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2/09/08 (Saturday)

7:00 AM.  I slept fairly well all night with only a couple wake ups.  The power came on last night and stayed on allowing the fan to run and create white noise that put me right to sleep.  Today we have more patients to see in the clinic and we will likely fill our surgery schedule.  Jane has 8 general surgery patients waiting to fill in any remaining slots.  We have 13 on the schedule so far and plan to accommodate 30 patients all total.  We may not have that many gyn patients remaining so we will likely add the other general surgery patients.  A schedule of 30 will be doable in that Jane and I did that by ourselves in the past.  The struggle in the past was the inefficiency creating very long days standing on your feet in one spot doing surgery.  With our team we should be able to speed up the turn over and minimize the time between cases.  That means we should be able to save a couple hours or more each day giving us some down time in the evening. 

Father, please bless this day today.  Help us as we see the people coming in today to seek care.  Give us wisdom so we can make the right decisions and recommendations.  Help us to be Your instruments of love and grace as we work today.  Thank You, Lord for the opportunity to serve You here.Amen.  

After breakfast, we then went to the clinic and had devotions.  We met with Jorge, Angelita, Maria Luisa, and Gonzalo.  I led the devotions while Jane translated for me.  We studied Psalm 1 where we talked about the three stages of falling into temptation and how we progress away from the Lord.  First is walking – mixing in but not being committed.  Then comes standing when we are getting more and more familiar to the temptation.  Eventually we find ourselves sitting with those who are leading us astray.  This pattern is so real and I have seen it happen in my own walk when I have fallen away from my relationship with Christ.  The Psalm goes on to talk about the one who is walking with Christ day by day.  This person becomes deeply rooted in Him and receives nutrition and growth spiritually.  This person becomes stable, confident, full of faith, and will enjoy continual fellowship with the Lord.  Talk about living a life of peace!  In spite of what may cross your path, if you are walking with Christ through it, there is nothing that can take away your joy, peace and hope.  

After devotions we began our day of seeing patients.  We again had to deal with the very hot and humid exam room with the need to go out and cool off periodically.  Linzy and I both struggled with the heat and needed to get some fresh air from time to time.  The patients we saw today were mainly minor problems and did not need any surgery.  We finished the clinic by 2:30 PM and Jane then contacted ten of her general surgery patients to let them know we can do their surgeries.  These people filled in the rest of the blanks in the surgery schedule. 

After the clinic we had our lunch together with Angelita, Maria Luisa and Jorge.  Our lunch was delicious.  After lunch Jorge went around the table to all the women to thank them and give them a kiss on the cheek.  I was last in line and by then this had become habit.  He came to me and leaned over and kissed me on the cheek before he realized what he had done.  Everyone laughed very hard and Jorge was so embarrassed.  The poor guy was mortified and he instantly became the best laugh of the day. 

After lunch Linzy and I walked about a quarter mile up the road to a phone cabin so we could make a couple phone calls.  I called Phyllis and was able to spend some precious minutes talking with her.  She caught me up on what was happening at home.  It was good to here her voice.   

We came back from the phone cabin and then Jane took us on a tour of the new clinic building.  It is mostly finished with a few minor projects that need completed before she can move into the building.  Once this is ready it will be a very nice facility and will enhance Jane’s ability to give care.  During our tour Gonzalo brought us some freshly cut sugar cane.  He had cleaned it and gave each of us a piece about 8 inches long.  We chewed on the cane and enjoyed the sugar that oozed from it.  Another little cultural experience for Linzy and me.

Jane had an errand to run in town and wondered if we wanted to walk with her.  Her car is in Quito so we walked the distance enjoying seeing the various stores and all the people.  As we walked along we came upon a patient of Jane.  This lady and her husband run a hotel and an appliance store.  She invited us in for a cola and a visit.  She served us pop from her cooler and then her husband went out and purchased a fruit called borojo.  She went to her kitchen with this large dark fruit and brought out three glasses of a delicious smoothie drink.  She blended the fruit with whole milk.  Then she made grilled cheese sandwiches for us.  We had a great time just enjoying their hospitality.  She is coming to the clinic Monday for me to examine her.  She may need surgery which we could add her on the schedule at the end of next week. 

It is time to go to bed and get some sleep.  Thankfully, this was a slower day.  I am tired and am looking forward to some good rest.   

Thank You, Father, for the great day.  You helped us through the clinic and provided the ability for us to care for those who came in.  You also provided us with new experiences and meeting new people.  Thank You for Your creativity in producing unique fruit that we could taste.  Thank You, Lord, for allowing us to walk with You and share Your love to others.  Lord, I pray  for a restful sleep tonight.  I pray also for Barb, Annette and Linda as they travel to Quito tonight.  Please protect them and protect Damarys at the airport.  She will be alone and is vulnerable to being robbed.  Please encamp around them and protect them with Your mighty hand.  Thank You, Father, for Your unfailing love.  Amen.

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