Category Archives: Missionary Memories

Time with Family

The major reason for my medical furlough was the cataracts on both my eyes (the one on the left was very severe). But that definitely wasn’t the only thing I was looking forward to.

One major goal during this furlough was to spend time with family.

the Lord knows that missions work takes us away from our families. This is a sacrifice I make willingly (as well as my family) because salvation and discipleship of souls is a great calling. At the same time, going years without seeing family face to face (it had been 2 1/2 years since I’d been in the States) was a challenge.

So after getting my eyes fixed, my only goal was to spend time with family. Ministry could have been done during that time, but I honestly wanted to focus on being present with loved ones.

Because family is precious

A few days after my first eye surgery (but before my second) I went out to eat with my dad and brother. It was a wonderful time of fellowship talking about the past, and what God has for us in the future. The lord brought many opportunities to simply spend time with my family, and recharge.

It’s funny how the small things affect us sometimes.

When I think about the medical furlough my mind doesn’t go to the eye surgeries

  1. I remember drinking coffee with my dad while we go to Lowes
  2. I remember taking my mom out on date
  3. I remember make a silly video with my nephew
  4. I remember spending the night at my brothers house and watching movies with my nieces and nephew
  5. I remember riding roller coasters with my teenage niece

Yes I’m incredibly thankful my eyes were fixed

But I’m more thankful for a family to spend time with after they were fixed

Worth the Wait

The morning of my eye surgery during my medical furlough in 2021 I was honestly shocked at how quickly it was done. The entire operation took about fifteen minutes! They told me the surgery was successful, but I needed to keep the patch on my eye till 12:30.

My mom brought me home about 8:30 and I slept a lot of the morning. Part of me was anxious to see what would actually happen when the patch was taken off, would I be able to see right away?

Finally at 12:30 my mother removed the patch and I tried to look in the distance but couldn’t! I panicked for a moment, but then realized my eye was just swollen because of the surgery. Slowly it began to open. I can remember looking up at the tv which would have been about twenty or so feet away.

And for the first time in three-months….

I could see clearly at a distance!!!

The plan of God often doesn’t come when we want it to. If I had my way, the surgery would have taken place in March or April. But we can rest in the fact that God will indeed complete His work.

And His timing is perfect.

God Will Complete His Plan!

Thankfully it didn’t take long after arriving the States to get my eye-surgery completed. Once the doctor saw how bad it was, he immediately scheduled it for the next week!

As the day of the surgery got closer I became more and more excited. After months of not being able to see properly I was ready to have it done! One of the things that needed to be finished before the surgery could be completed was paperwork filled out by my primary physician. I got that filled out a week before the surgery, and then called on Friday to confirm it had been done.

The morning of the surgery I waited anxiously for a nurse to call my name. But once she did, the nurse asked “where is your form?”

And my heart sank

The form that the doctor filled out hadn’t been received!!!

My mother will tell you I got really upset about this (not loud shouting, just discouraged) because now the surgery would be delayed for at least another week probably. We started frantically trying to call the doctors office on the phone, but they hadn’t opened yet.

Five minutes later a different nurse called my name, and I jumped up

She told me not to worry, they had found the form in the surgery could be done

I was suddenly filled with relief, but also more than a bit convicted since my faith was so weak. All it took was one setback to break my confidence! Around an hour later the surgery was completed (a huge success), and i was on my my way home!

Often life throws challenges in our way. When this happens we can either lose heart, or believe that the Lord will work things out. In that moment I failed miserably, but that failure was a not so gentle reminder that God will finish His work.

This picture is precious to me not just because of my sight, but because of the verse behind me, Jeremiah 29:11. It will always be a reminder that nothing (not even paperwork) can stop the plan of God.

A Time of Rest

Last summer after arriving in the States for my medical furlough I didn’t do too much of anything for the first few days. I spent time with my family, slept, and drank coffee…..

Lots of coffee!

Partially this was because my eyes were still very bad (the surgery wouldn’t be till a week later). But the bigger reason was I just needed to rest.

Life has ways of wearing you down, especially if your doing the Lord’s work. After getting home I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted because living with a cataract was very hard! So for the first week I just focused on getting rest.

One morning I took a walk around the lake near my parents town-house and took some pictures as the sun rose through the trees. In a way that rising sun was like my body and spirit that after a few days of rest was beginning to gain strength.

And in that moment, I knew everything would be okay.

As Christians we are very good at working, but we are absolutely terrible at resting! We continue pushing ourselves till our spirit and body is almost ready to collapse (like I did) and then when we absolutely cannot go any farther, then we rest!

It would be so much better to make rest part of our daily rythm.

I’m not talking about watching something on TV when I use the word “rest”. Instead I mean unplugging from technology and responsibilities for a short period of time so that we can then return with a stronger focus. A time to take a step back briefly to refresh and refocus ourselves. A time that allows us to clear our clouded minds.

The physical healing of my body began a week later as my first eye surgery was done…..

but the healing of my soul had already begun through a time of rest.

When God is Your Eyes

One June 26, 2021 I flew Saint Vincent, to Miami (with a connecting flight to Richmond Virginia) for a medical furlough to remove an incredibly large cataract from my left eye, that had seriously diminished my eyesight.

The flight itself didn’t scare me……

getting from Miami to Richmond Virginia did!

After getting into Miami I would obviously have to go through customs. Experience taught me this was a very hectic and stressful experience when you have good eyesight! I was a bit worried about not being able read signs, find my bag, or use the machines in immigration.

Actually that was the easy part, finding my gate was what really scared me!

Miami is a BIG airport which means finding your connecting flights gate usually involves taking a tram, and lots of walking! Again not being able to read signs easily got me REALLY nervous!

Of course all of my anxiety was for nothing, because God already had it all figured out.

It was kind of funny how it happened! I ended up getting into the wrong line (for non-US citizens) instead of the one for US citizens. This was actually an answer to prayer because not only was it shorter, I actually got to talk to an immigration officer instead of using a machine. He did ask how I ended up in the wrong line, and I explained the cataract issue 🙂

After getting through immigration and finding my bag, I walked out into the Miami airport prepared for a very long walk to my connecting terminal. But instead of being far away, it was just ten gates down.

I was there in less than ten minutes!!!!!

With over a half-hour to spare I took a quick picture of the departure gate that will forever be a reminder anxiety only worries about things God has already worked out.

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