Thursday, February 16, 2017

It's Official!

Visa has been approved! Departure date is set! As of Tuesday, Feb. 21, I will be on my way to Papua New Guinea to serve at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital for 2 years with Samaritan’s Purse/World Medical Mission Post-residency program. On arrival, I will start cultural orientation in a remote area for one week. God’s timing truly is perfect! Please pray for travel and transitioning. More updates to come once I’m settled in and get connected to the internet ;)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

While I'm waiting

       Hurry up and wait. Last summer, time seemed to rush by as I finished residency, studied for written and oral board exams, attended missions training and prepared to move cross-country. Then everything ground to a halt and the season of waiting began. Waiting for a medical license, waiting for a work permit, waiting for a visa. But a season of waiting is not wasted time. During that season I gained 6 months of experience as an attending surgeon, growing in confidence and independence. There were more opportunities to visit with family and friends who I otherwise might not have seen prior to my departure. And God taught me to depend solely on his plans, not my own. "In his heart a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps" (Proverbs 16:9). Just as I was becoming comfortable, word came that the visa was expected soon, and the hurry began again. Finishing work, shipping a car, moving cross-country, planning speaking engagements and family gatherings. Then the rush ended and left me waiting again without a visa. It is difficult to prepare to move overseas without a specific departure date. Many preparations hang in limbo. A road sign seemed to say it all: "Expect delays". Yet again, the time of waiting is not wasted as I visit many friends and family members, gain supporters and prayer warriors, and spend treasured time with my parents.
       During this last week, I have mused many times how God controls every detail. The central coast of California is getting pummeled with rain this year, quickly turning a drought into severe flooding and treacherous roadways. Recently, 3 of the 4 major freeways that converge in Santa Cruz County were closed due to mudslides or washed out roads, making travel over the Santa Cruz Mountains a nightmare for many travelers. Expect delays. When I heard that travel in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea was similarly hampered by high rain falls and mudslides closing the main east-west highway, I realized that even this inconvenience is in some small way a preparation for things to come. The most recent word is that the visa will be ready soon, so once again hopes are high and the rush is on to prepare everything for departure soon. I still don't have a departure date, but I know that it will be in God's perfect timing. Until then, I am reminded of the song, "While I'm Waiting" from the movie Fireproof:

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I'm waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait