Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Now that the holidays are over, life has gone back to normal. Normal is boring for me. I wake up when its still dark, go to work at a hospital, come home, workout, and make a salad for dinner (because that is all I know how to "cook" for one person). Eventually I force myself to bed by ten knowing I have to wake up the next morning to repeat the routine. This is the Secret Life of Allison Green in case you were wondering. Its not as exciting as Walter Mitty or busy like my life overseas (where I would run out of time to even sleep somedays), but trusting God this is just a season. I also have another secret, its contentment in Christ. It what keeps me going and I'm not saying its easy or I'm hundred-percent there, it is a daily choice... a daily prayer. Some say contentment is focusing on the now, but I believe we still have to remember the past to know how far we've come. I am not the same person today than I was five years ago when I left for full-time missions. Not a day goes by that I don't think of the people I met, places I visited, and experiences around the world that have shaped me who I am today. So I look back at times, but I also look at the moment that is in front of me and decide I don't want to miss out on what God is doing now.

Africa (front & center), Guatemala (left)
So every morning I wake up and turn over to see this wall of cherished memories. Pictures reminding me of my visits to villages with the Jesus Film team and smiles of beloved patients. Laughing about the canoe trip (with only one life jacket) I took with friends to Banana Island, Sierra Leone and missing the beautiful sunsets we would see on the sail. The artwork is from all over West Africa and reminds me of the beauty I saw despite the brokenness. My sister gave me the picture in the center, its says "The world is my battlefield. Love is my weapon of choice." Looking at the wall sometimes makes me homesick, but more than anything I am reminded God taught me how to love and gave me strength to do it everyday. He handed me adventures and gave me a purpose with His love. Why do I doubt that He won't do the same here? That is when I know I am right where God wants me and I don't want to miss a thing.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Since sending out my Christmas/New Year's letters, I realized I should post a blog in hopes that people still take a moment to check up on this missionary nurse. A month ago, God answered the prayer of my heart and gave me a last minute opportunity to serve in Sarstun, Guatemala with Refuge International. From that first call asking if I could come down to Guatemala (in less than a week) to the night I arrived home after one grueling trip, I saw God answer countless prayers of mine and yours too... He always does. Here's just a few examples.

An ice storm had hit Texas the night before the team (14 from four states) was suppose to fly out, but we all made it despite flights being canceled and short layovers. From Guatemala city we set out on a very long bus drive to Puerto Barrios. It is a very curvy and busy two-land road.  There was an incident with a motorcycle accident and thankfully no one was hurt, but the team was definitely shaken. That night we stayed in a hotel, to wait for our boat ride the next morning. I took a stroll outside with my cafe con leche that next morning to post this picture on FB and ask for your prayers. From that point we loaded the boat, we had no connection to the outside world, but I took comfort knowing prayers were being lifted up for our team.

This is the outside of the clinic and the operating room is the middle window. It was a busy week with being the only nurse trying to cover many duties. We had a wonderful group of nursing students learning pre/post-op and helping me in the operating room, so lots of teaching opportunities. I hope these ladies were inspired to continue to make a difference with their nursing skills. We were able to serve the people of Sartun by providing free healthcare, a baby was born by a midwife on our team, and hernias and gallbladders were taken care of in the OR by our surgeons. There was an electrical fire one day, we lost power in the OR, patients were evacuated, and thankfully no one was hurt. We finished the last surgery with just headlights and by your prayers. 

This is a snapshot of our living quarters. Sorry its so dark, I didn't get much time during the day outside of the operating room besides meal times. This is one of my favorite places to stay even if some say its "roughing it" by sleeping on air mattress and under mosquito nets. Despite the howling monkeys, croaking frogs, barking dogs, and roosters starting a chorus about 2am, I slept pretty well this trip. In August you might have remembered we had several close lightening strikes that kept us up most nights. Before we crawled under our nets, the team would chill by playing charades in two languages (a fun bonding experience) and hanging out on the balcony looking at the stars. 

Speaking of meal times, we are always fed so well in Sarstun by Thelma. Thelma's house is just a stroll through the mud and pass the cows for three meals a day. Most meals consist of black beans, eggs, fruit, and tortillas. Sometimes, she even fries the flour tortillas for a special treat! We sit on Thelma's porch watching patients paddle by in their tree-hallowed canoes. On past trips, I was notorious for getting sick and needing an IV for rehydration. With the help of a Pepto each day and your prayers for my health, I made it this week without falling ill. Everyday I would hug Thelma and tell her "te amo", but when I return home I'm always thankful for a salad bar.

You might be able to tell who is not camera shy in this picture. The one that is trying to hide is Deb Bell. She is one amazing, selfless woman that I admire and inspire to be like one day. She started Refuge International because she saw a great need and wanted to be the change in the world. She works as Family Nurse Practitioner full-time and still finds time to travel to Guatemala a dozen times a year to lead trips. Deb and I had a lot of time to talk on boat rides and late nights in the pharmacy as she encouraged me to keep pursuing grad school. Nine years ago she was brave enough to take nursing students to Guatemala, lets hope she is brave enough to take me as a NP student one day.

It was my tenth time down to Guatemala so I don't think about taking pictures (just a few for blog entries like this one). One morning I woke up to this beautiful view. The sun was rising over the hill and the roosters had quieted down and the dogs were still in their Benadryl daze (we might have dosed them a few nights). Despite the craziness of this trip, from the bus ride to the electrical fire and long days on my feet- the sunrise gave me peace I was right where I needed to be because God is faithful and He answers our prayers.
"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23


The views expressed here are solely mine and are not the opinion of AWC/Mercy Ships.