Monday, April 16, 2012

New Chapter

Hi everyone,
 I would like to start this blog up again and make it a regular. Right now I am currently in school taking 21 units, and working two jobs. So I will try and keep up with my own goal, as long as one of you read my posts. :) So this is just a so called notice to keep you informed, so that you may keep an eye out for what is to come. I have some challenging decisions to make in the next week, and I will disclose more on those decisions when I come to a solid understanding on what I am to do.
Talk to you all soon

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Hi everyone, sorry it has been so long since I have updated my Blog but here is the newest news.
It has been nearly 3 months since I have been home from Sierra Leone Africa. It has been a tough task trying to get use to all of the happenings again. But I have persevered and come through it alive and well. Now the big question most of you want to know is “what I have been doing since I have been home?” Well here is the answer(s) to that question.

I have been job hunting, moving, and volunteering in my churches youth group as a leader for the kids. I really enjoying  being with the kids and helping them through trying times, or just even being a friend. One of my favorite times with the youth group was at youth convention. The convention had taken place on thanksgiving weekend, for three days in San Diego. It was an amazing time; the whole theme for the weekend  was‘I am’… (I am what? That is what we had to find out) I have seen a lot of the youth grow and change, and I was also able to share my testimony with the kids. Not many people have heard my testimony, but I had felt they needed to heat it.
Since being home I have shared many stories, and pictures. There are still a lot of stories I have not shared but would be more than happy to share them some time. If anyone ever wants to hear any of them feel free to ask.
(Back to this story though...)
 Those are just some of the minor things that have happened since being home. On December 8, 2011 I was taken to the ER. I had been sick for two weeks prior to this, with fevers every other night and extreme shivers. I thought this sickness would just ware off but instead it became progressively worse. On this night I was rushed to the ER after becoming lethargic at home, with a temperature of 104.2.
 At the time my family and I had thought I was just extremely dehydrated but sadly we had both been wrong.  I was taken to the ER and had a triage screening completed, within 5 minutes of the screening I was put into a bed. The nurse had come in and taken a full set of vitals and this is what they had found.
BP 42/22 and dropping.
Pulse 182-200 BPM
SPO2 84%
Temperature 101.0-104.2
Respirations 8-24   
I was not doing well at all; I was what we would call crashing in the medical field (I was dying in simple terms.). And that is not exaggerating; the doctors even said that to me….

I had never known what it had felt like to die; honestly I never wanted to know. But now I knew what it had felt like.  The feelings coursing through my brain had been all jumbled up but I could still recall what I was feeling.  I had the feeling of impending doom; I felt as if I could not make it any further in life. I was struggling. I had never felt a struggle like this ever. No energy, no power, weak, frantic and scared, what was happening to me? At the same time it was hard but I was trusting God in everything, praying constantly as well. I could not take my eyes off of the vital signs. Trying to sleep was not easy.. not just cause I could not but because it was hard for me to breath and retain a breath in my chest.  It was hard thinking “if I go to sleep will I ever wake up?” I was very scared and I do not get scared to easily. At 20 years of age this is the last thought I had wanted in my head.

I had many lovely people from my church come and visit me. With every visit was a prayer with every prayer was a silent cry inside me. But I was extremely grateful to have all of these amazing people in my life that care for me, people that love me. 

Heart failure was not all that I had, I also had malaria and pneumonia. None of which had anything to do with each other. They had all been separate happenings. Good news the malaria had stayed in my liver and did not progress to my spine or any other vital organs.

now “Why was I crashing? Why was I dying? What was happening? God answer me, Satan get far away from me” This is what I was saying over and over again. At one time I was yelling this to God. I was not angry at God I was more so angry cause I had this sickness.  And no one knew why I had heart failure I just wanted to know what was going on. I was helping those in need several months ago, and now I was the one in dire need.  I got the help I needed. But how did the people in Africa feel when they had something similar. That is all I could think of. During this whole time it has encouraged me to go back to Africa, and even continue on in school to get my doctorates. But I still have so many questions and only a few answers and still do.
I am what?

