Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Addition to the Cahill Family

On Friday morning, November 22nd, we welcomed the newest addition to our family, a daughter!! We had not found out during the pregnancy what the gender of our baby would be, so we got to be surprised at the delivery. It was very exciting. Abigail Ruth Cahill was born at 8:44 am. She was 8lbs 4oz and 21 inches long. Rebekah was able to come and meet her sister while she was still in the hospital. She enjoys tickling her little sister and patting her head. Tim's parents happened to already be on their way to celebrate Thanksgiving with us, so they were able to enjoy Abigail for the whole week that they were here. We were so thankful for all of their help during this first week of transition!  We are also thankful to God for blessing us with another healthy little girl.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

October goodbyes

   We went on a vacation in October to visit and say bye to several friends and family. We started off in Philadelphia, PA/Camden, NJ to see our friends Ray and Juanita Lamb. We originally met them at our church, Hope Works. We got to know them well through our home group at church. Unfortunately, they had to move this past summer, but under good circumstances (Ray began PT school :) ). We miss them greatly, so we went to go see them. Rebekah, aka TJ Maxx, even remembered them (and hasn't stopped asking for them since we've been home). We had so much fun visiting with them! We went to Reading terminal with them and ate 'the best philly cheesesteak in Philly' while we were there. We were even able to enjoy some of our more common forms of entertainment, Nerts games and movie night.

     After leaving the Lambs, we drove across Pennsylvania to Columbus, OH. It was such a beautiful drive with the leaves changing. In Columbus, we visited with some of Tim's college friends from Ohio State.  We stayed with a beautiful family, the Whites, on our first night. They have a little boy about Rebekah's age, so she enjoyed making a friend. We had dinner that night with the Whites and another couple, the Schneiders. It was funny when we realized that all the wives were pregnant and due in one to two months.

The next day, we had lunch with Tim's old roommate, Ben Siegenthaler, and old spiritual mentor, Ben Aikens, at Tommy's Pizza.

 That afternoon, we drove around Columbus. We drove by Tim's old house when he was a young child. We also went to a park, Blendon Woods, that he used to visit with his dad. Rebekah enjoyed the time running around out of the car and seeing the turtles in the lake.


   We then went to Tim's Uncle Bud's house, where we spent the night. We were able to visit with several of Tim's extended family. Tim's grandfather was staying there. Also, Tim's cousin Tracy, her children Claire and Luke, Tim's cousin Christy and Jon, and Sandy came by to visit. Rebekah particularly enjoyed feeding the ducks on the lake in the back yard.

  The next day, we drove to Knoxville, TN but stopped in Cincinnati, OH. We stopped in Cincinnati to see Tim's cousin, Kurt, and his wife Presley, but his cousin was out of town. We enjoyed visiting with Presley, who was very patient with Rebekah getting into everything and chasing her cat around the house.  We went to Knoxville to visit with Tim's parents for a few days. Rebekah enjoyed her 'ma ga' and 'pa ga', as well as getting to see Uncle Chris, Gabby, and Machale. One afternoon, we went to speak with the pastor of Tim's old church about our trip to Ghana. We also had lunch with one of Tim's high school friends, Sarah Brobst.

  Next, we were off to Newport, TN,
where we visited with friends from medical school and residency. Nathan and Megan Dewitt, along with cat Jackson, welcomed us to their beautiful home. Unfortunately, we had to leave early the next morning, but we enjoyed our short time with them. We're so excited about the up coming arrival of their little girl!

      The next day we stopped in Asheville to have breakfast with our friend Katie Willett. We met Katie and Dwight, her husband, during residency in Fort Worth. Katie was even present during Rebekah's first steps. They moved to Spruce Pine, NC this past summer for a job. Katie was kind enough to drive down to meet us, but sadly Dwight was out of town. We enjoyed our coffee and bagels, along with catching up. Rebekah was especially surprised by Charlie, the Willett's dog. She continues to ask about Charlie, Katie and Dwight.

     After breakfast, we were off to Charleston for a wedding. Our friends from medical school, Shubin and Rebecca, were getting married in Folly Beach. We actually arrived early to the 6pm wedding, only because we thought it started at 5pm. Being early worked out wonderfully. This was the first time Rebekah had ever been to a beach. She had so much fun running through the tides with Tim. We enjoyed the lovely wedding on the beach at sunset. It was picture perfect. It was also fun to see our friends, Shubin, Rebecca, and Eric.

    We left the next day to visit with Lori's grandmother in Georgia. Rebekah was not only able to enjoy the company of her great grandmother, but she learned the joys of rubber bands and suckers.

