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7/19/2012 (Thursday)

6:15 am.  I awoke before the alarm was to go off.  My internal clock works in spite of a different time zone.  I have the altitude headache this morning and need more water.  I will have to wait until breakfast to get the filtered water so I can drink it.  The water out of the tap is not drinkable, at least for foreigners.  The water is clear and clean but may not be free of bacteria.  Thus, the need to drink boiled and/or filtered water. 

I had a little time after getting showered (last hot shower for awhile) and everything repacked to sit and read another Psalm for my morning thoughts.  I turned to Psalm 127 and verses 1&2 caught my eye:  Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.  Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.  In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.  I look upon coming to Ecuador to work with Jane as a house the Lord builds.  If I come for my own personal gain in some way, God will not favor that.  He has to be the one bringing me here.  As I walk with Him daily we walk in various places.  For now we are walking in Ecuador.  This is the house God wants me to work with Him on at this time.  I believe Jane’s ministry has been so successful because she lives the first verse of this psalm.  Her ministry was built by the Lord and she has not pursued this effort for her own personal gain.  In fact, she sacrifices daily in order to be here. 

Father, thank You for the restful night.  My headache is still there but it didn’t seem to affect my sleep any.  Thank You for that.  I pray for today, Lord.  We will be travelling on the road through the Andes and I pray for safety.  I pray for our conversation we will have today.  Jane and I will be travelling by ourselves and this will give us plenty of time to talk and reflect on Your abundant grace.  Thank You, Lord, for this opportunity.  Amen.

At breakfast I was joined by another man who is from Colorado and works with Compassion International.  He is here for ten days to visit three children that they sponsor and will be travelling to various areas in the country to complete this work.  A young lady also joined and she is a freshman college student at Moody Bible Institute studying missions.  She is here to spend time working in an orphanage.  Her home is in Maine.  We had a good conversation and I was able to share with them about the work Jane does in San Lorenzo.


Map of Ecuador. We travel from Quito northwest to San Lorenzo at the Colombian border and the Pacific Ocean.


Jane came by about 8 and moved my bags to the car and were on the road by 8:30.  My altitude headache was truly a “sick headache” for I fought nausea from the time we were underway until I could take it no more.  I asked Jane to pull over and as soon as she rolled to a stop I opened the door and left my breakfast in the gutter.  After a little time I felt better and I took a Dramamine (Meclizine) to try to curb more nausea.  We were able to travel on to Ibarra where we got out and walked around at this mall.  Usually this is the place we stop for lunch since there is a nice KFC there.  However, the mere thought of food made me sick.  We walked around and I helped Jane buy some groceries to supply food for us for the next several days.  Back in the car I was doing okay until and even slept for about 30 minutes.  I awoke just as Jane was pulling up to a police check point where we always are stopped to review our ID papers.  My nausea was building quickly and I didn’t really want to put on a demonstration to the police.  Jane needed fuel for the car so we moved on up about a half mile to a service station and then I could take no more.  Several dry heaves later I thought I felt better.  We then drove another hour and finally arrived at the clinic at 3:30 pm.  Jane took me to my room and I promptly laid down and rested for another half hour or more.  Then when I got up I felt much better and was able then to unpack my suitcases and move in.

I am in a corner room on the second floor of the clinic.  It has two windows and there is a persistent breeze which makes it very comfortable.  I have a desk and a dresser and even better, a good Internet signal from Jane’s modem down the hall.  So I should be able to access the Internet daily.

5:30 pm.  I just returned from downstairs having met with Angelita and Maria Luisa.  They were very glad to see me and I felt the same toward them.  These two ladies are the nicest people and are committed to Jane’s work.  Jane learned to know them and trained them to be able to work in the clinic office, back in the OR, scrubbing and passing instruments, cleaning and rewrapping and sterilizing instruments and drapes…basically able to do most anything needed to support Jane in her work.  I love their smiles and their generosity.  I am looking forward to working with them the next several days.

Father, it has been a long day on the road, twisting and turning through the mountains, fighting this headache and nausea.  It is finally gone and I thank You for that.  It feels good to be back in San Lorenzo at the clinic.  It almost seems like home to me.  Thank You for bringing me here again and I look forward to the work You have prepared for us.  May we continually honor You in our thoughts and words and actions, Lord.  You, and You alone, deserve all the praise and glory.  Amen

As we were leaving Ibarra we passed this small group of buildings and there was this sign stating “Los Pits Restaurante.”  I asked Jane what Pits in Spanish meant.  She could not think of any word like that and wondered if some of the lettering had come off of the sign.  When we got to the clinic and I could go online, I went to Google Translator and typed in Los Pits.  The English translation is “The Pits.”  Jane and I have been chuckling about this sign in that who would want to eat at a restaurant named “The Pits.”?  Even if the sign has lost some letters, I think it would behoove the owner to refer to his eating establishment as something different and better than The Pits. 

7:30 pm.  Jane has been busy unpacking supplies and soon we will grab something to eat.  My nausea is gone and I believe I can try something.  I don’t think we will go out to eat at The Pits tonight. 

9:00 pm.  Today Jane bought some sliced chicken breast and we had grilled cheese and chicken sandwiches.  The sandwich was very tasty and seemed to settle okay.  I didn’t want to push it much so I didn’t eat anything else.  The nausea is gone essentially but it feels like it wouldn’t take much to have it back again.  Best to keep things quiet and get some sleep.  So  I am heading to bed.  With the windows open to get some breeze I also get to hear all the loud music from the stereo systems in the neighborhood.  It seems the louder you can play your music, the better. 

Father, this has been a day that I don’t want to repeat real soon.  The nausea is better and the headache is gone.  I pray for a restful night with some good sleep.  Tomorrow we start seeing patients and evaluating them for any surgery.  Lord, give Jane and me the wisdom we need to make the right diagnoses and the right decisions on management.  Lord, we are here to serve You and to bring You glory through all this.  I so love You, Lord.  Amen.


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