God saved me; God gave me life, God’s gift to me this year…. Life…
I am alive
I am strong
I am His
I am Loved
I am forever
I am grateful…
I am not dead…

God has given me so much more than I can ever ask for. God, Prayer, Faith that is how I am still alive.  Everything God does is for a reason and I can see that more and more in my life every day.
God is love…
And you and I are loved…

Merry Christmas, remember Christmas is about life and love not the gifts, so try and remember that this year while you are with family. Because you never know when life is over. Love…

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From my Birther, to the Jungle... And every where in between.

The Africa Mercy is an amazing ship, and not to mention owned by one of the worlds most amazing organizations. I consider the Mercy ship to be like Charlie and the Chocolate factory. thousands want to volunteer but only hundreds get accepted. hundreds of thousands want surgeries but only thousands get excepted. Looking past the gates of the port and over roof tops, many can see the towering blue funnel of the Mercy Ships. Many know what goes on inside but only a select few get to see the workings.

My backpack is my life, and if I ever loose it I just might die... Ok well maybe I'm exaggerating a little, if my camera and backpack where lost or stolen I would die. Ok to much exaggeration...

My back is my lifeline though, and anyone Else's when they are with me. For it is almost like a walmart/ambulance on my back.

Here is a list of what is always in side.
5 Litters of water, Natural immune boosters, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Bug spray, Sun screen, Betadine, Steri strips (butterfly band aids) Band aids, Gauze pads, Alcohol pads, Saline, Bug bite cream, Music & headphones, Razor, Hypodermic needle ,Tooth brush, Deodorant, CPR mask x's 2, Penlights, Flashlight, Pen, Fisheye film camera, Minlota SLR film camera, Kodak digital camera, Rolls of film, Bible, Journal, Sandals, Keys, Money, Wallet, Sierra Leone ID, Tissues, Taco bell hot sauce. I think that is all, like I said it is like walmart/ambulance. All of this is with me at all times. And depending on where I go somethings are added.

Hiking and the beach, two of my favorite things to do on my time off. Hiking is one of the most relaxing activities I enjoy, and one of the best activities that shows me Gods beauty. I have hiked in several ares here in Sierra Leone there is still alot of unexplored areas I would die to visit. But Iam not to sure I can visit them with the week I have left. 

Dublin Banana Island is a small island off the coast Of Sierra Leone. It is an amazing well kept island with miles upon miles of hiking. But not on  the trails one would find back home. The trails here are all overgrown and matter of fact do not even resemble a trail. Using machetes to forge paths in to the Jungles abyss on Dublin Banana Island, is all part of the experience.
 It is amazing how looking out the ship I see nothing but housing and mountains. But once out on the road, there is a nice mix of mountains, flat land and rolling hills. It becomes to look more like Africa, than an over populated country.

 Cities that lay screamingly awake by the Bay

 Boats that have wise sayings painted on the side of them,
 And of course creatures and insects that crawl all over.. It is fascinating to see what God has created.

Man the beauty of it all. I'm truly going to miss being here in Sierra Leone, working with the locals, providing hope for the lost, and discovering what God has created. But I will not say I'm never coming back, for I know I will be back in Sierra Leone.


Locks, Barb wire, and rides in crowded vans with chickens!
Honestly what more can I ask for, all my memories are exciting and full.
The more time I spend with the locals the more I understand my purpose in life.
the more I value what I have such as family, and a loving God.
The mystery that lays behind a locked door, or a towering center block wall topped off with razor wire.
This is how I view the world, for every door and every wall contains a history. And the curiosity that courses through my brain, makes me wonder what is beyond the wall or the sky? what is below the ocean? where does the world end? and where does it start? This is my adventure and to answer all those question is a mystery. All I know is everything starts and ends all the time. nothing is ever static, or lasting but God is!

 The picture above is me getting my Departure notice... SAD DAY

*Sadly this is all coming to an end. But this is the start of the begging of the rest of my story*

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I was not in an editing mood for this blog. So sorry in advance.

