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Following a quick breakfast at the Quintas, Pastor Dave asked everyone to line up on the grounds for a little Daverobics.  After taking us through stretching and breathing exercises, Pastor Dave read the parable of the old and the new wineskins, where Jesus compared traditions of the past with the New Covenant. As followers of Christ, we become “new vessels.“  We were encouraged to “flex our faith muscles” on this trip, to ask God to open our heart to a closer relationship with Him through the patients we serve.

We then embarked on the short walk to the Obras Sociales Hospital. We met in a large room with the patients who are scheduled for surgery this week, along with their families. We had the opportunity to pray with them (in English and Spanish.)  It is humbling to observe their strong faith, evidenced by the number of people wiping away tears.

We then had a team orientation with the Obras staff and divided into groups. The doctors, administrative team and interpreters triaged the patients and set up the surgical schedule.  Others unpacked supplies in the OR. Dave, Nan and I had a lot of fun meeting the patients and their families and entertaining the children. We handed out crayons and pictures to color along with toys. One of the girls gave us her picture, which we taped to the wall. Soon many children were proudly bringing us their artwork to display. They are so adorable!

We met Donna, a PACU nurse from Portland, OR, who is on the Faith In Practice team next week. Ted and Nan Peters met Donna last November when they were attending the language school here. They were in the square when they coincidentally ran into Wendy, the team leader from the Portland team. Introductions were made, and now Donna is a 2020 Faith In Practice volunteer! What a great example of how God orchestrates our lives to become “new vessels” to serve others.

Patty, our Dental Team, got right to work, cleaning the teeth of 17 patients! The cooks were busy shopping and preparing meals.

We left the Obras Hospital to meet at Casa de Fe, which is similar to a Ronald McDonald house where patients are housed until they’re able to return home. Casa de Fe is dependent on donations, and the walls are adorned with memorial plaques from donors. We had a very emotional moment when Jay Goucher saw the new plaque honoring his mother Joan who passed away a few months ago.

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