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Pastor Dave continued in the Gospel of Mark today with another story of Jesus’ healing. Mark 7:32 reads, “There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. 33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spits and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to Heaven and, with a deep sigh, said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak plainly.”
While the reader’s natural focus would be on healing, don’t overlook the fact that Jesus looked up to Heaven before healing the man. This was a wonderful reminder for all of us to look up and put ourselves in God’s hands – he is the true healer.
March 30 is observed as National Doctors’ Day. The main aim of the date is to make the general public aware of all the diligent physicians across the world who put their hearts and soul into assisting a patient by diagnosing their illness every day. It also honors all medical professionals, which our team is a shining example of!!
Jorge, the young man with an infected thumb, had a procedure today to remove the infected site. He had two prior surgeries to remove an embedded thorn, but the infection would not disappear. Both his wife and his mother were at the Obras Hospital with him. He is one of seven siblings, and they work in agriculture. One of his brothers was recently attacked, leaving work as he tried to go on his motorcycle. The attacker killed him and stole the motorcycle. He has not been caught. His mother was very apprehensive about him having surgery after losing one of her sons.
Allan, age 4, had a condition called complex syndactyly. He was born with 14 fingers and 11 toes. Some of the fingers were attached to other fingers. The doctors were able to detach/remove fingers and toes to give him hands and feet that will now be as normal and functional as possible.
The other orthopedic team, with Dr. Stehly performed three adult shoulder repairs.
Dominga Garcia, the Faith in Practice volunteer we met yesterday, performed for us today, accompanied by Pastor Dave on guitar. She sang two songs that she had written, one of which was written to honor our team. She evoked smiles with her beautiful voice, singing in the post-op wards, in the Obras courtyard, and for the doctors during the lunch break. What a sweet tribute!
Amy Carlson, CST – Amy has assisted as a scrub tech in the Obras operating room for nine years. She works as a scrub tech at Stonebridge Surgery Center in McKinney. She also helps Terence Anderson’s Faith in Practice team with Jay Goucher.
Jay Goucher, CST – This is Jay’s 7th year with our team, and he is assisting in orthopedic surgeries. Together with Amy Carlson, he assists Terence Anderson’s Faith in Practice team. He is a scrub tech at Baylor Scott & White Frisco.
Sara Nathan, CST – Our fifth team member from Roanoke, Sara is thoroughly enjoying her first mission trip. She is originally from CA and attended school in North Carolina. She is amazed that she would see several cases in a day of conditions one might see once a year in the US., such as the syndactyly (webbed digit) cases. She stated that this experience is more rewarding than she could have imagined, primarily assisting in a way that fulfills her purpose.
Kellie Boyd, LVN, and Susan Carrillo – Kellie and Susan were with our team in 2020, training in trip administration with Debbie Jobe. They could not accompany us to Guatemala but have been handling trip planning and administration remotely from Dallas.
Dave Jobe – For 14 years, Pastor Dave has ministered to the needs of our patients and their families and led worship during our morning devotions. He is now a retired pastor, enjoying his grandkids, fishing, and golf.
Therese Kiernan – This is my 10th trip as the team photojournalist, and each opportunity to travel with these fantastic caregivers and document the stories of the patients is as special as the last. I am a freelance court reporter in DFW.
Sandy Litschi – Originally born in Guatemala, Sandy moved to the US at age 3, and currently lives with her husband Bob in Austin, TX. She met the Gills at a tennis tournament in Austin approximately 15 years ago, and they invited her to the next Faith in Practice trip. Because she has family here, she has combined interpreting for the team with family visits to Antigua.

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