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Today was the third day of surgery. It was another long but fulfilling day, ending at 5:30 instead of 7. The rhythm and efficiency during and between cases was starting to become dialed-in. Crazy to think tomorrow will be our last day here at Hilario Galindo.

After overhearing Dr. Stempel at dinner, he talked about how he got involved many years ago with Faith in Practice. For many of us, the reasons we go on our first trip can come from a self-serving place. Dr. Stempel said that after his first year experiencing the trip, he really learned what it felt like to help others and contribute to something that was bigger than himself. To him, when choosing the team, he says that he doesn’t really care as much if people’s intentions are selfish before the trip. He knows it will change their mind after the experience.

Tonight for our devotional, Dr. Erickson read us a story from Mark 5:24b – 34 – of course, it was a gynecology story from the bible. A woman had been bleeding for twelve years and had suffered for a long time, seeing many doctors but only getting worse over time. When she heard about Jesus, she gathered in a crowd that pressed around him so she could touch his cloak. She thought that if she could touch his clothes, she could be healed. Jesus turned to see who had touched him, and in that moment, she stopped bleeding, free from her suffering. In a crowd of people who were all pushed up against him, they were all touching Jesus – and yet he was able to see and heal the one who needed him most.

Dr. Erickson reminded us that we – as individuals and as a team – have the ability to act in the faith of Jesus Christ. It’s not for the accolades, it’s because we are all part of the shared human family. We, as people, are genetically connected no matter where you were born and into what situation. We are never too busy to acknowledge those around us who are silently suffering. We should always be able to see those who are in need.

An important thing for us is everyone here has invested their time and money in coming here, leaving family and friends in the pursuit of coming to Guatemala and helping others. Not only that, but the Guatemalan patients do the same – they pay for their surgeries (relative to their incomes) and also spend time away from family, friends and work to wait for us to care for them. We are all entering this mission with trust and faith amongst ourselves and amongst each other, no matter who we are and how we are engaging this week.

It was another Diamond Day.

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