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6-22-2014 (Sunday)

Today is Sunday, the Lord’s day, although every day is the Lord’s day.  We have a full schedule instead of taking a day of rest as our anesthesia support is only available for a limited number of days.  Yet, when we gathered for breakfast, Carmen announced that this morning her mother, whom we operated on yesterday, accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior!  Carmen was very excited and we all celebrated with the angels in Heaven as this soul was saved.  That’s the root purpose of this ministry.  We work in the medical field and bring physical healing and comfort to people but the main purpose this ministry exists is to ultimately introduce people to Jesus Christ.  What a joy!

Carmen and her mother, now a new member of the family of God.

Carmen and her mother, now a new member of the family of God.

Father, thank You, for Carmen’s mother.  She is now Your child and we celebrate that.  Thank You for giving us a part in Your work to bring her into Your family.  Lord, You performed a miracle in her heart.  Thank You!!  Father, I pray for today.  We have a big schedule and are still feeling the tiredness of yesterday.  I pray for strength and stamina for all of us.  I pray especially for wisdom and knowledge to be able to render the correct treatment.  I pray for the patients who will be undergoing surgery.  Please protect them and touch them with Your healing touch.  And Lord, if any are like Carmen’s mother, I pray for a transformation of their hearts as well.  Thank You, Lord!  Amen.

Devotions before our breakfast

Devotions before our breakfast

Our first surgery actually was I.P., the fourth patient on the schedule as she was the only one here.  The others have been contacted and they are on their way.  While we were repairing the umbilical hernia on I.P., Maria Luisa was talking with her as she had a spinal for anesthesia.  Maria Luisa talked with her about faith in Jesus Christ and there on the table she led this lady to the Lord.  She accepted Jesus as her Savior and answered the questions indicating she understood the decision she had made.  This was the second time I have had a patient place their faith in Christ while we were in the middle of surgery.  Jane then commented that Maria Luisa had led Carmen’s mother to the Lord earlier this morning.  So Maria Luisa has had an effective ministry already on this Lord’s day.

Father, thank You for protecting I.P. and bringing to her through Your Spirit understanding and conviction that she needs a Savior.  Then You introduced her to Jesus!  What a joy to see this and be part of this effort.  Thank You for Maria Luisa whose passion is to see people learn to know You.  She is truly an evangelist and is such an instrumental part of the team here.  

Bless her in a special way today, Lord.  Thank You.  Amen. Our next patient is D.Z.  I have been worrying about her ever since Jane talked to me via Skype instant messaging a few weeks ago.  She has complete vaginal prolapse that occurred about 3 weeks post-op after I had performed a hysterectomy and Burch urethropexy and posterior repair on her in 2011.  Over time the bulge has steadily enlarged and hangs outside of the vaginal opening constantly.  She is very poor and her surgery is being covered by some funds given to this mission project by my church in Florida, Englewood United Methodist Church.  My concern for her was how to approach this problem and repair it correctly.  Multiple surgical plans came into mind but none really seemed to be the answer for her.  Thus, I turned to my Friend, my Lord, to help with this, to give me guidance and wisdom to complete the surgery.  When she was in the operating room and under spinal anesthesia I had the opportunity to examine her once again.  During this exam the plan of management became very clear.  God answered my prayer by giving me a clear answer and focus on managing this.  Suddenly the confusion and the related fear melted away and I knew that my prayer was answered as I had clarity and assurance to proceed with a surgical plan that would correctly restore the anatomy.

Jane and I with D.Z. in the OR before being prepped for surgery

Jane and I with D.Z. in the OR before being prepped for surgery

Lord, You are so faithful!  You came to my rescue and settled my nerves.  You cleared away the confusion and gave me the wisdom and knowledge to approach this problem with purpose and clarity.  Thank You, Lord.  Please, I pray, cover D.Z. with Your unfailing love.  Touch her with Your healing hand.  Protect her, Lord, from any complications.  Thank You for allowing Jane and me to be Your hands today.  Thank You, Lord!  Amen.

