Ann Hagensen, a member of the Paul Carlson Medical Ambassadors, traveled to Congo in April with two other medical professionals. They spent a week at Karawa, assessing the needs of the hospital and nursing school and accomplishing a major shift in the sourcing of pharmaceuticals. Here are some of her reflections after she returned home.
Greetings to all,
Two weeks have now passed and my heart is beginning to settle as God reveals His mercy and plan. At first upon returning home I was moved to tears often in remembrance of Karawa and wished I was back there getting my hands on kids with Marta as she teaches parents and the nursing staff. I loved being with them! So after two days of on and off tears, my Pastor met with me. He is a great listener! What I learned is that small, incremental steps that are concrete in nature will help me carry the burden of knowing what life is like for kids, families and staff of the Karawa Hospital and health system. So my prayers of compassion and mercy for Congo moved into asking God for insight on our/my next steps.
My daughter’s graduation from California Baptist University in L.A. came four days after my return. I sat on another plane, with many families heading to Disneyland for spring break. Reverse culture shock set in quickly! I was observing how kids ever so young are learning entitlement, expectation and materialism beyond my beliefs. The roller coaster ride of tears and mental discipline bathed in prayer continued. Thank God for a loving and gracious husband who would comfort me in those waves of grief.
My joy abounded the moment I saw my two daughters! We talked endlessly and shared kindred hearts for serving the nations. When my daughter was busy , I found the School of Nursing
God is up to something. I met a professor in a new position entitled Director of Global Nursing. She took two pages of notes, looked at all the pictures on my lap top, and is very open to the moving of God’s spirit. We focused on the idea of student scholarships. We knew that our American students blow through money easily in Starbucks, on burgers, or whatever. A scholarship for a Congolese student would not be out of range for many of our own. She is also interested in raising funds for materials needed in their learning lab, which are sorely lacking.
We also talked about how this generation will be the generation that can change the world. They do not sit around, they like to take action, and they feel strongly about being an advocate for the poor and needy. I walked away praising God for His divine appointment! I am not shy when it comes to raising money for a cause I am passionate about. This is one step I can take to contribute to the School of Nursing in Karawa.
My thoughts and prayers are with the ECC missionaries and the leadership and staff of the Karawa hospital and health centers. I look forward to learning more about how I can continue to help the people of Congo from this side of the globe.
Ann Hagensen practiced as a certified pediatric critical nurse for the first twenty-one years of her career. For the past twelve years she has served as the director for family and patient centered care programs at MultiCare Health Systems in the Seattle area.
SAJ 28 Jun 2012