Where You are

“Please Aslan, before we go, will you tell us when we can come back to Narnia again? Please. And oh, do, do, do, make it soon.”

“Dearest,” said Aslan very gently, “you and your brother will never come back to Narnia.”

“Oh, Aslan!!” said Edmund and Lucy both together in despairing voices.

“You are too old, children,” said Aslan, “and you must begin to come close to your own world now.”

“It isn’t Narnia, you know,” sobbed Lucy. “It’s you. We shan’t meet you there. And how can we live, never meeting you?”

“But you shall meet me, dear one,” said Aslan.

“Are — are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.

“I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Narina for me is Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. It’s Siem Reap, Cambodia. And Buea, Cameroon. The struggle is to see God in everything and everyone every single day. Especially when my life consists of sitting down or sleeping most of the day. If that’s the life I’m called to live this year, may I look for God’s presence in every single rare deep or superficial small talk that I partake in, in every bit of brown that this side of California offers, and in every way that the human body is so adaptable to disease.
Yet, I mustn’t forget that I am in touch with one of the greatest connections to Christ–the individual. If every individual is created uniquely, and if every individual has their own light, may I not look at the person for their achievements or looks, but pursue to see God in each and every person. And be selfish and experience for myself the light that God has given uniquely to them. In doing this, light will shine brighter, their truths will refine my truths, and like iron sharpens iron, may my love and view of Christ be ever refined with each and every interaction.

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Feelings, Friends, Flashbacks, and Faith

In this rare moment of quietness and introspection, I thought I would freestyle this and try to “get in touch” with how it is I’m feeling.
I’m not too sure how to describe how I feel…I kakao’d David this week and he asked me how I was doing, and I unloaded on him thoughts on my mind. One by one…One thing after another…this and that… And he just responded with “Sounds like you’re stressed.” I didn’t even think that I was. I pushed everything in my mind to the side–the ability to compartmentalize, it’s what you need to get through medical school–but as I’m studying, these thoughts that would whiz through my mind slowly, and collectively, when written out in a simple text made me realize just how…not at peace I am right now.
I ran into Jason Park at Starbucks this week and we ended up just talking for an hour catching up. It was really nice to talk to someone with similar perspective, similar beliefs. I told him how I want to do really well this year. I want to do well, partly to have my options open to any specialty that I would want, but mostly because I don’t want to do residency here. And I keep thinking that the answer to all that I feel is to escape. That when I leave it’ll be like a whole new life. But it’s not this place, it can’t ever just be one thing…is it just age?

I went to School of Medicine vespers last night and it was very beautiful. A total rebuke. A call to medical ministry, where ministry comes first and medicine, the perfect counterpart. The doctor told a story about how he was telling his story at Loma Linda and there was a student in the crowd that stayed behind to talk to him. “I came to Loma Linda not because I’m SDA, but because I wanted to come to the school where they teach medical evangelism. And now, after 4 years, all I want to do is get out, make as much money as I can and buy a big house, drive the nice car……and I hate myself for it.” And at that moment, all I could think of was, “That’s me.” I rarely look back at this medical decision that I’ve made because I don’t want to believe the things that everyone tells me–“Why are you doing medicine? You’re a female. You’re going to end up not practicing anyways. All you’ll have to show for it are your loans.”–are true. I came in here with so much vision, with so much drive, and for what? To have the MD after my name and the zero’s in the bank account but in times of introspection like this one to realize that in doing so, I’ve sacrificed the one love that I held onto to so deeply–medical ministry? To trade in that one love for a handful of simple, insatiable pleasures?

When I was in Cameroon, the most memorable experience I had was when I attended Catholic mass. Believe me when I tell you that I would buy that $1400 plane ticket again, if only to attend that mass one more time. I had never been to Catholic mass, but the reverence and sincerity they treat God, is unreal and so respectable. From the incense, to the ringing of the bells, to the trinity gesture…the service was packed full with reminders that God is near and that He is GOD. Near the end, I kneeled to prayer, and when I opened my eyes, the sunrise was shining through the stained glass windows onto the stage. It brought tears to my eyes. Then the choir with their voices started singing. It was the most powerful spiritual experience that I had ever had–true spirituality in its rawest form. I truly felt the joy of salvation in that moment, and I had never felt such joy in my heart. Joy that tells you that God has saved me, and that there is no other love like this one. What else could I do but just close my eyes, sit still, entranced by the fact that all this is mine?

