Prior to my leaving for training in Colorado, my grandparents initiated difficult conversations with me regarding the likelihood of them leaving this earth while I was overseas. In preparing to pack up and leave everything behind, that fear of being absent from specific events has commonly been present in my mind. The inevitability of missing birthdays, weddings, graduations, loss of first teeth and ultimately not being near home for the end of certain lives creeps into my mind. I believe that my God is over all time and specifics. Though the untimeliness of death is always present, I am thankful he allowed me to still be here for the end of my grandpa’s life. The last few weeks have been full of tears and hugs and being surrounded by family to celebrate the life and legacy of my Papa, John L. Crouse. To stand in a room and witness his wife of 62 years tell him it was okay to “let go” and how much he was loved then to watch him do as he was told by his beloved only moments later was something I will never forget. Life is difficult and we often face trials but this was a moment where I was once again reminded of the faithfulness of the God I follow. This doesn’t quite make sense to the world in the presence of death but when you see and feel the peace that is present in that moment you are able to understand it just a bit more. This is the peace that surpasses all understanding.
As I work through to do lists and conversations with people regarding what I will be doing overseas, I am consistently reminded of why I am taking this journey. God is good and he is near the broken hearted. He is present in every circumstance we face and ultimately he will walk us through this long hard road on earth. He will walk us right into his perfect presence. Each day I will continue to tell myself He is good. In the doubt, he is good. In the days where friends are struggling, he is good. In the days where things just don’t make sense, he is good. And he always will be. I find so much rest in this fact and I hope you can too.
For those of you whom I have not connected with individually I wanted to update you and let you know I am pursuing an internship working alongside a doctor in Ethiopia. I will be there for 6 months, starting in July, before a short return to the States to prepare to move long-term elsewhere in Eastern or Southern Africa. I ask that you come alongside me in prayer as the Lord continues to prepare the road. I am asking for financial supporters to join my team at this time as well. I am at over 30% of my monthly funding but I need your help to get to 100%. I believe ultimately the Lord will provide but I also believe he uses people who are willing to make a sacrifice and offer his money back to him. Please let me know specific ways I can be praying for you at this time as well.
I am overjoyed to also announce that I have the blessing of being selected by MedSend to be in their Spring 2019 class. This organization will take care of all of my student loans while I am working overseas due to my long-term commitment. They are a gospel-centered organization that exists to pay off student loan debt of medical professionals while they are volunteering overseas. If you are looking for another organization to contribute to, this is one I highly recommend.
Please also continue to life up my family in your prayers as we go through all of the “firsts” without my grandpa. Today would have been his 87th birthday. Thank you for joining with me on this journey. I am reminded of one of my favorite characters in the Narnia series where Reepicheep says “My own plans are made. While I can, I sail east in the Dawn Treader. When she fails me, I paddle east in my coracle. When she sinks, I shall swim east with my four paws. And when I can swim no longer, if I have not reached Aslan’s country, or shot over the edge of the world into some vast cataract, I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise.” Reepicheep was determined with every step he took (or distance he swam) to make it to where Aslan had instructed him to go. When I get distracted in this journey or am consumed with the fact that this road is difficult and support raising is hard, I am reminded of Reepicheep. I recall to mind that the Lord has called me to this work and even if I fail, “I shall sink with my nose to the sunrise”. And you know what else? He will still be good.