What would it feel like if Gods grace did pour over us like rain? Let’s revert briefly to one of my other posts. I had posted a quote that went like this.

” What if Gods grace where to pour down like rain? Dripping with your grace oh Lord, I stand and worship you.”
Well what if I could tell you I knew what that feels like? What if I told you, you know what it feels like?

Today was one of the rougher days I have had here in Sierra Leone. Sad, depressing, heart wrenching, all of my emotions came together and came out in anger. So for a good majority of the day I did not talk to anyone really. Except for my patients. And I love talking to the patients even when they do not understand me, I still enjoy it. They just make me so happy. But that was half my day the other half was filled with sitting in front of a computer screen. Giving the inatiment screen looks of confusion, and the patient charts as well. Trying to decrypt the doctors writing, entering the information into the database, and scanning the entirety of the chart into the system as well. This is a very time consuming job. The more I sat at my desk and argued with thoughts of what a word could be, or if it even was a word, I became restless. When I get restless, I get very edgy or hyper. Sadly it was not the hyper mood today. Getting to the edge of my mental capacity one of my coworkers (Rosie) came up and was talking to me. She was telling me about this family and an amazing story (I will post this soon so I can not spoil it) and asked if I would like to participate in something for this family. And of course I jumped out of my chair and quickly answered with a "YES!" Like I said this story will come in time, so be patient as I am having to as well. So I had told Rosie that this was what I need to turn my day around. And she had said "well good I’m glad... Hey do you want to come on an adventure with me after work at 5." I replied "I would love to... if I get off in time." Rosie said "well meet me at reception at 5 if you can come." I was determined to get off at 5. Even if that ment leaving some of my work from today for tomorrow, and yes that is exactly what I had to do.

The past few days I have been so wrapped up in my work I forgot my whole purpose. Work became more like work, than something I had enjoyed. I have not let work become like that to me until this week, sad but true. So let’s just say I was out of perspective. And this adventure was one to be sure to put me back in the game for God. I have noticed over here if I lose sight of God for the smallest amount of time. I get insanely tired and weak; I just end up feeling over worked... Interesting little thought wanted to share with you all.

Back to the storie... I met Rosie up at reception and 1700hr. It was raining out side, and we had met up with several other people. We decided to still go on this adventure because it was only sprinkling. All the sudden it starts to rain, then pour, then drench. (yes I said drench that comes after pour) despite the drenching we had carried on this little adventure we had. Rain could not stop us. As we where walking I had an amazing thought. The wetter one gets fully clothed the harder it is to move. And the more energy it takes to move. (I’m sure we all have experienced this.) That was not my thought by the way but if you have not felt this then  do what is said next. If not jump into a pool or take a shower in heavy jeans, t-shirt, and running shoes, after go walk a mile. Don’t forget it is drenching the whole way.
Now you get use to it after a while put you still notice the exerted energy leaving your body. So anyways. Here is the thought. I was thinking this is like Gods grace on everyone in the entirety of the earth. We have all felt his grace pour on us. Mater of fact it is pouring over you right now, it is pouring over everyone. We are just so use to how it feels we do not notice it in our lives.

As we continued to walk towards our adventure, we soon arrived at this so called compound. Where one of the local volunteers on the ship lives. He invited us into his house and was very hospitably. Here is where I start to get back on track. This man named Pabalani's house was as big as my room back home. No I take it back my room at home is larger than his house. Funny thing is the colors are the same as my room. This is what I needed to see, this is what I wanted to see. Here I was sitting on a small wooden chair in the corner listening to the conversations being exchanged. Pabalani works on the ship 40+ hours a week, works at a good news slum church, and runs a school for kids that need help. How amazing is he, he gives all his earnings away, cause he has a heart for God, of God, from God.
What more can I say?
We have so many opportunities in our lives to help others, spread the word of God, and just be encouraging. But how many times a day do we take action on all of the happenings around? This is where Gods grace comes in, we are still alive right? If you are reading this I’m sure you are. We have a lot of what we want, a lot of things we do not need, and a lot of what we do not deserve.

