Intern William – Intermission [Blog #4]

SIM USALatest Updates

I am currently sitting at my gate in the Seattle airport waiting on my flight to Paris before I head on to Abuja. And while I am super excited about this, let’s talk about all that is (or now was I guess) the Whole Person Care Preceptorship.

30-ish people. 7+ cities visited. 5 weeks. 2 national parks. 1 summer that’ll last a lifetime.

Gosh, there’s no way I can cover all that has happened since the last update. (I know, it’d be easier if they had actually happened on time, but that’s life.)

So I guess the two big things have been the PrePro week and our Arizona excursion. So we’ll fill yall in on those.

“PrePro” stands for Pre-Professional, and pretty much it’s a week where undergraduate students who are pre-med, nursing, PA, PT, etc. come in to learn a little of what we’ve been getting this whole program. The cool thing is that we actually get to teach them. What that meant for me is that I got paired up with another guy (s/o to Steven Martinez) and was given a pre-med student to work with for the week. It was really cool having the opportunity to now teach someone else ready to learn about taking a spiritual history, the ethics of spiritual care, ways to effectively share the gospel, and the like. But it was also cool just being able to sit down and answer some general pre-med life questions I remember having around that time. And then, since getting hospital clearance for all the new students wasn’t really feasible, we all were split up and sent to different nursing homes (or similar) around town. Another group and us actually wound up at the Loma Linda VA which was great! We got to take on the role of teacher as the new students talked with the patients, and let me tell you, when you’re at the VA, they talk. I enjoyed listening to some of their stories just as much as the rest of my time in the hospital. Of course, it wasn’t all work and no play. We were also able to take some hikes, play some games, and even have a huge 4th of July party! Good times!

So, once we got rid of them (kidding), the preceptorship students headed off for a couple of days to Arizona near Phoenix to pretty much relax and debrief after all that had happened over the program. And it was amazing! It was about a 5 hour drive from Redlands to Phoenix which made for some phenomenal story time on the way there. And then once we were there and settled, we had a great place to stay that included an incredible place for a sunrise hike the next day. Seeing God’s glory like that is always something that I find awe-inspiring, and being able to share that with a handful of these people I have formed such close friendships with is so cool! But the really cool stuff was later that morning when we were given the entire morning to work through some things we learned during the program – they even gave us a handy packet to help us think through and plan some action points in an orderly fashion. Then that afternoon was devoted to a last time of small group discussion and just encouraging each other. So good. Have I mentioned yet that I love these people? Close day with even more laughter and fun over an incredible three course Italian dinner, yum.

But wait, the fun’s not over yet! To wrap up all that has been this summer, what do we do? Why naturally we wake up at 5:30 am, voluntarily add on about 6 hours to our drive time back to Redlands the day before we all fly out, and we visit the Grand Canyon!! And I must say, it is grand indeed! It’s just crazy to go from relatively flat, green Mississippi to that and think that the same God made both of them; He’s just so creative! But again, I have to say, even cooler than the grand Grand Canyon was the road trip. Easily one of the, if not THE, best road trip ever! From jam sessions (“Unwritten” will never be the same), to sharing stories, to a random lion in the desert (we think maybe a geocache?), to an impromptu Bible study in the car, it was definitely one of the best days of my life.

I sure am going to miss these people.

But what’s the saying? “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” And I will indeed be smiling for a long time yet. Besides, God’s world is small and travel can be arranged; it will not be the last time I see these friends!

And now, off to Nigeria! I’m sure insane, wonderful things await (with God they always do). But until then, prayer requests:

  • All the preceptor students traveling various places whether home or not – that we wouldn’t let this time end here
  • Personally for my time in Nigeria – that I can be an effective follower of God and learner of the culture

Thanks again all!

(Confession: while this was started in the airport, this actually got finished after the fact in Nigeria – oh well, haha)