Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back to America...Big Visions For the Future

Thursday came so quickly and most of us were pretty sad that it meant we all had to pack up and go home. I could have stayed for a much longer time. After a quick breakfast, we loaded up on the bus, made our way to the airport, did some last minute souveneir shopping, and then boarded our planes. I was lucky because I got to take the Miami portion of my flight with the group by flying standby instead of waiting around 4 hours until my flight was scheduled to leave. On my flight, it just so happened that I ended up sitting next to a guy that was part of a construction mission down there. Our group had run into him and his peers while they were out in More Tomorrow. He and his team had been passing out rice to all the families there. I told him I had big plans to build something here in the future and asked if it would be something he and his team would be interested in helping with. He eagerly agreed, and I got his contact information.

Here's the deal... what originally felt like a calling to just build a clinic in the jungle has evolved into a much bigger vision. I feel like I am supposed to find land, and construct what primarily serves as a clinic but also serves as a church! Am I really being called to be a hand in building a church?! Where is this coming from?! I can't deny though that it is very real and something I can't seem to ignore. I can see the blueprints in my head, I can see what it looks like inside, and I can see it actually happening. My vision is this.
The facility will serve primarily as a clinic. It will be open free to the community on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Mondays, it will serve as women’s empowerment program for battered and abused women, or simply women wanting to regain their feminine power as mothers, wives, or potential business women. On Wednesdays, the clinic will serve as an outpatient drug rehabilitation facility. Patients can enroll in a quarterly program that takes them through all 12-steps. Fridays and Saturdays I would spend doing outreach in the villages including home visits and raising funds and finding volunteers to support the facility. On Sundays, all the benches from the front porch and lobby will rearranged to form what will become the Church. The reception desk will become the altar and the lobby tables will hold the communion. As far as a description of the facility, it will be made primarily out of concrete with a tin roof that overhangs above the front and back porch. The back porch will be fenced in for privacy of the staff. It will accommodate anywhere from 5-7 staff members. Those may be permanent staff or housing for individuals serving on a temporary basis. There will be 2 full bunk beds and one half bunk bed, under which there will be a couch that can convert into a queen sized bed. An additional 2 chairs will be available for relaxing. In the residency area, there will be a simple desk with computer access for correspondence. There will be a bathroom with a sink, toilet, and shower. In the kitchen, there will be a refrigerator, a stove, a sink, and a kitchen table. The clinic side of the facility will host an exam room with cabinets for storage as well as a small side table and sink. The office is where I will do any outreach and fundraising efforts. It is also where patient records and such will be kept. There will be a bookcase for resources and there will be an area with a couple chairs in the corner for individual patient counseling regarding diagnoses, concerns, etc. Next to the office will be a laundry room. We can wash sheets, towels, and scrubs. There will be additional storage in this room for medical supplies, church supplies, and group supplies. There will also be an autoclave in the room for any necessary sterilization. Lastly, there will be a simple bathroom with a toilet and a sink for the public.

When I sometimes get frustrated that I didn't just take the shortcut straight to nursing when I began college, I'm starting to see there might be a reason I had to accumulate so many other degrees along the way. Perhaps my Chemical Dependency degree will be needed here for the recovery center, my psychology degree will be needed here for the women's empowerment groups, my liberal arts degree for envisioning and designing it, and finally my nursing degree to run the clinic. Perhaps I'll have to find some other willing soul to come and run the church, but then again, maybe that's something God is calling me to do as well. I certainly have learned not to underestimate him by now!

So, I now I have to return to the states to get patient about my vision. I need to patiently get ontop of learning my spanish so I can become fluent down there. I need to finish my Nurse Practitioner licensure. I need to start gathering support, funding, and more. While all that goes on, I must continue each day to ask myself what am I doing that's taking me one step closer to this dream.
What's funny is that this is not how I planned my life. I planned that I would be come an advanced practice nurse, make lots of money, pay off my student loans and my house, travel around the world, live it up, have a kid or two, and then settle down and live comfortably and raise them. I didn't plan on wanting to live in a bunkbed out of the back of a clinic in the jungle eating God knows what, countries away from the closest McDonalds, barely able to keep the lights on, and serving the poorest of the poor. But, ya know, the coolest thing about the whole calling is that there's little fear accompanying those dreams. I know that when you step into God's army, he takes care of you. Things might not be easy or comfortable, but the internal satisfaction that I would find from knowing I'm doing the right thing and for the right reasons would be all the comfort I would need. So, we'll see how things go over the next few years. Ineviteably, I'll return to Belize a time or so before any construction would begin and in the meantime just listen quietly for the directions of where, how, and when.

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At February 18, 2010 at 9:41 PM , Blogger erickajen said...

you are truly amazing. thank you for doing this work for God! :) :)


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