To show great love for God and our neighbor we need not do great things. It is how much love we put in the doing that makes our offering something beautiful for God.
[Mother Theresa]

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

change of blog addresses

Hi folks!

For simplicity's sake for both now and in the future, Rachel and I are going to go back to posting on our own blogs. If you already get updates from this one, you're good. We'll try and keep this blog updated with big news.

But, if you're new to the blog, feel free to go to Rachel's blog and sign up for her updates:

and to Mandie's blog at:

Thank you so much for your interest in our journey. It is so encouraging to know that people are following the story and praying for us.


Rachel and Mandie

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rachel's update

 Mandie was kind enough to let me use her collage of pictures and layout for my newsletter so I won't post it here since it was similar.  If you'd like a copy and didn't get one, email me and I'll send it to you!

Support raising is always a challenge.  No matter how many times I've done it, it never gets any easier.  Thankfully, the more I do it, the more instances I have to remind myself of how faithfully the Lord has provided everything I need!

This time, my support raising adventure began with an extravagant anonymous gift of $7000!  What an incredible blessing!  It is a daily reminder not to be anxious about whether or not I'll get everything I need.  I know the Lord will provide.

I'm especially looking for people who will commit to giving monthly.  I realize it's a huge sacrifice for most people, but please pray about it.  If the Lord doesn't prompt you, then don't give.  If you are willing to invest monthly, please let me know and if you're in the area, I'd love to sit down with you!

You can give online at My PIONEERS acct number is 110942.  They have options for automated giving as well to make things easy for you. 

Another option if you can't give financially is to give frequent flier miles. Mandie and I are hoping to leave August 5th and if you've accumulated air miles that you aren't using, we'd be happy to use them for you!  We are only limited by whether or not the airline flies to Uganda or has a partner who flies to Uganda!

Thank you for loving me well!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mandie's June Update

Dear family and friends, 

I am both happy and overwhelmed to have the opportunity to update you all once again about what the Lord is doing in my life.  Thinking back over the last 8 months, I realized that I have traveled to Mexico, Australia, Honduras (twice!), Uganda, and Brazil. Each trip was smothered in God’s love for me and his provision for each of my needs, whether big or small. As my life has unfolded and I have had the privilege of traveling extensively, the Lord has put a special burden on my heart for missionaries. I have seen how they can be forgotten, isolated, overworked, and under-loved in practical ways.  Because of my particular desire to serve missionaries, I believe that God will likely take me to many different countries and lead me to gain experience in a variety of ways. One of those ways was presented to me in January of this year.

A friend once told me,
"Don't EVER go to Africa."

She told me that once I had been there, I would fall in love with the people and always have to return. In my opinion, the safest solution to this problem was to just never go to Africa, so imagine my surprise when that was exactly where the Lord asked me to go.

Palmetto Medical Initiative (PMI), a non-profit organization based here in Charleston, is building a hospital in Masindi, Uganda, and needs nurses to go and train Ugandan staff. PMI had not even gotten to the point of looking for staff yet when Rachel (a friend from nursing school) and I asked if they could use us there.   They were thrilled and within 2 weeks we both had airline tickets to go check out the hospital site and participate in a week-long clinic. While there, we were both overwhelmed by both the need and the incredible opportunity in front of us to meet that need. We both updated our blog with stories and pictures while we were in Uganda. Those of you whose curiosity goes beyond this long email can visit the blog at:

Who Will I Work With?
I will be partnering with Palmetto Medical Initiative ( as well as Pioneers. Pioneers is a sending agency that will coordinate fundraising, cultural training, and individual care. They will continue to be my support organization even after returning from Africa, in whatever the Lord leads me to do next.

When Am I Leaving?
Tickets have not been bought yet as we are waiting until fundraising gets under way. Our hope is to be in Uganda before August 13th, when a PMI team arrives for a week-long medical trip. The staff training begins on September 1st with the hope of opening the clinic on October 1st.

How Long Will I Stay?
If you hear anything, let me know. :) As of right now I have committed to stay in Uganda for one year, but I am very willing and somewhat suspicious that the Lord might lead me to be there longer. I have always known that the Lord's call on my life was to be involved in mission work, whether that means living in Africa or having a supportive role in the U.S. I would appreciate your prayers as I continue to seek His will regarding His future for me!

What Do I Need?
Ah, the dreaded question. I do need money. Pioneers has created a budget for me that requires me to raise $2,000/month. This includes all of my flights and in country travel (72 hours round trip!), insurance, an emergency fund, home rental and set-up, and probably things that I haven't even thought of. My main need is for supporters who can commit to a monthly donation so that I know what to expect my monthly budget to be. There are, however, many one-time costs for which I also need support (setting up house, shots, two intensive trainings with Pioneers, etc.). If you have more specific questions, I would love to answer them via email on the phone. Or, better yet, if you live in Charleston let's go get coffee! 

**Update: I have received the $7,000 that I needed for my departure expenses from a wonderful anonymous donor. This generous gift might just stretch to cover around $75/month for the 12 months that I will be in Uganda as well! THANK YOU!!!

