My trip to Virginia was nothing short of amazing. I left early as I had the opportunity to stay with a great family on my way through OH. It was truly a blessed time. I visited the Creation Museum which I definitely recommend if you are ever close by. I also visited the Columbus Zoo, which was very nice, but I have to admit the Guatemala City Zoo is still the best of all the zoos I have seen.
Arriving in Virginia I was struck with how absolutely beautiful it is. It almost reminded me of some areas of Guatemala I have been in, minus the volcanoes on the horizon and the houses and roads are nicer. No chicken buses either. But the towering lush green hills set against the vivid blue sky were wonderful!
“Confidence”, that was why I was here, besides wanting to learn necessary large animal skills. Being a veterinary technician entering into an organization filled with veterinarians (there is currently only one vet tech serving long term), I realized I was still struggling with my usefulness. I know God is calling me, but do I really have what it takes? Well, the next several days of fellowship, sheep, horses, encouragement, cows, chickens, participatory learning/training, a donkey and GOD- pretty much blew me away and answered that question. YES!! By Saturday night I was ready to burst into tears for no reason other than because I was overwhelmed by my Heavenly Father. He has grown SO MANY abilities in my life that I hadn’t even been aware of. I do have a lot of gifts and talents. It was incredible to see how years of interactions and learning in every facet of my life is all coming together. I’m thankful for my clinical training, experience on the family dairy farm, skills learned with the neighbor’s sheep flock, skills fostered by being homeschooled, my church family and great Bible study leaders.
! It’s official !
Saturday morning I was wide awake before the sunrise, so I started my quiet time with God early. I decided to go hide away in the old barn on the property. It was built in 1830 and has workmanship that has withstood the test of time. Hand hewn timbers placed together perfectly without the help of modern building tools and supplies. Though it is still standing, it is not without maintenance and restoration throughout the years. This reminded me of how creation is God’s workmanship that is built well with great care. But we aren’t to just sit by idly and watch it collapse around us. We have been given the skills to care for His people and creation while pointing to the Creator.
Sitting on my bale of hay, I was looking out the barn door to the west, just opposite of the sunrise. Though it isn’t the typical way to enjoy the sun rising over the land, it was really incredible. It was a semi-overcast, foggy, dreary morning. But even though I couldn’t see the actual sun rising, I could see the effects. The fog was beginning to lift off of the hills and the colors were turning from the dull drab color to a more bright and vibrant color. The living things surrounding me were becoming more evident as the barn swallows were beginning to swoop over the lush green field looking for their morning meal and the turkeys were gobbling in the distance. This impressed
me with a representation of the effects of the Light and the
Truth of the Son, Jesus Christ coming over the land. But the effects will never
be realized unless the Light is introduced in the first place. So this is
moment I finally took my application for long term service that I had been
carrying with me for some time and filled it out. I had previously turned in my
resume and references and completed other evaluations and questionnaires. But
my social security number and signature on this application was all that was
required for the next official step.
So the last day, my host willingly supplied me with an envelope with the stamps already placed on it. Before I sealed it for her to mail out, I took a moment to contemplate everything that has brought me to this point. One of my reflections was of when I was about to begin taking my Veterinary Technician National Exam in June of 2009. Instead of opening my test packet when we were instructed to begin, I paused for a moment to pray. I knew I was facing statistical odds that were largely not in my favor. I handed my anxieties to my Heavenly Father and promised Him that I would commit this to Him and for His purposes since He was the one that had given me these skills and knowledge. I also pondered the God given creative ingenuity and carpentry skills that I had just been able to use to help our host out earlier in the day. Building supplies were rather limited (saw, hammer, chisel but no nails) so I successfully challenged myself to not be fully dependant on all of the supplies I am accustomed to.
The best news of my time in Virginia was someone rededicated their life to the Lord!!!
On my way home some more amazing God things happened. One I need to save for later, but this one I can share. I stopped at the Fair Oaks Dairy Farm in Indiana (35,000 dairy cows). On the tour I struck up a conversation with the gentleman next to me on the bus. I came to find out he had served in human medical missions for 10 years. He even had an encounter with a veterinarian missionary. At one point he had a loop of bowel trapped in a hernia and the veterinarian was the only surgeon around. I’m thankful that God ordained such a timely encounter to encourage me for my journey ahead!!
May 10th was my check up with my pulmonologist. He feels that my lung function tests reveal that I have reached a ‘healing plateau’. My lungs are in what he considers a ‘green zone’ so he isn’t concerned about me heading off to the middle of nowhere. Though he said he would be happy to script out a large number of my inhalers. Fortunately I haven’t needed to use mine for 3 months! The unfortunate thing is, my lungs are not functioning the way they should be for someone my age. Apparently I still have some hyperinflation and reactivity of my lungs which is consistent with my occupationally related lung disease. But I have faith that God will take care of all of this regardless, especially now that the source of the irritation and damage has been eliminated for 3 months already.
-My time speaking to my cousin’s youth group in Iowa over Memorial Day weekend. I will begin with presenting my testimony. Then I will end with the Gospel, using an evangelism tool I just learned in Virginia! Pray for the teenager’s hearts to be prepared in advance to be open to God’s Truth.
-That I will be stretched, challenged and equipped when I attend the Training of Trainers in Seattle, June 17-23.
- A smooth application process with the Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM) and I will be accepted as an official candidate for long term service.
-Continued healing of the damage in my lungs.
God Bless and thank you SO much for your prayers, friendship, wisdom, support and encouragement! God is doing an amazing work and great things are being done for His Kingdom!! Please contact me with any questions, comments, etc!!
For those of you who I have had a chance to discuss the financial needs for what God is doing, I promised that I would let you know when the need begins, this is it!
For those of you I haven’t had the opportunity to discuss my financial needs with…
My anticipated future needs are…
3 weeks of Cultural Training- $2,000
2 weeks of foreign language learning preparation- $1,500
Travel to the training- $500
An extended trip to visit the country I will be serving in- $2,000 to $4,000?
Until I get approved by CVM I do not have an official account for these financial donations. But at the moment you can make your tax deductible donation on my behalf through my church:
Bethany Evangelical Free Church
264 N. Main St.
Clintonville, WI 54929
Make the check payable to “Bethany E. Free Church”. For tax purposes, please do not write anything in the memo. Instead send it with a note (not written directly on the check) indicating that it is specifically for ‘Emily Arndt’.
I praise God for His provisions thus far!! Just tonight, I had my flight to Seattle in June given to me!
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
“Chicken race in Virginia”