I arrived home early yesterday afternoon. My flight from Houston was delayed, so I did not arrive at my Portland motel until late Saturday night. Since I had gotten up at 4:00AM in Quito,my day was a 22 hour one. So, I am catching up on my sleep, and will need some time to process the experience, I but I am deeply amazed and lifted up by the quality of the group and the way personalities merged together under the common purpose to share God’s love as His hands, feet, and voices.
Over forty people joined us, from ages in the twenties to one doctor who celebrated his 80th birthday last night in Quito at our farewell dinner overlooking the lights of the city. The group included a number of dedicated Ecuadorian translators. We had two surgeons, a nurse anethesist, two ob-gyn’s, three family docs, a pediatrician, two nurses, and four pharmacists, two of whom were bi lingual, as was one of the surgeons. The intensity of the work was incredible–long lines of people and long hours, but the happiness and the gratitude of the patients was, as with past trips, always awesome. I spent a good deal of time working with reading glasses–exhaustingly intense but good.
WARNING: what follows is explicitly religious, so just skip to the pictures if you want.
While sitting in Houston at the waiting area of my Portland departure gate, I saw a poster for Continental Airlines. It set out an impressive statement:
“There are industry standards. Thankfully, we have our own.”
Traveling and serving with Global Health Outreach, the mission arm of the Christian Medical Dental Association, our time with the people of Ecuador is more than the “industry standard” of good thoughts/good deeds. As we pray with and for patients, as we share morning devotions and life journeys, we know we are the branches of Christ’s vine. We are His hands, feet, and voice.The pills run out, the bodily aches and pains return, but the love, forgiveness, grace, hope, joy, and salvation of Jesus Christ is eternal.
More pictures will follow as I readjust at home, but these two images of the people and the scenery reflect the profound intensity of our trip. Blessings, Eric