Monday, May 14, 2012

Tanzania! Here we come!


It has been a while. I haven't forgotten about you. I've got a post about it. It's not for today though.

I am going on a trip. I have been so busy getting prepared for it and living life too, that I failed to let anyone know about it!

On Thursday, Dr. Max Hutchinson and I will board a plane to head to Tanzania! The dates of the trip are May 17-29.

We will be going Musoma.
Look at the middle map.
It's right up there at the top.Beneath Lake Victoria.

Dr. Hutchinson and I will meet with a group from McLean Presbyterian Church of McLean, Virginia in London, on our way to Tanzania. Deacons and Elders from McLean will be teaching and preaching at a pastor's conference sponsored by the African Inland Church-Tanzania in Musoma. Read about African Inland Church-Tanzania at McLean Presbyterian Church's web page.

McLean's website also offers this information about the country.


The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north. It is relatively stable politically and is a country of considerable resources that has leveraged tourism, mining, trade and communications to fuel notable economic growth since 2000. Nonetheless, poverty is still widespread and acute, especially in rural areas where few households have access to safe drinking water, primary education and medical treatment. Life expectancy in Tanzania is just 48 years due to HIV/AIDS, the leading cause of death, and malaria, the number one killer of children.

It is estimated that approximately 40% of the population is Christian with Muslims being 35% and indigenous beliefs 25%, but all estimates on religious affiliation are at best guesswork as the national census has not asked for religious affiliation since 1967 in an attempt to avoid rivalries between the various religious groups.

The group went this same time last year and one of the members, a young woman from McLean who interpreted for them made this slideshow and posted it on YouTube. Please watch. Also read the description under the video to learn about how the church is helping to provide clean water to the people of Tanzania.

Would you please pray for us?

A few of the requests that I can think of right now are for:

  • Health-the stomach is a particular area of concern :)
  • Safety-planes, buses, vans, wild animals, etc....
  • Wisdom/Discernment
  • Supplies and equipment to get through customs
  • Rest-That we would be able to sleep when its time to sleep
  • Energy-That we would have energy when it is time to work
  • My dear husband, Eric, and our children at home, Ty, Tess, Amelia and Dinah, the other team members' families, and those that will help care for my family while I'm gone-( I will miss a birthday and several school and church events that my children are involved in while I'm gone. And if you read my Mother's day cards you'd know they like me A LOT. I'm fond of them also and don't want us to be too homesick for each other.)
  • the people who will be speaking, teaching, and preaching-clarity of thought and supernatural ability to convey God's word to the people
  • The native people who will be traveling to Musoma for the conference
  • Creativity and ingenuity for Dr. Hutchinson and I as we practice medicine with limited resources
  • That our medicines will last and last like loaves and fishes.
  • That we would be rays of light as we seek to represent our Loving Lord
  • Customs and Manners-that we don't offend the people by our actions
  • Adaptability
  • That we pack what we need-nothing more, nothing less

Did I say a few things? I meant many. :)

Blessings and gratitude to you for your prayers,



Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'm Pregnant (Reposted)

PREGNANT: adjective

1.having a child or other offspring developing in the body; with child or young, as a woman or female mammal.

No, I am not pregnant with child. I hear some of your sighs of relief.

For those of you who got a little excited thinking that Eric and I may be having another child. Thank you. But we will keep you posted on further developments. :)

2.fraught, filled, or abounding (usually followed by with)

I am pregnant with joy.

Over the past few months, I have listened, read, and conversed with people from this great state and others that care about life. It didn't matter what side of the aisle of proposition 26 that the idividuals stood on, I heard over and over that people cared about life. That makes me happy.

I am pregnant with expectation.

Like I said in my post When I vote yes...., I think a lot is expected from us. If we value life, our words need to be followed with actions. Don't just talk about it! Do something! I have spent the morning praying and asking God to show me ways that I can show others that I value life and love others like He does. He put in my mind so many ways.

3.teeming or fertile; rich (often followed by in): a mind pregnant in ideas.

At first, I thought of big things, like starting new ministries, adopting children, mission trips, changing jobs, or moving to another neighborhood, city, state or country. God may be calling you to one of these things. But then, I began to think of all the small ways that I needed to be obedient to now. I could value the lives of the neighbors I live by now, by getting to know them better, being their friend and helping meet their needs. I can drive someone who doesn't have a car to their appointments. Like a friend of mine suggested, I could provide childcare for someone who can't afford it. I can make food, or take clothing or home items to ministries already established. I can volunteer an hour to pray, counsel, clean, or do office work for them too.

4.full of meaning; highly significant: a pregnant utterance. 5.of great importance or potential; momentous: a pregnant moment in the history of the world.

I am pregnant with hope.

