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Day 5 – 7-24-2016 (Sunday)

4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Then Jesus said to them,“Children, have you any food?”

They answered Him, “No.”

6 And He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.

7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.  (NKJV)

Picking up from yesterday in John 21…The disciples were spent, discouraged, bewildered, confused and most likely tired.  They had to do something but could only think of going fishing.  So out in the boat they went only to strike out after fishing all night.  Then a remarkable thing happens.  A man walking on the shore calls to them in the boat asking if they had any luck.  They had been fishing all night and came up empty.  After they shouted back that their luck ran out, the man told them to cast the net on the other side of the boat for they would find some fish.  The disciples did and they had such a huge catch that they couldn’t even bring the net into the boat because it was so heavy and big.  Can you imagine?  Being discouraged from fishing all night with no luck and then striking the mother lode of fish!  What a thrill!  I would be grinning so widely trying to haul in that full net.  Imagine, the weight and size of the catch could not even be brought into the boat, probably because it would have capsized.  Wow!  

Then, one disciple, most likely John, realized the man on the shore was Jesus.  When the realization hit Peter, he jumped out of the boat and swam to the shore just to get to Jesus.  Peter, who was emotionally spent and likely physically spent as well, feeling much guilt and shame over his denial of his Lord, couldn’t get to Jesus fast enough.  He needed confirmation of Jesus’ love for him and His forgiveness.  He needed to have that very heavy burden of guilt lifted off his shoulders.  Peter not only had the thrill of catching all that fish but he also had the absolute thrill of returning to Jesus, in person.  Wow again!

Like me, I suppose you have had times of bearing a heavy burden of guilt, shame, embarrassment, having made a huge mistake that cannot be undone and felt the weight of that burden night and day.  In my career I constantly worried about how my patients were recovering after I did surgery.  We approached this surgery with the intent and hope of achieving a relief and even a cure of the disease that plagued the patient.  Yet, to get there I had to take risks and subject my patient to sometimes life-threatening surgery.  And at times the result wasn’t what we had hoped and I felt really bad having given the patient less than anticipated and essentially with that a message that this result would be with them the rest of their lives.  I hated those moments and felt a lot of pain emotionally for them.  I longed to have that burden lifted from me.  At times that burden was just too heavy to bear.  

As a parent there have been times I wish I would have responded differently and not caused the pain that occurred, a pain that kept surfacing over and over again as the children seemed to have a much better memory than I did about that incident.  As a husband I have often felt guilty for not loving my wife more, not showing her my love and devotion at a time when she really needed it.  Words come out that can’t be taken back.  Those burdens are heavy and wearisome.  How I longed for that moment of forgiveness, acceptance and the feeling that all is well again from the one I hurt.  I imagine the longing Peter had to actually run up to Jesus and embrace Him was absolutely overwhelming.  Peter needed that healing in the relationship.  He needed that reassurance.  He needed to experience first hand the unconditional, unending love of Christ.

6:00 am.  Awoke to the new day greeted by traffic sounds and other noises of the area.  I was able to shower and get ready for church with enough time before breakfast to go to the clinic building and go online to email Phyllis with the good news that my computer was working.  A couple days ago the computer crashed and no amount of resuscitation seemed to revive it.  Yesterday after moving to another bedroom I decided to pack the computer away for travel home and not mess with it anymore.  During the day yesterday I prayed several times telling the Lord that I knew this was just a small thing about the computer and I could certainly live without it but would He please help me with this and get the computer running again.  Last night as I got into bed I spent some time writing my journal longhand and I got the distinct mental nudge to try the computer again.  This nudge was strong enough that I opened the computer and booted it and up everything came.  It was fully running and back to what I had when it shut down.  God answered my prayer!!  I was able to update the journal and then this morning go online and email Phyllis with the good news.  

