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2/07/07 (Wednesday)

Today was travel day.  This time I am traveling from Florida where Phyl and I are spending the winter.  I checked in at Fort Myers International Airport and my carry-on was opened and searched because I was carrying the head of the colposcope I am bringing with me.  My former group very graciously donated a colposcope to Jane and I disassembled it and brought the binocular head in my carry-on.  The rest of the parts were in my suitcase.  I had wrapped the scope with foam packing material and it took up a large part of the space in my luggage.  As it went through the x-ray screening, the lady reading the screen looked at me and asked me what I had in my carry-on.  She said she had never seen anything like that before.  I told her I was a surgeon and was carrying an operating microscope with me.  I described it as a binocular device that was wrapped with foam packing material to protect it.  She then said she could see that and passed it on to another screener who then wanted to search the entire carry-on.  He was very polite and nice and pulled everything out and then had me help him repack it.  I told him there was a science to packing this carry-on to get everything to fit.  He agreed and had me help him repack it so we could close it.  Otherwise there was no other problem.   

My flight to Miami was quick and then after 2 hours layover I boarded the plane to Quito.  There was a large group of Peace Corps volunteers on board.  This was a little more comforting in that the majority of the people traveling to Quito spoke English.  The flight was smooth and the sky was clear.  We flew near Cuba and then across the Caribbean and across Panama.  You could see the Panama Canal from 37000 feet.  As we flew on to
Quito the sunset off to the west was spectacular.  We were above any clouds and the sunset was a bright orange streak painted across the horizon and extended up into the purple sky.  It was just beautiful, almost breathtaking.  As the sun slipped over the horizon the orange slowly faded away but stayed the same shade throughout.  It only became dimmer until it eventually disappeared. 
 As I watched the sunset I was reminded of thoughts from a previous trip where I had listened to Pastor Tony Evans on the radio just before leaving for Ecuador.  He had talked about making God visible to those around us.  We make God visible as we reach out in His name to others.  God also makes Himself visible through the wonders of nature.  The sunset is just one method God uses to make Himself visible.  Tonight, He certainly was visible.  The colors in the sky were so rich and so supernatural.  My heart soared as I received a glimpse of God as I traveled to a place where I can serve Him through the mission effort at
San Lorenzo.

Jane and Damarys, who helps Jane direct the clinic operations, picked me up at the airport.  As I was walking behind the glass wall on my way from the plane to customs there they were sitting in a cafeteria on the other side of the glass.  I waved to them and then went on into the customs area.  This time was the smoothest time I have ever had going through customs.  Usually they x-ray the luggage and if I am carrying a lot of medications or other supplies, they will question me and even search the luggage.  I usually take a letter written by Jane in Spanish to introduce me and explain the contents of the luggage.  I had one of those along with me just in case I needed to explain the colposcope.  However, the route through customs was as if they weren’t there.  The agents just waved us on through without stopping anyone.  I got my luggage and walked on through customs and on out to meet Damarys and Jane.  It is good to see them once again. 

In the parking lot I got out my satellite phone and called Phyl and talked with her for a minute to let her know I made it safely.  I rented a satellite phone this time because I want to be able to talk with Phyl from time to time and also will need it for a radio interview on Friday, the 16th.  I am scheduled to be part of a radio program in Fort Wayne that morning.  So, I will be calling in via the satellite phone for this interview.   

My lodging is at the HCJB Guesthouse.  This is a very comfortable place, much like a nice motel.  I have stayed here while in Quito on most of my trips here.  Jane will come to pick me up about 8:30 in the morning after breakfast here.  We will then travel to San Lorenzo.  She did tell me that she has no patients scheduled for the clinic tomorrow so our day will be leisurely and this will give me time to assemble the colposcope and teach her how to use it.   

Lord, thank You for the smooth and safe travel.  Thank You especially for the incredible sunset.  It was absolutely beautiful.  You must delight in painting the sky with such rich color.  Father, I pray for a good two weeks here working with Jane.  I ask for Your protection as we travel and as we work in San Lorenzo.  I ask for wisdom to know what we should and shouldn’t do in the management of the patients we will see.  I ask for Your healing power to prevail in the lives of the people we will care for.  I especially ask for endurance and good health for all of us, Jane, Greg, Jorge, Maria Luisa, Angelita, Gonzalo, Nancy, Damarys, Loita and myself as we work as a team for the next two weeks caring for the people in San Lorenzo.  Thank You, Lord, for this opportunity to be your hands, feet, eyes, and mouth as we help these people.  Father, I pray for Your blessing upon this mission effort.  Thank You, dear Father, for Your unfailing love, Your grace, Your endless mercy and the hope and peace You so richly provide.  Amen.


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