Homemade granola

DSC_0104I absolutely love making this for breakfast. Healthier, better for the environment (less plastic packaging!), and probably cheaper than buying it from the supermarket. I think it’s actually tastier too – you can personalise it according to your preferences!

Preheat oven to 175ºC. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl:

  • 360g rolled oats
  • 120g nuts – I like using almonds and/or walnuts
  • 60g seeds e.g. sunflower, pumpkin, etc.
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinammon

Add wet ingredients to the bowl and mix well:

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 120ml olive oil
  • 120ml honey

Spread the granola mix evenly on a baking tray. Bake for approx. 20 mins until golden. Stir it halfway after 10 mins and spread evenly again before placing back in the oven for another 10 mins.

Once completely cooled down, break into small pieces and mix in 100g dried fruit (I usually add raisins, but dried cranberries are also a great option). Store in an airtight container to keep and enjoy in the morning with yoghurt, fruit and maybe even a drizzle of honey!

Recipe adapted from https://cookieandkate.com/2015/healthy-granola-recipe/ 

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Stir me to pray

During my time in Zambia, I read a book called ‘Living Faith’ by Helen Roseveare (short biography & podcast). She was a medical missionary to the Congo, and has written several books to encourage and challenge Christians by sharing her experiences. I could write pages on how inspiring she is – but that’s not what this post is about. I wrote my thoughts after each of the three chapters to help me digest what I had read. This series is about how God used this book to work at my heart and teach me a few important lessons.


Prayer is a major part of my relationship with God that I have been struggling with the past year. I know that it should be a natural part of my faith: like breathing, simply talking to God. But when it comes to actually praying, I get stuck. I don’t know what to say or how to pray – what is the ‘right’ way to pray and how to make my prayers more ‘effective’.

The Lord answered my cry asking Him to teach me how to pray. He is opening my eyes to what I need to learn to set me in motion. Helen writes that the purpose of prayer is not primarily to affect situations, but to learn and understand His will and purpose, seeking to bring my life in line with it for its fulfillment. Prayer is the means by which God works through and gives us all we need to live out His perfect plan.

The need for prayer is great, for those who do not believe in Jesus are perishing. We need a concern for the lost to constrain us to pray – this is where I have been lacking and what has stopped me from praying. I asked the Lord to reveal to me when and why I lost this compassion. I used to be so passionate about the lost! … It was because caring is costly. It is painful to feel compassion for those who are perishing, so I unwittingly chose not to feel at all. I must daily ask God to fill my heart with a concern; a compassion like Christ for those who are without Him. I must accept God’s burden, praying in faith that lives will be set free.

Another key thing to remember is that we do not need to understand why or how God uses our prayers to fulfill His plan. I struggle with this – I usually need to understand the mechanism of how things work before putting it into practice. I guess a helpful way to think about it would be like learning to drive. I don’t understand the whole mechanics of the car, but I trust that if I step on the accelerator it will go; if I pull the brake it will stop; if I turn the handle it will change direction; if I change gear it will allow me to change speed. I do not question how or why – I just do my part. Of course, it is not as straightforward as this, but it helps me understand that it is okay to not understand everything.

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Once we start praying, we must commit and persevere until it is answered – whether in visible results or a peace of mind. We must put the needs of those we are praying for above our own, particularly if it is urgent. Don’t count the cost, whether that be in sleep, food, energy, time. Continue believing when praying for longer than 10 minutes. Maintain earnestness. This comes from a heart that is willing to care and love, to suffer with them. Prayer can be painful.

Pray for those who are sick, for God’s healing hand. Lord give me the faith to believe! Do not be discouraged by those who are not healed – simply accept His sovereignty and move on. ‘Our task was to obey and serve to the limit of our God-given ability, trusting Him with the outcome’. Our obedience to the urge of the Spirit to pray, even if specific needs are unknown, may be the channel through which God wants to act on their behalf, for He knows their exact needs. Prayer can be powerful.

When we pray, God may not answer in the ways we anticipate, nor at the time we expect. But when we pray with a heart willing to be available to Him, seeking His will and acting in obedience, He will work out His perfect, pleasing plan. Prayer will turn into praise.

Stir me, oh stir me Lord, till prayer is pain, till prayer is power, till prayer turns into praise. Stir me, till heart and will and mind, yea all is wholly Thine to use through all the days. Stir till I learn to pray exceedingly. Stir till I learn to wait expectantly.