This year, from here on out, I need to more fervently pray, with all of my heart I need to commit myself, or else I’m going to go crazy. I can slowly feel the stresses of various things gnawing at me, but in that moment each and every morning, I need to reconnect with my purpose, and then recommit my life to what it is that is most important in the world–Him. I can have faith that at the end of the day all these stresses will find its perfect place in God’s plan if I place all eyes on Him, and simply take the steps necessary each and every day. In this place, where I don’t feel like myself, where I get intimidated, where I get nervous all the time, may I remind myself to look up and know that I’m here for a reason.

With this conviction and conclusion, I’ll leave it at that. Besides, it’s 6:30, which means that it’s sundown soon…oops…I totally said I would go to sundown worship at 6…..anywho, until next time, my readers ❤

Just a Simple Post

I woke up early this morning due to my unresolved jet lag, and I decided to look over the Sabbath School Quarterly.
I never really ever got into the quarterly…but I remember James and Shelly both telling me how really good it is, and especially Shelly sharing with me how this Quarter’s topic is really good.

and let me tell you, I have a newfound respect for it haha. It’s really nice.

Anyways, I just wanted to share something that I learned, so here are my 2 cents:

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OH….and my African dress…I put it on to take a picture…and I did, but I felt super lame and like a loser taking selfies of myself…so here is the fabric…

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P.S. Anyone know where I can get a hard copy of the quarterly for free???

EBOLA EBOLA EBOLA

(I would just say that I think that my title is super clever, although it has absolutely nothing with this post. I mean hey, it’s a total trending topic right now, so why not milk it? hahah)

I’ve been here for a month and a half now, but it feels like so much has happened. Time has stood still every other second here and I am so grateful to God for it. Maybe it has to do with having more volunteers (there are 5 of us) and that makes for more occasions where people drag you to do something that initially seemed unattractive, but later turns out to be poignant events. Of course I have those moments of nervousness and insecurity where I feel like my “life” is moving on without me, and people are moving on without me, yet, as I look back, God has done it again–He gave me Cameroon to grow and organize things that I could only do when on a break.

So many fun events. From walking down the street and getting responses from a hello, such as “Hey baby girl” or “That’s my girl!”, to the occasional “ni hao”, to which i reply “I’M KOREAN”. To Helen, the receptionist, playing with the needle in front of the girl in the clinic that was shaking with fear. Haggling the prices of produce, and one lady telling me a lime was 50 francs, and I telling her it was too expensive. “Ok Ok, I’ll give you 2 for 100 francs”. I replied, “Hey! You’re making it sound like a deal but it’s not!” I couldn’t say it without laughing and she laughed too. (Let me just say that haggling is ADDICTIVE. I love doing it hahaha. Joon Kim would be so proud of me. I’m becoming a bonefide ajumma). Using idioms and big words that Arnoldo doesn’t know, while he uses the “hip, new” slang that all the young people are using these days. And Megan making fun of all my asian tendencies, whilst trying to lose weight together. Trying to talk to the people in an African accent while I take their histories and ultimately giving up. And finally practicing the 4 years of French that I thought I would never find an occasion for. The babies either loving me because I look weird to them, or crying because I’m pale. Trixy’s (the host doctor’s) random, crude comments about penises during circumcisions. Also, I got pricked with a needle and had an HIV scare (no worries, we rushed the woman and did a HIV test on her and she was negative). I also almost got my face cut with a machete….although, that thankfully did not happen either. OH, not to mention we almost burned the entire hospital down…we left a candle and part of our room caught on fire…we smothered the flames luckily, seeing that a can of bug spray and the curtains were so close to catching on fire.

This trip has most definitely restored everything that I felt that medical school sucked out of me–my extroverted-ness, the chance to serve others, the feeler part of me. It’s so crazy, and I’m even afraid to write in words what I’ve learned here in part because I fear that my words can’t convey what has happened, so I won’t. I’m not sure what this blog post will be about, so I’m just going to write and write and que sera sera.

To be honest, I don’t know what to write. Take me out for a meal and let’s talk, that will be better, I think. But let me write this:

I have missed out on so many opportunities to witness that it can be overwhelming. Something that I never really understood that I’m beginning to now, is what it means to be a responsible Christian. In every situation, ESPECIALLY those when I want to pull out my “get out of jail free” card and get a cop out, I’m an ambassador. I think one of the most tragic things that comes with age is that nothing is as it seems. Nothing is as shiny, so beautiful, so attractive as they used to be. You turn it over and there is always some defect, some mess-up. Maybe that’s why everyone has a chance to be saved–because when you realize that the world isn’t as it seems, the cross is so attractive and the call and pull to follow from Christ is made. Salvation is offered in that way, something that is so opposite from this world and everything bad that’s in it.

