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9/27/06 (Wednesday)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 

5:10 AM.  I got up at 4:30 and jumped in the shower only to find there was no warm or hot water, just the coldest water ever!  The room temperature was 64 degrees and this water was probably 50.  I could not tolerate that so I got back out without getting a full shower.  I washed up at the sink and shaved and then packed my personal stuff away.  Now I have all the stuff packed.  Both suitcases are heavy and will likely be over the 50 pound limit.  I will see what happens at check in.  Jane will be here in 20 minutes so I will now shut down the computer and pack it away.   

Lord, this is a new day and a day of travel for me.  We are heading back to Indiana and I am really looking forward to hugging Phyllis.  Thank You, Lord, for bringing me here and walking me through Ecuador, parts of which I had never seen before.  Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to participate in the ministry You have given to Jane.  Thank You, Lord, for Your protection and guidance throughout the time here and for Your provisions.  You have provided is so many ways and I feel totally blessed to have been a recipient of that.  Lord, I pray this morning for safety in my travel to home.  I pray for times of reflection as I think back over the past days and remember the great things You did in our presence.  I praise You, Lord, for all of this.  I pray this in Your holy, precious name, Lord Jesus.  Amen. 

9:50 AM.  I am on the plane and we are high above Ecuador heading to Miami.  I got the chance to see Cayambe above the clouds.  What a sight!  The sun is bright and I am the only one in my row.  This gives me room to spread out some.  My check-in process went well.  My carry-on and computer case were inspected twice.  The second time there were to young men going through my carry-on and asking me about various items in it.  They came to the case for my surgical loupes.  I told them I was a surgeon and those were magnifying glasses.  They opened the case and were very interested in knowing how those work and what work I did in Ecuador.  I told them about Jane and the work she does in San Lorenzo and that I come periodically to help her with gynecological cases.  They were very interested and impressed and thanked me for coming to help the people of Ecuador.   

My two suitcases were over the weight limit so I had to pay an extra $50 at check-in.  I asked about an upgrade to first class so I could have more room.  There were seats available and the cost would have been only $115.  However, the agent said she could only give me the upgrade to Miami and not on to Chicago.  I decided I would just stay where I was at although it was tempting to get more room for the flight.  Now I am glad I didn’t upgrade because I have plenty of room in my row.  I look for a smooth flight.  The captain said it would take 3 ½ hours so I thought I would work on the journal for awhile before getting back into my book.   

The trip to Miami was smooth and the breakfast served was very good.  I began reading the book I took along to for the trip home.  We landed in Miami and the process through customs was smooth.  One customs agent asked me what I was doing in Ecuador.  I told him I was a surgeon and I go there periodically to work with a good friend who has a clinic in San Lorenzo.  I explained a little about Jane’s ministry and how we work together doing cases and mentioned that we treated about 200 people and did 31 major surgeries.  He then stated, “I bet you don’t get paid for that work either.”  I said the payment I receive is the opportunity to make a significant impact on another person’s life and help that person have hope.  He then said that he greatly admired people who would give up valuable time from their career to help others.  He told me that he was very proud of me and thanked me for taking the time to reach out to people of another country, especially people who are poor and would have no opportunity otherwise. 

We left Miami after sitting on the tarmac for about 45 minutes because traffic was so congested in Chicago.  Chicago was having some weather problems as well.  Once we were airborne I was back into my book.  Upon arriving in Chicago we circled the area for about an hour before landing.  Fortunately, I had a 3 hour layover so my connection to the final leg of the trip was not a problem.  I had a long walk to get to the gate for the Fort Wayne flight but got there with about a half hour to wait before boarding.  The flight home was interesting because the sky was clear and the city lights were very visible.  I finished my book and just watched the cities of northern Indiana pass under the plane as we traveled to Fort Wayne.  We arrived about 11:00 PM.  One piece of luggage did not come through and it was traced to a pile of luggage still in Chicago.  That piece will be delivered to my house in the morning. 

Lord, what an incredible experience walking with you through Ecuador!!  Thank You for allowing that to happen.  Thank You for calling me to accompany You to San Lorenzo, Borbon, Zapallo Grande and to the various other places we were able to visit.  Thank You for the angels you brought to us that provided for and protected us.  Thank You for the opportunity to make an impact on another person’s life and bring hope and peace to that person.  Thank You for the opportunity to share Your love with others.  Thank You for the opportunity to be part of the team who were able to introduce You to people who do not know You.  Thank You for the miracles of healing we were able to witness.  Lord, what an incredible experience!!!  Thank You for being You and for Your unfailing love.  Thank You, Lord!!  Amen. 

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