If you have known me for long, you know that the Lord has developed a passion in me in three areas: mentoring/teaching PA students, working with people transitioning out of homelessness, and of course orphan care — especially of two orphans in particular. In the same way that Jesus calls us to those around us nearby, in our area, and around our world in the Great Commission, these three areas are what I call my “Jerusalem, Judea, and the ends of the earth.”
Jerusalem: Our PA Program celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2012 on Friday night. I wish all of you could know how wonderful, gifted, and godly these graduates are. They are intelligent, compassionate, and motivated. They laugh easily and have learned more in the last 27 months than you can imagine. They are some of the finest people in the world. And even though I shared some of the darkest moments of my life with them, they were quick to encourage and love me in a way that a professor never expects to be loved and encouraged. So watching them walk across the stage in graduation on Friday night, I was reminded of how blessed I am to watch God mold and shape each of them into wonderful PAs who see medicine as ministry. And I’m thankful to have had the opportunity to minister to them, and have them minister to me in return.
Judea: Friday afternoon, I had the chance to attend an open house for The Clinic at Mercury Courts. For several years, Health Advocate and all-around awesome person Traci Patton has been dreaming of creating a convenient option for health care to the residents of this old-hotel-turned-housing-complex just a block from where I work. The residents there have little access to health care, and few transportation options to get to it. So over two years ago, Traci and I began dreaming, brainstorming, thinking through structure and possible partners, writing grants, giving presentations, attending meetings, negotiating, conference calling, and finally opening The Clinic at Mercury Courts. The PA students that I teach will be helping to staff the clinic, and we will continue to do weekly health-related workshops and semi-annual health fairs as we have done in the past. The clinic will be run by a new partner with Mercury Courts, and we are excited about working together to address the healthcare needs of the residents of the housing community, as well as the population that lives in the Murfreesboro Road community.
The Ends of the Earth: Thursday, when I woke, I had a message from a friend from our agency that her childrens’ visas were going to be issued, and that I should call too. Ken called 6 times before he got through, but when he did, he found out that our kids’ visas are going to be issued next week as well. The embassy has completed their investigation and determined that our children qualify to be adopted and come to the United States. That means it’s time to start packing and go get our kids! We’ve applied for our visas, and expect to get them next week, and we’ll be leaving next weekend to go get our kids! We won’t be able to have final confirmation and buy our tickets until we get our visas, but we have tentative plans made for the moment we know we can go!
We are ecstatic! We are frantic! We are exhausted! We are busy packing, planning, rearranging, buying and borrowing. This is already a tremendously busy time in our work schedules (we are leaving just before our finals, and Ken has a whitewater rafting trip and Upward fall sports kickoff) and we are thankful for coworkers who are helping us with our responsibilities (and we’re still looking for more volunteers) so we can go get our kids! They have already waited too long!
Rose and Emmanuel, your wait is almost over! Mommy and Daddy are on their way soon!
It’s been an awesome week in Jerusalem, Judea, and the ends of the earth!