Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Right now I'm listening to the song called "Mighty to Save" by Hillsongs, it is so good! Lately I have been listening to Hillsongs all the time and playing them on piano also, I like to play piano during my study breaks! Anyway, it is so beautiful outside...I love walking to school in the sun, although I have yet to see a chipmunk, hopefully soon!

One thing I have been learning is how faithful and gracious God is, so merciful, I'm so glad that He does not treat us as we deserve, but that he extends grace to us and offers us love and salvation. Why do I ever worry? This year I started to do that about a month ago, because I was thinking of all my exams coming up and things with getting married, where we were going to live, was I going to get a good-paying job in summer to make enough money for school...so many things. And then I started reading in Phillipians again, chapter 4:6 says:

"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."
So since a month ago, so many things have happened...I found out I got a better mark on my exam than I thought I was going to get, and I found out that I got a job at 3M again this summer, working with my sister Amanda, whom I love so much! We had so much fun last summer working together for two months after I got home from Africa...when we worked till 1am we would stay up and eat brownies and ice cream and just talk, such a blast...and this summer we get to do it all over again, and hopefully we'll be on the same rotation so we can always drive together!
And then I was trying to figure out where Marvin and I would live after we get married in August, and then one of my friends emailed me and said they were leaving for a year and we could possibly rent their apartmen while they are gone, so we're going to look at it today! I'm so excited, God is so good, why do I ever worry? Even Matthew 6:31-33 says:
"So don't worry about these things, saying,
'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?'
These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
Seek the Kingdom of God avobe all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
God has proven Himself to me over and over again, if I seek first His kingdom he will give me everything that I need, for he already knows what I need...thank you Jesus! Oh yeah, and today my younger brother and I hung out and went out for lunch and made macademia nut cookies (such yummy dough) and played Super Mario on my laptop, definitely have not played that game in a long time, but I think I have improved since the last time, since now I last longer than 10 seconds! Good times!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'm Engaged!!!

So apparently I should have posted a long time ago already, because on January 20 Marvin asked me to marry him!!!! So exciting...and I guess I have been really busy since then with exams and clinical, but now I'm just so excited and I'm having a lot of fun planning and yeah, here's the story of how it all happened, even though I know most of you have already heard it!

The Story...
My mom had given Marvin the keys for my house in Winnipeg, so he snuck into my house in the morning at 7:30am and then he set everything up and woke me up at 9am. He said that I should wear something fancy and then he came in all dressed up also. Then he gave me this journal with lots of writing in it, and in the beginning it was talking about how we were going to go on a journey...

So then I walked out of my room and down the stairs and in the kitchen, living room and basement there were candles, and beside each candle there was a picture, pictures starting from when we first started dating till now. Each picture had a journal page written about it and the meaning of the picture...

The trail of candles led me to an empty room in the basement, and there was a cd player with Hillsongs playing and there were two chairs and a blanket, and also a big poster of the verses found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (because earlier in the week I had told him how much I liked those verses, and now they just fit right in!) and then after I had looked at the poster I turned around and then Marvin got on one knee and asked me to marry him and I said yes! Oh yeah, and then he gave me a foot massage because I really like those! And then he made me such a yummy lunch of bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and toast and milkshakes!

And I have a beautiful ring, too bad I don't have a webcam or else I would show you all a picture! So we don't really know that much about the wedding yet, but it will probably be sometime at the beginning of August. Well now I should go and study for my exam that I have next week Monday, hopefully I can somehow stay motivated for school! God bless you!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas time!

Well it's probably about time that I wrote another post, there is really no excuse for me not to write, since I've been enjoying Christmas holidays for at least a week and a half already! My Christmas has been so good, gatherings and yummy food...one day I decided to experiment with some Christmas baking, so I made turtles, raspberry almond shortbread, gumdrop cookies, and magic cookie bars. Then I looked at the clock and realized that three hours had passed already and that Marvin would be at my house in one hour because I was going to make him supper for our Christmas thing together! So then I had to shift into fast-mode and got everything finished at the last minute, which is something I have a tendency to do and something that I should stop doing!

Anyway, my favorite gift that I have gotten so far this year was from Marvin...when I was in Africa this past summer I worked with a pastor for about five weeks and his youngest daughter was not able to go to the Christian school that his other two daughters were going to because he and his wife did not have enough money to pay for her schooling, and so now Marvin and I are going to sponsor her! I'm so excited, ever since I heard that this pastor did not have enough money to send his youngest daughter to school I have wanted to sponsor her, I just didn't think I had enough money because all of it is going towards school, but now Marvin and I can do it together - yeah!

