Tuesday, April 29, 2008
A Continuous Journey
Volume 3, Issue 5
April 28, 2008
-A Continuous Journey-
…the constant traveler…
This past week was the first full week where I felt American again. I have been back in the USA for six weeks, but the transition has been slow and steady. I knew it would take me a period to adjust, but was naïve in how I would feel and the emotions I would display.
I miss Uganda. I think I always will.
I am shaped by my experiences and those around me. Uganda changed who I am and who I am becoming, though I am still the same. I am still Scott. I am still a sinner who seeks to do God’s will, but my time abroad has created more awareness of human need and suffering around the world. It has only strengthened my desire to share the love of Jesus through healing and community.
The past several months have been a time of prayer and reflection over my future. I am not the “typical” American – settling down in one location, getting a job and staying there for many years, marrying some beautiful woman and having children. I think I am not created for a life such as this, or at least not yet.
Transition has been the theme of the past ten years regarding my state of life. Just when I begin to get settled a new transition occurs. And that’s OK because God has blessed my life through such transitions. At times I long to be settled, weary from all the adventure and journeys, seeking rest and solitude. But maybe God has something else planned for me. Maybe all these transitions serve a purpose. I think I will never be completely settled and feel at home until I am in Heaven. There is a part of all creation, a part of me, that yearns for God, His presence. I want to sing hallelujah with the choirs of angels.
The latest regarding my ever changing future has me heading to Vancouver, Washington. I just accepted a traveling, temporary position with a national allied healthcare staffing agency. All my housing and traveling costs will be taken care of as I embark on a three month assignment to work at Sea Mar Community Health Center in Vancouver. I will be doing family practice and acute/urgent care work at Sea Mar, which has a large Latino population. Please consider offering up a prayer on my behalf as I move to Vancouver to serve those in need, as I speak very little Spanish and I come from an emergency medicine background now transitioning into family practice work. I really need community, and I hope I can quickly find that in Vancouver, especially other Christians around my age. The downfall of this exciting adventure is that I have to wait 6-8 weeks to begin working while I wait on my Washington State License. I am not sure what I will be doing in the meantime, or at least not for all of that time.
I am headed to Colorado Springs May 4-9 to attend the Debriefing and Renewal (DAR) program sponsored by Mission Training International. This is a time for missionaries returning to the USA to reflect, process, ponder, and be renewed and refreshed. World Harvest Mission (WHM) suggested that I attend this program as my six months in Uganda were an intense time of cross cultural adventures colliding with Ebola and imminent danger. WHM has graciously offered to pay for my trip, the funds coming from the Africa Response Fund that was initiated during the Ebola crisis. I am immensely thankful to WHM for allowing me to attend and for those of you who graciously supported me, prayed for me, or donated to the Africa Response Fund.
June 1-6 has me traveling north to Philadelphia. I will be attending the World Harvest Mission orientation and assessment (A&O) week for potential missionaries. Yes, I was a missionary, and I am trying to become one again. After much thought and deliberation (and still in that process) I recently submitted my application to be part of the WHM team that will be establishing a new site in Mundri, Sudan. I desperately covet your prayers for the week that I will be attending the June A&O. I am seeking three individuals that are committed to praying for me and the WHM staff June 1-6 as we collectively seek to follow God’s call and discern where He may be leading me. At this point I am hoping to dedicate at least two years to the work in Sudan, though I am open to a longer term if the stability of Sudan remains intact.
I am thankful for the time I have had over the past six weeks. I’ve put over 1,700 miles on my car in the past four weeks traveling around Ohio, Tennessee, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland visiting many of you and enjoying being in America (coffee shops, book stores, Rita’s water ice, etc.). Please pray with me as I decide what to do for the next 6-8 weeks. I look forward to my time in Colorado and Pennsylvania, but I need something to do during the in between periods. It’s hard to find local work when I will only be here for a few weeks and I need to have May 4-9 and June 1-6 off.
I applied for a temporary unpaid internship with the International Rescue Committee, helping refugees with their health care concerns when they are first resettled in America, but I am not sure if my timing will jive with their needs. If you have any suggestions on how I should spend this time (examples could include, but not limited too: house sitting for you at your condo on the beach, protecting your snug little cabin tucked away in the woods, babysitting for your kids while we cruise the Bahamas together, etc…) please let me know. Seriously though, if you need any help with something over the next few weeks let me know. I am in the unique position of having lots of free time and the willingness to travel anywhere, only limited by expense.
God has been good to me. He has provided over and over again. Recent deposits from tax refunds and two very unexpected sources has allowed me the freedom to have the past six weeks to recuperate and recover without the additional pressure of finding a job immediately. I believe God’s timing has once again prevailed, despite my efforts to rush the process.
In spite of God’s immense faithfulness, I have continued to allow sin patterns to emerge in my life. Please pray with me as I recognize my sin patterns and try to change them. I need to cling to the love and protection of the Lord. Too often I collapse when faced with sin and abandon the promises of God. Recent reflections on the writings of David, especially the Psalms, have been very encouraging and enlightening. His life is a contrast of the sinner and the saint, of one who is immensely weak yet incredibly strong.
I am deeply indebted to you. May you be encouraged and uplifted today and always.
*I’ve attached several photos from the past month – people I know from SAMBICA, Uganda, graduate school, family, and friends. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to visit you!