SMI!

18Jun10

So it’s been a while (a while) since I posted something original (lists don’t count).  Part of that is that I have been insanely busy, which in turn means I have less brain power available for “disposable pursuits” (such as blogging).  Thus, though I have vacuuming and scrubbing beckoning – among other things, here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been up to lately. :-)

The month of June I’m on personal leave from my job at the hospital so that I can be fully involved in running the Summer Medical Institute in North Philadelphia.  I’m having a ball.  The first two weeks of June were full of mad scurrying to put together lots of final details about housing, food, training, outreach, debriefing, and a host of other things.  This past Saturday, our 11 SMI students arrived!  I am having such fun living with them in North Philly – two blocks from our “home base” church and about 10 minutes from Esperanza’s main site.  Among other things, our adventures so far have included a serious power surge the first day, living in a house with only one bathroom (and with up to 13 people staying each night, you can imagine how interesting that is), and some pretty awesome interaction in the neighborhood as the students go door -to-door offering health screenings.

I’m especially enjoying cooking, cleaning, and playing “mom” to the students (2 of the 11 are older than I, and 2 others are married – to each other).  So far the students’ greatest complaint is that they are going to gain weight on project, despite walking all the time.  Like a normal family of 12, we go through milk at the rate of a gallon a day, have consumed 5lbs each of iced tea and lemonade drink mixes (that’s over 16 gallons), and stand in line to use the bathroom.  Fortunately, everyone is quite good-natured and they’ve been taking the little challenges in stride.

One of the things that has impressed me the most about this group of young people (they’re all health professions students – med students, nursing students, and premed students) is their willingness to serve.  Obviously they chose to come to SMI to invest in North Philadelphia – they are offering diabetes and hypertension screenings in the neighborhood where we’re staying while spreading hope – Esperanza – to the community.  But beyond that, I have never had to ask for help with dishes, dinner prep, or other cleaning – they all come to me asking, “What can I do to help?”  It has been a humbling experience for me to serve alongside such an incredible group of people!

We’re having great discussions about many things… Probably the most important thing we talk about, though, is the role of Jesus in our lives as disciples-in-healthcare.  Two of the guys are gifted guitarists, and we’ve stayed up late more than one night to pray and worship together.  It is so encouraging for me to see others who are serious about their faith and sincerely desire to serve the Lord with their gifts!

Well, I have chicken boiling on the stove – we’re expecting over a dozen visitors for supper, so I’d better get that vacuuming done, too.  Please continue to pray for SMI!  We have another week of outreach and will finish up next Saturday (June 26).  If you’re interested in hearing from the students themselves how things are going, check out the SMI Philly Blog.

Until next time!

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2 Responses to “SMI!”


  1. 1 Plans, Proverbs, and Scary Stuff « musings along the way
  2. 2 Raspberries and Chocolate « musings along the way

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