And my second favorite gift was a globe, I've always wanted a globe. When I was younger we had this huge map hanging on our wall and I always liked looking at it and choosing places that I would like to go to someday. So now I have a globe and when I'm distracted from studying then I can just look at my globe and dream of the places that I could go someday, and then also, I can learn where all of these countries actually are in the world, because where I think places are in my head is sometimes quite different from where they are actually located in the world - so hilarious! Merry Christmas to you all!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

No homework!

Ok so it's about time that I posted, yeah life has a way of becoming really busy and then somehow I forget about writing in my blog...how to make life less bush? I guess it's hard in school, but even when school is finished, people always tell me that it only gets to be more busy, but I would love to avoid that if I could.

So clinical today was interesting, I'm learning a lot about IV medications and interesting medical conditions, I actually really like working at Children's hospital, but I realized that maybe I would want to work in palliative care or something like that where it's more focused on comfort care, like providing pain medication and talking with the patient and family a lot, knowing that the patient will eventually die and nothing more is being done to treat them aggressively and to cure them.

Right now the floor I'm on is an acute medicine floor, and I am learning a lot and probably I would enjoy it also (when I feel like I know more what I'm doing), but I also really like to talk with people and spend time with them...right now all I feel like I do is go into the patient's room and take their vital signs and give meds and then rush out and go to the next patient...when I would really love to just sit there and talk with them. And I actually did that today with my patient's grandmother and with my other patient who is a teenager, so that was a lot of fun, but I want more of that!

Anyway, I was reading something interesting in 1 Timothy 2:9, where it talks about how women should be modest and not draw attention to themselves by the way they do their hair or wearing gold pearls or wearing expensive clothes, and how they should learn quietly and submissively, not teaching men or having authority over them. I have heard many interpretations of this passage, but in my footnotes it was saying that to understand these verses we must understand the situation in which Paul (Paul is the author of 1 Timothy) and Timothy worked.

In first-century Jewish culture women were not allowed to study. So when Paul said that women should "learn quietly and submissively," he was offering them an amazing new opportunity to learn God's Word. They were to listen and learn quietly referred to an attitude of quietness, but not total silence. In addition, Paul acknowledges that women publicly prayed and prophesied (1 Corinthians 11:5). Paul also did not forbid women from ever teaching, Paul's commended co-worker, Priscilla, taught Apollos, the great preacher (Acts 18:24-26) and there were others who held positions of responsibility in the church, like Phoebe (Romans 16:1), Mary, Tryphena, Tryphosa and Persis were the Lord's workers (Romans 16:6, 12), as were euodia and Syntyche Philippians 4:2).

Paul might have not wanted the Ephesian women to teach because they did not yet have enough experience or knowledge, and the Ephesian church also had a particular problem with false teachers. So basically, Paul was telling Timothy not to put anyone into a position of leadership who was not yet mature in the faith. Yeah, so I just thought that was really interesting...most of what I just wrote was from my footnotes in the New Living Translation Bible.

And so I have no homework today, and by that I mean, no homework that's due for tomorrow, although there is always homework that I could be doing! But oh well, enjoy the snow and make sure to smile at the chipmunks!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Grains of Sand

So apparently there was one more thing that I needed to do before I started my mountain of homework, and that is to write in my blog! Yeah I really should do it more often, but hey...did you know that in Psalm 139:17-18 it says:

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can't even count them;
They outnumber the grains of sand!

I thought those verses were awesome when I read them the other day and they still haven't stopped going around in my mind...just imagine, the God who created the universe and everything that we can see and all of outer space and everything that could ever exist also created you and me and He thinks about me and you all the time and is just waiting for me to stop for even just one minute and glance at Him and spend time with Him, even just to chat for a while or tell Him all about how I just can't seem to focus on my homework and how I tend to get overwhelmed when I think about how much I have to study for because of my exam on Monday...and yet He waits for me and listens and doesn't condemn me for procrastinating, rather He gives me strength to keep on going and helps me to focus on studying and encourages me with His love and His presence...because He really is here beside me all the time, just so often I don't realize it or don't stop to let Him into my life.

And His thoughts toward me outnumber the grains of sand, that's a whole lot of thoughts! Wow, I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine...that's You Jesus! Who else but your beloved would think about you so much that their thoughts towards you would outnumber the grains of sand?!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


So apparently I now know a little bit about how to drum, which I love so much! When I was at Rock Lake last week, I got to work with Eva (like Jakob and Eva) and that was so much fun...we did praise and worship together, so she would play piano and sing, and I would sing along with her. At first I totally didn't think that I knew how to sing harmony or anything, but then Eva started teaching me some stuff and then I would pray and ask God to help me with the harmony stuff, and then I would sometimes hear harmonies in my head and then I could sing harmony with her!

