Monday, July 17, 2017

Reconciling what I have experienced

Having lived on the foreign mission field for the last 10 years of my life, living in and among the severe poverty of two different countries, and I now find myself moving back to a 1st world nation, I find that I'm having to reconcile myself to what that means. 

I was talking to my daughter who just had an AMAZING time on an Alaskan cruise that her sweet grandparents got for her for her 21st birthday.  She absolutely loved the trip - because she made it HER kind of trip - she didn't go on the cruise excursions, go into the touristy shops...she went out of her way to get WAY out of town, and find the mom and pop shops.  She connected with an Alaskan trapper and spent most of her day with him just getting to know him, his love for Alaska, and his way of life.  She skipped all the tourist shops, by-passed the "normal" places to go and sought out the true heart of Alaskans.  While she was on her trip, she sent me such an "MK" response about a situation on board ship.  They had gone to the line for lunch, and were there at 11:30 for a 12:00 opening.  Within 15 minutes, she told me that people around her were complaining and upset that it wasn't open yet (although it wasn't supposed to open for another 15 minutes).  She was so irritated at their response, because she knows what it's like...living in a severe state of poverty...seeing the effects of malnutrition, poverty, disease, despair, with little to no food to eat - and here they were - getting ready to gorge themselves with as much food as they wanted.  And it bothered her...their response.  I reminded her that most people she is going to encounter don't have her same frame of reference, and they only know what they know.  

So here I find myself...in the same situation.  Having lived 10 years in and among those who have been living day by day.  Collecting my own rain water so I don't have to drink contaminated well water.  Living under mosquito netting, fearful on a daily basis of getting deadly malaria.  Visiting with people who have an average life expectancy of 54.  I take those experiences with me as I return to a 1st world nation.  As I return to a life that doesn't experience the hardships of the rest of the world.  I admit it - going back to a nation of "whatever I want" I find that I need to give grace to those around me.  Having my husband haul water from the well, filter it, bleach it, and prepare it before we can even use it is our daily life.  Now I can turn on the tap water and just let it flow.  I need to reconcile what I've lived and experienced the last 10 years of my life with what my life will look like in California.  I NEVER want to forget what I've lived through - what I've experienced - I want to use that to be a better person, to love people deeply, and to continue to try and make a difference.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

e-book now available for Termites Ate My Couch! Kindle, Nook, ibook

The e-book version of my book has finally hit the virtual shelves!

e-book now available!

Have you ever wondered what life on the mission field is like? Termites Ate My Couch is an attempt to share stories that are thoughtful, heartbreaking, inspirational, funny, and crazy – in other words – an average day in the life of a missionary. These are true tales from a mom, nurse, wife, and flawed person. These stories show how reliance on Jesus Christ brought her through the most emotional, rewarding, and hilarious times of her life. You are invited to read these stories and laugh and cry along with her.

It can be found at:

Amazon - Kindle

Barnes and Noble - Nook

Apple - ibook


Monday, July 3, 2017

Maintaining Traditions Part 3



I've written two previous posts about maintaining traditions part 1 here and part 2 here.

Once again I find myself in yet another country that is not the U.S. trying to figure out how to maintain that tradition of celebrating our Independence Day in the U.S.  I think what that will look like is cooking a "traditional" meal, watching fireworks on the computer, a few renditions of the National Anthem, and call it a night.

I think I long for the picnics, parades, community fireworks, and the military - but I know that there is a contentment that I must also find wherever I am.  I also recognize that not everyone shares the same desire for this particular tradition.  Each family, each person, finds the traditions that they can take with them wherever they are to help "normalize" their life in the midst of a foreign nation and a different culture.

