I like the word whirlwind.
It has an onomatopoetic quality as it swirls with breath. There’s a free-ness and chaos to it that makes it especially beautiful. Say it with me:
My past few weeks have been a whirlwind: a chaotic restructuring of almost everything rooted in my life. My journey to The Crescent City was interrupted by Hurricane Isaac, which caused serious devastation in South Louisiana (one of my co-workers at Global Maritime Ministries lost his home). My family vacation was extended, and my orientation time with my housemates was furious and brief. I began work four days after arriving only to be overwhelmed with how right it feels for me to be here in New Orleans.
I love meeting new people, and it seems that both of my placements will be heavy in the “people meeting” department.
I have had a couple of weeks learning and getting settled into the rhythm of my time with Rev. Jennie Thomas at Tulane Medical Center. I can say for certain that my time as a chaplain here will be challenging and energizing. I am excited at the possibility of making so many new acquaintances and building relationships with the staff and patients.
I have my name badge, and I’ve learned what all the codes mean; it seems that they have one for everything! (Code pink is for a stolen baby . . . ) I have shadowed Jennie for a couple of days, read some books and handouts, and had some discussions on boundaries and being a healing presence. I am nervous about meeting with people individually, but I am confident that God has volumes to reveal to me through my time at the hospital.
On Global Maritime:
Despite the fact that I am giving up most of my weeknights, I have really enjoyed working with Global Maritime Ministries so far. I get to do some of my favorite things as part of my job: driving a van, playing pool and ping pong, and talking to people with amazingly diverse backgrounds! At the center we have phone cards, postage, and toiletries. We also taxi the seafarers to run errands. My favorite trip so far was to the mall where all the fellows came out with Victorias Secret bags to send back to their wives. It is a relaxed atmosphere and a much needed ministry, and I am blessed to be a part.
I would ask that as I continue to root myself into my place in this robustly cultured city, you would pray for guidance, patience, and clear vision as I seek to be a healing presence to all the new faces I will meet. Please pray for my housemates Nate, Valentina, Elizabeth, and Henry as well; that they would find peace and meaning in their new roles, and that God would begin the work of knitting us into a community that loves and encourages one another in the work that God has for us here in New Orleans.
an address for letters, encouragements, or financial support:
8124 Zimpel St.
New Orleans, LA 70118
Thank you so much for reading!
-grace and peace