It was a lot of fun, I want to learn so much more...and then one day we realized that we didn't have a drummer anymore, so then I'm like ok, I'll try to drum because I took it in band during grades 5-8, except that our school didn't have an actual drum set, so I would just play the snare and bass drum separtely. Anyway, I knew the basic beat on the drum set, so I just started playing it and making stuff up, and it went ok, thank you Jesus! It was so much fun, I discovered that I really enjoy playing the drums a lot...so now Marvin and I are going to go looking for drum sets that aren't too expensive...so if any of you know of a used drum set for sale, just let me know!

And so this last week I have been organizing all of my Africa pictures and writing on the backs of them all, a very long process! But now it's all finished, and so next week it's off to school and homework, yikes!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Reflections of Africa

This is an article thing that I had to write for my church newsletter, I figured it would give you a pretty good idea of a little bit of my African experience...

Africa is a place that I have wanted to go to for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a young child, I can remember being very excited when I found out that a missionary was going to come and speak in our church. I would watch the slide show of the pictures of some far away place and then I would dream of the time when I could go and be a missionary myself. As I have grown up however, I have realized that I do not automatically become a missionary just by landing on foreign soil; I first have to be a missionary right where I am. For who I am and how I act and live my life here in my hometown is the same way I am going to act and live my life when I am in a different country. And so I have tried to live my life in such a way that Jesus would be evident through my actions and words, regardless of where I am in the world.
I do not know why Africa in particular was always on my heart; all I know is that my heart would start to beat more quickly whenever anyone would talk about missions or when I would hear the drums that reminded me of African music. God however had a plan for the dreams that were on my heart, and during my first year of nursing at the University of Manitoba I met a friend who also had the desire to go to Africa on missions. We talked about it for a year and then this year during May and June our dreams became a reality as we landed in Zambia, Africa for two months. I do not really know what I was expecting in Africa, probably a lot more wild animals and more huts, but then again, I was not able to go into the real rural bush area of Africa, where many people live in huts and farm.

We were able to minister in Kitwe, Zambia, which is a city of 65,000 orphans. Some households are run by children no older than 15 years of age and many families only have one parent, either the mother or father has died because of HIV/AIDS. Everyone in Kitwe is affected by HIV/AIDS, if one particular person does not have the illness, then either someone in their family or someone who is close to that person will. I can remember walking down the dusty streets (a street in a poor community is just a dirt / sand walkway) and I could see so many people outside or at home during the middle of the day, not really working at a job that would make them money to live on, but just sitting around. I wondered what these people did all day, and how they were able to buy enough food to survive. The truth is that many of them do not make enough to survive.

Malnutrition is one of the main killers, since food is also a medicine. Anti-retral viral medication is a medication that has greatly improved and prolonged the lives of those who suffer with HIV/AIDS, and is now provided for free by the government to those who suffer with HIV/AIDS. This medication, however, is very hard on the stomach, especially when the people do not have any food to take with the medication. So they often will die of malnutrition and starvation. People with HIV/AIDS are often very weak and tired so they are not able to work as much as they did before they contracted the illness. This means that their family may now have to rely on other families or relatives for food, an option that is not always very reliable. Some of the women try to start a little business from their home by selling charcoal on the street or selling some food. Often they will make just enough to buy food for one meal for their family per day.

Many times I asked myself why there is so much poverty in Africa and why so many people there are starving. I know there is a lot of aid that is sent over from Canada and other developed countries, but one of the pastors was telling me that the Africans have gotten used to hand-outs and so some of them are actually just lazy. There are many however, who are able and willing to work, but there are few job opportunities. I think that many of the people lack the capital and funds to start their own business, and so they are not able to get ahead very easily in life. I was talking with one of the pastors in Twatasha, which is a poor community near Kitwe, and he was saying that the people need to be empowered. One of the ways to empower the people would be for someone to come with enough capital to start businesses, and then hire the Africans to work for them. Then at least some more job opportunities would be created. As it is now, many people rely on piece works, which are odd jobs, to make enough money for one day, never sure if they will find work the next day or not. Many times I was just overwhelmed at how hopeless it seemed, because there are so many people who have virtually nothing. And yet the amazing thing is that they are the most friendly people I have ever met in my life and also very giving. If one person in the family gets a little bit of food, they will share it with everyone in the family and with other people as well.

While in Kitwe I was able to work with a pastor in Twatasha for three weeks. We visited people with HIV/AIDS, prayed for them, encouraged them and listened to their stories. There were ten people that we would visit on a weekly basis, and all of them said that they did not know about HIV before they contracted the illness. It was only after being diagnosed with HIV that they learned about the disease and how it works and how it is spread. Many of these people contracted HIV around the year 2000. There is a lot of HIV/AIDS education in the schools now, so the youth and children are learning about it from a young age. My friend and I were also able to teach about HIV/AIDS to the youth of the community and also played soccer with them.