Gods grace is the same for everyone; he has saved us all and given us all life. What more can we want or ask for? Seriously be thankful for this amazing gift you have. Notice the wear of grace on you, notice that it has always been upon you. We are just so use to living with it on us we forget about the amazing grace we have found. Or should I say the amazing grace that has founded us? Find it and just hold it do not let it go to the weigh side of life.

The walk back to the ship was amazing. It had stopped raining for 10 min while we where getting ready to leave. As soon as we said a prayer it poured down rain, and did so the whole walk back. I guess it was God saying, LOOK MY GRACE IS UPON YOU DO NOT BE ANGRY OR OVER WORKED just rest in me.

Psalms 45:2 hebrew
12:28 hebrews 13:6

Friday, September 9, 2011


*I tried to put photos on this blog, but the system is not letting me. Sorry everyone*
Psalms 109:21-25
 21 But You, O GOD the Lord,
         Deal with me for Your name’s sake;
         Because Your mercy is good, deliver me.
 22 For I am poor and needy,
         And my heart is wounded within me.
 23 I am gone like a shadow when it lengthens;
         I am shaken off like a locust.
 24 My knees are weak through fasting,
         And my flesh is feeble from lack of fatness.
 25 I also have become a reproach to them;
         When they look at me, they shake their heads.

Knowing what I want to write about, I can not seem to find a way to open this Blog. As I was searching the Bible for verses to open with, I actually found verses that pertain to my topic but they more so contribute to my life in this very moment...  the last two weeks have been very wearing and tiresome. I have been having trouble sleeping at night, and had trouble waking up in the morning due to lack of sleep. But yet I still found time to press on in my outreach. The two verses I had come across were more than words on paper they were and are my life.

       Job 4:2-6  
2 “If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary?
 But who can withhold himself from speaking?  3 Surely you have instructed many,
And you have strengthened weak hands.  4 Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have strengthened the feeble knees; 5 But now it comes upon you, and you are weary; It touches you, and you are troubled.  6 Is not your reverence your confidence?  And the integrity of your ways your hope?

This verse is my life... The bible and all within the pages seem to be more real here in Africa. I guess that is cause back home I do not have the interactions like the ones I have here in Sierra Leone.
Arms that can be engulfed by my hands, bones that feel like glass beneath my hands, skin as gorgeous as diamonds, but as dry as a desert lacking rain. That is Africa.

Meet Manjia Sesay, my friend.

Manjia Sesay a 79 year old a woman who has an amazing story. She has been blind for over 5 years and now has the chance to see the world in a whole new setting. At 79 years old Manjia was shunned from her village and mocked for being blind. People would say. "Oh! Make way for the blind woman" everyone would say that and yell it to her, mocking her. Manjia's response would be this "Do not mock me for this is the way God has made me. You mock me you are mocking God." That is what I call a response, and of course that response did not deter people. They started to add on to the saying. "Crazy blind woman" but that never stopped Manjia from giving the response every time. Manjia is a petite young woman, when I say petite I mean petite. I can take my hand and wrap it around her upper arm almost twice. As I wrapped the blood pressure cuff around her arm and started to inflate the cuff to the prescribed 180mm/Hg. for every 10-20 millimeters of mercury haemoglobin pumped, I was afraid I was going to crush her arm. Her bones had felt as if they where glass beneath my bouldering hands, her skin was worn and worked from decades of work in the African sun from picking rice. This Ma’ is my role model she has a sharp personality and a keen style. She had also taught me a little about British football, telling me about all the teams and the best players. I can not wait till after her surgery to see her face when she is able to see. It will be a site worth seeing when I see her face and she sees mine and the surroundings for the first time in years.

As my journey in Sierra Leone comes to an end, my story will carry on. I have big dreams for the next few years. Dreams that will carry on or so I pray will. I have the opportunity to come back and serve with the Mercy Ships in Togo West Africa next year. I have been praying about coming back and I would like everyone to pray as well. For this is what I was called to do when I was ten years old. Being here is like a dream it all feels like déjà to me.

