Zambia Medical Trip Update

This last week was such a whirlwind of events I didn’t have time to sit down and tell you all what we were doing except for short updates on Facebook so brace yourself for a lengthier blog than normal but I promise you it was an AMAZING trip and you will want to hear about it.

I just have to start off by saying how incredibly amazing God is. He orchestrated this whole trip and it was truly one of my favorite of all my other trips. This team was amazing, there were six young adults, Dr. Stilley and his wife and Stu. None of us knew each other well if at all so it was only by God’s grace that we all got along so well. I am so incredibly grateful for this team. Not only for the students but for Dr. Stilley and his wife Connie for bringing us their past experience on trips like this, for our team leader, Stu, for ALWAYS making us laugh no matter what and also helping to get us to where we needed to be. I can honestly say that the six of us will be forever friends despite the distance between us. There was never a dull moment with us, between playing card games and talking/laughing until midnight every night, the random jokes all throughout the day, and on a more serious note screening children. This trip was so amazing I am sad that it is over but will forever hold it near and dear to my heart!

In addition to our team from America, we had three local Zambian nurses who helped us during that actual physical exam, Babra, Edward and their son Alpha were there most days assisting in any way they could, the teachers at Chipata helped us, and various Sara Rose staff were also helping. We were so thankful for their help, they can relate and explain things so much better than we can so having their help was crucial to our time there!

Now on to what we did while in Zambia: we spent Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning doing physicals on the children who attend St. Michaels School at the Feeding Center in Chipata. Thursday afternoon we were at the Orphanage and Friday morning was spent at the Boys Ranch. We saw just under 200 kiddos over the course of those 4 days, some of which had never been to a doctor of any form and have never received medical care. I am excited and amazed to say that we did not have any major issues and sicknesses that were cause for immediate concern!!!

Each child was registered and we took a picture of each of them and then we did height and weight to graph on the growth chart and a basic eye exam. We only had about a dozen or so between the three sites who needed eye glasses! After their eye exam, their hemoglobin was checked with only a few who had low numbers but nothing that caused a major concern and that hopefully can be helped with vitamins and better nutrition. Each child was given a basic physical exam checking their ears, throat, belly, etc. and praise Jesus we only handed out anti-biotics for basic things like strep throat, ear infections, skin infections, etc. In addition to the anti-biotics, we brought a ton of chewable anti-parasite pills that each and every person we treated received. That pill will last around six months and we left all the extras that can be used in the future.

Two of the students along with myself are nursing students, we had one pre-med student, and one student in med school so this trip was a ton of hands on learning and I can say with certainty that all 5 of us learned more in the four days of clinics than we ever have in a classroom! And we are thankful for this opportunity and can’t wait for more like it in the future. We really are so thankful for all your prayers for good health for ourselves, for the team to mesh and for safe travels! We would not have been able to make this trip happen if it weren’t for you and your prayers and support!

Zambia Medical 2017!

Hi, Friends!! It has been a while since I wrote a blog and I figured what better time than sitting in the Atlanta airport waiting for my team members to arrive so we can go to Zambia! I am sure that most of you have been following my journey with the country of Zambia since the beginning but for those of you new friends, I will do a quick introduction!

This will be my fourth trip to Kitwe, Zambia: the first one was two weeks with my church, the second two were with an organization called Apex Missions (previously Trek7) which were both 7-week trips, and this trip is the first trip with my new position of GlobalFingerprints site coordinator for Zambia! This country has completely stolen my heart, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of the kids and the staff that I minister with. I am really truly blessed that God brought Edward and Barbra, the Sara Rose Children’s Foundation staff and children, and everyone else involved!

Now that you know a little more about me and my heart for Zambia here is some information about this current trip.I will be going with Dr. Stilley, his wife Connie, Stu Erdenberg, and 4 medical students: Megan, Caitlyn, Brennan, and Elliot. We will also be meeting an Apex student, Chloe, who will be with us for the trip. We will be in Zambia for about a week (we leave today and come back on July 16th). While in Zambia we will be doing

While in Zambia we will be doing physicals for each of the students involved in our GlobalFingerprints program. We are expecting to see roughly 200+ children in 5 days. I am so beyond excited for this trip. I am so excited to meet other medical/nursing students who share the same passion for missions I do.

