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We hit the ground running for our third day in Antigua, the first day of surgeries, moving breakfast and devotional up to before 6am, so the group could be ready to start at the Obras before 7am.

In Paige Dean’s morning devotional and prayer, we were reminded of Romans 12:6, and the gifts we have been given in our lives….specifically the intangible ones, not the material ones. Through Paige, we heard again how if our gift is serving, we serve; if it is to teach, then we teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; and if it is giving, then give generously…a perfect reminder before heading out to our first day giving the gifts of skill and time to affect people in material ways to achieve spiritual gains.

Today was exciting because of the diversity of our cases, but also because we were blessed with several pediatric patients. The staff in pre-op started the task of calming patients of all ages, bringing them into the hands of the surgical teams, before ending up with the angels in Post-Op.

The 30 procedures completed on Surgery Day One included repairs of hernias, removal of adenoids and tonsils, and a few couple partial lumpectomy, but the magic was not in what was removed, but in what the team hoped to give them; hope, with less pain and discomfort.

The stories from our first days begin to take shape for the rest of the week, including a 3 year old precious gem with multiple hernias to be repaired…who we started to refer to as our patita bonita (pretty little duckling) before the day ended. She was not a happy duckling, clinging to her mother before and after surgery, but she had our staff in Pre-Op and Post-Op melting all along the way.

A shout out to our lead Interpreters (Toni and Carina) as well as our staff fluent in Spanish, as they were instrumental in making sure patients of all ages knew exactly what was going to be done, ready to answer what would be next.

Overall, it was a great first day of surgeries! Can’t wait to see everyone in the morning, as surgeons make their rounds in recovery, and start again.

-Erin Machac


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