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7/01/04 (Thursday)

4:15 AM.  I am up and showered and ready to go.  Jane should be here in a half hour or so.  This gives me time to recheck all my packing and do some reading and reflecting.  So far I have not gotten sick.  The altitude does have an effect.  I notice I get winded with just slow walking.  Quito is hilly so when Jane and I are walking to the restaurants, I get short of breath.  My headache is almost gone.  Heading to Miami and lower elevations will help today.  I can’t wait to talk to Phyl.  I plan on calling her as soon as we land in Miami.  It will be good to get back home, although this trip has been a great experience.

7:20 AM.  In the air flying toward the Pacific Ocean then will fly across the Panama Canal over to Cuba and then into Miami.  Projected time of arrival is 11:50 AM.  I have just an hour to collect my suitcase, go through customs and get to my next flight.  I am resting in God’s hands and He will keep me safe and close to Him.  Jane was waiting on me at 4:45 AM.  We got to the airport right at 5.  The check in process was moving from one long line to another.  I waited about 20 minutes at the gate before boarding the plane.  Not a lot of time to spare!

I said good-bye to Jane at the front entrance.  She went on and on about how special this visit was and how much we were able to accomplish.  I told her how special she is to me as a dear friend and colleague.  I told her she was a tremendous physician and surgeon and encouraged her to continue in the work she is doing.  I look forward to her 2 month furlough starting in a month.

As I reflect on the past 2 weeks I see God’s hand in all of it.  He called me here and then performed miracles before our eyes.  The lady with the ectopic pregnancy…Jane had seen her in October and had her come in for surgery when I was there.  She had fibroids and was first on the schedule.  And she had a life-threatening situation that could have been a disaster had she waited any longer.  Why did she get on the schedule first?  This was God at work!  Then little Jose came in and we get to put his nose back on.  God protected that piece so it could be reattached and is healing Jose as I write this.  There was the lady with the septic abortion.  She could have died but God intervened.  Gloria went through her bowel resection because god held her hand the whole way.  Beatriz had no evidence of cancer beyond the cervix.  God again!

Father, I praise Your name today because of what You accomplished at San Lorenzo and allowed Jane, Sheila, Paul, Jorge, Gonzalo, Nancy, and Maria Luisa to witness Your healing touch first hand!  I saw Your love being extended to so many people.  I experienced Your compassion.  We all were recipients of Your protection.  Thank You, dear Father, for allowing me this opportunity to serve You in Ecuador.  Thank You also for allowing me to see some of Your creation – the spectacular mountains and valleys, the incredible hummingbirds, and the wonderful people of Ecuador.  Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to walk with You in Ecuador.  Amen.

1:50 PM.  We landed in Miami a little ahead of schedule.  While sitting in the plane I was able to call Phyl.  It was wonderful to hear her voice again!  She was at Ft. Myers Airport and was soon to board.  We talked briefly.  I went through immigration and while waiting to get my luggage, I called her again.  We will call each other when we reach Chicago.  So far our flights are on schedule and hopefully we will meet at Fort Wayne Airport.  We both are in the air heading to Chicago at this time.

While waiting to board I did call Darcy and talked with her some.  I told her I wanted to go back and work with Jane again and she said she and Shelly both figured I would be doing just that.  This trip was so meaningful for me.  I certainly want to return and help serve the people of San Lorenzo.

My connections through to Fort Wayne were on time and I landed at Fort Wayne at 5:30 PM.  Phyl landed at 5:38 PM.  I was able to retrieve my luggage and meet her as she came through the gate.  That was special.

As I reflect on my two weeks in Ecuador, I can only give God the praise and credit for accomplishing a great work.  Several people received help and healing.  We were able to accomplish a lot because God was there with us wrapping His hands around ours and guiding us all the way.  He protected our patients and kept them from harm.  In His Name we were able to reach out and touch and serve our Master.  Thank You, Lord, for this incredible experience!

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