   Sadly, our vacation came to an end that next day. We drove to Atlanta and, after a couple delays, flew home to DFW. Our church friend, Kevin, was kind enough to come pick us up from the airport. The following day, we returned to our typical lives.
     We are so thankful to all our friends and family who took the time out of their busy schedules to spend time with us and were generous to let us stay in their homes. We love and will miss all of you! God has blessed us to allow each of you to be in our lives. This was our first set of goodbyes, so it is beginning to seem real that we will be leaving in about 5 months.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why are we going to Ghana?

So why are we going to Ghana? Let me back up and describe the road we have taken:

              I became a Christ follower in college, and Lori became one in childhood. (If you're interested in the details, you can go to the About Us tab to read our testimonies). Before I even met Lori, I had a calling to medicine. It started in my senior year of high school after taking an Anatomy and Physiology class, which I really enjoyed, so I decided to enter college on the pre-med track. I remember talking to someone early on in college that told me about their experience with going to Africa and doing medical activities as an undergraduate. I had never thought about going overseas much before, but this piqued my interest. I tried to sign up for a medical mission trip to South America in my sophomore year, but the plans fell through at the last minute. I did not end up pursuing another international trip until medical school. On my application to medical school, I had stated in my personal statement that I hoped to become a pediatrician or an orthopedic surgeon, and I planned to practice in a suburban clinic with 4 or 5 other doctors. Well, it goes without saying, but those plans changed.
               Between my first and second year of medical school, I went to Peru on my first international trip. It was a two-week long medical mission trip with a Christian organization. We would leave everyday from the city where we were staying, drive deep into the Andes mountains, find a village, and set up a medical and dental clinic. It opened my eyes to a whole new world, one outside the comforts of home, where poverty took on a whole new meaning, and I got to witness how faith and medicine could be intimately intertwined. This trip initiated my interest in overseas medical missions. Shortly after getting back from this trip, a special girl on the ultimate frisbee field at school began catching my eye. Her name was Lori. We began dating shortly after that, and we got married less than 2 years later. I discovered very quickly that she shared the same desire to practice medicine overseas as a medical missionary, although her desire had been there longer than mine. Lori had already visited several Central American countries, and her desire for medical missions had begun late in high school.
                We went to Bolivia together in our fourth year of medical school to work at a hospital. We grew more in our desire for medical missions while there. We also were privileged to participate in other non-medical missionary work in Bolivia involving visiting an orphanage several times and taking care of children living on the street. We thought we would end up doing mission work in a Spanish-speaking country because of our language background and previous international experiences. But God had other plans for us...
                  We ended up couples matching into Family Medicine at John Peter Smith Family Medicine Residency in Fort Worth, Texas. We both also chose to participate in the International Health Clinic at the program, which meant that approximately half of our clinics would be utilized for seeing patients from all over the globe, many of them refugees from war-torn areas. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is home to many ethnic groups, including Burmese, Somali, Vietnamese, Burundi, Russian, Nepalese, and Afghani, among many others. In our second year of training, we spent one month in Ghana at Baptist Medical Centre (BMC) with one of our faculty who had spent most of his professional career as a medical missionary in southeast Asia. This was the first trip to Africa for both of us. We dealt with many challenging cases and learned about the many needs, both physical and spiritual, that were present. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience, but at that time, we did not think we would end up back there.
                  We had initially thought we would take another trip together to another mission hospital at some other point in residency, but that did not happen. Lori got pregnant a few months after getting back from Ghana and delivered Rebekah halfway through our third year of residency. A few months later, we applied to the Samaritan's Purse World Medical Mission Post-Residency Program, were granted an interview a couple months later, and accepted into the program a few weeks after that. We were initially given two options of mission hospitals, one in Zambia and BMC in Ghana. We prayed a lot before finally making our decision to go back to Ghana.
                    Lori graduated after three years and has been taking care of our daughter and keeping up the home. We are also expecting another addition to our family in a few weeks! I stayed an extra year at JPS to do a maternal-child health fellowship in order to become more proficient at Cesarean sections. In that year, I took one more trip to Africa (with another faculty member and 3 other residents), but this time it was not to a mission hospital. Instead, it was to a very busy urban hospital in Uganda, where we learned to deal with very complicated OB cases. I feel like this trip will serve me well in handling the many difficult OB cases I will see at BMC in Ghana.
                   Through the Post-Residency Program, we are committed to two years of service at Baptist Medical Centre. I feel like God has confirmed to me many times our decision to go to Ghana. One way God has done that is allowing me to cross paths with more people from Ghana in the past few months since I finished residency than I did during my entire four years of residency. We look forward to serving God at Baptist Medical Centre in Ghana and learning to trust Him more. We pray that the people we serve in northern Ghana will not see us at work, but that they will see Christ manifesting His gifts through us.