First, a quick update:
James officially began his journey to become a DOctor of Osteopathic Medicine a few weeks ago (yes this clever pun is used a lot!). Life has been a little chaotic as we adjust to the constant classes and studying, but we are jumping into life as a med school family. I am learning quickly that you make yourself available at whatever cost whenever your student doctor has a few spare moments while James is learning the ultimate meaning of scheduling every moment of your day. He (along with every other student he talks to) is asking himself daily "what did I get myself into?" but I see him thriving as he daily improves his study technique and still manages to put his family first.
I have joined the LUCOM SAA (Student Advocates Association) to support the student doctors, their families, and extend the mission of the Osteopathic profession into the community; we get to put on events (fall fest, Christmas party, etc), provide snacks on exam days, set up meal trains for those with new children or other needs, and take part in many other supportive roles. I also will be jumping into a bible study for the wives of LUCOM student doctors in a few weeks and am greatly appreciating having a community who knows what it is like having work, children, a home to keep, and a student doctor in the house.
Perhaps most importantly, our sweet 4 month old daughter is taking all of this in stride and thriving as she is finally able to have a routine. It makes my day to see her beam the second James walks in the room and to just be still and happy in her father's arms (what a great reminder of how our Heavenly Father wants us to be with Him) - especially when she won't sit still with me, haha! Ash and Kona are just loving having three times the space to chase each other around in.
Did I say quick? On to the meat:
One of the reasons James chose to go to Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) was for the opportunity to participate in their medical mission work. Outside of this trip to Guatemala, there are multiple other Spring/Fall break trips to Central and South America (available to second years), culminating in the potential ability to take one of 12 spots on a fully funded month long rotation during year four to Africa with Samaritan's Purse.
As many know, mission trips change your life perhaps more than the lives of the people you serve. Outside of having such an awakening experience, the week long summer trip to Guatemala is especially impactful for the medical students. It has been described as a much needed breathe of fresh air and a great reminder after a long, hard first year why they are pursuing medicine. It really provides the wind for year two. Moreover, they get to work hands-on in a doctor capacity with the chance to gain more experience than any work at home. And if you go after first year, you aren't studying for and taking your board step one exam like you do after year 2!
LUCOM describes the trip this way:
"Next summer...the LUCOM Office of Clinical Collaboration and Education will take a team of student-doctors, physicians, therapists, educators, Spanish students, counselors, pastors, family members, and other healthcare professionals to provide care in Guatemalan villages.
The focus of the trip will be to visit impoverished villages in Guatemala where we will provide healthcare for the underserved populations in cooperation with local healthcare professionals. The specialties offered will be General Medicine, Ophthalmology, and others. Assistance with supplies, activities for the children, patient navigation, among other tasks are more than appreciated." (https://www.liberty.edu/lucom/index.cfm?PID=31592)
While James doesn't know I have set this up, I know his heart is dying to attend at least one of these trips and I want to give him that opportunity. We greatly appreciate your partnering with us on this journey whether monitarily or by prayer!
Our deepest thanks goes to all who have helped and supported us - for the hands who helped us move, the hugs given and tears shared, the hearts that understood our time limitations, and the abundant love and prayers already poured out on us.
All my love,
PS to read an article from orientation week and get an understanding of James' motivation, check out the following link: