Well past time for an update

I'm not even going to make excuses. If you get my monthly updates (which clearly haven't been so montly lately) nothing's new or different cept for the pictures. Let's see.....we shall start in November.

Grad school finished up (UAB’s program runs for 9 weeks and very intensively at that) and by the end of that time I had written 34 papers for 4 different classes. I managed to squeak out all A’s…I have no clue how. I attended a Christian Global Missions Conference in Louisville, KY for 3 days where I was able to network with other current and future missionaries, talk about the realities of missions, get information on some cool opportunities with different organizations/projects, and just worship God together as about 1000 people with a heart to serve the Lord both here at home and abroad. It was an amazing time. Then, I headed up to Cleveland, OH to speak at 3 services of one of my supporter churches-Stow Presbyterian Church, while getting the chance to spend time with my dad’s side of the family and my grandmother. I was also able to have brunch with a young girl who’s just working through her heart for missions God’s been speaking to her about, as well as visit with 2 of my dear friends I worked with in Maputo, Mozambique who are off the mission field for the time being and living in and around Cleveland/Akron, OH. Immediate and extended family came to my place over Thanksgiving in Nashville and it was really a blessing.


I celebrated my 30th birthday with some close friends in Nashville. I was blessed to spend 7 days back in New Orleans with family for an early Christmas as well as another cousin’s wedding. Auburn won the SEC championship in football (very important stuff) and it was decided they would play for the national championship (even more important stuff). I found out that University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had accepted me into their graduate certificate program in Maternal and Child Health (online) through their public health college. My trusty car died and could not be resurrected for less than 5,500 dollars, so the decision was made to sell it and I’m not borrowing a car from my parents until I leave again. I worked through Christmas here in Nashville, but was able to get home for 5 days right after that to celebrate Christmas late with my immediate family and then ring in the New Year. During that time, I got to see and hold one of my high school gal’s first baby and visit with my dear friend and fellow nurse, Meghann for 24 hours who was home on respite from Mozambique. That’s the stuff I miss when I’m over in Mozambique.

This first week of Jan may be coming to a close but it’s already been full. I drove up to UNC for a 3.5 day intensive leadership seminar/graduate program orientation. It’s the only time I’ll have to be on campus for the 2 semester program. I met the girls I’ll be chatting and working on group projects online with over these next 2 semesters, learned a lot about myself through the personality and leadership development tools we did, and found out how the program works. I’m so excited about this opportunity. And now after what feels like an eternity of being away from Nashville, I’m back here….filling ya’ll in and getting ready to start semester #2-3 graduate classes (2 thru UNC and 1 thru UAB) on Monday. The assignments are already looming before me.

The future.....So most of ya’ll are probably wondering where I’m headed and what all this means…..good question.  My heart is still burning to be back in Mozambique and I can’t wait for the moment I get to stop off that plane and back into the sticky heat and humidity of the African continent.  I think about it and pray about it all the time.  On the grad school front, both certificate programs-UAB and UNC (all 26 hours worth) will be finished up in a total of 3 semesters (at the end of this coming August).  I’m hoping and yearning to be back on the field in Mozambique as early as September, but I know that a-this may not be the exact perfect timing for God and b-realistically grad school costs have gone up and those costs have to be paid off before I return and c-the holidays will be coming up, school will have literally finished, and I might need a bit of a break before I hit the ground running again-allowing me to see all of ya’ll again and continue working to pay off the rest of grad school costs.  Leaving in Jan would allow me to get on a schedule of being gone for 10 months and home for 2 at the holidays.  At this point, I’m still praying through and searching for the ministry God is calling me to work with when I return to Mozambique.  I feel like it will be a 3-5 year commitment and that requires a lot of prayer and thought for a decision like that.  Our God is big and prayers in this area are much needed and appreciated.  As much as I want to be back on the field, I know it has to be with the right project and in His right timing or it’s all doomed.  Please pray with me.

Finances are an area God is really continuing to bless me in through all of you.  At this point I’m living off about ½ the amount of monthly support I had coming in compared to when I was on the field.  This covers medical insurance, rent/utilities, and food.  Everything from my part-time job is covering grad school and so far it’s worked out to the penny every month.  The first semester of grad school has been paid off and I’m just hoping that I can keep up with that as it was only ¼ of what I’m going to have to pay over the entire 3 semesters.  I’ve been getting cancelled at work lately due to my unit’s low census and while that, at times, makes me a little nervous to cover everything…..it has all completely worked out-Praise to God and all of you who sent me the extra donations you didn’t know I needed and on which I wasn’t counting.  Ya’ll have truly blessed me.  

Super Important Changes in HOW to donate to me
 A few changes have been made and I wanted to let everyone know that Fellowship Bible Church in Nashville, TN will no longer be able to accept donations for me through their website or by check.  If you are a regular monthly supporter, you will be getting an email shortly with more details and what to do from here on out as well as how this affects us both.  In the meantime, if anyone would like to donate, please contact me by email (weltoem@msn.com) for the best way to do so (you have a few options).  Thanks again for continuously sharing with me what God has blessed you with!  I am always overwhelmed by your generosity!

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