It's me

It's me
The Bedouin Woman

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Return from Brasil, Installment #4

On our way to the airport in Houston to begin this incredible journey, I lifted a very heavy suitcase and heard something snap or tear in my right shoulder but at the time didn’t think much of it and went on with loading and unloading.

After getting settled on the plane and beginning the trip I began to have some pain especially when lifting or carrying anything on that right shoulder(backpack or purse). Thank God for Ibuprofen and ex-strength Tylenol!! They both became my best friends.

After about 6 weeks Anderson and I took to the streets of Campinas to find a doctor that would see me. After about 2 hours of roaming the streets we stopped at an office of an orthopedic doctor. Now we all know that in the USA one would not get anywhere by just stopping in one of these highly sought after physicians. We would have had to call for an appointment and wait for about 6 weeks or more maybe we would be lucky to obtain an appointment.

God is a good God and He had my best interests at heart this day,(well, really every day) not only did we get an appointment that same day but when he saw my shoulder he immediately said I need an Ultra Sound of that area. This was news to me as normally they order an x-ray but I now hear that they use ultra sounds for this type of injury. The secretary made a call and I was scheduled for an appointment, again, that same day, for the test.

The test revealed a torn rotator cuff, not a bad tear but a tear nonetheless. He said it would take a long time to heal because, lets face it, we just cannot not use the right arm, especially where I was and what I was doing! He gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory. Now, I don’t know about you but I’m not real excited about taking a medication that I can’t read and understand the side effects. But, I took it knowing I had the protection of the almighty on my side, no problem!

Doc also said there was a possibility, very small, that I might need surgery. Ummm NO! That is not happening in Brasil. I would suffer through pain until I get home and then see what my doctors say. After taking this medication for several days, I began to have stomach issues and found out that was one of the side effects of this medication, so doc gives me another medication a medication that had to be injected. The medication was Mobic, go ahead and look it up and tell me that my life is not valuable to my God!

Taking an injectable medication crated a whole new set of problems. Who is going to inject me? None of my teammates were comfortable doing it but Pauline and I would have had her do it but we did find a clinic in the area that would do it. The nurses were students and they were very happy to have a willing “pin cushion” in which to practice, ME! They did a great job and were very friendly. Andre was my translator and the nurses we happy to see him each and every time we walked through the door (he is a good looking young man)Andre was also happy to accompany me as well because the nurses were all very cute!

I must say, the medication helped but it was only a 5 day prescription and soon the pain returned. So then the doc ordered me physical therapy. So, 2 times a week we hopped the bus and trucked downtown for PT.

So all the above doctor visits, ultra sound, medication and PT were not free. So here is a break down on the costs for my torn rotator cuff:

Orthopedic doctor visit= 250. Reias for unlimited visits for 30 days. US $175.

Ultra sound= 125. Reias US $50.

First medication= 25. Reias US $15

Second medication(injectible)=75. Reias US $25

Prilosec( for stomach issues)= 25. Reias US $15

Physical Therapy=25 Reias US $15 per visit.

Actually when I had my initial appointment with the PT department her charge was going to be 50. Reias per visit. Anderson stepped in and began to tell her that we were missionaries and couldn’t afford that much per treatment so she bumped it down to 25 per visit. Now I could never see something like that happening in USA. Pay or hit the road,,,

The above is all estimated amounts but I’m sure they are pretty close to the correct amounts.

I want to thank my contributors to my trip it was because of your generous donations that I was actually able to take care of this situation.

At this point in time, I have had an MRI, and that is a whole other story I may tell sometime. And I’m getting PT by LaBorde Physical Therapists and on my way to complete recovery and NO surgery required!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

One Nation UNDER God

Reading Judges chapter 2, I think depicts today’s times so clearly. Our nation was founded on Godly principals; I don’t think I would get an argument there. But as so stated in Judges chapter 2, verse 11-12, after Joshua died, the people of Israel began worshipping Baal’s(idols), they did not adhere to the principals Joshua set forth. Our nation has done the same thing, we are no longer a nation that serves one true God but worship many idols(what is your idol?)

We are a people who should be leading our nation, non-believers should look as Christianity as the “way” to live clean, emotionally healthy, morally correct lives, instead we, Christians, follow the world, and all the “dirt” the world gives us. But the bible says we shouldn’t act as the world acts: Romans 12:2

We, just like Israel provoke the Lord to anger, by following those other gods or idols. Judges 2:12. If God doesn’t work fast enough for us, or if He seemingly ignores our pleas, we turn away and seek other gods. BTW, God never ignores our pleas, prayers or requests, but sometimes He does require us to “wait on Him” Isaiah 40:31 and as we do a reward awaits us when we do as this verse aptly states.