Having spent 11 years in the military, I am proud of that, will salute the flag, and put my hand over my heart during the National Anthem, and will be content with computer fireworks, and go to bed knowing that next year I'll be in the U.S. during Independence Day - the first time in a long time, and I'm excited for that.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The big move - how you can help



So, you've probably heard by now, we are returning to California after having been on the foreign mission field for over 10 years.  Mike will be the director for a new hub MTW office in California.  We are both excited and not going to lie - a little anxious about the move.  When we left for the mission field, we sold our house, our car, and 100% of our belongings.  We will now need to get re-established in California - and that means putting an entire house together.  So...we are (once again) asking for your help.  We've set up an Amazon page for all those necessities for a house and if you would like to contribute - here's the link:  http://a.co/fS7oOPM

There is everything from towels, to spoons, to pots and pans, and more.  Just think wedding registry for a new couple that has never owned a home.

We are humbled, once again, as God is leading us to a new season of life and are super excited to see where that will take us.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

1st Team

Sweet Valeriana receiving her first pair of glasses in her life
Our first team arrived on Saturday after a cancelled flight and lost bag, but arrive they did.  We started off the trip with worship at the local little Baptist church we attend, then medical clinic on Monday.  It was a busy day with over 70 patients seen between the two of us.  In addition, I had the team bring down 500 pairs of reading glasses and they were a HUGE success.  Reading glasses are almost impossible to find - I know - because when my own pair broke, I couldn't find a replacement pair anywhere in town.  So, I'm pretty confident by weeks end we are going to have distributed most of the glasses.  It was a great day, super busy, and many souls were treated.

Day 2 - 4 will be much of the same, and day 5 is a "day off" and a trip to the beach after a long and hard week.


location of our clinc

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

25th Wedding Anniversary


Twenty-five years of marriage.  Silver Anniversary. True love.


Engagement Photo
 




Twenty-five years ago, I told my sweet future husband “I do” and life has been nothing short of a grand adventure since.  “Way back then” we never knew that we would end up in Honduras, and then in Africa, that I would be a “bush doctor” or Mike would be a pastor, teaching African men and women the fundamental truths of the bible. 
 
Along the way, we have found that we are a hardy duo.  We have been through the trials of life, the loss of loved ones, and the creation of new life in our sweet daughter who turns 21 in a few days. We understand was true love is, have triumphed through illnesses, tribulation, and loss.  We not only survived but conquered living in extreme situations of Africa, and the loneliness of being so far away from dear friends and family.

Together, we make this amazing team.  Each year is simply better than the last. We complement each other, but we are uniquely independent as well.  We love our simple pleasures of “pizza Friday” and “pay day sushi” (when you live in a country that has sushi). We enjoy watching movies together, taking walks along the beach, and living life together.

I love you sweet husband – more than I think you even know.  What a blessing, indeed, that God brought you into my life.  Looking forward to the next 25 years!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Termites Ate My Couch - PUBLISHED!!!



Termites Ate My Couch – PUBLISHED!!   


It has finally arrived – my book has been put to print.  It will be available at your local book store soon, but in the meantime, it’s available at all the major distributors including:


And will be available in Kindle soon.

This book has been through a lot of revisions, and a lot of love and angst has been put into the pages that you are about to read.  With the literally hundreds of stories I could possibly share in the over 10 years of being on the mission field, I tried to put down the ones that would interest, intrigue, enlighten, and inspire you.  I hope I succeeded in this.  

“Have you ever wondered what life on the mission field is like? This book is an attempt to share stories that are thoughtful, heartbreaking, inspirational, funny, and crazy - in other words - an average day in the life of a missionary. These are true tales from a mom, nurse, wife, and flawed person. These stories show how reliance on Jesus Christ brought her through the most emotional, rewarding, and hilarious times of her life. You are invited to read these stories and laugh and cry along with her.

Erin spent eleven years in the U.S. Army.  She received her bachelor’s in Nursing, is working on her Masters of Public Health (will be completed in September 2017) and worked at a children’s hospital for 12 years.  She has traveled the world working in disaster response and as a medical missionary.  After eight years as a missionary in Honduras, she currently works as a full-time missionary in Central Africa.”