We have our work visas, our plane tickets our purchased (January 20th!), we have met at least our minimum support level required to go (NTM requires a minimum of 75%) and we have been approved by New Tribes for departure!
In October, I (Jinny) spent 12 days in North Carolina taking a course called Medical Missionary Intensive. It was an intensive class that went from 8-5 everyday and the evenings and weekend was filled with doing case studies and practicing a medical exam on classmates. We learned how to take all the vital signs, about infectious diseases and their transmissions, diagnostic logic, malaria, how to calculate drug dosing, injection procedures, how to drain and pack an abscess and other wounds, suturing, how to treat dehydration including calculating fluids and using a stomach tube, childbirth, splitting, burns and bites, and more! The highlight of the class was completing over 40 case studies by using our text book we were able to diagnose and treat all 40 cases. It was also a lot of fun to meet other missionaries who are heading out all over the world! One of the most common questions we get about our future living in a remote setting, is what are we going to do for medical emergencies? Well, first of all, we will have access to prescription medications and will have a little more basic knowledge than you would home at home in the U.S. In addition, we also have a doctor and nurses at a clinic ran by NTM in country that we can correspond with most of the time. And, we will also have the option of medical evacuation from the tribe to that clinic, or in more extreme circumstances, we have medical evacuation insurance to be taken to a nearby country with more resources, such as Australia.
We have another huge long to-do list that we have been working on each day! Here’s a few things:
*Dental/Doctor Appointments-All of us visited the dentist recently, including the boys! The boys also have a 3 year old and 18 month check up to go to right before we leave and to stay up-to-date on immunizations.
*Organizing the Sea Crate for Future Shipping-We have to ship a few large items that we are unable to bring with us on a plane. These are only items that we need for our future house in a tribe, such as our solar panels which will power our whole house, a few kitchen items, and tools for doing maintenance on our house. We’re trying to bring a minimal amount and it’s hard to choose! Sean is busy filling out paperwork necessary to get everything ready to ship via a company that ships for missionaries.
*Decluttering our Earthly Possessions-We have been spending time getting rid of everything by selling or donating it. We keep asking the question, do I need to use this in the next 6-8 weeks? If not, pitch it! There’s been some emotional moments but overall, we’re happy to be free of so much junk!
*Shopping-We’ve had to shop for specific items especially clothing that will be culturally appropriate and climate appropriate. We’ll be living in a hot and humid environment (like Arkansas in the summer.. except outdoors 24/7 and no a/c) (: We’re also looking for some other specific items such as life jackets for the boys as we’ll live on the coast when we first get there and many tribes are on rivers.
*Spending time with Friends and Family-We spent an extended Thanksgiving with Sean’s family in South Dakota. This is a 11-13 hour trip away so we can’t just go there for a weekend. We’re also having many lunches and dinners with friends and since we’re currently living in Sherwood, we get to see Jinny’s family often.
*Speaking at churches-We just had our last scheduled speaking engagement this past Wednesday at Friendship Baptist Church. Thanks Vera Blevins for telling your pastor about us and inviting us! We had a great time and we’re always encouraged meeting people afterwards.
*Holidays-We’ve been busy preparing Christmas presents for our supporters and family. It’s a little different this year since we don’t need any gifts because we can’t take many things with us when we leave.
*Wrapping up support-raising-Sean has spent the year working full-time on support raising our required salary amount. This has proved to be very time-consuming but he has worked hard and we are very close to our goal now!
Thanks for reading guys!
We’ll write soon about what exactly we’ll be doing when we first arrive in the country.