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7/26/2012 (Thursday)

It is Thursday already!  I awoke before the alarm at 5:20 and got up to go take my breathing exercises which I did with vigor in the cold shower.  After the morning shower and shave I am ready to go with Jane to make rounds.  Today’s schedule is lighter and should not be a long day.  Jody mentioned last night that she had a very sore throat and spent the day in bed yesterday.  There is no cough just a sore throat. 

Father, I pray for today.  We will soon be seeing our post-op patients and I pray for each one of them, Lord.  Please encircle them with Your loving arms and give them healing.  Please protect them from disease and complications, Lord.  Give them energy, Lord.  Thank You for how You work in their lives.  Lord, I pray also for Jody.  She has a sore throat and it is disabling for her right now.  Father, touch her and heal her please.  Thank You, Lord.  Father, I pray for our surgical patients today.  Please guide Jane and me as we work together to serve You.  Thank You, Lord, for this opportunity. 

6:50 am.  Rounds are finished and several of the patients will be going home today.  We have nine recovering at this time and at least six if not seven will be heading home.  One lady who is on her second post-op day came in from the shower while we were seeing other patients.  She started her own form of rounds going from bed to bed hugging each patient and giving them encouragement.  She had trouble yesterday with a lot of pain and still walked very carefully this morning but made it a point to greet the other four patients in the room and give them encouragement.  It reminded me of our role as followers of God.  He comforts us so we can in turn comfort others.  As we walk with Him, He leads us to others where we can share His love and extend His comfort.  This is an awesome responsibility and privilege that anyone who walks with God will have.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

We met at 7:00 to have devotions and breakfast.  The devotions centered around the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.  Our discussion of the passage and the devotional reading brought to mind that we all are prodigals in God’s eyes.  Some said this passage didn’t seem fair in that the one son left, squandered his inheritance, and then was welcomed back to the home.  The brother did not like this and was very upset.  We all can identify with the angry brother for he stayed home and obeyed his father.  The prodigal ran away and lived a life unworthy of his father and his home.  Yet, we all are like that.  We, in God’s eyes, are rebellious, disobedient, living in sin, squandering our inheritance in Him, yet when we come back to God in repentance like this son did his father, God welcomes us with open arms and heaven rejoices.  I try to imagine the celebration going on in heaven when the prodigal returns.  We are all prodigals and when we return to God, think of the celebration going on in heaven at that moment. 

We learned that Jody is still sick, in fact seems more ill today than yesterday.  She still has a very sore through and now has diarrhea.  Jane wants to collect a stool specimen and send it to the lab to see what might be going on so the diarrhea can be treated appropriately.  Karl, Jody and Owen will be here for two weeks. 

8:45 am.  We are getting ready to start the surgeries for the day.  The first two patients are children with umbilical hernias.  I plan to not scrub in on these surgeries and will let Elizabeth be the first assistant for Jane.  Then we have a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.  The fourth patient is wanting her tubal ligation reversed.  Our plan was to do a small incision and look at the tubes to see if the reversal surgery could even be done.  If so, we will go ahead and do that surgery.  If not, all that would be done is a minilaparotomy.  However, we are not certain this lady will show up.  Jane said yesterday she called to report that she was home and very sick.  I doubt if she will be that better today and thus will likely be a no show.  If she does come in, I am reluctant to do surgery if there is a chance she is still ill.

10:00 am.  The first umbilical hernia surgery is complete.  The second patient is not coming in so we are moving on to the laparoscopic cholecystectomy.   This patient, a male, has had gallbladder symptoms for some time and ultrasound shows stones in the gallbladder.  The laparoscopic removal of the gallbladder went very smooth.  Jane makes it look easy. 

Yesterday I took some pictures of Carmen, Damarys and Elizabeth folding drapes for surgery.  After laundering them Carmen will then fold them in specific ways so they can be unfolded on the OR table and not moved around afterwards.  The drapes must unfold in a certain direction to help preserve the sterile field.  The drapes are folded and then wrapped and sterilized all on site.

Carmen, Damarys and Elizabeth are working on folding a large drape.

12:20 pm.  It appears we are finished for the day.  The other two patients didn’t show up to be evaluated for surgery.  We will be having lunch soon and then I have a project I want to work on for the afternoon.  I usually bring thank you cards to hand out to the team members.  This year I made them on Microsoft Publisher and have them stored in my laptop.  I want to work with Jane on these so she can translate them into the Spanish for me.  Going on a translation website, such as Google translator, gives me good translation; however, it does not accommodate local variations.  Jane will help San Lorenzoize the cards for me.

4:00 pm .  After our surgeries we then gathered for lunch and enjoyed a leisurely lunch with lots of conversation.  Then Jane and I worked on the thank you cards and I tried to print them but Jane’s printer would not respond.  My computer recognized the printer and I have all the drivers and software for this printer loaded in the computer.  I have printed things on her computer before.  For some reason it would not respond this time.  My first alternative was to load the cards onto Jane’s computer but then I learned that she does not have Publisher on her computer.  So I tried to reinstall her printer in my computer and I went online and downloaded all the software and reinstalled the printer.  However, that didn’t work either.  Then I saw on Publisher that I could save the documents as a pdf file.  Jane can read and print pdf files so I now have the cards in pdf and Jane will print them for me tonight or tomorrow morning.  I wanted to finish this before noon tomorrow so I can hand the cards out to each team member personally tomorrow before they leave.  We spent a lot of time getting the cards ready and then could not print them.  Hopefully, I can finish this project tonight.

