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2/06/08 (Wednesday)

10:45 AM.  I am sitting in the waiting area at the gate in the Fort Myers airport.  This day is the beginning of my mission trip to Ecuador to work with Jane Weaver in San Lorenzo.  The day is sunny and the weather is great here in Florida.  My flight departs at 11:52 to Miami.  Then after a couple hours layover, I then fly from Miami to Quito with arrival there at 7:20 PM.  Our drive to the airport from our Englewood, FL home takes about 1 ½ hours.  It was nice to get up at the normal time and eat breakfast and not have to rush or drive in the dark. 

Linzy Klopfenstein will be meeting me in Miami.  Last Fall I met her in a Spanish for Healthcare Providers class at Indiana/Purdue University in Fort Wayne.  I wanted to learn more Spanish so I can eventually converse with the people here in Ecuador.  Linzy was a classmate who upon learning I was going to Ecuador expressed a deep interest in going with me.  Two other classmates, two recovery room nurses from Dupont Hospital were also very interested in going with me this year.  After talking more about it I soon had a team with the specialty care that will be very helpful for our surgery patients.  Linzy has had experience as a surgical tech and will be very helpful in the operating room.  The recovery room nurses, Linda Kawka and Annette Swank, will be a great help in preparing our patients for surgery and caring for them post-op.  Barbara Weise, MD, an OBGYN physician with my former group practice, is also part of this team.  Linzy and I are traveling together and will be in Ecuador for 2 weeks.  Linda, Annette and Barb will come on Saturday and be with us for the week of surgery.  I am excited to bring a team this time.  We should be able to accomplish a lot in helping the people we will see.

While waiting in Fort Myers the ticket agent was talking with another passenger waiting beside me.  He said Chicago was snowed in and many flights out of Chicago were being cancelled.  Linzy will be flying through Chicago from Fort Wayne.  I hope she doesn’t get in this and have her trip delayed because of a cancellation.  If she flies in later it will be difficult to pick her up and transport her to San Lorenzo.  Plus, I hate to see her experience a major frustration and disappointment by not being able to travel as planned.

Father, Lord, Thank You so much for making this mission outreach possible.  Thank You for how You work through us to accomplish Your will in the lives of others.  Lord, I pray for our safety while we travel and for wisdom as we face decisions and choices the next several days.  Please place a hedge of protection around us and wrap your hands around our hands as we become instruments of you to touch those we serve.  Thank You, Lord.  We do all this to bring You praise and glory and to make You visible to others. Amen. 

I arrived in Miami after a nice quick flight and waited at the gate for the next flight.  Linzy’s itinerary had her arriving at Miami about 1:30 PM.  I waited till about 2 and then tried to call her cell phone.  She answered and said she was going through security and would soon be joining me.  Upon her arrival, she told me her original flight out of Chicago was cancelled last night.  After some calling to the airlines she was able to arrange an alternative trip by driving to Indianapolis at 2 AM and catching a flight from Indy to Dallas/Fort Worth and then on to Miami.  She had arrived in Miami about 11:00 AM and had walked outside the secure area to eat at a restaurant for lunch.  Fortunately, she was able to make the connections and not miss her trip on to Quito.  She missed most of a night’s sleep however. 

We had a nice flight to Quito.  Once again, at 37,000 feet, well above the clouds, God gave us a spectacular sunset.  The colors were incredible.  Flights to Quito usually are in the late afternoon and evening allowing the viewing of the sunset over the clouds.  I love this part of the trip.  We arrived in Quito at 7:20 PM and waited and waited for our luggage to come through.  Eventually, my luggage came but Linzy’s did not.  We had to work with the airlines people to track the luggage.  We then learned that her luggage was on the next flight due to arrive at 9:45 PM.  Jane and Damarys met us at the airport and we then loaded my luggage in the car and went to the Sports Planet restaurant for a bite to eat.  Then we went back to the airport around 9:45 and were able to retrieve Linzy’s luggage.  We then went to the HCJB Guesthouse to stay for the night.  It will be good to stretch out and get some good sleep.

11:45 PM.  I am thinking through the day and am thankful that we arrived safely and were able to get our luggage in spite of the extra inconvenience.   Jane will pick us up in the morning and we will head to San Lorenzo.

Lord, this has been a good day of travel.  Thank You so much for making it possible for Linzy to come and not be frustrated by the weather in Chicago.  Thank You she is able to participate with me in this mission endeavor.  Thank You for Linda, Annette and Barb and their willingness to step out of their comfort zones to share Your love with the people here.  And, Lord, thank You for Jane and Damarys and their love of You and their commitment to serve You by serving the people of San Lorenzo.  I pray for the next two weeks and ask for your presence to be evident to us all.  Please guide us and equip us to do what we have to do to care for these people.  Help us make the right decisions and give the right care.  And Lord, please protect us.  Also, Lord, please give an extra measure of Your love and grace to our families.  In Your precious name I pray.  Amen.  


1. Mercy Robertson - February 17, 2008

Thank you so much for allowing us to see and share in your personnel thoughts and adventures.

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