Stir me to go

During my time in Zambia, I read a book called ‘Living Faith’ by Helen Roseveare (short biography & podcast). She was a medical missionary to the Congo, and has written several books to encourage and challenge Christians by sharing her experiences. I could write pages on how inspiring she is – but that’s not what this post is about. I wrote my thoughts after each of the three chapters to help me digest what I had read. This series is about how God used this book to work at my heart and teach me a few important lessons.


Just before I began reading this chapter, someone suggested to me that I consider medical mission in the farming villages and rural islands of Korea. Out of curiosity, I searched what the medical needs of these communities might be. They seem to be a mostly elderly population with local access to basic healthcare, but often unable to reach better services until too late. The needs in Korea will likely increase, with a growing population of refugees, foreign workers, and their families. Unification of the two Korea’s will create an even greater population requiring both practical and spiritual help. All this stirred my heart, but I refused to be moved by it. I prayed, “Lord, do not stir me”. I was afraid of being called to Korea – I did not want it.

As I started this chapter, I was afraid I would be pushed into a corner, forced to submit; but the Lord is good and kind and gentle. The chapter was not an urgent call for missionaries, but of how God guides us in life. I was comforted by the fact that often God only asks us to follow Him one step at a time. The ultimate location of where God wants us to be is usually not as important as it seems. We tend to over-complicate this journey of following God’s plan for our lives; when in reality, it is much simpler.

Helen Roseveare challenges us that we must: a) be 100% certain that He has a complete plan, and b) be 100% available to God for whatever that plan might involve. Seek grace to obey Him, as revealed in His word, and He shall guide us. One example she gave was of a boy being called to a people he did not want to go to. She counselled him to simply hold it in his heart and thank the Lord for wanting him in His service. She comforted him saying that when it comes to, God will help him love the work and the people he will serve. What great grace and comfort! He does not push us beyond what we can take. We must simply obey in faith, as He reveals to us His will, one step at a time.

Stir me to give

During my time in Zambia, I read a book called ‘Living Faith’ by Helen Roseveare (short biography & podcast). She was a medical missionary to the Congo, and has written several books encouraging and challenging Christians through beautifully honest accounts of her experiences. I could write pages on how inspiring she is – but that’s not what this post is about! After each of the three chapters in ‘Living Faith’, I wrote down my thoughts to help me digest what I had read. This series shares how God used this book to work at my heart and teach me a few important lessons. I hope it encourages and challenges you too!


Dr Helen Roseveare unravels story after story of how God provided for every need in answer to prayer: sometimes in cash, other times as the exact material needed, much like the answered prayers of George Müller.

God often met their needs through stirring other people’s hearts to give. These people then chose to listen to His Spirit and obey. He stirred Helen’s own heart too, to give her all to Christ in her time, strength, and resources – her everything.

I see that many aspects of her situation in the Congo were similar to what I have seen here in Zambia – financially, culturally, perhaps even spiritually. I wonder if anyone here is praying like she did for every need – specific prayers uttered in complete trust.

Helen’s honest stories of failure, disappointment, disillusionment, and weakness encourage us that it is a constant learning process, even as it was for her. Many of these struggles she had are so similar to mine. Her stories, along with my experience so far of medical mission in Zambia, have shown me how crucial it is to wholly rely on God – generally in life, but particularly so when on the mission field.


On returning from Zambia…

We left for Zambia with the aim to learn, but also hoping to help with the workload and encourage the Zambian staff and international missionaries. We wanted to give our hands and feet in medical service, but the reality was disappointing. Although the official national language is English, we soon found out that this did not really apply to most of the local people who exclusively spoke Tonga – even some of the staff from other tribes had to learn the language from scratch!

As we settled into our new routine, we began questioning why we were there. Yes, we were learning about Zambian culture, and how medicine is different there in many ways. But what was God’s purpose for us in this time and place? How could we be useful in a place where we could not communicate with the locals? We were only there for 4 weeks – insufficient time to learn enough of the language for medical work!

Praise the Lord – God still used us for His glory in unexpected ways.

The Lord revealed to us on our very last day in Zambia how He had been working through us. He showed us that we had been able to give! We had spent time building relationships with some of the Zambian healthcare students on placement there. They too had left the comfort of their homes and university life to spend a number of months learning at this hospital. These friends truly blessed us by expressing how encouraged they were by the friendship and fellowship we shared with them, particularly during what could have been a lonely and difficult time. Praise the Lord for working through us to edify and build each other up! (1 Thess 5:11)

Be open to the creative ways in which God wants us to give – it may not always be how we expect or want to be used. Physical work and financial support is needed, but so is encouragement and our genuine interest in others! Let us remember that sharing the love of Christ should be the heart behind all we do, ‘whether we eat or drink’. (1 Cor 10:31)

My favourite lunch!