12:40 pm.  We just finished the difficult repair on D.Z.  I must say it was a challenge as these types of procedures require good visibility and exposure, something that is difficult to obtain and maintain.  I would get the exposure I needed with my fingers or retractor and as soon as I pulled away to pick up a suture or a clamp to do what I wanted to do, the tissue would fold back into the area and obscure my line of sight.  We spent a lot of time just gaining exposure so we could do the next step.  However, God was with us as He promised.  His hand was on my shoulder and at times around my hands.  He guided me through the procedure and we achieved because of His presence a good repair with restoration of normal anatomy for this patient.  I am very thankful for this result.  A burden on my heart has been lifted by being able to finish this procedure.  Thank You, Lord!!

1:00 pm.  Jane is doing the third surgery of the day.  This lady, M.P., was number 5 on the schedule, however, she is here and ready and Jane will excise a breast mass for her and then we will break for lunch.  Lord, I pray for M.P. and Jane.  Please cover them with Your love.  I pray that the mass is not cancerous.  Thank You, Father.  Amen.

2:45 pm.  Our lunch break was needed.  In typical Ecuadorian fashion lunch is the biggest meal of the day.  Carmen fixed roast beef, roast pork, rice, lentils, salad and fresh squeezed orange juice for us.  The food was wonderful.  The only problem now is the urge to lay down and doze for awhile to digest this food.  But, duty calls and we must go back to work.  We will soon be starting the surgery on V.C., a laparoscopic cholecystectomy.

Father, thank You for a good meal.  Thank You for providing the nutrition we need to sustain us physicially.  Thank You for the spiritual nutrition You provide as well.  Lord, I pray for V.C.  Please keep her safe, covered with Your healing power.  Be with Jane and me as we work together with You to provide surgical care for her.  Help us remove the diseased gallbladder without any complications.  Thank You, Lord, for Your presence and Your helping hands.  You bless us so richly, Lord.  Amen.

4:15 pm.  We are finished with the laparoscopic cholecystectomy.  This went very smoothly with no problems.  Thank You, Lord! Our next surgery is our last for the day.  This one is for a left inguinal hernia.  Dahlia, our anesthesiologist is to be gone part of the day on Wednesday.  Jane said she moved one of our hysterectomies to tomorrow from our Wednesday schedule.  This will give us 4 major surgeries tomorrow.

5:46 pm.  The last surgery is complete.  Just as we were draping this young man his heart rate dropped to 29 and blood pressure fell below 60.  He said he felt nauseated.  I would too if my heart rate did that.  Dahlia gave him some medications, I’m not sure what, and his heart rate responded quickly back to normal.  Jane then proceeded with the hernia repair and inserted some mesh to prevent a reoccurance.  The surgery went very well.

Father, this has been a good day in surgery.  We have accomplished a lot thanks to You.  Lord, I pray for the patients for quick healing.  I also pray for the two patients who placed their faith in You, Lord Jesus.  What a harvest for You!!  Thank You for giving us the stamina and ability to accomplish this work for You, Lord.  This has been a blessed day serving You.  Thank You, Father.  Amen.

9:00 pm.  We had a light dinner and some good conversation around the table spending better than an hour just having fun with lots of laughter.  Also, we had a good rain which will replenish the cistern that supplies the water for the clinic.  Jane has a deep well that supplies good water but the pump needs pulled and cleaned so it doesn’t burn out.  At this time the pump is off until she can have it pulled and cleaned.  Apparently someone is coming next month to work on various projects including the pump.

Jane said the patients from yesterday and today are doing well.  She is checking IVs and then we all will call it a day.  We start at 8 in the morning with another full schedule.

Father, as we go to bed soon I pray for all of us to have a good night’s sleep.  We need that rest so we can be ready with Your help to continue the work You have for us here.  Thank You for bringing Howard, Jordan and me here to San Lorenzo.  Thank You for making this a special trip for Howard and Jordan as they are learning about the culture here and also ways to serve You.  Thank You for the opportunity to share Your love with the people here.  Lord, I worship You tonight.  Thank You for the rain that refreshes the soil.  Thank You for the water for our cistern.  Lord, You always supply what is needed.  Thank You for allowing us to walk with You and serve You.  Thank You, Father.  Amen.

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