I also am starting the packing process and sorting out what I will carry in the carry-on.  Jane and I will leave Saturday morning and we will be stopping to shop at Otavalo market on the way to Quito.  I want to have enough room in the carry-on to accommodate what I purchase at the market, especially if the items are more breakable.  I don’t want to bring them home in checked luggage.  Coming here my checked suitcase arrived with one corner bashed in and one wheel destroyed and it must be carried instead of rolled.  Tomorrow afternoon I will finish the packing so we can be ready to travel Saturday morning.

Our surgery schedule tomorrow is light.  We have two vaginal repairs to do, one anterior or bladder repair and one posterior repair and these should not involve a lot of time, possibly no more than an hour each.  Then Jane has a patient with some kind of mass on the hand and she will need anesthesia for that surgery.  These three surgeries will need anesthesia and then Dalia can leave.  She would like to be on her way back to Esmeraldas by noon if possible.  Jane has one more surgery that will only require local anesthesia and we will do that after Dalia leaves. 

Father, I pray for the two patients who are ill and couldn’t come for surgery today.  I don’t know the details of the illnesses but You do.  I ask for Your healing touch to be upon them and bring them back to good health.  I am thankful, Lord, that the surgeries they were scheduled for were not urgent and could wait for a better time.  Thank You for watching over the patients we operated on today, Lord.  Please cover them with Your healing mercies.  Thank You, Lord.

6:20 pm.  One window of my room faces due west and tonight’s sunset caught my eye and I had to share it with you. 

God’s signature on the day.

8:00 pm.  Dinner tonight was hamburgers and French fries.  We enjoyed fresh papaya for dessert and it was tasty.  I must say the food this week has been good.  For that I am thankful.   My plan for the rest of the evening is to get off my feet to help the swelling from standing all the time.  I have some reading I would like to do and then will get some good sleep again.  Already the neighborhood stereos are on.  The music drowns out the dogs barking and the truck noises that come from the highway.  The road has big speed bumps causing all traffic to slow to a crawl to go over them.  Thus, the trucks and buses must come almost to a stop and then the noise of the engine and shifting gears to get started again comes.  There is a big speed bump almost in front of the clinic and thus we get a lot of traffic noise.  Where I am this time is more to the back of the clinic building so I am farther away from the road but closer to the neighborhood stereos.  It is a trade off.  I am learning to ignore all that noise with the help of the fan running continually. 

Jane and I will meet again at 6:15 to see the post-op patients.  We will probably send most of them home tomorrow and may only have a couple in over Saturday.  We will probably see them on Saturday before we leave and most likely send the rest of the patients home.  Karl, Jody and Owen will be here through next week so someone will be around on the weekend until Jane returns from Quito. 

Father, today has been slower and less demanding and I thank You for that.  I also thank You for caring for the people we have operated on and bringing rapid healing to them.  Thank You for guiding us as we work together with You to bring healing to these people.  Lord, I think of the team members – Damarys, Loida, Carmen, Gonzalo, Maria Luisa and Angelita.  All of them have different roles and they all do their jobs in service to You.  Together we are able to bring hope and healing to many people.  We all are empowered by You, Lord, and I thank You for Your continual presence and Your unfailing love.  Again, Lord, thank You for calling me to walk with You here in San Lorenzo.  You have blessed me so much here.  Thank You!  I pray for a good night’s sleep for all of us, Lord, and also for our families both here and at home in the States.  I pray especially for Phyllis.  Give her a good rest, Lord.  I enjoy working here but also miss her greatly and am looking forward to seeing her again in a few days.  Thank You, Lord, for Your grace and mercy and forgiveness.  Thank You, Lord, for Your love, Your unfailing love.  Amen.


1. freda - July 26, 2012

continuing to pray for you , Marv & for Jane & all who are labouring together with you that the Lord will show you all His favour & surgeries will all go without complications – for quick healing & returned strength – also for Jody – wisdom in treating her & for returned health & strength for her , God bless you all richly , freda – bud too .

2. Jean Schantz - July 30, 2012

Great to see you are working with Jane! I recall our mission trips together with mixed emotions. I never forget Maria Batista, the woman who died under my care. You might remember her; she had a Bartholin cyst. I never did get over that. Anyway, I’m so happy to see you still working with Jane. Brad and I are happy to have the opportunity to send some financial support each year.
I found your website when I was looking up your phone number. My ministry has taken me in new directions. I am writing a Biblically based book to save America. Rick Hawks of the Chapel has already read it and given it high marks without criticism. 🙂 I’m hoping to get your friend David Jeremiah to do the final edit and write a forward. I can’t get it published without help from a big name.
Best wishes on your mission trip. I love to see Christianity in action. -in our Lord Jesus
Jean Schantz
PS Brad says hi!

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