Monday, June 25, 2012

Meet Piper

Happy Munday!

How can you not be happy when you have this little face looking at you?  This is Piper, my one eyed cat.  I rescued her.  She had an infection that led to an eye tumor.  Now she is my little cyclops.  Anyway, I am leaving with my church's youth group to PAR-TAY!! chaperone.  Awesome week it shall be. 

Why am I talking like yoda

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Da Truff

I just found out about this awesome online accountability.  This is basically women from different places (geographically and in their walks with Christ) reading scripture together.  We all have the same reading plan on an app and then we connect via blog or twitter or whatever.  I will be following their blog and hopefully blogging thoughts myself.  So kewl! (I didn't just type that, did I?  Yes.)    


Read the better written description here.  I feel a little like tossed salad today.  See what I mean?


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Panic Mode

I'm taking a break from writing about my trip to Malawi.  I have (more selfish) things to write about.  Every summer, I have a habit of searching for new dorm furniture.  While I was searching my favorite stores online today, I had a slight panic attack.  I am about to start my senior year of college.  I'm very close to being a grown-up.  I'm scared.
I even hate to admit that I panicked about whether I would need to change the name of my blog.  It probably won't change.  Get over it

I have no idea where I will be in a year.  Should I get a job teaching art?  Should I move overseas?  Should I get a motorhome and live off of Easy Mac?  Should I get my masters to practice art therapy?  I'm freaking out I tell ya.  Thank heavens for the peace I find in Jesus.  I know that He has a plan and it isn't time for me to know that plan yet.  Pray for clarity in my life and future, please.

Anyway, this new enlightenment has got me looking for furniture that I can keep for a good long time.  Here are my top picks in furniture that are crush-worthy:

I know that it isn't furniture or decor but I still need it.

Now I'm off to find a sugah daddy.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Seeking Beauty

I figured that since I have already shared some heartbreak from Malawi and that I have more heartbreak to share, I should take a break and share some beauty.  I have come to find that there is beauty within every broken life, family, community.  That is how God works.  The point is to seek Him to find the beauty. 

On our last day, we went to Lake Malawi.  It was truly the most beautiful lake that my eyes have ever seen.  The pictures do it no justice.  The sand was different.  It shined in a whole new way.  The water was a clear blue that held no debris and off to the side massive rocks jutted up to the sky.  Our God is an artist that blesses my creative soul so much. 

More beautiful than the lake was the people that I had the priviledge to work with.  Our college team consisted of five other people.  Nicole, Rob, Tori, Zach, Allison, and I were more unitied than I could have imagined.  It was amazing to see how God worked in our lives.  Changed forever.

Speaking of beautiful people, we also worked with a team of thirty from Arizona.  It was a family trip that had five year olds, grandfathers, and everyone in between.  They were a blessing to work with.  How beautiful to see two children from different worlds playing together as if they had known each other their whole lives. 

More beautiful yet, the African Bible College students.  These students have the heart for their community.  Sure, I have traveled across the world to "take love" but what have I done in my own community?  These students are changing their worlds.  They are changing my world. 

Malawi may have had much suffering, but it also carried a beauty that I had to travel across the world to find.  The truth is that God has that same true beauty in Brookhaven, Mississippi.  I just have to seek Him to find it.  I am excited to see why God has called me to spend a part of my summer in my hometown.  I know He has plans and is using this time to prepare me for something in my future.  I am leaving with my church's youth group Monday to help with their summer camp.  I am excited to see God move in their and my own life. 

(from my own youth camp days)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kalinde's Hope

(photo by Paul Gunther)

Kalinde.  She’s 25 years old, with 3 children, and beautiful.  It would seem she has her whole life ahead of her.  A full life.  But the truth is, she’s dying.

Probably soon. 

About 6 months ago she got sick.  But when she tried to see the doctor, she was denied because she didn’t have the money to pay.  Shortly after, she became paralyzed in both legs.  Then her husband left her and the children.  I know what you are thinking, because I thought the same thing.  But that’s not even the worst part.  Without the use of her legs, she has been unable to get herself around.  Until a few days ago, she has apparently been sitting in the same spot on the back porch of her home.  On a straw mat on a cement floor.

Six months.

All the time.  Not much of a full life.

But that’s not even the whole story.

I am not a doctor and my medical training consists of CPR and First Aid.  So my ability to share the rest of her story in any way other than plain and simple is impossible.  She has developed sores on the bottom half of her body.  Everywhere.

I see the sores on the lower parts of her legs and think, those could be treated.  But imagine bed sores that do not get treated.  At all.  For months and months.  And imagine sitting on those sores as they continue to get worse, and open up, and get infected.  And while you sit with open sores, unable to even use a bathroom when needed other than the sheet you sit on, the flies begin to feast on you. 

Picture a decomposing animal.  Now attach that picture to the bottom half of a beautiful young woman’s face and torso. 

It’s hard to do isn’t it.  I’ve seen it first hand, and I still have a hard time putting it together. 
This is far from a full life.  It’s not supposed to be like this.

This was the topic of a sermon that Paul gave one Sunday when teaching from Genesis.  When God breathed life into human beings in the very beginning, suffering was not part of it.  That came later.  It wasn’t supposed to be like that.  And at the end, someday, God promises eternal life free of suffering.  But somewhere in the middle of all that, Jesus said He came to give life, full life.  Right now.  While suffering is still very real and powerful.  So where is the full life for Kalinde? 

