- Kerstin Lindquist
We've Hit Our Valley
We haven’t come full circle. Life isn’t circular. It’s a heartbeat. A jagged rise and fall across linear time. A continual trek across unpredictable terrain. Just when you reach the top of a desired summit, the bottom drops out and you’re falling down the side of a cliff. Always looking forward to the straight-line seasons. Hoping to get to equilibrium, but along the way, missing the glorious strength you’ve gained in the climb.
We haven’t come full circle, but we have managed to arrive stronger at a familiar rest stop. La Mision, Baja California, Mexico.
As some of you know, we were here before, when the girls were one and two and I had just quit my job at ABC in San Diego. We took a month down here before we moved to Pennsylvania to start my career at QVC. That’s how we met Brendan and Sarah and started getting involved with Siloe.
Between then and now we’ve been through miscarriage, adoption, death, grief, multiple job losses, financial hardships, fear, children with health issues, and even darker, deeper hurts that aren’t mine to share. So no, not a circle, but after the hill we climed to get here over the past decade plus, we are thankful to be in this gentle valley in Mexico.
Its glorious, and after more than six weeks back here, It feels like home again.
We have our routine down. My husband and I waking up early and spending time with Jesus, each other, and exercising. We drive a few members of the team into work every day, getting used to the unpredictability of the weather and the roads. Shuttling can take forty minutes or an hour and half depending on what the terrain is like. Mondays are for the market, Fridays usually we head to Ensenada for fish and bread.
After a day at work we always come home to walk the beach at low tide. We work hard but also know this is a time of rest and connection to the Lord.
Thanks to your generous donations we are on the road more these days. Crossing “La Frontera” into the US to get mail and supplies. We have a couple other volunteers who have helped get things down here and my brother’s family have become a huge help to us as we can use their place in San Diego as a landing pad for mail and people. Each car load we bring back of goodies fills the entire staff with excitement. You know how you get that feeling when your QVC packages arrive? Imagine that times 3000 when something as simple as paper towels or vaginal cream shows up.
Yep, way different world.
We have lost two doctors but also gained one so we're only down one right now. We're also down an administrator and a nurse. The clinic just simply needs more money. Even a few thousand dollars could pay for a staff members salary for a year, but they need those donations. On one of our tough days the team asked if I could jump in and do vitals and blood work on patients. I declined, as I am not a blood girl but said Dan was, years ago, an EMT and he probably could.
Six pairs of kind brown eyes stared dumfounded back at me in the tiny, cold lab, making me wonder if something was on my face. “Porque no nos dijiste!” Why didn’t you tell us!!!!!
That began Dans new duties as a nurse. Enfermero Daniel!
My husband has found his new reason for being here. When I met Dan he was ski patrol in Big Bear and he was an EMT before going to business school and getting his MBA. Even in the corporate world he always kept a passion for healthcare, working for years in the business side of dental and even now at UPS offering a unique insight & knowledge with his big health care accounts. It’s in his blood. And now he is helping take it from others in need.
Friends it’s a such a joy to see! He’s beaming, the doctors and nurses here love him and he is giving and receiving Jesus in every vital he takes.
Never underestimate what God can do with your past. And how it can serve people in your present. It is never too late to realize a dream.
It is crazy to me that life so close to the border can be this rough that simple blood tests and medicine isnt available. We are so lucky in the states. Down here we cant get insilun which is so needed and simple medical care is hard to come by, to the point where my husband is helping!
Meanwhile I run labs and continue to help in the pharmacy. The kids and I are constantly going through donations and there is such a joy to see the patients receive these simple items like a new shirt, a tooth brush or a small toy.
When we planned this, I envisioned helping scores of people at a time, but God has been ministering to me through others in podcasts and reading and church and I’m learning that the amount of people you touch is not what’s important. God will put the right people in front of you to hear from Him, even if that’s only one person.
Because of this, my interaction with each person holds more weight. God could have me down here serving for just one person. And at any time, I could be encountering that one! My conversation with the nurse I drive in every morning. My talk with our math tutor. The chat with a friend who texts me from home, and the people I serve in the fitness classes I teach.
Oh friends, talk about humbling. I’m used to presenting to millions at a time and yet my first yoga class I taught last week had three people. And one of them was another missionary. But freeing myself up to not have to reach the masses has allowed me to see how special helping just one person can be. It’s more of God working through me and less of me.
So yes, Mondays and Tuesdays we teach fitness classes, and our hope is now with daylights saving and warmer weather more will show up.
And yet at the same time, our season down here is reaching hundreds of thousands. As much as I despise social media for how hurtful it can often be, I am so thankful for most of you who are so kind and are sharing the posts and in turn the donations for Siloe, and for the nearby orphanage Door of Faith continue to come in. Every time I swear im going to shut down my social accounts the Lord humbles me again and reminds me its not about me. He puts the words and the posts out there through me to serve His purpose.
If we’re just here to spread the word and help with donations, then that is enough.
The next week is big, we have a huge cervical cancer screening event
(please consider donating supplies! ) going on and we have a high school group of kids coming down to help repair and stain all the wood around the clinic. Dans got dozens of patients to see (haha!) and we will continue to love on every person we meet.
The kids and husband are fantastic. They miss parts of home and our pup, but they are so acclimated to this harder way of life (getting water, no amazon, roads shut down, poverty all around etc..) and we are closer than ever as a family. That right there, those moments, perhaps those moments are the ones for which this time as missionaries was created.
Yes, yes going back will be hard but we have learned so much. And I’ll be taking it all with me! I can assure you we will be a family of less when we return. Less stuff, less self-imposed stress, less hustle. But in the less is so much more. I know that our struggles as a family will not be over when we go back. The next twelve years so much could happen. Life has a way of continuing to throw you mountains to climb. But right now, helping others climb theirs makes this season in the valley a true blessing from above.
Please consider making a donation. Big or small. All tax deductible. A few thousand dollars a year can provide the clinic a new full time doctor and save hundreds of lives. They also need supplies from the Amazon list. And my big dream is a van or truck for the clinic. IIf you have one to donate or want to make a five thousand dollar donation, please email me! Volunteer@siloeclinic.org it's such a need. Thank you for everyone who is following our path and praying for us. I'll be back to work on April 20th.
God bless xoxo