Hi friends! It’s high time for an update. A lot has been going on; this is going to be organized chronologically — read to the very bottom for a financial update too!
August 31 — my very last shift at Alexandra Marine and General Hospital in Goderich was bittersweet. The shift was very busy so it ended up being a 15 hour day but I didn’t mind because part of me didn’t want to finish my time there. Thank you AMGH for a wonderful year. It feels like I’ve known you all for years.
Sept 10-21 — I was in North Carolina for 12 days at a medical course that focused on providing health care in rural settings without access to hospitals or doctors. There were 16 other missionaries at the course who were planning to go to Nepal, Thailand, South Sudan, Chad, Haiti, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Uganda. They told us the course would be intense…and they weren’t exaggerating. We were up from 7am to 11pm attending lectures and then doing homework all evening long. Topics included bone fractures, suturing, emergency childbirth, tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and TB, and dental work (aka learning how to pull teeth!). My favourite parts were
learning how to suture and learning about the diseases that are prevalent in other areas of the world. We did over 50 real-life case studies (read a patient’s story “so-and-so comes to the clinic with the following symptoms”, diagnose and then treat the patient) which were very helpful. By the end of the course I had learned a lot. I loved being with other missionaries for this training. It was encouraging to swap stories and glean from their wisdom and experience.
Sept 23 — My sister got married! She made the most beautiful bride. The entire day was perfect. There are a lot of photos on Facebook if you’d like to see! I am very thankful that Amy and Brad got married before I left for Guatemala. It meant so much for me to not only be present, but to be part of the preparation. She got married in my family’s barn so it was a big family affair to get the barn and property ready. Many special memories were made that day. She needs to hurry up and get home from her honeymoon so she can help me pack! 🙂
October 2 — See above where I wrote about how great my hospital is? On October 2nd they threw me a big goodbye BBQ and fundraiser. I LOVED being back in Goderich for it! The ringleader of it all must have put hundreds of hours into planning this (although I know there are many people who also lent a hand to help her). The BBQ was wonderful and the raffle draw had over 30 prizes donated from community businesses. The turnout was
great and the event raised $1300! I couldn’t believe it! If anyone reading this is a nurse and in need of a job, the Goderich hospital and community will love and support you like no other place. I thank Jesus that He led me there. I’m thankful for the exceptional nursing experience I got there, but more than that I’m thankful for the unanticipated friendships I found.
As I was driving home from Goderich after the fundraiser, I was in tears in the car because I want to stay there and I don’t want those relationships to fade. I’ve told people before that moving to Goderich was short-term and I didn’t want to become good friends with people because it would hurt all the more to leave. And it does– it hurts. But a friend said to me “but Steph, think about how sad it would have been if you hadn’t opened your heart to them! It would be easy to leave, but it would have been hard to be there.” She’s right.
Here are the very latest updates:
- Birth Centre update – if you recall in my last update I shared the exciting news that I will have an actual birth centre in the town of Escuintla. Hope for Home has been raising funds for that construction and SOMEHOW (it was Jesus!) all of the money has come in! Every penny needed to build and furnish the clinic is accounted for. I’ll be sure to post pictures of the construction as it happens.
- Financials– I am doing well! Thanks to all of you! I have reached 100% of my monthly budget which is amazing. People say to me “you did it!!!” But really, YOU ALL DID IT. Thank you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart for trusting in me and believing that God is in the middle of all of this. The mission organization has said to me that they rarely see people raise their funds as quickly as I have. That said, if you would still like to partner with me financially, your help is still needed! There are always unexpected costs and my budget was set based on estimated costs; once I get to Guatemala I will find out my actual expenses. If you feel like God is trying to stretch you in the area of finances, perhaps this is your opportunity.
(click here to donate)
- DEPARTURE DATE: OCTOBER 17th. It’s booked, it’s final, I’m leaving in 12 days.
- I will be living with the Fulps short-term until I find an apartment of my own to rent. Please pray for this process; renting a house in Guatemala is unfamiliar to me and there are safety concerns to think about that make it more challenging
- I am also in the process of buying a car! I have a friend in Guatemala who is looking for one for me as I write this. Pray that that process goes smoothly and that we find a good vehicle that will be safe and reliable
- Time is flying too quickly (T minus 12 days) and I am trying to make the most of it, spending time with my family and friends and it is overwhelming trying to get everything ready
You are now all up to date on my life. Thanks for reading and being interested! The next update will likely be from Guatemala.