"In a thousand different ways, by joys, by suffering, by ease, by loss, now touching us softly as a slender reed, now plunging us in some furnace of adversity, God is moulding and tempering our souls to the pattern of the perfect life"   -C.J Perry.

The truth that courses through out that quote is love of God for us. God would not do what He is doing in our lives today if He did not love us. Even though it seems He is hurting us sometimes, the out come of life is more pleasant in the end. The only love in the world for us is Gods love. Other than that love is undefined. There is no definition that can explain it and no one person that can tell you what love pertains of.  Love is a mystery but the only true love is from God.

My time here in Sierra Leone is coming to an end… For now!

Friday, August 26, 2011

            Wednesday, August 17 2011
The rainy season is here in Sierra Leone for it rains for hours and sometimes days at a time. And when I say that I’m not talking about it sprinkling down rain, it is more so a baptism of rain. Trying to keep patients dry that come from admissions (on the dock) to the ship is merely an impossible task to accomplish. The journey that is made from admissions to the peri-operative room is immense. Going from the waiting area out side, up the 40 step gangway, down 2 flights of stairs and down a several hundred foot hallway while rocking on the sea, is more challenging than it sounds. Sure it sounds challenging enough, but factor in the patients who have never seen state of the art technology nor a hospital that floats. As this journey is made 52 times a day (on the eye team alone) it becomes a high quality workout more than anything. As the rain was pouring down in Sierra Leone, Mercy Ships did not stop the work of the Lord. Armed with umbrellas and raincoats, the brave ventured out to gather patients from the admission tent.    

“When you stop looking at the world with your eyes… and start looking with your FAITH… then you will no longer be blind” 
 – Daniel Wiafe, Jr

The umbrellas and raincoats that we are armed with had quickly failed their use. Dripping wet the we make our way to the patients, for rain will not stop us. The acerbic walk back to the peri-op room with patients and workers hands intertwined, is a glory walk for both of this kind. There is nothing like leading the blind, being everything for the ones in the dark. Watching out for every hazard that awaits an unexpected foot to catch, and cause mischief in many ways.

Isaiah 42:16
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.

As the rain continues to brutally beat down on the people of Sierra Leone Mercy Ships continues to be hope and healing for the lost. As the patients patiently sat and waited in wet clothes. The eye team had an euphony, why don’t we put the patients in the hospital gowns and dry their clothes? Well we did just that. Mind you the people of Sierra Leone hand wash and hang dry their garments, so the concept of a clothes dryer is much vaster than what one could comprehend. The looks on the faces where not all that enthralled, with the warm clothes in hand. Until this one Ma came in with her 1 year old child this is when I saw the expression I had long been waiting for. As the mother was holding her child in her arms we gently took them both out of their clothes. We gave the mother a gown and a blanket from the dryer. After the mother changed she wrapped the child in this grandiose warm blanket. As the mother was cuddling her child, we snuck her clothes and her child clothes out of sight. The mother never noticed that her clothes had disappeared until we brought the clothes back in and placed them over the still cold baby and mother. The mothers face lit up I have never seen anyone so happy before. She took the clothes and her baby, held them close to her face and formulated the most wonderful smile I may have ever seen. She was perplexed by the warm clothes needless to say. It is the small things that we as a well off civilization do not notice. Such as a dryer, something we don’t even think about when we use it we just know how to start it. The wonders that swim my imagination are vast. But now seeing the poorest of poor, the things I would stress about back home are microscopic details to life. Details that do not even exist, details that are not needed in imagination. For there are people who will never experience, have, or feel the simple things we are able to experience.   .

He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” 
John 9:25, NIV

“What if Gods grace were to pour down like rain?
Dripping with your grace oh Lord, I stand and worship you.
What if Gods love was a like a vast ocean?
I would let it come and drown me in its entire splendor.”

