bible, learning what God has to say to us!
The other thing that's been on my mind this week is a Master's Degree. I've said over and over that I see no reason to go on for a Master's Degree because my current job would never really require it. Well, since we got back, I've been thinking it might be worth seeing if I could move on for a Master's Degree in some sort of Bible studies. I haven't thought too much about it, but it's in the back of my mind. Don't know where this might go in the years to come, but it's what's on my mind.
Well, that's enough rambling for one night. Tonight, my prayer is for a few of the missionaries in Mali. First, I'd like to offer up prayers for the Nesselroade's. Dan and Marcy are very busy every day. Dan's delivering babies and performing all kinds of medical procedures at the hospital. He's pretty much on call 24/7. I can only think that God keeps him going. All of the work at the hospital has to be extremely taxing on him physically, emotionally, and mentally. So, my prayer for Dan is that God will continue to strengthen him every day for the work he has to do. Also, I pray that God will provide him rest when he needs it so that he will not become weary. I also pray that God will continue to reveal Himself to Dan throughout every day...that Dan will feel closer to God with every day he is there. For Marcy and the children, I pray for their schooling. It's my understanding that Marcy is learning the Bambara language and homeschooling their children. Learning a new language can be quite a challenge, so I pray that God will give her clarity of mind to learn the language thoroughly so that she can communicate effectively with the people who speak it. Also, I pray that God will give her the knowledge she needs to teach the children the things they need to know to progress through their homeschooling.
My prayers tonight also go out for Jessica Schaeffer. Jessica got back to Mali from a time in Switzerland just as we were getting ready to leave for home, so I didn't really get to know her much. Jessica is a missionary nurse at the hospital. Jessica is extremely busy, just like all the hospital staff, and needs rest and strength to make it through every HOT day there in Mali. I pray tonight that Jessica will settle back into the fast paced work of the hospital. I also pray that God will give Jessica opportunities to share Christ's love with patients, patients' families, and any hospital staff who don't have a personal relationship with Christ.
So, that's my thoughts for tonight/this week. Please feel free to comment! I always enjoy reading people's comments and sometimes they even help me think a little deeper about what I've posted. Have a very blessed week everyone!

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