We are not sure what our WiFi abilities will be but we will post updates as much as possible.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for safe travels for everyone as we meet in Atlanta and then fly together to Johannesburg and then onto Zambia
  • Pray for health for all of us as we will hit the ground running and not stop until we get home
  • Pray for the hearts of those we will interact with, that those who don’t know Jesus will see Him through us, and for those who do know Jesus that they will be encouraged
  • Pray for the team to mesh well together
  • Pray for the love of Jesus to radiate through each of us and that people won’t see what we are doing as actions to bring us glory but actions to bring Jesus all the glory!!! 

New Opportunities

The country of Zambia is home to some of the most important people in my life. It is home to my second family,img_0870

over 100 children that I get to call my own,

img_0785

home to a precious little girl who makes my heart skip a beat.img_0062

It is a country that completely stole my heart and hasn’t let go.

I knew after my first trip to Zambia in 2014 that I would go back and see everyone again. I knew that I couldn’t live my life the same way because there were people that I knew personally who were suffering and hurting and that I could do something about that. So, I went back the summer of 2015 and left even more of my heart there.

After that trip, the opportunity to become the Zambia Site Coordinator for GlobalFingerprints arose. GlobalFingerprints is the sponsorship program through the Evangelical Free Church of America. After much prayer and consideration, I felt that this was how God was going to use me to make an impact on the people of Zambia while still being able to finish high school and now college.

As part of my position I need to raise support for biannual trips to Zambia, travel within the states to raise awareness and support for the ministry and for the children, as well as any extra funds needed for the program. As an estimate, I am going to need around $15,000 per year. Would you please consider partnering with me on this journey through prayer first and foremost? I would not be able to do what I do without the constant support through prayer from you all!! Would you also consider partnering with me financially either through a one-time donation or through a monthly donation? Again, it is people like you all who make this all possible. I will include ways to give below.

If you have any questions about the ministry I will be doing through this position or if you are interested in the possibility of going to Zambia on this trip or a future trip please feel free to leave a comment, message me, or email me at shelbyrae.myers@efca.org

If you feel led to give there are a few ways you can do so: The EFCA has a secure online giving website that you can access here. In order for your gift to go directly to me, in the Other box you will need to include my name and account number- Shelbyrae Myers-2152. You can also choose to make your gift a reoccurring monthly gift by typing “Process this gift monthly” in the comment section.

If you would like to mail a check in, make sure to include my name and account number, Shelbyrae Myers 2152- and you can send it to

EFCA Donor Services

901 E78th St

Minneapolis, MN 55.

Again, thank you all so much for your constant support and prayer. I couldn’t do this without all of you!

Shelbyrae

 

Pray For Syria

Omran is a 5-year-old young boy who was pulled from the rubble of a building that collapsed as a result of an airstrike on the city of Aleppo, Syria. The medical aid workers pulled him out of the rubble and set him in the chair. They left him there and went back looking for more people amongst the rubble. He is covered in layers of dust, ash, dirt, and encrusted blood. He sits motionless in a chair with a look of shock and pure sorrow. His picture has become the face of all Syrians affected by the war. He doesn’t know it but he is taking the internet by storm.

Omran

When I saw this picture my heart sunk. All I could think about was why this precious little boy had to go through this? What could I do to help? How many more children are fortunate enough to still be living but are living in these conditions?

If I were to have seen this picture a couple of months ago I most likely would have been overtaken by the same feelings and would want to know what I could do. I would have researched and thought about ways I could physically help children like Omran. I would have searched for agencies and organizations that are on the ground in Syria and would have tried to figure out how to help them.

When I saw this picture I did have those thoughts. I thought about how I wanted to help this little boy and others like him. I thought about wanted to go over and give this little boy the biggest hug and tell him I loved him and that I was here to help. But then I realized that I can’t exactly hop on a plane and go to Syria. But there is something I can do. Something you can do. PRAY!

I know. I know. That sounds like one of the most cliché things you could say but God been teaching me a lot about the amazing, gloriously wonderful power of prayer. I’ve learned how prayer can and will literally move mountains. All you have to do is ask.

Can you imagine what would happen if we all prayed for Syria as a country? If we prayed for peace. If we prayed for kids like Omran. Can you imagine the amazing revival that would take place and how God would be glorified??

What would happen if we prayed so earnestly and unwaveringly like the church in Acts 12:5?

What would happen if we really truly expected that God would answer our prayers like Rhoda was Acts 12:13?

What would happen if we as a global church committed to praying for those affected in Syria and the surrounding countries once a day for 5 seconds? For 5 minutes. For 5 hours. For 5 hours. For the rest of our lives.