Funny thing is all this is true, Gods grace does pour down on us. And his love drowns us every day. Most of us do not notice what we have until we are lying on the ground crying for what we want. Funny thing is what we want is what we have, so open your eyes and enjoy the small things in life. Do not worry about the bills or where the money to pay them is going to come from, do not worry about running out of your favorite food. Do not worry about your life and what it will be in the next several minuets, hours, days, months, years. Just focus on how people see you as a Christian and focus on what God has in plan for you. In most cases face down on the ground we all think…
 “I’ m embarrassed, ashamed, stressed, lost, and confused. All my doors are shut before me and I have no where to go, so I will just sit here and scream to You (God) till You (God) push me through a door.”

Be like Jesus cause… This is a small charm of Jesus life, so why should we complain when some one has it worse?

If anyone is going down this road I encourage you to read and pray, we do not constantly have to be on the look out for an open door. But as long as our focus is on God he will provide.

   Matthew 14:22-33

Read this story… Now apply… As sill as it sounds it is so true. Being in Africa I have learned this over and over again. The more I rely on and focus on Him and His plan my weeks go well. Yes I have a lot of spiritual warfare at the same time, but honestly I do not mind the war that is against me. But when I stumble and take my eyes off of God and doubt, I begin to sink into self pity. And I tend to cry out God save me, and he replies “I have saved you now come”. As God speaks those words to me He comes beside me picks me up brushes my knees off. Like a father and says try again my son. My God is patient, kind, loving, and understanding. This is not just a metaphor, this is a physical experience. 

The ship I see every day, it is truly amazing to be working here.

 To the right.. This is my Buddy Amar, he left the ship on monday cause he has completed his treatments. He was like my child. One day I went to visit him and he came running up with a Bible in his hand and said. " I want to read to you Clinton. I think you need to hear this." and well lets just say God uses everyone. This day was one of the harder days I have had and this just broke me to hear him read to me while sitting on my lap. (Notice he has my stethascope Dr. Amar)  

 This is something I see and do everyday. Im more than thrilled to help out and be a servant of God. But when A blind eye comes up and asks "Why can't you help me" The hardest question known to man. Well to me at least. Most of the time I want to tell them why and walk the other way. But instead I stay, pray, and endure the tears that come from the blind eye. I comfort those who can not be helped, and I help those who can be helped. 

This patient had the last name Thompson. I had to get a picture with him. I actualy have a picture of his signature and mine on the patient chart. I will share that some other time tho.
Im Just the guy from a small town in California, doing what God has called me to do.
It is you who makes it possible for me to be here, with your prayers, gifts, thoughts, and words of encouragement. Thank You!

(I’m no journalist, so I do apologize for the grammatical errors and spellings)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Luke 10:23 
  "Then He turned to His disciples and said privately,
 'Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see:'"

I feel so honored and privileged to be in Africa. I feel even more honored and privileged to say I' m working for my God!

Philippians 1:29 
29 "For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in him but to also suffer for His sake"
Two of the most amazing captivating Bible verses that catch my attention everyday. Every time I see them I’m just in awe, it feels like I have discovered something new every time I flip to those two passages. Now what everyone has been waiting for pictures and captions. Sorry I don’t have any stories to tell but I want to save some for when I return home if I ever return home, that is. Well enjoy!

This one of the many children that I would adopt here if I could. He was the funniest little guy, but shy once in front of the camera.

As screening progressed on Monday morning at a small hospital called Kissi there was this child with his mother waiting in the cue. More so the mother was waiting and the child was playing the screaming game. I came over with my camera to take a 'snap' of him; he quickly quieted down as soon as he saw me smiling at him. This is one of the kids that could

The things that I see at the school are interesting. I will give you all a break down on this later. 
A painting of the Anastasis out side of the port gates. This was from 2004 last time mercy ships was in Sierra Leone

Thank you all for you prayers, and support. I have been under some heavy spiritual attacks lately, and would ask if you could all pray for me, as I journey down this rough road ahead.
! Thank you all!