I will be heading to Ecuador on Dec 11, 2013 to provide anesthesia services at the San Lorenzo Clinic. Jane Weaver, the mission surgeon, performs surgery one week a month. Although I have been asked to work at San Lorenzo in the past, I have never been able to work it into my schedule with the work Vicky & I were doing in Shell and Ambato. In the last three years several Concordia students, who were spending, the summer in Ecuador, have included San Lorenzo in their mission work. I am excited to work in this facility and also about the opportunity to see "first hand" what the students have been experiencing in San Lorenzo. I will be able to counsel future students about mission plans that include working at San Lorenzo, having actally spent some time with Dr Jane Weaver and her staff in this clinic.
I am going a couple days early so that I can reconnect with Phil and Debbie Douce who lead Casa Gabriel, a home for boys looking for an alternative to life on the streets, and Casa Adalia, an aftercare home for young girls rescued from the sex trade in Ecuador. I hope to connect with Jim and Suzy Olsen, Cobber alumni, who work at El Refugio north of Quito. I will also travel to Shell to visit with Patti Sue and Christy Hayes, her administrative assistant, about our planned short term mission trip to CDF in Feb 2014.
Major changes are happening in Shell. As of Oct 1, Hospital Vozandes del Oriente has become an outpatient facility only and on Jan 1, 2014 the hospital will close. Dr Eckehart Wolff, a German missionary, who has worked in Ecuador for many years is heading a group who has offered to buy the clinic/hospital from HCJB and keep it open for the local people of Shell. Patti Sue is continually faced with new government mandates and fundraising challenges.
I am looking forward to an interesting and rewarding trip to Ecuador.