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Trip 4, September 2006

When I travel on medical mission trips I like to take along a notebook in which I keep a journal of the events and experiences I have each day.  I find my memory fades quickly and little details of the day slip away.  I have learned that keeping a journal helps me record the memories for the day and gives me some interesting reading later when I return to the journal and read over what happened that day.  I also find I can write down my thoughts, opinions and even my prayers as I see God working in my life through the venue of a medical mission project.

I have tried to keep God first in my life and pursue a career that honors Him.  Through the talents and gifts He has given me I have been able to have a career in medicine, specifically obstetrics and gynecology.  This career has given me some incredible life experiences as I have enjoyed the thrill of helping new life into the world and also have felt the discouragement and hopelessness of telling someone she has cancer and her life has now turned upside down.  Yet, God works through this entire spectrum and allows opportunity for me to respond to His call and share His love with my patient, regardless of the circumstances.

Over the past several years God has opened the door of opportunity for me to travel to another country to participate in medical mission work.  I have been to the Dominican Republic five times and now have worked in Ecuador four times.  One physician I have learned to know and have worked closely with on mutual patients in Fort Wayne is Jane Weaver, MD.  She is a general surgeon and has followed her heart to Ecuador to serve God there through serving the people of that country.  She has a clinic in the city of San Lorenzo, which is located in the northwestern corner of Ecuador.  San Lorenzo has a population of about 30,000 people.  The standard of living is very poor compared to some of the bigger cities in Ecuador and especially compared to the United States.  Jane provides most of the medical care to this community.  Through her clinic the people receive medical, dental and surgical care and also receive and experience God’s love as she and her staff reach out to the people who enter their door.  I have the distinct privilege to work with Jane periodically in helping her deliver gynecological care in San Lorenzo.  Togehter, we will see several women and perform multiple needed surgeries.  It is such a thrill to see my skills and talents bring a positive impact in another person’s life, expecially when that person has no means of pursuing that level of care or even paying for it.

What follows are my journal entries.  I took my laptop with me this trip and kept a much more details journal on it including inserting pictures that add much more to the words I have written.  My hope is that what I have recorded would spark an interest in someone else to likewise heed God’s call to serve Him by serving others in a medical mission project.

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