6Pm night before our trip. Just waiting for Randy to come home from running so we can go out to dinner. In the midst of my chaos, he is always the one who stays calm and shows reason!
The preparation for this "trip" has been one of the more exhausting....mostly because of it's significance. God puts people in your life and He takes them away. For me, one of those was my dad. My dad grew up in a place not much different than the poorest villages of Guatemala. They had no running water; they mostly ate potatoes and they had a one room school house that they had to walk a long way to get to. The older I get and the more I see around me, the more amazed I am that he was able to navigate the "system" and get to this country. The opportunities here enabled him to marry my mom (the most loving, giving person I have ever met) and to educate me and my sister so that we could make better lives for our children. To him and my mom, I am ever-indebted for giving me a chance to go on a trip like the one we start tomorrow.
The other person that God put in my life and He quickly took away was Flori. It's inexplicable how another human being who has absolutely nothing in common with you can become like family in a matter of minutes. Perhaps we were more similar than we were different. I would never, ever believe that God ordained her cancer and her death so that others might be saved. But I do believe that God put those of us involved in this effort in her path so that others might be saved.
So after many, many months of tireless preparation from so many people , we are off. We'll see where it will all lead. This "blog" thing is an opportunity to engage so many of you who have made this happen into a reality. Please write back and share your thoughts.
I know that you've all heard this bible verse so many times but it is one that I think of all the time.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command Love each other.
As I think about these words, I think of so many "branches". I think about Melinda and Chris who were so crucial to all of this effortI think about Janet who will get up at 3AM tomorrow morning to bring us to the airport. I think about Anne and Kandi at my job who will keep things going while I'm gone and my partners who were willing to take call for me and to care for my patients. I think about Gloria and Dave and Coral and Gary and Kathie and Bob and Julian and Christine and Robert and Deena and Rick and LeighAnn and Pam who have been at this day in and out throughout the year. Or Sara and Peter who have given so many hours without anything in return. There are so many people who will never get to experience the "hugs" but without them, none of this would happen. Thank you Tim and Ben and Dawn who worked to get us all the equipment that we need functioning! Thank you to Dr. Conway for enabling so much of this to happen. Thank you to Kevin Webb for allowing Flori to come here and a very, very special thank you to all the doctors and nurses who took care of her. Thank you to my children for always challenging me in this effort and always inspiring me.!
I think about all our supporters, all the people who are willing to give an encouraging word or who so willingly do whatever is needed or so generously give of their own resources. And thank you to those coming on this trip - Chetti and Lisa and Lisa and Mani and Randy and Lauren and Puja and Nate and Chad. And thank you to those "on the ground" in Guatemala - to Doctora Luckey and to Marta and Isabel. Thank you Isabel - you are theThank you for taking a step in faith to work toward healing a broken world.
There are too many details in this trip; too many opportunites for failure and perhaps, too many opportuntiies for love! We can only pray that in following the words of our Lord we will spend this time looking for ways to give God all the glory!
I am deep in prayer that good will come of this endeavor. Please share your thoughts and insights!