ivannar@gmail.com's

Posts

Ship Life

Today marks a week since we arrived in the Canary Islands. It is just the weirdest life we are living! We have entered into a completely different world. A different dimension where most meetings start with worship, and my peers come from all over the world. I’m loving all of it, but I’m still surprised every day, again and again, at all the quirks of ship life. I need a little more time to get used to: having no idea...

Finally! A Dream Come True, A Prayer Answered

We are here! The moment we’ve been dreaming of and praying for has been realized right in front of us. After hours on 3 different planes, we were picked up by the Program Security Officer, Matt. He had bottles of water for us; how badly we needed those! It was maybe a 20 minute drive from the airport to the port, where the Africa Mercy sits in the water surrounded by other ships. How can I possibly describe the moment...

Self-Righteousness Squasher

It’s really easy to use our trip to the other side of the world as a giant checkmark in the “I’m a good person” box. If these thoughts are what you think I’m thinking…I’m such a benevolent young woman that I left my comfortably paying job with benefits. I just love Jesus so much that I signed up to nurse the sick and the outcasts to recovery. We are so anti status quo that we stopped trying to keep up...

Last Day: A Milestone

I am no longer employed at Rochester General Hospital. My last day was Saturday the 9th. Since I chose my own end date, I was confused as to why I chose to end on a Saturday. Why voluntarily decide to do one more shift on a day when I would rather be outside or enjoying sister time or reading on my futon in my bath robe? Well, it was a beautiful day. I mean, my shift inside was  beautiful nonetheless. ...

Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Deciding to read Same Kind of Different As Me was perfect timing. For me, books are like snacks with blank packaging: I know I’m in the mood for a certain type of book, but I can’t tell if it hits the spot until I’ve chewed through a bit.  I was looking for a story that I would get involved in, something that would grip my attention. I had a stack of books I had started that just didn’t hold my...

I Am Anti-Anxiety

Can I have some permission to lighten the mood and stop writing about Mercy Ships for a minute? Maybe you felt a very light mood, but if you could get in tune with the way my brain works, you would see how easy it is for me to feel anxiety throughout the Mercy Ships prep process. Prior to getting accepted to Mercy Ships, I was doing a whole lot of waiting. One of my friends categorized my feelings as “anxiety”....

Risk-Taking Will Earn You A “CRAZY” Label

What did we sign up for?? I’m starting to lose my mind! We’ve made a decision, started down a path that doesn’t have an end in sight, and it’s not something our peers really understand. Most find it odd, or at the very least, poorly thought out. It’s not too late to turn back, but this is something we’ve wanted so bad! The risk is worth it. Let’s go back to the beginning. Our acceptance to work with Mercy Ships...

Accepted to Mercy Ships and excited to serve in Benin, West Africa.

Destination: Benin, W. Africa, 2014

We are so excited to share the news on the most amazing letter received all year! We received a letter with this greeting at the top: “Hello Ruben and Ivanna! Congratulations you have been accepted to serve onboard the Africa Mercy!” The background story that got us to this point is a good one, but it might take a few different posts. For now I’ll stick with the basics. What is Mercy Ships and/or the Africa Mercy? Mercy Ships is...

Starting New Things, Like Blogs

Formerly, This Dust Never Settles “How did I get here?” and “How did you get here?” would both be good questions to ask right now. If you are adventurous and spontaneous, good for you! The rest of us are just hoping for more adventure one day. Most of us wish we weren’t stuck in a routine or that we could live the life we imagine, but that life is always around the corner. Many of us have lives that someone,...