If you feel led to support me in Uganda, you can visit Pioneers website to make a tax deductible donation:

For a monthly donation, click here:

Enter my name: Amanda Turner 
and account number: 111460

Most Importantly:
As much as this trip does depend on financial donations, I am most concerned with having a strong group of people who are committed to pray for me while I am there. I will send out monthly updates, but it is important to have a few people who are willing to receive more frequent requests for prayer and who I know are holding me up to Jesus while I go through culture shock, loneliness, language learning, homesickness, Africa sicknesses, fears, interpersonal relationship issues, etc. Pray that Jesus gives me wisdom and peace during these next few months of planning, packing, and planting myself in Uganda. It is such a privilege to take Jesus's hands, feet, and heart to the precious people of Uganda. He is constantly increasing my love for each one of them, but I know that it will only be with his grace that I am able to love adequately, like Him.  If you're willing to be a part of this group, please let me know.

If you're willing to be a part of this group, please let me know.  

As always, I feel incredibly grateful to have each of you in my life. I dislike how impersonal email is and would much rather sit down with each of you individually and hear your thoughts about this new step in my life! If anyone wants to chat about this personally over the phone or meet up to talk face to face, I'll be in Charleston for most of June and July – and even in Virginia for a while – so let me know.

SO much love to each of you,

1897 Boone Hall Drive
Charleston, SC 29407

He will rescue the poor when they cry to him;
he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them.
He feels pity for the weak and the needy,
and he will rescue them.
He will redeem them from oppression and violence, for
their lives are precious to him.

** Photography by Josh Drake (, Amber Henderson, and me!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Support Raising

We have permission to raise support!!! An update from each of us will come soon, but we are now in the process of fundraising!  We each have to raise roughly $2100 monthly plus about $7000 in departure expenses.  It seems like a lot to do in a short amount of time, but we are so thankful for the people who have already committed to supporting us even when we couldn't give specific details.  Look for an email soon and if you don't hear from us, leave a comment.  You will have the opportunity to give either through PIONEERS International or Palmetto Medical Initiative.

Thanks for being so invested in each of us as we prepare to spend a year in Uganda.  We know we can't do it without you!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Update from Rachel

This is an email update I sent out a few days ago.  If you didn't get it, here it is. :)

One would think with planning to leave for Uganda in August I would do a better job of keeping you updated.  I haven't here's a long overdue update.

Our plans are to be sent to Uganda by PIONEERS International, the agency that sent me to China, in partnership with Palmetto Medical Initiative, the organization building the hospital.  The good news is that Mandie was accepted to PI in March as an appointee.  The bad news is that it's now May and we are still waiting for final approval from the PI Africa leadership to move forward with support raising.  As August, our hopeful departure date, gets closer and closer, Mandie and I grow more and more nervous about raising support and have gone from reminding ourselves daily to reminding ourselves hourly that the Lord owns the cattle on a thousand hills and is not bound by time or space.

So, in the last month and a half, as we've been waiting to hear, PMI has found us an already renovated place to live!  We are so excited about not having to do renovations ourselves.  We'll be able to move in almost as soon as we get there.  PI has also given us a budget and PMI has looked over it to make sure it's accurate for Masindi.  On the academic front, Mandie and I were both accepted to the MUSC Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program!  Due to the expense and to changes in the logistics of doing it over in Uganda, we both declined attendance.  Mandie has decided to pursue an online counseling program through Liberty and I'll continue working on Bible credit requirements for PI.  Hopefully someday in the future I'll be able to pursue a graduate nursing degree, but it was clear for now that the timing was wrong.

Thank you for all of your encouragement and support in this crazy adventure.  Please be praying with us that PI Africa would give us permission soon so that we can start raising support and moving forward with leaving in August.  Pray for clarity and unity of mind and purpose for Mandie and me.  Pray for our families and relationships here and the time we have with them before we leave.

Thanks for loving me well!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Willing and Unprepared

Part of me is looking forward to moving to Uganda.  I think about nursing school and if nothing else, I was trained to provide education: what to eat, what not to eat, how to take medicines, how much water to drink, how to exercise, and how to manage chronic illnesses.  For all of the approximately 1200 patients that were seen during the March trip to Uganda, probably two-thirds of them (this is my estimate...and hasn't been verified) mainly needed education on health (eg. how to lower blood pressure with diet and exercise changes), hygiene (eg. "if you wash yourself from time to time, you won't have itching in the nether regions and think you have syphilis"), and illness myths (eg. "my child has a cough and I think it's malaria").  Though I'm inexperienced as a nurse, I've been equipped to provide education to patients. 

So all that being said, when I read blog posts like this one, I panic and the part of me that is not looking forward to Uganda wins over the part that does.  I realize that not only am I inexperienced, but even with years of experience, I'd still be doing stuff out of my scope of practice.  I want to provide good health care, but I know that I am way out of my league.  Given textbooks, resources, and doctors like Ed and Cody who are willing to answer questions through calls and emails,  I'm praying that, at the very best, I'll be able to provide care that otherwise would not be given, and at the very worst, I won't kill someone with a wrong diagnosis and treatment.  The theme in my quiet times the past week or so has been dependence on the Lord.  Time and time again I've been reminded that I'm not in control anyway, but it's when I know that I'm not in control and I'm at my weakest and my vulnerable state, that the Lord has the opportunity to be shine most brightly.  I need to get out of the way.

Now, if I could just remember to get out of my own way of support raising and remember to trust the Lord and His abundant provision.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

from Matt

Matt is the executive director of PMI. We wanted to share a post he wrote while our team was in Uganda in March: