March 2017 Update

Dear Friends and Family,

Today marked two weeks since our last team operated on a patient. With two weeks of healing behind them, patients came to our first of four follow up clinics to have stitches removed, xrays examined, and a prescription for the next four weeks given to them. What a delight to see the hand of God at work as stitches were removed revealing healthy skin covering the work that our surgical teams accomplished below in the bones. Still a lot of healing that must take place before restoration is pronounced, but these dear folks are well on their way to once again having full use of their limbs.

Some of the stitches were easy to remove and caused little discomfort to the patient. Others were buried in sensitive skin areas causing pain and some difficulty in removing them. There was even a good bit of laughter as we sought to make the ‘stitches removal event’ something NOT to be feared. Each patient left with a heart filled with relief as they saw the good healing gift of the Lord.

This medical campaign in February was our last as host and hostess for Scalpel here in Pucallpa. After Lyndi graduates in early June, our family will be moving back to Minnesota. This two year season of work here in Peru with Scalpel has brought with it many friendships and opportunities. We will miss our life here in jungle. But we are certain the Lord is asking us to return to a season filled with transition for our family members. We are eager to watch the ways in which our lives will be applied in the Lord’s strategy as we are stretched and blessed, and as our lives are used to bless others. It is an amazing encouragement to be part of a kingdom that God is developing and use the resources entrusted to us so that others might see and know him more perfectly.

The next few months will move by much too quickly. Laurie and I will chaperone the high school senior class (of three) on their trip to Cuzco and Machu Picchu. The following week will see us attending a retreat conference for South America Mission in the Lima area. Laurie will fly to the USA for Anna’s graduation from Covenant College the last of April. And we are hopeful a small Scalpel group will come in May for some transition planning together for the future of things here. And then June will be upon us.

And yet each day affords opportunity to bless. Today a small group of poor with no transportation means because of the muddy roads … rode with me. Our conversations were simple, but centered on a good God who cares for his people. Some time at a local dentist and then a few errands in town reminded me that the needs here in Pucallpa are many. But I give thanks for a church that is alive and growing in this town. The opportunity for our small, medical organization in linking arms with the church here is both challenging and encouraging. The poor who rode with me this morning and those who receive the free, expert medical care of Scalpel At The Cross have a need in common … a need for shepherds who can lead them into truth. Continue to pray for us as we explore ways to make this happen effectively with our current follow up opportunities.

Jesus said in John 12:24 that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Pray with us that we will die daily to selfish ambition and simply use the resources give to us to bless others as we place our confidence in the one who invites us into his kingdom work.

Dan … for the Porch clan in Peru!

(See if you can find Lyndi and Laurie in this pictures of our ladies in Peru.)