Hey there 🙂 It’s been a while.
Quick update (because you know how much I love those): Since I last posted, I have been in three different places. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria; Santa Cruz, Tenerife; and now, Dakar, Senegal! Dakar is where I will be for the remainder of my time on board the Africa Mercy (probably). During our time in Las Palmas and Santa Cruz, the ship was under repair and there were a TON of major projects going on. Because God is good, every single one of the 60+ projects were completed successfully in time for us to sail.
We are now safely in Dakar! In just a few short weeks, our first patients will be on board receiving care. In the meantime, there is a lot of work going into the hospital, Hope Center, and Dental Clinic in preparation for our arriving patients.
I also have a bit of exciting news! After a lot of thought and prayer, I have extended my time on board the ship an additional two months. I will now be staying with the Africa Mercy for twelve months in total, which means I will have the opportunity to see an entire field service in action. I am so so SO excited about this and I cannot wait to see how God uses this time and what blessings and experiences will come through this.
With all of the changes and adjustments, life has been really crazy and busy here for me as well. It’s been a bit taxing physically, emotionally, and spiritually for me the last few weeks. I’ve been drained and exhausted in every way, but God is good. Every day, despite how weak I felt, He has continued to bless me and remind me that He is with me no matter what.
I think sometimes I limit myself to learning about God on the days I have a clear mind and lots of energy. On the days I feel tired, it often feels like it takes everything I have just to say a quick prayer for help. But God has been showing me that taking time to get to know him isn’t as exhausting as I make it out to be. Sometimes, yes, it means resting and just talking to Him, but it doesn’t take much energy to pick up my Bible and spend time listening to Him, either.
I learned this week that even when I don’t feel like doing anything- when I want to give up, taking the time to listen to and get to know my Father is worth it. I may feel empty. I may feel like I have nothing to say or offer Him. I may not feel like picking up my Bible or praying. But by spending time with Him, He is providing energy for me. He is giving me exactly what I need each day. He is filling my cup. And not only that, I’m getting to know Him in a deeper and more intimate way than I knew Him before.
This week, He has been teaching me about the power of His Name. We have been reading through Genesis as a community, and this week, many of the chapters also mentioned some of the different Names of the Lord. Discovering these Names and learning about the significance and power behind each one has been incredible.
When I felt overwhelmed, I learned that He is El-Roi, the God who sees me (Genesis 16:13). Even when different things cloud my vision and different things cause stress and anxiety, He sees it all. He sees me, He hears me, and He is with me.
When I felt weak, I learned that He is El-Shaddai – the God Almighty (Genesis 17:1). Every trouble, weakness, and fear is subject to the authority of my Father in heaven. He is more powerful than it all. His love conquers all.
When I felt powerless and like I had no voice, I learned that He is the King of Kings. Not only that, He reminded me that I am a daughter of the King. I am a princess: “A woman having sovereign power” and “a member of the royal family”. I am His.
When I didn’t know what to expect, I learned that He is my Provider. I may not know what’s coming next, but I can trust that He will provide for every one of my needs as it comes. He has a desire to bless me.
I learned this week about the many powerful Names of my Father. I learned that when I am exhausted, I can call on the Name of El-Roi, El-Shaddai, the King of Kings, and my Provider. No matter what, He will always be there.
I’m so grateful that even in the times life doesn’t seem to go the way I want it to, that God is so faithful. Not only that, but that He also wants so badly to bless me. He is so good, so loving, and so faithful. I can look towards tomorrow knowing that no matter what happens, I can trust Him. Maybe tomorrow will be stressful, maybe it will bring difficult challenges, maybe it will be the best day of my life – regardless, my Father is walking with me through it all.