More importantly what would happen if YOU chose to pray.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Savior God wants us to live. (The Message)

God calls us to pray for everyone we know in every way we know how. This is not just a good suggestion God gave us in a book written hundreds of years ago. This is a commandment in His word that is still relevent today. He commands us to pray for everyone we know. For all the nations and people of the world. In every way we know how to.

I saw first hand this summer how lives can change when we are truly pouring our heart out to God about something. Will you please join me in praying for the country of Syria. Below is a list of some specific prayers for the country of Syria according to Operation World.

  1. Pray for Syria’s influential role upon the Middle East. Peace in that area will not be achieved unless Syria is involved.
  2. Pray for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Syria. Pray for safety but also for boldness to listen to what God is leading them to do share His love with those around them.
  3. Pray for the unreached people in Syria. Pray that God’s love will be able to reach them soon and that bridges between Islam and Christianity can be made and God’s overwhelming power will overtake them.
  4. Pray for ISIS. Pray that the leaders of ISIS will be exposed to God’s love and that because of that they will begin to turn their lives over to God and that they will then grow up and turn the country of Syria back to God.

These all seem like big, daunting prayers and some of you may be thinking that those are just dreams of the future but will probably not really ever happen. But I do truly believe that if we take these prayers before God’s feet and that we expect the prayers to be answered they will.

On Sunday my pastor at Prescott Cornerstone, Scott Savage, challenged the congregation with something he is calling the #DesperatePeopleChallenge. The #DesperatePeopleChallenge is a challenge for everyone to pray at 12:15pm everyday from August 14 until September 3. I would like to challenge you all to join us in this. I am so excited to see what God does during these 28 days (23 days now).

God can and will do big things in Syria. The only question left is do you want to be a part of it?

Bibliography: Mandryk, Jason, and Jason M. Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation. United States: Inter-Varsity Press,US, 2010. Print. In-line Citation: (Mandryk and M)

 

What I’ve Learned

I have sat down about a dozen time since getting back from Zambia to try and share my thoughts on what I am feeling and what God taught me on this trip but each time I sat down I would find myself staring at a blank screen and my mind would just go black. But my friend Hannah who went on the Trek7 to Costa Rica just posted this blog about her time in Costa Rica and what she learned and it is pretty much exactly what I have been thinking/feeling and trying to convey to you. So instead of trying to sit down and type a new blog I thought would repost hers!!!

It feels like yesterday I was sitting in my bed at home the night before I left for training in MN. Now, 7 weeks later I’m once again sitting in my bed at home, except for this time, I’m not waking up to go on an adventure for a few weeks, I’m waking up […]

via Update 8: What I’ve learned. — Trek7

My Ocean

The song Oceans by Hillsong United is one of those songs that many people are familiar with. When this song first came out I had claimed it as one of my favorite songs but I don’t think I ever really understood what it was saying until a couple weeks ago.

Jenna and I had been at  the Chipata Feeding Center for about a week teaching, playing, and loving on the children. One of the things I had hoped to accomplish while on this trip was to open up the lines of communication between sponsors and children but also the children’s families. I had been talking with Victoria, the onsite GlobalFingerprints manager in Zambia, and Elizabeth, the school teacher at the feeding center, about the possibility of meeting some of the parents of the children who were in GlobalFingerprints. We really wanted to bridge the gaps in communication and show them that we are here working alongside them to help them give their children the best. But most of all we wanted to show them that God is with them and that He loves their children more than they can even begin to fathom.

We planned to meet with the parents Friday morning at 10. Thursday night I was siting on my chair in our house and started to feel this huge sense of inadequacy overcome my whole body. I kept imagining all the things that could go wrong and really started to freak out. I went to bed fervently praying that God would use me in some way to impact these parents lives. That next morning I woke up with the same sense of inadequacy and started to get really nervous about speaking to these parents. I am only 18 and I wasn’t exactly sure how to portray to them that I wasn’t some young American girl who wanted to come in and save them and their children but that I was someone who wanted to show them that Jesus is the one who can save them.I wanted to show them how much I love their children with hopes that showing them a tangible love they would be able to know God’s love. That is a pretty daunting task to undertake but especially for someone who is still trying to understand the vastness of God’s love for me and for others.

As Friday morning rolled around Jenna and I hopped in the back in the the ministry bus for our ride into town. I was listening to music on the way to the Feeding Center and one of the first songs to come on was Oceans. I’ve heard this song time and time again but that morning I really heard the lyrics.

