Quick Update

What a busy month it has been since my last update! Here’s a quick rundown:

August 19-24th: Visiting doctor fromCanada, Dr Jeff Kornelsen, helped us in the clinic. It was such a blessing to be able to work with him! He taught me a lot and allowed us to see twice as many patients as we normally see. He also blessed us with many pharmaceutical donations!

August 22nd: A friend of Maurine’s from theUS brought a bunch of medical donations for the clinic. Praise the Lord! Whoever is praying for provisions for the clinic is rocki’n it!

August 28th: I traveled to Jutiapa with Dra Sara to celebrate her birthday and I got to visit the places where she lived, worked, and studied as she was completing her pediatric residency. I am so grateful for our friendship and I love getting to know Dra Sara more and more.

August 31st– September 2nd: I was blessed with the opportunity to attend a Pediatric Residency Medical Conference (Congreso Medico) with Dra. Sara and Francisca. This was a three day conference at a very fancy hotel inGuatemala City. It was very interesting and I understood most of it, even though the lectures were given in Spanish at the level of pediatric residency students. The theme of the conference was nutrition and how good or poor nutrition can affect the medical care in pediatrics. It was very interesting and the perfect topic for us to hear! And then we scoured the drug representative tables for free samples. – Once again, the clinic is stocked with meds!

September 8th: Our Seattle Pacific semester abroad students arrived. I haven’t been in contact with them much yet, but I did sit in on one of their classes on human rights. They are studying inAntigua for a while before they begin working in ministry sites.

September 9th: I had the opportunity to attend another conference in the city with all of the female Students International staff members. This was a Christian Women’s Conference hosted by Danilo and Gloriana Montero. It is very important that we have opportunities like this to be refilled and renewed so that we are strengthened for the intense spiritual requirements of our jobs. (see spiritual warfare blurb below)

September 11th ELECTIONS! I had been anticipating this day since the day that I arrived in May! All the political propaganda and campaigning really got me revved up and excited to see in whose hands the future of Guatemala would be placed. Praise the Lord that it was a relatively non-violent election season. I was told that there would be a lot of uproar if the mayor ofMagdalena was re-elected as there was four years ago. The presidential election will go on to a second round of voting because a majority was not reached in the first round due to the large number of political parties.

September 15th Happy Independence Day! I loved seeing all of the merriment and patriotism that arose with this holiday. I am especially a big fan of the tradition of the “antorcha” celebration. All around the country, people run with lit torches, blowing whistles, reenacting the proclamation ofGuatemala’s independence. There were also numerous parades with countless marching bands and plenty of firecrackers.

September 17th: Speaking of independence, I finally moved into my permanent place of residence here inGuatemala! I am very excited to now be in my own apartment inAntigua! I will be receiving a housemate soon, another girl who will be joining SI staff full time. Please pray for Abbey as she is finishing up her fundraising.

September 19th This was a big day for the clinic as the health inspector came to approve the operation of our facilities. Praise the Lord that we found favor with the health inspector and we are all systems go!

Encountering Spiritual Warfare

Ephesians 6:12

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

I have heard it said many times that by becoming a missionary, I would be entering the front lines of spiritual warfare. There is a battle going on that we are often unaware of, and I am choosing to place myself right in the thick of it. The reality of spiritual warfare has been made clearer to me recently as I have experienced it first hand.

There is a young girl named Kimberly who has been dealing with some very severe health issues that are inconsistent and very troublesome for the doctors who have seen her. She has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which is extremely uncommon for someone so young. Some days she is fine and some days she is literally unable to walk. One day she was in the hospital and actually died for a couple of minutes. I heard her tell her story of what it was like when she was clinically dead and what it was like to “come back to life” and it is truly amazing. She is quite an incredible young girl! What she has experienced has really opened my eyes to the spiritual realm and has made me uncomfortable, but in a good way. (that is the only way I can think of to explain it!) At first I was very skeptical, but hearing her describe how she saw her own body from above and saw the gates of heaven… It is just incredible. But as we were at her house, learning more about her situation and the different struggles she has faced through her life, the inconsistency of Kimberly’s symptoms makes us think that her battle for health is not just a physical battle but a spiritual battle. I have been reading the book He Came to Set the Captives Free by Rebecca Brown, about a satanic sect in the US and it has shown me how people can be negatively affected by demons in this world. This book has first hand accounts of people who were involved in the sect and how they were possessed by demonic spirits. Like I said, I was very skeptical at first, but why should I be? The Bible mentions spiritual warfare many times and talks about how the devil uses demons and evil spirits in the world. I have just sort of ignored those verses before. They make me uncomfortable. It is a very interesting situation, and it is still pending… please continue to pray for Kimberly and her family for their spiritual well-being. It does make me quite uncomfortable, but who ever though that it would be comfortable on the front lines of spiritual battle?

Another situation in the past couple of weeks dealing with spiritual warfare has made me learn to rely on God’s guidance and spiritual protection. A woman named Evelyn has been coming into the clinic regularly to have us tend to a very severe burn that she received from a motorcycle muffler. I have been building a friendship with her and getting to know her better through her visits. But then I found out that her family is involved in extortion and she is not well accepted in the community. Actually, she has a reputation of being violent and unpredictable. Anyone that I talked to said that they were afraid of her and they said it is not safe to spend time with her because she has many enemies in the community. … not good, because I made plans to go running with her early in the morning, just the two of us, before the sun is even up. I thought it would be safer to cancel our plans. I don’t want to put myself in a dangerous situation, but I still want to be able to reach out to her. I have been warned that she will do whatever she needs to do to build a friendship with someone so that she can then exploit them later. Please pray for God’s guidance in how I should minister to this unique case! I don’t think these things that I am learning about Evelyn should discourage me from ministering to her, but just present an extra challenge from the devil that makes it harder to reach her. I don’t want to let the devil use fear to deter me from sharing God’s love with Evelyn. This spiritual battle is certainly difficult! I feel conflicted within me about how I should handle Evelyn’s case. I want to protect myself, but I do not want to allow the devil to maintain his control of her life.

Thank you for your prayers. Things are going really well down here! I have updated my prayer list on my blog. I will include pictures of the new place once I am a little more settled.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eunice
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 13:21:47

    Britney, congrats on your new place :’) PTL for all of His provisions!
    Praying for the clinic family.

    Reply

  2. Katie C.
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 10:24:13

    I’m going to pray for you! God bless!

    Reply

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