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9/18/06 (Monday)

Monday, September 18, 2006 

6:30 AM.  I had a good night’s sleep and feel refreshed and ready to start our surgery schedule.  The anesthesiologist is due to arrive about 7 to 7:30 and Jane and I would like to be in the OR in our scrubs and ready to begin as soon as the anesthesiologist arrives and gets settled.  We would love to begin our first surgery by 7:30 or at least before 8:00.  We have 5 hysterectomies today.  That means at least 8 to 10 hours of operating time.  This does not include the turn over time as the room is cleaned and prepared for the next case.  Jane plans to keep one cart empty with a pillow so we can take turns laying down and getting a little rest between cases.  All of these cases are straightforward hysterectomies and I don’t feel they should be any problems.  Now, as soon as I say that, an unexpected problem will surface and complicate our day.  I have learned that truth from many years of experience. 

Lord, today is Your day to be glorified, as is every other day for that matter.  However, today we begin our week of surgery, accomplishing medical and surgical care that is otherwise not available in this area for these people.  The surgery is truly a gift to these people and all them to live healthier.  We have the opportunity to make a difference in these people’s lives.  And all of this is to bring You glory and honor.  You brought us here, You called us to walk with You here and we intend to honor You through all this.  Thank You, Lord, for this opportunity to serve You and I pray that we can do that very act and cause You to smile and be glorified.  Thank You, Lord.  I pray for Your protection for all of us today.  I pray for Your wisdom to give Jane, the anesthesiologist and me the ability to discern and understand so we can do the right thing for the right reason.  Please help us keep our minds clear of distractions.  Please keep us from evil.  Put a hedge of protection around this clinic today, Lord.  Guide us, empower us, and most of all, love us with Your unfailing love.  Thank You, Lord.  Your name to be praised above all other names.  Thank You so much!  Amen. 

Just prior to leaving for the OR I checked my email and found a message from a friend back home.  She has an email devotional ministry and sends out a devotional every Monday.  Her devotional today was talked about when the Israelites were in exile during the time of Hosea, the prophet.  She used the word exile as something that happens to us when we let problems and issues of the day get in between us and God.  We become exiled from God because of focusing on the problems instead of on Him.  Jane and I talked about that thought and we looked at our day ahead of us and realized we could have many opportunities to be exiled from God.  We both prayed that we not have that happen to us today.  Interestingly, in our last surgery when we were about finished, some bleeding occurred that took us another half hour just to manage.  It wasn’t much but was troublesome and just wouldn’t stop easily.  Almost at the same moment, we both mentioned about this bleeding problem was about to exile us from God.  We both laughed but it was so true.  Things like that can cause us to slip away from God and then be frustrated because nothing seemed to work properly.  I wrote my friend back and told her how she ministered to us in Ecuador with her exile message. 

Jane and I went to the OR and were ready to start at 7:00 AM.  Our anesthesiologist was to be there by 7:30.  She called at 8:00 and was at least an hour away.  Our first attempt at being exiled!  So we got started late with our schedule.  We had 5 abdominal hysterectomies and we were looking at least 2 hours for each one.  That would run us to almost dark.  Once the anesthesiologist arrived, we went to work and the day went fairly smoothly.  We finished our last case by 7:30 or so.  All the surgeries went along okay although a couple were fairly difficult because of the anatomy. 

We did see one lady who arrived to the clinic today for an exam.  She was sent by Raquel and was a Chachi Indian from one of the river villages.  She couldn’t speak Spanish and came by herself with no food and no money.  When Jane and I met with her for an exam Jane asked her what her problem was.  All she did was point to her pelvis area.  We got her on the table and then found a total vaginal eversion.  The vagina was turned inside out and was not a mass about 8 inches across hanging between her legs.  Jane said she really couldn’t send this lady away without something.  After studying the problem for awhile we decided to add her on to the surgery schedule tomorrow.  She will be a very big challenge because the anatomy is so distorted.  The objective of surgery of this type is to restore normal anatomy.  When everything has fallen out, that restoration is most difficult, to say the least.  This type of surgery I have done before and it was quite difficult when done in the well equipped ORs in Fort Wayne.  Doing it here will be even more of a challenge.  Yet, I feel this lady showed up to be ministered to in Jesus’ name.  There is nothing God can’t handle and we will certainly lean on His counsel and His wisdom tomorrow!!   

Lord, thank You for today.  We had a good day helping 5 women with surgery.  We had opportunities to be exiled from You but we didn’t let that happen.  Thank You for Susie and her email ministry.  She gave us a good message to think about all day and to help us lean on You even more through the day.  I pray for the patients as they recover, Lord.  Please protect them and comfort them.  I also pray for tomorrow.  The schedule will be quite full and difficult.  Please give us the strength and the wisdom to do a great ministry for You.  Thank You, Lord!!  Amen.

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