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2/08/07 (Thursday)

I didn’t sleep as well as I wanted.  For some reason I just woke up wide awake about 3 AM and couldn’t go back to sleep.  So I finished the book I was reading and then got some light sleep for about an hour before getting up for the day.  Jane picked me up about 8:30 after breakfast and we then went and picked up Damarys and the three of us left Quito for San Lorenzo.  We stopped in Otavalo on our way to shop in the market.  I was able to call Phyl from Otavalo on the satellite phone and find out what she would like from the market.  I got the items I was looking for and then we went on to Ibarra to pick up some groceries.  Once we left Ibarra we traveled on toSan Lorenzo.  Our arrival in San Lorenzo was about 4 pm.  I didn’t realize until then that we had spent most of the day making our way from Quito to San Lorenzo.   

This trip takes us over the Andes mountain range to sea level.  We start at Quito at 9200 feet and eventually arrive at sea level.  The road through the mountains is full of switchbacks and new and incredible vistas at every turn.  The day was sunny and the mountains were lush with green growth.  One special treat was the ability to visualize Cayambe, a snow-covered active volcano.  Usually it is covered with clouds but today it showed forth in all its glory.  We were able to view it for a fair distance until our route took us away from this mountain.As we traveled along I kept thinking of how we act when we see some major architectural wonder of the world or some major city with its majestic skyline or a major sports stadium or some other thing that has been made by man.  We catch ourselves saying, “Wow!” and just drink in the beauty of what we are looking at.  Yet, when we see the wonders of God’s creation around us, it rarely catches our attention.  Why is that?  Why can’t we react even more for God?  The trip through the Andes and seeing Cayambe demonstrated what God had done, not man.  Many times there was no evidence of man except the road we were traveling on.  If there were houses or buildings in the same vista, the buildings were nothing compared to the incredible majesty of what God simply created.  Just like the glorious sunset yesterday, I saw God again today.  He made Himself visible to me through the awe-inspiring scenery of the mountains.  What a great God we serve!    We arrived at the clinic and Jane immediately took me on a tour to show me the changes since I was here last September.  The new building is being erected behind the current clinic building.  It is 2 stories tall and is engineered for four stories.  The building footprint is 600 square meters.  A meter is a little more than 39 inches.  So, just to translate the area into square feet, we could just use the 300 square yards as the footprint to give a size close to what this building represents.  There are 9 square feet in a square yard.  300 X 9 = 2700 square feet.  That is a sizeable area.  Plus, there will be a second floor with the same area.  The building is going to be a huge improvement for the clinic giving a much bigger operating room, a sterile processing room, and more storage as well as on the second floor several clinic rooms for the dentist, medical doctor and Jane.  I took some pictures of the building progress.   Jane then showed me the security wall progress.  For the past while there have been squatters living on the land behind the clinic building.  Jane was unable to finish the security wall because the squatters were using her land.  The people refused to move until recently when the police ordered them off the land.  The wall is now getting completed.  The amount of land the squatters were using was a sizeable chunk of Jane’s property.  With the wall now enclosing the property, Jane has a lot of room for future expansion.   She also showed me the water retention system that was recently installed.  She depends on a well for water and the well frequently runs dry.  She has a cistern that collects the well water and then the water is pumped to the clinic.  After last September’s trip to Zapallo Grande where we saw rain water being collected for water for the clinic there, Jane investigated this and was able to install large containers that collect rainwater off the building roofs.  This keeps the cistern full all the time.  She did put in a new well and now she should have plenty of water and won’t have to regularly purchase water from the city when the well runs dry.  During the surgery times the water usage is heavy and it is critical to have an adequate supply.   The water container that allows gravity feed to the clinic buildings.These containers hold 2000 liters of water that is collected off the roof of the ministry building.  There are 3 of these containers.  The water is then pumped to the one up high to allow a gravity-feed water supply system. In the ministry building Angelita and Maria Luisa, two of the clinic staff, were working with women from the neighborhood in a Bible study and activities.  They were producing some flowers made of construction paper.   Once I unpacked my luggage I was able to assemble the colposcope and have it ready for our clinic tomorrow.  It works fine and the trip here did not appear to have affected the optics of the scope at all.  Jane is thrilled to have this instrument and I feel it will enhance her ability to diagnose and manage abnormal pap smear problems much more accurately.  Thanks to my partners at Women’s Health Advantage for donating this colposcope to Jane’s clinic!    

It is time to head to bed.  The day has been long but productive and not stressed.  Tomorrow, reality sinks in.  We have a full day in the clinic with many patients scheduled.  The patients will come all at one time and will sit and wait all day without complaint.  I have never seen that happen in the USA!  They usually start showing up about 6 AM and will sit on hard benches until we see them.  Usually our last patient will be seen well after dark in the evening.   

Father, thank You for the safe travel and the opportunity You gave me to see some of your magnificent handiwork.  Being able to see Cayambe was a real thrill.  Also, these mountains are so beautiful and breathtaking even though I have seen them before.  Each time through here is like a totally new experience.  Thank You for allowing us to view this beauty You created.  Thank You also for protecting the colposcope from any jarring and misalignment during the trip here.  I was concerned about the prisms inside the scope and how they can be jarred out of alignment.  This makes the instrument not usable.  However, when I tested it tonight, it worked perfectly.  Thank You for that miracle, Father.  Now, Father, give us all a good night’s sleep.  May we awaken rested, refreshed, recharged and ready to serve You to the fullest.  In Jesus name, I pray.  Amen.

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