Judges 2:29 says that the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. Like Israel we as a nation continually provoke the Lord but because He is a true loving Father(haven’t we as children provoked our natural fathers? Haven’t your children continually provoked you? But as a loving parent you have always forgiven your children just like our heavenly Father forgives us, so many, many times)Our Father has given us chance after chance to “get it right”. God will never give up on us, He wants our nation to once again be a nation that loves and serves Him. 2 Chron. 7:14

The above scripture is a message for us as believers to get our act together, how long are we going to ignore this dire message? We need to get on our hands and knees(on all 4’s as pastor Tim Delina said recently)before God to get us back to a nation that not only believes in His awesome power but to act upon that power. God is calling us to restoration; He wants to restore our nation. We need Him; we need to heed His call. Our land needs healing, let’s bring prayer back in our schools, let’s call sin, sin and murder, murder! Abortion is not ok! Marriage between two men or two women is not ok! Ro. 1:27. Let’s take care of the widows and orphans like the bible commands us to do, as the church it is our responsibility James 1:27, Psalms 146:9.

When Israel cried out to the Lord(once again)The Lord raised up a deliverer (Judges 3:9)for the children of Israel who delivered them. Now, we know God sent His son (John 3:16)to be our deliverer, so when we die we will forever be with Jesus, His Father and Holy Spirit. But what about now, here at this time? My thoughts and hopes are this: If we get down on all 4’s, hands and knees and pray God send us a true man of God, not a people pleaser, but a man after Your own heart that will lead this nation as You see fit, I think, no I know, He will hear our cry. But we must make a concerted effort to do our part and pray like never before.

Let’s make 2012 the year that God changed our nation and brought it back to Him!

“If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chron. 7:14

Monday, January 9, 2012

Return from Brasil, Installment 3

In October, after being in Brasil for almost 8 weeks, we, the team were invited to minister at a local Assembly of God. Now, you have to know that the Assemblies there in Brasil are very “old school”. In other words they are still in the day where ladies where dresses and have long hair, does that tell you anything?

The pastor was aware that we would perform a Drama. He was also aware of the plan for Anderson and Michelle to be dressed as “street kids”, just to see how they would be accepted by this congregation. It was fascinating on how these people handled the “street kids”. Now if you are like me, before coming to Brasil, I had no concept of “street kids”. I knew about homeless people, but they usually were adults, not children. By children I mean kids ages 5 to 18, yes, you heard me right, can you even imagine a 5 year old fending for him or herself in the dangerous streets of Brasil? Makes one sick to their stomach doesn’t it? Anderson, himself was a street kid, having been on the streets at the tender age of 8 years old, he knew how to act the part, with all that goes with it. The ripped clothes, sniffing, whatever it was they sniffed and Michelle was begging for food and blankets as it was a cold night.

The congregation treated these “street kids” with love and respect, with tears and hugs, even tried to give them money, but at that point they had to refuse. Imagine their shock when Anderson came in to preach still in his “street kids” attire. It was powerful!

Back to the drama:

Now, I must interject here that neither Pauline or myself had ever acted before. The dramas I have seen performed were always done by very young MC(Master Commission)people, not by middle aged women(Pauline)or senior citizens(myself). That being said, the team had faith that we could do it and do it we did!! I was concerned about forgetting lines or tripping or some foolish thing that would detract from the whole meaning of the drama and cause uproarious laughter, but none of that happened, God had our backs as He always did.

After all this I spoke a little while about how Pauline and I had come to Brasil. The people were all very taken that Pauline and I had actually sold stuff and given stuff away to come to Brasil to bring the Gospel message to a lost and dying world. They were truly humbled.

At the end of the message, and after the drama, we had 6 bowls of water and plenty of towels that we washed the congregants hands, we would have done feet but there were way too many people and not enough bowls so we did washing of hands to signify washing away sins, and cleansing of “old ways”.

This is only one of many times we would minister in such a powerful way.

There is only two things we ask when we minister to churches, number one that they provide us with a ride to and from the church and number two that they would feed us J. They never had a problem with either and sometimes they would offer us money, which we took gladly, but we never, ever charged for ministry.

