The young pastor moved slowly off his hospital bed and stood looking down. I wondered why he was gazing downward. Without lifting his head, he said, “This is the first time in 14 years that I have looked down and found my knees to be level with each other.” A hip replacement by one of the surgeons on our Scalpel team has given him back the ability to stand without pain while preaching and even walk without a limp … well, that is still in process!
Stitches are out for most of our patients. Two weeks from surgery day and the incisions all look good, and for the most part, things are healthy. We had one trauma patient who came in the day before our surgeries started. A motorcycle accident left his right leg in pieces. The miracle of surgery has given him back hope that one day he will walk again on that leg. As we evaluated his progress, he was all smiles even though his complicated situation will require another week before stitches are removed.
Three hip replacements and a number of other surgeries have opened the door for relationship in the lives of a number of families here in Pucallpa. Some of them are believers who love the Lord. One older gentleman was in tears as he shared his story of God saving him from alcohol many years back and giving him a life full of purpose and a family to love. His hip replacement has given him new life in terms of work and activity. He came to have his stitches removed ambling along without any crutches or cane and a big smile on his face.
Isaac Mendoza (see story: https://www.facebook.com/ScalpelAtTheCross/videos/1161218340631981/) and I will continue the work of following up on each one of these patients. The joy of working with Isaac is a wonderful benefit as together we share the love of Jesus with medical staff and patients alike.
Pray for us! A new system of follow up is being worked out with local doctors. We miss our Dr. Rosa who is no longer with us here in Peru. Her expertise and compassion for patients coming out of a heart that loves Jesus is hard to replace. Pray as we build relationships with hospital staff & doctors that the presence of our God will be glorified by their desire to work with us and know this God we love and profess.
Our connection with local church leaders happened this time mainly with patients who are already members of their local congregation. But pray with us as we seek to blend together several patients with churches who could easily reach out to them in this time of recovery and rehabilitation. Isaac and I learned a few things in hosting this last group of surgeries that will help us as we seek to integrate the local church with our patients.
We will update you more on our family in our next letter to you. Pray for us that we might not grow weary in doing what God has given to us at this moment in our lives! We are thankful for all of you!
Dan, Laurie & Lyndi
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