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This is a filling, balanced meal in sandwich form. I learnt this one from my mum 🙂 I like to have a variety of flavours and textures in a meal, but also try to make sure it is nutritionally balanced. Tasty and healthy = satisfied!

The ingredients are ham, sliced apples, lettuce, omelette, cheese and ketchup. The only prep you really need to do is cooking the omelette. I like to add cheese to the omelette or grill it onto one side of bread. A simple, satisfying lunch ready to go. Enjoy!

An overdue update..

I’ve had a very long break from writing! Apologies to anyone who popped by during that time and was disappointed to find nothing new.. Life got in the way and this blog got left behind. Hopefully this will not be ‘the one post every couple of years’ but the start of another (long) streak of posts!

Here’s a quick summary of what I have been getting up to..

Intercalation (year out) – I took a break from medicine after 3rd year and studied a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and metabolism. In the UK, a pre-med degree is not compulsory. Instead we have the option to study a bachelor’s or a master’s in something different/specific for a year, mid-course. Korea tends to be obsessed over the newest ‘super-food’ in trend, whereas the ‘balanced plate’ and ‘5-a-day’ is mostly a struggle to achieve in the UK. I wanted to find out more about evidence-based nutrition and how it actually affects our health. The degree provided a good foundation and overview, and gave me experience in research. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed public/global health and research!

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King’s College London graduation!

Returning to med school wasn’t all easy. My intercalation year required different study methods, and I had to relearn how to study for medical exams. It took a little while to become comfortable again with some practical skills too, such as how to take a history from patients, and inserting a cannula. On the plus side, I returned feeling refreshed in my motivation for medicine again! I noticed many of my friends experienced burn-out during or after 4th year, so perhaps a break before 4th year was well-timed for me. Although some details needed reminding of, taking a year out seemed to have helped me take a step back and see the bigger picture in medicine.

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In front of the mission hospital!

4th year was fun! I had rotations in clinical specialties. Having finished general medicine and surgery by 3rd year, this year was a time to apply it to particular patient groups i.e. palliative care, older people’s medicine, psychiatry, obstetrics & gynaecology (women’s medicine), and paediatrics. Things started to finally make sense!

Elective – at the end of 4th year, we had a placement module where we could arrange to experience medicine in a different setting. I went with a friend to a mission hospital in Zambia for 4 weeks. It was an eye-opening experience, and a blessed time of rest – learning to ‘be still’ and listen. God often seems to work in unexpected ways, and this was true of my time in Zambia. More on this soon!

Final year – after my long-winded route through medical school, it is here. I am now a month into my last year of medical school. Yay! Applications for foundation jobs are in, exams are looming, and big changes are just around the corner. This year I have rotations in acute medicine, shadowing an FY1 (most junior) doctor, and another elective but within the UK. I have noticed I am already growing in confidence (and competence!) as I begin the transition between student and doctor. It’s going to be an exciting stressful year!

Despite being quiet on this blog, I have continued writing in my journal and hope to share some of this over the next few months. I know I said I would start posting life updates and food recipes a while back – hopefully I will be able to keep my word this time. Please be patient with me though, as things may get busy this year again!

Lessons from Mexico – #4

Lesson #4: one body in Christ, many parts

One of the first things we noticed as a team was how each of us had different talents, interests and experiences, and how God had brought each one into the group to serve a role.

We initially realised this during the children’s holiday club. There was no formal meeting to discuss or delegate roles, but we were simply happy and open to serve in whatever way was needed. As we prepared and led various activities, we naturally took on the roles that were created. Each team member ended up serving in their area of gifting, whether that be leading games, worship and dancing, taking photos, handing out sweets and stickers, building relationships with the parents, or helping with arts and crafts activities.

This is only one example. There were many other instances (e.g. when doing practical work at the Christian campsite, seeing the missionaries working together as a team) when  I felt we were experiencing what Paul meant when he wrote about the Church forming the body of Christ:

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.

Romans 12:4-6

Some have gifts that are more upfront and visible, others have gifts that may often take them behind the scenes. As the passage says, we do not all have the same role to play, for how silly would it be if we only had eyes to form our body! We must not be jealous or proud or even embarrassed, but humbly use the gifts we have been given to serve Christ and His body, the Church. We need each other to play our given roles in order to build up His Kingdom and hold the Church together and strong. Let us not forget any member of the church, whether young or old, big or small, new or regular – whatever shape or size, each member of the Body is needed to keep it healthy, whole and functioning!