Soooo we slept outside. With the bugs, on the cots, and the sound of rain. I won’t say I slept soundly. But it was an experience I haven’t had since I was a Girl Scout. At 5:00 am the local bus came horns a blazing and I thought we were about to die! Not really, but it scared the heck out of me! At 5:30 the roosters began to crow. I can tell you what I’d like for breakfast tomorrow… At 6:00 I gave up all hope of anymore sleep when the bus came around for the second time!
And don’t even get me started on the panic attack at 2:00 am thanks to Jon, And the Marias! I woke up and their cots had disappeared! Vanished I tell you! Shannon blamed the rapture. But then quickly corrected herself as we realized they wouldn’t need their cots! They pretty much left us in the rain and took cover for themselves.
Moving along… God is truly opening me up this week. I was given the honor of doing today’s devotional. I don’t pretend to be very knowledgeable on the bible. I mostly go by what I feel. With no WiFi I had to actually open the bible (Well I pulled the app up on my iPad) and find word and scriptures to fit the message I wanted to get across. And you know what? God just pointed it out.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; 22 they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. 23 Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. 24 When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, 26 for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.
9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God,[a] for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
We all made it there on that day in that place at that time because God ordained it. Our prayers, both little and big were answered. All the supplies, doctors, nurses, the dentist, and evangelist made it. It was the beginning of great work and miracles. I could see how perfect God’s plan was. All we had to do was trust him for the finances to get to Usila, and he would send the people to us. This was much like Jesus. He simply went into a town and the people would flock to him.
After I finished my devotional Maria Elena shared how the pastor got emotional about the arrival of the generator. He really didn’t think it was going to make it all the way to Usila. Things like that that we can just walk into a Lowes or Home Depot and buy, made a grown man emotional. You just have to smile and praise God!
Dr. Laura spoke on the journey to Usila. With the strikes and blockades she and the team truly questioned whether or not they should make the journey. They received encouragement from Don and Maria via e-mail and phone calls from her own team. They prayed about it and ultimately they felt that they needed to at least attempt to keep their commitment. She spoke on the confirmation of our prayers and how the blockades just seemed to clear up within ½ hour of their arrival to them. Another hurdle came up and a police officer helped them to navigate the back roads and get around another barrier. She even spoke about a gas station that ran out of gas right before filling her tank, and how a taxi pulled in behind her and was unable to get gas, and yet they had enough to get to Usila. Marta knew that because of their prayers and arrival it was god’s plan.
From there we split up into our assigned stations. At the end of the week Laura gave a testimony as to how we all just naturally found our place. Jon & Jesus were in the ministry tent with some of the locals. Maria and I ran the clinic like office managers. Shannon, Dylan, Caleb, Mike (Mike was also a dental assistant) & Hannah did kid’s church. Aaron, Maddie and Alesha (she also did triage) were the dental assistants. Stephan was originally in the pharmacy, but actually ended up having a ton of consults for physical therapy that kept him very busy. Maria R. wore many hats as triage, translator for kid’s church, and nurse. Many of us stepped in and out of our roles to try others or observe or just help! Saul and Eloisa ran the pharmacy. Karla was the best dentist ever! Daniela, Augustin, and Laura were the doctors with the help of Sylvia the nurse practitioner.We hit the ground running and didn’t stop! Our hours were from 9-5. I had to kick the medical staff out of their rooms to get them to take a break and eat. In one case I had to take away Karla’s (the dentist) check in slips so that she would take a break. She kept saying she didn’t want one person waiting to not get helped!
Miracles had already happened. But the first big moment that literally made Jon’s eyes water were because of a man that came in and could not see the small print on a book in front of him. Jon clarified it wasn’t because he couldn’t read, but because he couldn’t see. He and Jesus prayed over him and by the time he walked out of the tent he could read it! Praise God!
A second miracle was when a lady came in with a tremendous amount of pain. By the time she walked out she was walking smoother and smiling! And another who came in that could barely breath. I was called in to pray with Jon and Jesus for her. She looked me dead in the eye and told me she could actually feel her lungs opening up. The pain had not completely gone, but she was feeling better. We prayed for her again on the last night.
We saw 110 patients in the clinic and the dentist saw another 40+. It was incredible. I was energized! I made jokes with the people waiting. We laughed together and cried together. I prayed over Celia one of the women who came in. She wouldn’t smile for us. She had very low self esteem and didn’t feel the love of Jesus. I prayed for her in Spanish and told her again and again how much Jesus loved her. I repeated that he had died for her and she was beautiful! She smiled brilliantly at the end. For the rest of the week she gave me the best Colgate smile!
At 5pm we finished up with the waiting patients. We collapsed into chairs to play cards and share testimony. So many amazing moments in one day! After a bit we found the energy to do a little site seeing and be silly. The younger crowd played soccer. I should say we pretended as we took a major beating. But at least they were all still smiling and breathing at the end.
We had service that evening. Jon led worship and Maria Elena did the service. One of my favorite parts was to see us all mixed in with the locals singing to God. We had the same songs as them. So we sang them in English and they sang them in Spanish. It was pretty cool. Although understanding the language made it a little difficult for me to pick one language to speak/sing them in. I kept bouncing between the two depending on who I could hear.Maria Elena was magnificent! She spoke on waiting and believing on the return of Jesus. The faithful would be rewarded. I was so moved by her passion I would forget to translate… until “someone” no names being mentioned would elbow me, Stephan may have left a bruise. Just kidding… about the bruise part anyway.
After service Fabiola one of the local children that had befriended Hannah came to find me. She had this sense of urgency and I immediately worried for Hannah. She took my hand and dragged me out of the church hall and outside to Hannah. When I first saw her I breathed with relief and continued with Fabi. I told Hannah that Fabi wanted me to tell her something. Fabi grabbed both of Hannah’s hands and asked me to simply tell her that she loved her! I cannot retell this without tears coming to my eyes. The absolute urgency in Fabi to tell Hannah her feelings humbled me. Hannah’s eyes watered up and they hugged. It was a beautiful moment to be a part of. I knew the end of the week was going to be hard for both of them. All day Stephan kept saying how much he just wanted a sandwich (like father like son). And wouldn’t you know dinner that night was sandwiches! Of course we immediately told him to pray for brownies next. Conversations were lively and we were becoming a little delirious at this point. We decided it was just time to go to bed. I was so excited for a new town and new people to arrive tomorrow. I pray for the same energy and more miracles. So on that note… Good night!
On a side note I couldn’t be everywhere at once. So I don’t have tales to tell of kid’s, but I hear they had a great time! Here are some pics from day 1!