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1/30/05 (Sunday)

7:45 AM.  I slept in this morning and enjoyed every minute of it!  I awoke to silence meaning my fan was off and that meant there was no electricity.  That means no water so I wonder how can I get my bad hair day under control and some of the smell off my body.  I took a shower last night but I still generated a good sweat odor overnight.  Fortunately, I had a couple bottles of water so I took a “slurp” bath – a slurp of water, shampoo, another slurp of water to rinse.  The same on the armpits and face and I’m good to go.  I still had enough water for a mouth wash and drink.  Once the power comes on I will take a shower, no doubt about that!

Lord, today is Your day.  I praise You for who You are.  You created this world I get to experience – even down to the finest grain of sand.  You gave us light and dark, water, food, everything we need.  You created me – unique and special to You.  You did the same for every human.  We all are unique and special to You.  Lord, I am in awe to realize this and consider it an absolute privilege to be a recipient of Your unfailing love.

Lord, I pray for our patients today.  I pray for healing from the surgeries.  I pray for relief of pain.  I pray for a better life and health.  I pray for their souls.

Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to be here, to work with Jane, to reach out as an extension of You to offer help and healing.  Thank You, Lord!  Amen.

10:20 AM.  Jane and I made rounds and discharged most of the patients.  A couple will likely stay till tomorrow.  One lady, the one with the ectopic pregancy, has a spinal headache.  She still may go home today.  After rounds we came to the house and found breakfast waiting for us – hot pancakes and syrup.  They were delicious.  With no power, we have no water so we will wash dishes later.

A couple patients came by to talk to Jane.  One was an older man who had a hydrocoele repair a few weeks ago.  He claimed Jane told him to come on the 30th for a check-up.  Jane knew this wasn’t right because she would not have asked a patient to return for a routine follow-up exam on a Sunday.  The other was a young woman we saw last week for infertility.  We sent her for an ultrasound and she returned with the scan and a report.  Her scan was normal except for a small fibroid.  The person doing the ultrasound told her she needed surgery for an ovarian cyst.  He told her the cyst was the cause of her infertility.  The ultrasound showed a typical corpus luteum cyst consistent with her menstrual history.  We assurred her she was okay and the surgery was not needed.  She was scared but desparate and would likely go through the surgery if so advised.  She as very prominent buck teeth.  I’m sure my dentist daughter, Kim, would have some recommendations on that.  Jane said it is common for people to get bad and scary advice from lab and ultrasound techs/providers.  These people don’t know enough to discern what is right and thus get treated when they shouldn’t.  There is a gyn in the area from Columbia who has the reputation that surgery is needed for everyone.  Jane told me this doctor cuts on everyone and had done a lot of totally unnecessary surgery.  The most common advice is a hysterectomy to cure some scary diagnosis.  The patients submit and never know the surgery probably had no effect and was not indicated or necessary.  Apparently, there is no peer review or quality management in place here.

I have been reading Scripture in a quest to know more about the apostle Paul and his teaching.  I just finished Acts where I learned about him.  Now I want to read his letters and learn from him.

On rounds today we learned more about the Columbian lady who fled her home to save her life.  The cost for her surgery was $130.  yesterday, her husband brought in a $20 bill, his only money.  For the past week he and his wife lived on small pieces of bread and some coke they purchased in order to save the $20 to pay the clinic.  This was all the money they had.  Jorge talked with them and could not accept their money.  He came to Jane asking forgiveness for “breaking the rule” and not charging this lady.  What a tough situation these people are facing!

1:40 PM.  Still no power.  We have no water as well.  Our lady with the ectopic pregnancy brought us some huge shrimp, the biggest shrimp I have ever seen.  Jane deveined them and got them ready to cook for a meal later today.  We do have propane gas for cooking so the stove works.

Preparing the shrimp

Preparing the shrimp

I just read the book of Romans.  What a gift God has given us through His Son, Jesus!  Salvation is priceless yet it is free – all one needs is faith.

3:15 PM.  Still no power.  The phone line does work so I sent some email.  I am fairly well packed and ready to travel.  I put together the thank you notes I want to give to the clinic staff.  Jane translated my text into Spanish and I wrote the Spanish in the cards.  I inserted a $20 bill in each card as a gift to each one.  The sun has come out and the temperature has gone up.  Of course, the humidity is as high as the temperature.  I took a short siesta and am now ready to read again.

3:45 PM.  The power came on!  We now have a fan running and water.  Now I can shower!  Jane is going to start supper since we didn’t have lunch.  We will have macaroni and cheese, shrimp and corn.  Good combination since it is all we have.  Nancy is not cooking for us today.

6:30 PM.  I am packed for tomorrow.  Jane and I will round on the remaining patients, load the car and head out.  We plan to stop at a couple places to shop a little.  I’m thinking of setting up a Yahoo email account.  It is free and would give me email ability when I travel.  All I would need is Internet access.  That way I can email from the guesthouse the next few days.

We had the jumbo shrimp for supper – delicious!  Likewise the macaroni and cheese and corn.  Jane was cleaning out the freezer.

I read 1st and 2nd Corinthians.  I am learning more and more about Paul and his absolute devotion to Christ.  Even though I am familiar with the Scripture, it is like reading it new all over again.  Thank You, Lord, for giving me Your precious Word and giving me Your Spirit so I can learn from You.  Thank You for Paul and his ministry to the world.  Lord, I want to be Your disciple, Your representative to the world in which I live and work.  Help me in this.  Thank You for allowing me to walk with You daily.  All praise and glory is Your’s, Lord!  Amen.

8:20 PM.  I have thorougly enjoyed reading Paul’s letters.  Christ’s love for me is even more precious new and I want to work harder at serving Him.  Jane and I have talked more than once about Rob and his spiritual journey.  He has changed a lot recently and openly talks about his religion.  He told me he believes Christ died for his sins but in the same breath he will talk about the attractive parts of other religions, even religions that do not acknowledge God.  He believes that anyone following any path can reach God and enter heaven.  He says the words but I wonder if his heart is not there yet.  His faith seems more academic than personal.  I was reading in Colossians 2:7-8 (CEV): “Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life.  Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught.  And be grateful.  Don’t let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments.  These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human teachings.  They come from the powers of this world and not from Christ.”  I want to write Rob a letter to explain my faith in Christ and to encourage him to place his faith soley in Christ and not in these intellectual, academic arguments that seem to make sense but are total deception.

Lord, give Jane and I the wisdom and opportunity to approach Rob and talk with him about Christ.  To use he seems lost, yet he is seeking.  Help us to understand and encourage him.  You love him as much as You love us.  We pray for his soul.  Trouble him, Lord.  Draw him unto You, make it irrestible for him.  Pull him close and capture his heart.  We wish for him to be free in Christ.  Thank You, Lord.  Amen.

10:45 PM.  I went online and was able to set up my own Yahoo email account so I can send and receive from any Internet access.  This way I can use the computer at the guesthouse in Quito and can send and receive email.  I’ll be able to get some email time the next 3 days before heading back to the States.  Now it’s time to get some sleep.

Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to converse with You today.  You kept my mind focused on Your Word and taught me as I read and listened to You.  Thank You for this time in San Lorenzo.  I feel blessed to have this opportunity to work with Jane and serve You in the process.  You are an awesome God!  I praise Your name tonight!  Amen.

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