For those of you who are excited and relieved that proposition 26 didn't pass but said you care about life, show the world you do care. Those of you who are sad or heavy hearted because of election results from yesterday: chin up! You have work to do. What if one group emerged from this election? What if we were all Mississippians for Life? What if we all walked the talk and respected each life to come and those that are already here?

This could be "a pregnant moment in the history of the world".

So lets all get pregnant! Let's all grow in expectation and joy as we work until the Lord's return. Let's all love like He does. Let's stop pointing fingers and talking and get the ministry started. Spend some time on your knees and in God's word and run to the place He is sending you.

Romans 8:24-28
The Message (MSG)

22-25All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

26-28Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Definitions courtesy of

Monday, November 7, 2011

When I vote yes...

Okay, I have more to say.

I wanted to add to what I wrote previously. I told you that I would vote yes on 26.There is a responsibility that comes with voting yes. Because I choose to vote yes, I also choose the following things:

1. I choose to pray daily and fervently about foster care and adoption. I choose to be open to either in our future.

2. I choose to be open to, prayerful about, and looking for opportunities to help those that are in crisis pregnancy situations. No matter how small I think my contribution might be, I want to be avaliable to help. My heart, my home, my pocketbook, and my heart are prayerfully open to them.

3. I choose to support mothers and fathers who struggle to provide for their family.

4. I choose to spend time with children who need love and leadership because their parents are absent either by choice or by necessity.

5. I choose not to abandon the babies I fight for after they leave the womb.

6. I choose to withhold judgement and give out love instead.

I can't do everything but I can do something

What Can I Say

I've found myself at my keyboard, staring at a blank screen so often this past month. Every attempt to put my heart into words has failed. What can I say that hasn't been said by someone else?What if the person reading it takes my words in a different way than I mean? My vote is my own personal decision. I don't have to share what I think. But, maybe you want to hear it anyway. So, because the election is TOMORROW, I will try now.

I know you have probably seen this question over and over but I will include it here again:

"Should the term 'person' be defined to include every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the functional equivalent thereof?"

When I read those words for the first time, I knew what they meant to me. My question was, "what will this mean to those that interpret and defend our laws as they apply this proposition to our lives?". Frankly, I got a little scared.

You know what I didn't do after that? I didn't panic. I didn't poll my friends about the issue. I didn't believe everything that I read on Facebook.

You know what I did do? I prayed. I asked God to take away the fear and give me a sound mind. I poured out my concerns to Him. I listened for His answer. I read His word to see what He says about personhood, fertilization, cloning and the functional equivalent thereof. I sought wise council from my husband and a few others whom I trust, whom I know prayferfully consider issues, whom I know seek God's will through application of Scripture. I weighed the information against what I know to be true.

This is the conclusion I came to:

I believe that a fertilized embryo is a person. This proposition protects those persons.

If this amendment takes away some or all birth control, I trust that God can handle that.
If this amendment limits IVF or takes it away, I trust God can handle that.
If this amendment limits healthcare in any way, I trust God can handle that.

I have never been raped. I have never conceived a child by an abuser. I am so grieved that this happens. But the fact that the child is conceived in those situations does not make the child any less of a person. I believe that child has a right to life too. I trust God to heal in these situations.

I do believe that the life of the mother will be considered in light of non-viable pregnancies, i.e. ectopic and molar pregnancies. I trust God has the lives of those mothers in His hands too.

I don't know what "unintended consequences" that the words "cloning or the funtional equivalent thereof" will have in the distant future, but I trust God can handle that.

For those of you who will read this and say that God doesn't have anything to do with this, I beg to differ. The Creator of the universe has everything to do with everything.

All life is precious. I believe that this proposition adds to that and doesn't make any other life less valuable.

So I thank God in advance for the outcome tomorrow and know that God already knows what it is and can handle it.

I will vote yes tomorrow on Initiative 26.

So pray, pray, pray. On your face in the floor if you have to. But get peace about your vote tomorrow and go cast it however God leads you.

Philippians 4:5-7
New King James Version (NKJV)

"Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Lancaster Spa

My co-worker and friend, Terry, generously brought some of his garden vegetables to work so that we could take some home. I was very excited about the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. I proudly presented them to Eric when I arrived home in the morning after a night at work. Since I had to work that evening as well, I went to bed and didn't eat the veggies until after a nice rest.

I sat at the table eating sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, when Amelia saw my plate from across the kitchen. She smiled and ran to me. "Momma, I need you to cut me a cucumber."

"Why don't you just have some of mine? Do you want me to get you a plate?" I responded to her request.

"No, Momma. I don't need a plate. I just need two cucumbers," as she pointed to them on my plate. (She meant slices.)

"What do you need them for? Aren't you going to eat them?" I inquired.

"No, Momma. We need them for our spa!" She covered her eyes with her hands to indicated where the cucumbers would go.

