"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29: 11

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Unexpected Support

When we were asked last year to re-apply to serve onboard we had to update a few details from our previous application in 2010. One of these was completing family medicals. I had to undergo a more stringent Seafarers Medical but Tam and the boys all needed to complete one with our family doctor. Well when I went to book this I was initially told it was going to be $178 each, which times-four was not cheap - $712. But then they told me to send the Mercy Ships forms and they’d look at what they could do. Well, a week later, they rang back and told us that our family doctor, Dr Adnan Khan, would do them gratis – free – for nix! What a blessing.
But wait there is more. Two years ago I had a little bike accident whilst racing and broke my collarbone (clavicle) badly requiring insertion of a 5 inch titanium plate and eight screws.

Well I wanted to investigate getting it removed before leaving for Africa, just in case it caused me any problems later, so armed with up to date x-rays I headed back to see my surgeon, Dr Simon Chan. My main concerns were when I could get it removed, how long I’d be incapacitated and what it was going to cost. I explained why I was considering having it removed and he shared how he had done some volunteer work in Africa as a young doctor. Anyway when we came to the business of what my little surgery was going to cost he said he would “no gap” me, which means I would have nothing to pay after Medicare and my health insurance fund paid their contributions. More blessings.
So my little blog today is to acknowledge and thank these two doctors, who in their own way are helping launch us on our journey to serve in Africa with a few extra dollars in the Mercy Ships fund before we leave.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lifted up!

I had two very interesting conversations at church on Sunday.  The first was with some visitors to our regular congregation.  They are visitors but really, they are family - one of the pastors parents.  Worse still, they always come up and say Hi Tammy - and I am terrible and have forgotten their names - oops.... They were keen to chat about us going to Africa and how exciting it is.  My default position of late is that we are hopeful and God Willing we will go - but I also make sure that people know that we are waiting for a cabin and therefore, it is not definite yet.  I explained that Mick feels really compelled and called to do this and it was a blessing in disguise last time for it to be called off however, we are thrilled to be back applying again. What was really amazing was the encouragement they then provided. They talked about how God doesn't really want families to be separated for one member to follow their calling.  That when someone really believes He wants them to something, He makes it happen.  Better still for me as a trailing spouse, that God really starts to build your partnership to make the something happen. I found that tremendously encouraging and have felt lifted up all week since.

The second conversation was with our church Treasurer, Bryce.  Several times over the years, we have had chat which has really made me think further on our topic.  This time was no different. Bryce mentioned that he had happened upon and been reading our blog after church camp.  Then he talked about the different missions and organisations he had supported and how some had kept him up to date with news and others just sent out the corporate newsletter.  He explained how important it was to him as a supporter to find out how his money is being used and how gratifying to receive a personal note or newsletter.  I'd like to say that I went home and got stuck into the blog immediately.  Well not quite.  However even a few days later, I am still finding encouragement in our conversation - encouragement and motivation.  And again, lifted up as someone else helps equip us for potential service.

Preparing? Letting Go? Moving On?

We still don’t know if there is a family cabin onboard but should know this month. For me, I have a quiet belief that it will happen and this has helped me “let go” of some material things recently.
I had a passion for woodturning. It was really the only truly creative thing I have ever picked up, something where I take a plain piece of wood and shape it into something new, hopefully both practical and attractive. Anyway with three growing boys, a full time job, staying fit and everything else in life the lathe had not been used since before we left for London in 2006. I held onto it thinking I would one day make time again. Last time we were on our way to Africa, I even planned to store it. However this time, I thought it was better letting it go to someone who was passionate and had the time. So it all went on Ebay last week, the lathe, the chisels, the chuck, the accessories and the books. I probably only recouped 20% of the replacement value but felt a sense of release. Maybe there was always a sense of guilt that I should be making time to use it, but I think it was more about having faith that I wouldn’t need it shortly as we would be calling a ship in Africa home soon.