Thank You, Lord, for even the small things.  You listen and You answer.  Thank You for this show of Your unfailing love and mercy and grace.  Thank You, Lord, for this day, this Lord’s Day.  Thank You for the opportunity to go to church and praise and honor You with the people here at San Lorenzo.  To You goes all the glory and praise.  Amen!!

We went to church and worshipped with the local people.  Of course, it was all in Spanish and I couldn’t understand it but I felt the sense of worship anyway.  The songs were the same ones that we sing, only in Spanish.  Our cab ride to and from the church were the fastest trip through town.  I thought we were on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney for awhile.  

I was interested in seeing the church now that it has been completed and the church body has been worshipping there for the past couple years.  Several years ago the church building collapsed.  Fortunately, no one was in the building at the time but this forced the congregation to meet somewhere else.  Thus, the ministry center at the clinic became a church home for these people for a few years as they raised the funds to rebuild their building.  The church body is rather small, possibly 50 people or so but they raised their own funds over the years and added a lot of sweat equity as they pitched in to help with the construction.  The people bought the vision and carried it out fully to rebuild their worship center.  They now have a nice church building where the sanctuary is out in the open.  The stage for the worship team and pastor is under a roof but the rest of the sanctuary is exposed.  Above the seating area are classrooms so the seats are under cover in case of bad weather.  

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The stage for the worship team and pastor.

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Howard and Barb are walking into the sanctuary.

After returning to the clinic after church we were joined by Jane who arrived from Quito.  We talked some and then had lunch.  Jane then took us on a tour of the clinic construction.  I must say, the new addition to the clinic is amazing.  This will give the clinic almost full functionality for surgical patients.  There will be rooms for the patients, laundry facilities for the patients as well as for the operating room, a large recovery room, all enclosed with air conditioning.  This will make the entire clinic state of the art.  I was totally blown away by what is being done.  There seems to be so much to do yet to be able to be up and running by next month.  I took a bunch of pictures and they are on a subpage of this page.

Jane was very impressed and pleased with the way the house looked and also the waiting area in the clinic.  We needed to do a second coat in that waiting area and also paint the lower wall with another color.  In the process Howard decided to clean up the door frames that were chipped and then we painted the door frames with another color.  The waiting area looks good and Jane loves it.  

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The waiting room wall.  Top is peach.  Bottom is light brown.

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Katie is working on a door frame.

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Howard is painting a door frame, Ted is preparing to do something, not sure what.

After we spent the rest of the afternoon painting we then had dinner.  Carmen fixed pork and llapingachos, a flattened ball of yucca that has been cooked and smashed and formed into a ball around some coast cheese that was obtained at the market.  This cheese is real cheese made from cow’s milk and is not at all like the processed cheese we are used to.  The cheese forms the center with the yucca formed around it.  Then it is fried till the outside is crispy.  They are very good.  They taste a little like potato but also have a flavor all of its own.  Carmen also served us juice from the guanabana fruit.  The fruit is large like a papaya and the juice looks milky.  The taste was amazing.  It had a unique flavor that was absolutely delicious.

Father, this day started with worship and throughout the day I felt at worship.  Now at the end of the day I still am worshipping You.  You are the God of the universe, the Author of life, and yet You reach out to me, to us, in unconditional love that goes beyond my imagination and comprehension.  Like I read this morning from John 21 and how Peter jumped out of the boat and ran to be with Jesus, to embrace Him, to receive His love once again, I, too, feel drawn to run to You…for everything.  Lord, thank You, for allowing me to walk with You, to come to You as a son would to his father, to receive forgiveness and acceptance from You.  Lord, I love You and commit my life to You.  It is such a pleasure to know You and serve You.  Thank You, Lord.  Please grant us rest tonight and please do the same for our families.  Protect them, Lord, and us from the evil one, from danger, from threats, from illness.  Oh Lord, we depend on You so much for everything.  Thank You, Lord, for Your incredible love.  I worship You tonight.  Amen.

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