I laughed and gave her two of my largest slices and continued to enjoy the fruit of Terry's labor.

In a few minutes, Amelia ran into the kitchen asking, "Where is the guacamole?"

I replied, "We don't have any guacamole. Are you hungry?"

She frowned and said, "Awww. I need to for our faces."

I smiled again and explained that it was just avocados instead of guacamole that they spread on the their faces. As I explained, I heard Tess call Ms. Amelia Lancaster back for her massage. She ran back into the living room where they had set up.

I finished my meal and walked in to see their spa station. Amelia lay on her back on the ottoman with the cucumbers on her eyes. Tess was rubbing lotion on her arms. I exclaimed over their ingenuity. Dinah was toddling around them absorbing all that was going on around her. I watched as she walked slowly up to Amelia. Dinah looked at her, then up at Tess, and back to Amelia again. I asked Dinah, "Doesn't that look like fun?" She stared at Amelia's face and surprised us as she grabbed a cucumber from Amelia's eye and put it in her mouth in a flash.

We all laughed as Amelia sat straight up and said, "Dinah!"
I asked Amelia why they used cucumbers on one's eyes when they were at the spa. She replied matter of factly, "They put them there so you can't see them massashing you."

There isn't anything quite so exciting as a cucumber. Thanks Terry!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Family Funnies

Amelia earned some money for helping her daddy the other day. I had that money in my purse on our way to town. She asked if she could hold the money. I suggested that I might need to hold on to the money so that she wouldn't lose it. I assured her that I would let her have it when she wanted to buy something. She didn't like that idea.

"Momma, I can put it in my pocket." She reached down to put her hand in her pocket to demonstrate. She looked up confused. She moved the fabric of her shorts around and felt with her hand but couldn't find the opening. She began to cry. "These are lying pants!"

I asked, "What? Lying pants?"

"Momma, these pants made me lie!" she exclaimed with tears rolling down her face. "These pockets aren't real! They made me tell you I had pockets and I don't."

I tried to supress my smile. Amelia gets really upset if she thinks someone is laughing at her and I didn't want to upset her any more. I reassured her that she didn't lie. I explained that she didn't realize her pockets weren't real.

The tears slowed but she crossed her arms over her chest with a huff. "I guess you can hold my money, "she resigned softly.


Ty and I made a late night trip to Wal-Mart the other evening to get some cream for a small patch of poison ivy on his leg. After I had submitted him to the torture of waiting as I tried on bathing suits, (We leave for the beach in 2 days and the dreaded task had to be done.) we stood in line waiting for check out. The cooler beside the counter held several types of beverages including the cold Starbuck's drinks. He pointed to the mocha version and said, "I drank those at camp last summer."

I said, "You did?" I didn't think he liked coffee flavored anything and I was concerned about the caffiene and sugar content.

He smiled a half smile and said, "Yes. I drank one every day." He continued drolly, "That is, until my cabin mates got together and voted that I wasn't allowed to anymore."

Apparently, his intake affected everyone in the cabin.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Warrior Cry (Well Sort-of)

Amelia, Dinah and I were at home on Thursday afternoon. I negotiated with Amelia and convinced her that watching the Corinth/Booneville game would be the thing to do. The prospect of seeing some of her family members on television sealed the deal and we tuned in. The map of Mississippi at the beginning of the broadcast impressed her. "That is where I live, Mississippi." she informed me. (I am still a little sad she doesn't call it Mr. Sippy anymore.)

We talked about the two teams that were playing. Jose', her new cousin, plays for Corinth. Nana works for Corinth school. Her cousin Jaycee goes to school at Booneville. We talked about who we would cheer for. I told her that we live in Corinth. She said, "No, I live in Mississippi." This is a recurring conversation and I am hoping that maybe after the 50th atlas presentation and slide show, this concept may be realized in her mind. I went over it again and she decided that it didn't matter who liked Corinth or Booneville, she was only going to cheer for Mississippi State. I let the topic drop as the game was in progress at this point.

Her attention waned and swelled at intervals. Thank goodness for DVR because we were able to pause live T.V. and scan the crowds for people we knew. We were able to see her cousins Avery and Jose really well. Dinah fell asleep in spite of the action. In the fourth quarter, Amelia began to tire of basketball and wanted to watch a movie. I convinced her to continue to watch the game by cheerleading with her. Without pom poms I was unable to show her what I really could do but we made do.

I thought that the cheering could be a great spelling lesson. She learned to spell "Lions" from the cheerleaders, so I thought that I would help her with the word "Warriors". I spelled it several times,
"W-A-R-R-I-O-R-S" She would repeat the letters after me. Finally, after spelling it together one last time, I yelled, "WHAT'S THAT SPELL??!!"

She smiled broadly, raised her arms high in the air and shouted, "NINJAS!!"