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6/20/04 (Sunday)

7:30 AM.  Today is Phyl’s birthday.  I wish she were here or I there so we could celebrate it together.  What a wonderful woman and wife she is!  I am so thankful to God for drawing us together and allowing me to share my life with her, allowing us to share life together.  We just celebrated our 38th year of marriage!  I hoe we can go another 38 years.  Jane told me yesterday she is 37.  She could be my daughter!

Today is a veg day – do nothing but read and relax and rest.  I keep thinking about the lady with cancer of the cervix.  I feel totally inadequate to operate on her.  We can’t cure her.  Our surgery will stop her troublesome bleeding but doesn’t give her a cure.  She has no other resource for help.  It is so sad.  I pray for a miracle for her.  Lord, touch her and give her healing…please.

I am troubled by the harsh living conditions here – not for me but for the people who live in this condition day after day.  There seems to be no hope and yet patients will state how much they trust God.  I read in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 just now: “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  I must keep this perspective!

2:30 PM.  We had lunch of a clam, onion, peppers and broth soup into which you put popcorn and rice.  It was very tasty.  Also, we had another fruit drink that looked white like milk but had a peach flavor.  That, too, was quite tasty.  Jane is working on all the surgery charts getting the paperwork done and having everything ready for tomorrow.  I am reading a book and stopped to walk a little because my sitter is getting tired.  Hopefully, we will have a time to go into town to get some pictures before dark. 

5:30 PM.  Sheila, Jane’s assistant, arrived to work with us for the week.  She is a nurse and has worked with HCJB for several years.  We went to the OR to unpack our gear and get the OR ready to be cleaned and sterilized tomorrow.  Jane said we can wear sandals or flipflops in the OR to help keep cool.  Several kids are playing soccer in the yard in front of the clinic.  I got some pictures as well as a couple pictures of a very cute toddler girl.  Children are the same worldwide, curious and having fun, full of smiles for the “gringo.” 

Posing for the Gringo

Posing for the Gringo

9:00 PM.  Time for bed.  The anesthesiologist arrived about 7 and we all ate together.  We had fish, rice and plantain and passion fruit juice to drink.  That was delicious.  We start early with breakfast at 7 and start operating at 8.  I plan to read a little and then get some sleep.  We didn’t get into town so I could get some pictures.  Maybe sometime this week or next Sunday.

Today is Father’s Day and Phyl’s birthday.  Bummer!  We spent the day separated by many miles.  I miss her greatly.


1. Jessica - March 3, 2011

I am a PA student at St. Francis and ran across your blog. I am going to Haiti next week on my very first medical mission. I am so excited, because I know this trip will change me and provide me with more inspiration that I can imagine. I love your blog, and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences. I can’t wait to graduate this August and make medical missions a permanent part of my career.

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