So, this will be the first of many “ministry” stories we have to tell, some a little more exciting than others, stay tuned,,,,,,,,

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Return From Brasi l(Installment 2)

I’m not sure how many people read this blog and note, I hope someone does, but even if no one reads it, it helps me to remember exactly how much God worked in our lives there in Brasil.

Today I will relate the “cultural shock” I experienced even when I had no idea what was happening to me.

When we arrived in Brasil, it was almost 12 days after everybody else had arrived, people from Venezuela and the US. We were late because we could not get airline tickets that we could afford.

It all started out innocently enough, a head cold, how bad could that be? Sneezing, coughing, lethargy, the usual head cold symptoms. For some reason it was magnified in this case. On the night we were to enjoy a c

Churasca(Brazillian barbecue)I felt sick. Mostly from riding the bus, crowded and stuffy, I got nauseated so stayed back at the boys house and laid down until they were ready to go back to the girls house(where we live). I just got worse from there.

The next day I was encouraged to stay back at the Chakra, where we lived)and not travel with the girls to CM. I lay in bed till well past one pm. No one knew I was sick, so, no one came to get me for lunch, not that I could eat anyway. Talk about feeling alone and isolated. Mind you, I’m still dealing with pain in my right arm as well.

If I was home, I would have tea, and medicine at my disposal, I did have some Robitussin, which didn’t seem to help much. To tell you the truth I was beginning to be very homesick. I wanted my family, I wanted TLC from my daughter. But God was showing me, I could survive with just Him and I did.

My cold was beginning to break up but when I coughed I got dizzy. By now it was the weekend and on the weekends 2 of us stay at the Chakra and 2 of us go to the Republica for the weekend to spend time with another group of older girls. I was home with Michelle, a 19 year old who spoke very little English. She had no idea what was happening to me. Inside I felt like my world was crashing all around me. I had no one I could talk to,to explain how I was feeling.

I wanted to board a plane bound for the USA immediately. I began to cry out to God, why was I going through this pain and torment. I’m praying to God, through pain, through tears and heartache.Then I began to read the Psalms, Isn’t that what David did when he was going through tough times? If they were good enough for him then I knew they were good enough for me. Psalm 3 said “In Your Lord, I put my trust, let me never be ashamed. Deliver me in Your righteousness, bow down Your ear to me. Deliver me speedily, be my rock and refuge a fortress of defense to save me”. This was the beginning of me really trusting in God, If I didn’t have Him, If I couldn’t trust in Him, who could I trust? Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” I could go on and on with what the Lord spoke to me and ministered to me through His words.

One thing you need to understand is, where we lived, we had no means of communication, no phone, no internet service, and no means of transportation. We were pretty much isolated add that to the fact that no on speaks English and you have what they call “culture shock”.

My arm continued to pain me, the medicine the doctor gave me was wrecking my stomach. Pauline was away and I had no way of getting in contact with her. I must have been quite the mess when Michelle went to get Tia Bell, the director of the Chakra. When she came in I tried to tell her how I felt but she was clueless. So she took my blood pressure, which, of course, was elevated due to being sick, having pain and crying for 2 days.

She said “hospitale”, I said “NO”! She said yes, that my BP was too high to mess with(in Michelle’s words). So, reluctantly, I gave in and went.

Off to the hospital I went with a driver that spoke no English. How is this going to work? I thought to myself, little did I know that when one has a car there is more that happens then meets the eye. 4 other”sick” people were picked up and transported to the hospital with me. Fortunately one of them spoke English and was able to speak for me.

I could go on and tell you about that whole ordeal but I will save it for a future episode, I will call it “The Steven King” episode(scary hospital story)

We ended up spending about 8 hours in that place and when we finally all got seen and taken care of, I vowed I would never, ever go back there and God has been good to me and I never did have to see that hospital again. My BP was fine when I got there, they took an x-ray of my chest which revealed clear lungs but then they saw some gastric juices so I ended up getting an IV and medication for Prilosec. Most everybody I saw that was there at that hospital were getting IV’s including the 4 other people that accompanied me.

I will admit that I did begin to feel better after I went there. Perhaps it was being with people or maybe it was to see how fortunate we, who live in the USA are.

As I read over my notes during this particular time, and it wasn’t pretty, what I wrote, I shared some of it here but not all and I may never share all but suffice it all to say God had my back as He always does, anywhere I am, God is with me, even over there in Brasil.