Week Eight: Where Has The Time Gone?

Let’s do some math.
And not the kind of math that engineering majors like to do, with imaginary numbers and more letters than actual numerical digits… but simple, elementary math.

There are  12 weeks in a DTS.
11 of those weeks are lecture weeks; the last is an outreach preparation week.

We just finished week 8 of 11.
According to what I learned in the 6th grade with Mr. G, regarding fractions, is that 8/11 is roughly 73%.

So that means… we’re about 73% (and then some, considering I’m blogging a little late this week) done our lecture phase of DTS.

Good grief.

Where in the world has the time gone, anyway?

It feels like just yesterday that I hopped on a plane, leaving the frigid land of Canada behind, and landed 14 hours later in humid Hawaii, without much of an idea of what I was getting into.

That was two months ago.

I still find it hard to believe that’s true. Especially considering that in just three short weeks, we’ll be packing our bags to head for Cambodia on outreach.

Time sure flies when you’re having fun, I suppose!

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This past week we had a fairly full week of classes in medical missions, delivered by family physician and medical educator Dr. John Crouch. Dr. Crouch is one of the founders of “In His Image, Inc.,” a  program in the United States that combines residency in family medicine for medical students with medical missions and integrates faith and medicine.

It was an awesome week learning from Dr. Crouch about how his journey has unfolded, and learning some excellent keys to figuring out where God is calling us, and how we can use our gifts and desires to best serve Him.

Among the lectures in global health and medical missions, Dr. Crouch also gave us some insight and tips into discovering and following God’s call for our lives.
One part of a lecture that really challenged me was when Dr. Crouch talked about “laying down our rod” for God.

See, in Exodus 3 and 4 Moses has this little chat with God via a burning bush, and during the chat God showed Moses that one of the instruments that would be vital for the fulfillment of God’s promises and deliverance of the Israelite people… was already in his hand.

Moses held his shepherd’s rod in his hand, and by turning it over to God to “miraculize” (as my friend Sneha would say), God used that rod (and Moses) to deliver a nation out of Egypt and tyranny.

Dr. Crouch, after discussing Moses’ story, turned the question on us.

What is in your hand?
What are your gifts? What is your call?
Will you dare to hand it over to God to be used for His glory?

See, we all have a “rod” that God has entrusted us with.
The question is, will we use it for ourselves and just be blessed ourselves?
Or will we use it and bless so many others as well by turning it over to God to let Him guide and lead us?

It was a big question, and is still running after me ten days after hearing it the first time.

 Aside from our awesome speaker, we also had quite the adventurous week!

Bright and early Saturday morning we all loaded up onto a tour bus and began an adventure around the Big Island of Hawai’i!

Did you know that the Big Island has 10 different climate sub-zones? And, we toured through 9 of those on Saturday! We live on such a diverse island, and it was so cool to get out and see it.
I was a tiny bit disappointed that I didn’t see snow on this trip, but I guess I’ll have to save that for another day. ;)

After some windy roads and tight turns (most of which made me a tiny bit bus-sick, if that’s a diagnosis), our first stop was at the Punalu’u Bake Shop, Hawaii’s (and the USA’s) southern-most bakery!

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The temptation to have copious amounts of pastries and sweet breads was intense… but I managed to enjoy only two of the delightful delicacies (alliteration, anyone?) that they offered.
The blueberry cream cheese turnover was absolutely unreal, and if you’ve never heard of a malasada, it’s basically a cream-filled donut, and their vanilla one was delicious. I considered forfeiting my spot on the tour bus just to stay at the bakery for good. ;)

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(My girl Casey and I at the bake shop!)

We also made a stop at the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, which was definitely not long enough for my liking! I can’t wait to go back to the national park and adventure around more.

The Big Island is here because of five volcanoes, three of which are active, and one of those (Kilauea) whose crater (Halema’ua’u) we got to see for ourselves!

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For more info on the Park and it’s lovely volcanoes, check out http://www.nps.gov/havo/faqs.htm as it explains it all so much better than I could :)

We also got to tour around some of the lava tubes, tunnels where lava had flown through from volcano to coast.

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(one of the lava tubes we encountered)

Our adventures around the island also included a stop at Akaka Falls, a gorgeous waterfall close to the little town of Homomu. This area is also well-known for ziplining and hiking, and I definitely understood why after seeing it for myself!

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Saturday ended with a BBQ on the beach at the gorgeous Hapuna Beach, one of Hawaii’s most famous, for good reason.

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After that full day, though, we were all pretty exhausted.
Pretty sure the Lord understood that and made it rain (pour!) the next day, an excellent reason to stay inside alllllll day, with a cup of tea and a book and some homework.

What a good week.

I did a lot of Skype-ing, Khmer-learning, shuttle-taking, tea-drinking, note-taking, global-health-learning, book-reading, outreach-planning, phone-call-making, and so much more.

And with only a few more weeks here in Hawaii, we’ll be making the most of every moment.

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(Jenny, Dani, Bless, and I at the crater in Volcanoes National Park!)

But, even with all the adventuring, I’m still caught between a strange home-here vortex.

I miss Canada and the beautiful people there like crazy. I heard a plane overhead today and had a serious wish that I would be leaving for Canada rather than Cambodia in just three short weeks.

But then, I’ve also discovered so much about the people in Cambodia, that I can’t wait to go and see them, meeting them and discovering who they are and how we can bless them and show them the Lord’s heart for them. As more details of our upcoming trip get ironed out, our excitement is building and our Khmer (the local language) is starting to improve.

Right now, Canada feels a really long ways away, and once we’re in Cambodia that feeling will only increase.

Please pray for our team as we prepare, that all would go smoothly and that we would have energy, focus, and health as some of our team members are feeling pretty tuckered out and tired.

Looking forward to hearing from you guys soon, and keeping you updated on the happenings!
Be blessed. <3
Jenn

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