I hope that I never lose this though. I always want to view the world with wonder and excitement. I never want to so absolutely know everything that nothing is new and exciting to me anymore. Let me revel in my tendency as a feeler, to be totally entranced by God and His workings in the world each and every single day, even when this next year will be in front of pathology & physiology notes. May C.S Lewis’ claim that “[his] image of Christ is shattered every single day” be my own.

Also, I have the best family. I think each mission trip, I realize this. My parents are the most devout Christians that I have ever met, and it’s so crazy to see how they still progress and grow as Christians. I can’t wait until we’re all together again. God really does give you family to feel unconditionally love–a slice of what God feels for us–how fortunate I am to experience that to it’s intended purpose in my life now.

Well, that’s pretty much it for me. Thanks for taking the time to read this 🙂 Next post, I’ll post a picture with my African dress. (It’s being made as I’m writing this)

I hope this post is finding you all well.
Much love from this side of the world everyone ❤

Irony

 

Guess who made her mark here in the Buea Adventist Hospital in Cameroon?

ME!

I am officially in the book of patients with a history of malaria. 

Yes….as I am typing this parasites are running free in my bloodstream, and will be for a long time after.

GREAT. 

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Update

So after I got , after I got back from choir practice, I realised something about blogs. They are bad in the sense that they are like a snapshot of your life, and you don’t let the time post-publish change what you wrote. This update is to serve that purpose. 

Things are SOOOO much better. I got light into my room, and I have finally beat my jet lag. These two things combined have helped my stay here exponentially. Like, seriously. I don’t even care about not having wifi, but light? oh my goodness, please give me light. LOL

Anyways, the hospital is so busy! I stay there the majority of the day and I’m just on my feet 24/7, no time to sit. I’m taking a lot of histories, doing consultations, ordering tests, I clean dressings, and I even gave vaccinations today. Anyone want to entrust their baby to me? >:) hahaha

Anyways, choir practice was SOOOO good. Like, I realised that in African culture there definitely is a line between work and play.  Like, on the way to the church I got to bond with one of the nurses I work with and everyone at the church was so nice. They were so friendly. There was one time when they were talking in French and they said something like “Does she understand French?” And I immediately said “un peu!” Which I was soooo proud of because I got to use the little I remember. Then they asked me a question in French and I didn’t know what they were asking me…..It was “What s your name?” Seriously??? My moment of truth and and then I blow it hahhaa oh well. It’s really fun though, the people are really good, and SERIOUSLY after overcoming jet lag and getting light into my room, I like my experience SO much more. OH, and also, when I put my hair down, people like me SO much more. What I’ve found from mission trips is this: you gotta find out what people want in the country and then have it. Like, in Cambodia people liked me because I was light-skinned, when you add the fact that I was Korean on top of that, GG. Here, that doesn’t work, but when you have long, flawy hair, TKO dude. So today, I opted for a loose side pony-tail instead of my slicked back high pony tail. heh heh…I gotchu 

So I guess I’ll just end with a story that happened today. We got a girl carried into the hospital because she tripped and gashed her knee wide open, it was super intense. When the nurses were trying to stitch it up, they were trying to inject lidocane to numb it, but the injection was SO painful to the girl. She would scream and say that it hurt. And when they tried to put in the needle, she jerked back her knee and bent her leg…right where her open wound was….….I’m cringing just at the thought. Literally, she had 4 women on her, and her mom was so intense. Her mom was screaming at her to stop making noise, and would spank her to stop crying. It was pretty sad. I never heard that much commotion before. The whole time I was to the side watching the whole thing like O _ O 

Then, for the last stitch, the girl wasn’t fully numbed in the knee so the nurse had to put in another injection of lidocane. The girl wanted to scream again, but when she saw her mom and her eyes of fury, she was still held down but kept saying “No Pain No Pain”. It was pretty cute. Well, all is well with her now thankfully. Pretty cool though. 

Anyways that’s it. I’m STARVING, so I need to go to the market to get something. Oh, update on that, I thought of a system to protect my food. I started storing my food in a big pot, and I keep all the utensils and plates I use in a plastic box, so nothing crawls on it during the night. OMG, just the thought of it…….T-T

The biggest blessing though has been the spiritual growth though. Mos def. I have fully gone over the initial hump of anxiety over the fact that I have no internet/connection to the outside world, to it being one of the most freeing things ever. You don’t realise how constricting it is until it’s not there. Anyways, hope all is well on that side of the world. I just wanted to make sure I made this clarification to my past post because I wouldn’t be doing Africa the justice it deserves if I didn’t. Who knows when I’ll make another post, so until next time!

 

Also, just a note, I can’t write e-mails, so if you’re reading this and you sent me one, it’s not because I don’t care about you, it’s because I can’t! lol