As her flesh is being eaten away and her bones are exposed and her bowel protrudes from her lower back, what hope is there for full life?  If she had gotten treatment sooner, this would not be happening.  My daughter blames the doctors.  They should have helped her when she asked.  I blame her family for letting it get this far and not getting her help.  There is no treatment now.  Her internal organs are exposed and affected.  At some point, soon, she will die.  It’s not supposed to be this way.

A few of our team helped again today to clean out her sores as best as they could.  She cried out in pain and I screamed in my head, “God make it stop!”  Jesus touched people and they were healed.  I’m touching this woman and she cries out in pain.  Where is full life? 

When they wrapped and cleaned her the best they could, we placedABC her back in her sitting position.  We have brought a mattress to make the sitting on open sores more comfortable.  If that’s possible.  We cover her with a sheet and she has caught her breath again.  When the sores are covered up, it’s almost like she has returned to a healthy beautiful woman again.  But the sores are still there.  The infection still exists.  She’s still going to die. 

The ironic thing is that after the intense pain of being moved and cleaned, she asked us when we would be coming back to do it again.  What makes someone, experiencing that amount of pain and suffering, ask for more?  Something in what we did for her today made her ask for another visit. 

My hero growing up was Mother Teresa and Rick Monday.  Unless you love baseball, most people wouldn’t know who Rick Monday is, and that’s ok.  It’s another story for another day.  But Mother Teresa inspired me, even “awed” me if that’s a word.  She saw suffering and chose to respond.  As a result of her efforts, I know many services and resources have been established for those all over the world who suffer greatly in this life.  But before any of that happened, she was responding as only she knew how.  She touched people.  Literally.  Most of them were people that others would never choose to touch.  Her touch rarely brought physical healing, and yet suffering people longed for her touch. 

Our touching of Kalinde today brought more pain and yet she longs for more.  It surprised me, causing me to wonder why she would want more.  Something about what was done for her today out-did the pain that was caused in doing it.  Could a physical touch mean enough to her heart and soul that it would be worth more physical pain to receive it again? 

What if Jesus touched people to reach their hearts. 

What if physical healing was just incidental because He was God. 

Don’t get me wrong- I know God longs and intends to redeem body and spirit both.  Healing is His specialty.  But if I follow His example given in the gospels, He touched first.  So I will touch first.  Maybe there is more to full life than my limited understanding of life without suffering.  Maybe it is possible to receive full life in the middle of suffering.  Maybe full life is more than just long life.

I still believe it’s not supposed to be this way for Kalinde.  I’m still angry that she will die from something that could have been treated.  I’ll still cry when I watch her cry out in pain.  But if touching pain is what Jesus did, then I pray God will continue to give me the strength to reach out, so that He can bring full life in whatever way He knows is best to those who need it most.

Written by Melinda Gunther from The Grove Church in Arizona

Kalinde passed away June 20, 2012 
(one day after I got home)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Her name is Mercy and she is an orphan.
On the seventh day of my trip, I went to a crisis nursery.  This nursery houses precious babies from zero to three.  These babies have been abandoned.  Most of their moms died in child birth.  Many died due to AIDS.  The goal is to care for the children, contact relatives, and prepare both to live together again.  There are still some who can not live with relatives and must be put in an orphanage after they are three. 

Most of the babies there have bald spots on the back of their heads.  This is due to the lack of individual attention they get.  The nursery is doing the best that they can but two people can only hold so many babies.  Mercy is seven months old and she can't even sit up by herself.

I don't know what else to  say.  There isn't much we can do.  The caregivers already love to their fullest.  You can't adopt from Malawi unless you have lived their for two years either.  We can, however, pray.  Pray for these young lives that have already lost so much.  Pray for their future families.  Pray that Malawi's adoption laws will change.  Pray for Mercy.  

Back to Basics

Hey guys!

I'm back from Malawi.  I didn't get any internet access while I was there so I plan to update you on everything now that I'm back in the States.  I also have to wait for my team to post pictures on facebook because my camera decided to go to camera heaven while I was there.  My luck. 

the only photo I have now.
(the girls on my team in London airport)

I had an amazing time and met amazing people.  I was shown how lavishly I'm blessed and the importance of a grateful heart.  I can't wait to share more with you.

Stay tuned. 

Monday, June 4, 2012


I'm leaving this morning for Malawi.  I'm so nervous and excited and nervous.  I'm not really scared about the trip.  I'm more nervous about the unknown.  So, I'm asking you guys for a big favor.  Will you please me my prayer warriors

Please pray for safety.  I will be on a plane and in airports for the next two days.  I will fly to Washington D.C., London, Nairobi, and then Lilongwe, Malawi.  London might be quite hectic with the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics and all. 

Please pray for unity.  There will be a team of multiple personalities and ideas working together.  Sometimes Most of the time humans tend to turn unique differences into problems.  Pray that we work together and are able to communicate.

Pray for my flesh.  I need to kill it daily.  Pray that I am broken and allow God to move in my life.  Pray that I'm not selfish or stupid or any of those other things that I tend to be.  I need God to function because I can't do this on my own. 

Thanks so much
Can't wait to blog from the otherside

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Two Daze

 a fresh green tomato from the garden.
(I think I'm going to fry it)

 my recent purchases: a tea towel, coin purse, and passport cover

buy something vintage 

I also purchased this wire headband thing.
(I tried to take a pic of me wearing it but I'm not good at the whole junior high, arms above my head photo thing.)

My loving grandmother, Granny, made me this cover for my kindle.

Malawi.  2 daze.  One.  Two.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...