For my last three weeks in Africa, I was also able to work at Beautiful Gate ministries, which is part of the mercy ministries of Youth With A Mission. I taught grade 4 and 5 for about 1 week. Many of the schools for orphans and vulnerable have very few school supplies; a child would maybe have one little notebook and a pencil. I was surprised at how much the children could learn with so few supplies and books.

One of the highlights of my trip was working with the street children in Kitwe. There are so many children living on the streets, many of them are orphaned and have nowhere else to live, or they have chosen this life because they are able to beg and get more food than they would get at home. Some street children do not look like they live on the streets because they bathe everyday by a water pump, while others are quite dirty and have many infected wounds because they do not clean themselves. The children often sleep together for warmth, which also encourages the spread of infectious skin diseases. I was able to take my first aid kit to the streets and I started cleaning and bandaging the wounds of the street children. There is a clinic downtown that is supposed to be free for the street children, but many of the staff are corrupt and take the supplies for themselves and their families. Many times they only help the street children if they feel like it, and will assist a street child only if that child is escorted by an adult who is not a street child. So, maybe when I am finished my nursing degree I will be able to go and start or work in a clinic for street children…wherever God leads!

Another thing that I started to learn about was spiritual warfare. I have learned a bit about spiritual warfare while in Canada, but I have definitely not seen it practiced as much as I did in Africa. There are many witch doctors in the villages and quite a few of the people go to these traditional healers for aid when they are ill. There is still so much I want to learn about spiritual warfare and casting out demons, but I was able to learn some things from people who practiced this in Kitwe.

So, my dream of going to Africa was realized a lot sooner than I ever thought it would be. I would love to go back and live with the people and love them and tell them about Jesus and actually help them to become self-sustaining. I definitely learned the meaning of the quote that says, to the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.
I was also challenged by a picture that God gave me during the pastor’s conference that we helped out with. I saw this African grandma who was sitting in the doorway of her hut and she was reaching out her hand towards me, saying, “Do not pass me by.” It was an image that definitely stuck with me throughout my entire time in Africa. Every time I was tempted to pass by someone or ignore a beggar or street child, I would think of this picture that God gave me. In a way the street children are like the lepers, they are the untouchables that people ignore and brush aside; they are like the forgotten children having to fend for themselves.
Once the African children have lived on the streets for a few years, they often do not want to leave the streets because that has become their home and family - the life that they know and are comfortable with. I would like to develop some kind of program where the children on the streets can still live there if they choose to, but that there would be a type of job where they can work for their money and food, some occupation other than stealing or begging.

Some of the HIV positive ladies do not have a lot of energy to work, but they are able to make some money by making AIDS pins. I have brought about three hundred of these pins over from Africa. If you are interested in receiving a pin and making a donation that would go towards assisting HIV positive people and also those living with AIDS, just let me know!

Rock Lake

Wow the summer sure feels like it has flown by to me...not quite that excited for school and homework yet, well I could probably be excited to start learning interesting stuff about the body and how to give intravenous needles, but homework - nah! So anyway, this has been one summer where I sure have learned a little bit more about trusting God. First I had to trust that He would provide all the money I needed to go to Africa, and then I had to trust that I would have a job for the summer where I would only be working for two months. So I thought I had a job at the group home for special needs adults, where I have also worked for the past two summers. Then I come home from Africa and find out that actually I wouldn't be getting as many hours at the group home as I thought I would be getting.

So then my sister tells me that she just got a job at a factory that makes heart monitoring electrodes for in the hospital and that I should apply there too. So I did, and then next day I had an interview (this was all about two days after arriving home from Africa) and then I started working at this factory and also at the group home at the same time. So I was like, wow, I'm actually going to be making some money for school this summer, and then this past Monday my factory job calls me and tells me that tomorrow, which is Friday, is going to be my last day at work because they have to lay off all of their summer students (there's only three of us) because they have to do cost reductions and save money...

So then I'm like oh dear, what am I going to do now? Because I had already told the group home they could take me off their schedule and so I had no hours there...and then I found out that Rock Lake was having youth week this next week and they needed a recreation director, so I'm going to go there for the week and make up games for the youth to play, and one of my friends is going to go with me! I'm so excited! And my boyfriend, Marvin, is also going to take the week off work to come and be a counsellor because they didn't have any guy counsellors, so that will be so much fun, and my brother is going to be a camper there and yeah, I love Rock Lake so much!

It's kind of funny, because on the day that I got laid off, I had been thinking all about Rock Lake and how much I had enjoyed being staff there and then on that day I find out that I can actually go there after all, God sure does work in unexpected ways, I never would have guessed that in order to go to camp I would first have to get laid off from my job! But still God is good and keeps teaching me in ways that I would never expect!