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Monday, November 22, 2010

Not Quite the Big Time

This article was recently published in a small circulation.  It is kind of weird to hear someone else describing what I'll be doing, but cool nonetheless!

Introducing Dr. Rachel Buffington, CVM's Newest Long-Term Missions Veterinarian

Dr. Rachel Buffington - Serving with CVM in Chiang Rai, Thailand

Christian Veterinary Mission's Send a Vet program has strategically and carefully placed over 30 extraordinarily qualified veterinarians in more than 13 countries.  Their newest addition, Dr. Rachel Buffington, is no exception.  Rachel is going to a remote part of northern Thailand in the famous Golden Triangle area of [Southeast Asia].  This is an area widely known for the illegal drug trade.  Her work will address animal production as a way for the poor ethnic minorities (the hill tribes of South East Asia) to earn a living and effectively care for their families - without participating in the drug trade.  Rachel will also fight against the spread of AIDS by working to prevent the trafficking of young women.  Throughout all of this work, Rachel will have the opportunity to speak of the gospel and introduce people to God's love.  She will bring the news of hope and abundant life to those living in the spiritual darkness found in Animism and folk Buddhism.

Rachel's calling and preparation to serve in Thailand is impressive and divine.  Following graduation from veterinary school in 2006, Rachel began practicing as a veterinarian to receive the hands-on experience recommended by CVM.  She has diligently pursued all necessary avenues to obtain her goal of long-term missions with CVM including numerous CVM trainings, a Master's degree in Public Health, and a short-term mission with CVM to Asia.  Through that trip in 2008, Rachel felt the Lord affirm his call for her to go to Asia and she has worked ever since to prepare.

Rachel has currently raised 75% of her financial support and hopes to have her full support raised in time to depart in January.  As well as financial support, she also needs our prayers.  Please consider partnering with Dr. Rachel Buffington as she finalizes her formal deputation.

To learn more, please visit Rachel's CVM website.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A New Tweet

As of today, to the best of my ability to calculate, I am 77% of the way to being able to leave for Thailand.  Only about $700/mo left!  And that's only 14 people giving $50 per month.  (Coincidentally, if you'd like to be one of these 14 lovely individuals, please don't be shy - let me know!  I may be close, but that one-way plane ticket is just a dream until I reach 100%.)

So, in a selfless effort to stay more connected with you once my spell checker no longer recognizes English, I have done something I really never thought I'd do.  I've joined Twitter.  

I'm not Twitter's type.  I already know nobody cares what kind of spaghetti sauce I bought on sale this week, or how the guy standing in line with me looks like Jamie Lee Curtis.  I forget my cell phone at home all the time, but it doesn't matter because it hardly is ever charged.  I pay $0.10 per incoming text, and would never think of adding unlimited texting to my plan because even if I typed all month long I couldn't send enough texts to make it worthwhile.  They need to invent phones that have more than 9 buttons for that.

But I'm excited about the possibilities this brings.  I still won't be tweeting about the grocery store or my favorite brand of toothpaste, but I do hope to utilize this mode of communication for something important: prayer requests.  So, as things come up here, or in Thailand, I can tweet them and know that I have a group of people that is praying in real time.  Wow!  

You can click on the page above (labeled Prayer Requests (via Twitter)) to see my feed with constantly updating info, or you can follow me by clicking on my new little blue friend.
twitter Is Twitter a Stethoscope or Megaphone??
And for those of you who may need extra incentive, my Twitter profile pic is of me chowing down on a worm.  You know what they say about the early bird...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Electronic Housecleaning

I like cleaning.  In a way it's cathartic to just scrub or sweep and it helps me clear my mind.  I haven't been doing too much of it lately with everything else going on, but one thing that has been nibbling on me is this blog.  I've been wanting to wipe it clean and start fresh.  So, to celebrate the attachment of my thesis to an email sent to the members of my academic advisory committee this afternoon ("handing it in" is an outdated phrase, isn't it?),  I thought it would be fun to perk it up a bit around here.  I've got a few other ideas in mind, but I think this is a good start.  Right now, I'm ready to hit the hay.

Its good to be back.  I missed you guys!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Words: 6,785

It's been slow around this blog lately, and I have missed posting.  But!  I have a valid excuse for my negligence: I've been diligently working away at my Master of Public Health report, and I'm a couple of days away from being done!  I came up for a breather, so I thought I would share the current stats on the longest paper I have ever written.

Topic: HIV/AIDS prevention programs in developing areas
Pages: 38
Words: 6,785
Chapters: 8
Weirdest word that is not a proper noun: p-value
Number of times weirdest word appears:  12
Longest sentence:  A baseline needs assessment was established in 2006 in order to gain an understanding of the people's knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors on HIV/AIDS/STI in the target township, to help shape the intervention and the curriculum used, and to determine the degree of comparability of the target (Mxe) and control (Mun) townships.

Okay, back to work.  I'll post the final stats after I hand it in.  See you in a few days!

Monday, November 1, 2010

On Perseverance

November marks the climax of a year and a half of work on my Master of Public Health degree.  This is the month in which I will submit and present my defense.  It's make or break.

I'm overwhelmed with work these days - on my paper, classwork, support raising, work, and preparations for living in Thailand.  I'm reminded of what William Carey, missionary to India and the father of modern missions, said about trusting in God:

"There are grave difficulties on every hand, and more are looming ahead - therefore we must go forward."

William Carey