The first line is “You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown my feet may fail…. I am yours and you are mine.” In that moment I realized that this was an ocean that God was calling me out upon. He was calling me to walk out on the water, keep my eyes on Him, and trust that He will keep me afloat. I had to trust that Jesus was going to give me the words to speak to these parents. Words that were not mine but that were His. He has put me in this position to be a mama to all of these children and to walk alongside these parents for a reason. I do not understand that reason at all but I am trusting Him and walking out on the ocean keeping my eyes focused on Him.

As much as I would love to say that I am constantly keeping my eyes and my focus on Jesus it doesn’t always go that way… I am much like Peter in Matthew 14:22-33 (paraphrased) The disciples were on a boat in the middle of the ocean and they saw Jesus walking on water towards them. They saw Him and were terrified thinking it was a ghost. Jesus told do not be afraid because it was Him. Peter responded and said if it is truly you have me walk out on the water to you. Jesus told him to come. So Peter got out of the boat and started walking on the water towards Jesus. But he took His eyes off Jesus and started looking around at the water and the wind and was afraid so he began to sink. Jesus reached out His hand and caught Peter and said you have little faith, why do you doubt me??

I am Peter. I want more than anything to walk out on the water and trust Jesus with all I have. And there are times where I am so focused on Jesus that I am walking on the water but then I get distracted and I become busy and take my focus off of Him and I start to sink. But I am so grateful that God always always always catches me when I fall. He has called me out on the ocean to trust that He has a bigger plan to use me and I am excitedly jumping out on the water to follow Him but I can guarantee that I will fail time and time again and He will have to catch me.

Jesus,

Thank you so much for catching me when I fall. Thank you for always pulling me back out on the waters. Thank you for loving me the way you do and for using me the way you do Jesus! I pray for everyone reading this that they will set their focus on you Jesus and that they will trust you enough to walk out on the water towards you.

Prayer Requests:

-Adjustment back to the US both physically with jet lag and also with culture shock

– Pray for a good, productive time during debrief and that we will be able to stay awake for it all

-I left a major part of my heart in Africa with all my babies and as excited as I am to see my family and friends and start a new journey at college in just a few short weeks my heart aches thinking about how many thousands of miles are between me and all my littles. So pray that I will be able to use that in a way that will raise awareness for the needs in Zambia.

 

Thank you all so incredibly much for your constant support, prayers, and encouraging words. I would not be able to do this without you all!!

Amazingly Chaotic and Joyfully Exhausting

Amazingly chaotic and joyfully exhausting is the only way to explain today and that doesn’t even do it justice!!

Today was our last day of VBS in Chipata Compound. We decided when the team from Prescott got here to do an extra day of VBS on Saturday. We had never done any ministry like that on Saturday but were up for the challenge.

Throughout the week we have had roughly 100 or so children. We figured we would have more today but didn’t know how many; we ended up with 200-300 probably closer to 300!!

The lesson today was about hoping for Jesus return. We were able to tell over 200 kiddos about Jesus and we were able to give them all a meal to fill their bellies!!! There were so many children that they had to go out to purchase more food to prepare for them all which meant trying to stall for a while longer.

Trying to keep 200-300 kids entertained and contained while waiting for the food to finish is not an easy task. We ended up having to split up our last group to do their crafts and Jenna and I took about 30 of the younger ones to a separate room to work on their craft. Most of them don’t speak English so we have been having the teachers and others from the church help translate but we ran out of people to translate so Jenna and I-with our limited Bemba knowledge- successfully completed the craft with them! But we still had to keep them entertained until the food was done. At one point I had a baby boy tied on my back, a dozen children holding my hands, another 20 vying for my attention, and I could hear about 150 children in the next rooms singing to their Lord and Savior at the top of their lungs. 

In the midst of all this chaos I was in complete and utter AWE of what God was doing here in Zambia. I’m amazed at how many littles we got to speak the truth about Jesus into. I’m amazed that God can use little old me to serve Him here in Zambia. But most of all I’m so incredibly thankful that God placed Zambia on my heart and has continued to keep His promise to use me here!!! Nototella Yesu!!! (Bemba for Thank you Jesus!!!)

Prayer Requests:
– Jenna and I both have a cold/sinus thing that is rather annoying so pray for quick healing
– Pray that the seeds we plated in children’s lives today will be watered even after we leave and will eventually grow into a relationship with Jesus.
– Pray for our last week of ministry next week that we will find our strength in Jesus and that we will continue to do His will!!!

In Him,
Shelbyrae