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Just Give Me Yellow Fever

by | Apr 26, 2012 | Africa, Mission Trips | 1 comment

Ok dear readers,

Here’s how the preparations are going for Africa:

In a previous post, I told you about Blake and I getting our first round of shots. They did not have yellow fever or typhoid, so they told us to come back the following week when they would be in. I needed both shots and Blake only needed typhoid. So we returned the next week to get the remaining 3 shots. After waiting for 40 minutes, they take us back….and tell us that they don’t have the yellow fever vaccine at all and they only have ONE typhoid shot. So since Blake only needed that one, he got it, and I was told to reschedule for the following week to get my remaining two shots. Needless to say, I was pretty darn irritated that I went to the doctor for absolutely no reason. The nurse was very sweet and extremely apologetic. I understand that things happen, and it didn’t appear to be anyone’s fault. So I just took a deep breath and at least appreciated the fact that since we had come home from work early for the doctor’s appointment, we could spend the rest of the afternoon together. So, per the nurse’s instructions, I made another appointment for the following week to get my final shots. She assured me that I would not have to wait at all and that it would be a super quick, easy visit.

That appointment was today. And it was not quick, easy, or even successful. I waited for 35 minutes. Then when they finally called me back, I was told that they only had typhoid and NO yellow fever. WHAT?! My face turned very red as all the blood rushed to my face (and of you who’ve seen me mad or embarrassed all know what I’m talking about). The nurse was again very sweet and profusely apologetic. It took a lot to not start accusing people of incompetence and idiocy. I mean, they have my number, they knew I was coming in today and for what. They could (and should) have called me and rescheduled. I even called earlier to confirm and no one said anything. Why did I fill out those 600 pages they gave me about my entire life’s history when I first went there if you’re not even going to look at the “phone number” section at the very top?! Needless to say, I went ahead and got the typhoid shot, and I’m just going to call back next week to see if they have the yellow fever vaccine BEFORE making the (4th) appointment.

Here’s what this situation made me think about today. While I was breathing deeply and clenching my fists today at the clinic, it occurred to me that these people know I am getting shots in order to go on a mission trip. That automatically makes me a representative for Christ. They also know what church I go to and that makes me an ambassador for my church. I wanted to represent God and my fellow believers in a Christlike way. In James, chapter 3, he talks about taming the tongue. That was definitely on my mind today as I accepted their apologies and told the nurse and the receptionist that I understand it’s not their fault. I tried to be very polite about the whole thing. Hopefully the whole red face and clenched fists thing didn’t overshadow my oh-so-gracious words.

Also, in this blog, I’ve talked a lot about forgiveness. I mean if the people in Rwanda can forgive those who beat babies to death against church walls and peeled the skin from little girls’ arms, then surely we can forgive minor transgressions against us. And so of course I’d be a hypocrite to not forgive the people at the clinic for their mistake. And that’s what it was…a mistake. Not anything malicious or evil. With all of this swirling in my agitated mind earlier today, I’m realizing just how much God is teaching me and growing me while we prepare for our trip. And I can’t wait for more…