Sunday, June 6, 2010

To Quesimpuco!

Even before Benjamin started dental school, the idea of going on a dental mission trip has been swimming around in his head.  This summer, God provided an opportunity for him to go with a group from the Health Science Center and an organization called SIFAT.  Along with three others from the dental school, he will be traveling with med students, pharmacy students, rural health students and a modge podge of administrators and missionaries.  A group of 24 folks were selected to serve the people of Quesimpuco, Bolivia.  Quesimpuco is at 13,000 feet in the Andes mountains.  It's supposed to be in the 60s during the day and the low 30s at night.  Silly me, I kept forgetting that it was winter there - so much so that I made Benjamin buy a pair of hiking sandals in case his feet got too warm!  

Friday was departure day.  We drove to Houston Thursday night so that Benjamin have a good night rest and not have to worry about anything going wonky on Friday if we drove in from Houston.  Friday morning we had breakfast with Nancy and Bryan.  I was very thankful that Benjamin was able to see them before he left!

Kim and Jonathan arrived at Mom's just as we were packing up the car to head to the airport.  The three of them arrived at the airport precisely at 3!  Saying goodbye was a little hectic, as we had figured, which made me even more thankful for the time we had together that afternoon.  My heart was sad to see Benjamin go, yet so excited for the journey he was embarking on!  

This is Benjamin all ready to go!  Yes, my awesome packing skills fit everything he needed for his 10 day trip in that bag on his back.  Three pair of shoes, scrubs, jeans, toiletries, towel, food, socks, underwear, jackets, plates/cup/cutlery.... the list goes on and on!

During the day I received text updates on their flights - and a few phone calls in between.  Their connecting flight from Miami to La Paz left about 1.5 hours late, putting them in La Paz at 7:30 am CST.

Saturday morning, I received a call from Benjamin saying that they made it, they were safe, and that they were heading to the jeeps.  Throughout the day I received a few texts: they made it to the market, they were back on the road, that he was feeling fine, even with the high altitude.  The last one I received said that they were due into Quesimpuco last night at 10pm.  They would still have to unload, greet the village leaders and set up their beds for the night.

Today was the first day of clinics.  The first day for Benjamin to serve the Quechuan people.  The first day to put to use the skills he has learned in the past three years to make a change in a life outside of the Baylor clinic.  Today was the first day that Benjamin and I have gone without any form of communication in years.  I cannot even begin to imagine the excitement, the anxiety, and the joy of what he has done today!  I cannot wait to hear the stories that he will come home with!

Here is Benjamin's schedule for the next days:

June 6-9th
They will eat breakfast and start clinics by 8:30am.  They have a break from noon until 1p for lunch and then back to the clinic until 6.  Then dinner and lights out by 10p.

June 10th
This day they will be breaking down the clinics in the morning.  That afternoon they will tour Quesimpuco and have a shopping day at their market.  The jeeps will be packed with the left over supplies for an early departure the next day.

June 11th
The team will wake up at 3 am to head to La Paz.  They should arrive in La Paz about 4:30 that afternoon with no other plans scheduled.  Benjamin did say that he will be looking forward to having his first hot shower in 8 days!

June 12th
Market and tourist day in La Paz!

June 13th
The team starts the journey back to Miami and then to Houston!

Quesimpuco is the same as Eastern Standard Time.

Dear friends, my hope is that as you read this you will be moved to pray for Benjamin, the entire team and the people of Quesimpuco, that you would intercede on their behalf for the next 7 days.  A few things that I would ask you to pray for are:
  • Safety for the team as well as the Quechuan people.  Some have far to travel to get to the clinics for the help that they need.
  • Wisdom for the village leader as well as the team.  That the team would be confident in the decisions being made in regards to the health of those that they will be treating.
  • Warmth and sweet rest for the team that they would be refreshed anew every morning.
  • For the team members that they would have peace in knowing that God has them in Quesimpuco for a specific purpose.  
  • That the people of Quesimpuco see God in every action and in every smile that the team gives to them.
I will post updates when I hear anything from the team or Benjamin.  Oh, and I know I have mentioned before how Benjamin loves technology and everything that goes along with it....  well, he is armed with a digital camera and his video camera so we will have plenty to post when he gets home!

1 comment :

  1. This truly is amazing and what an inspirational thing he is doing. He is always in our prayers and of course I am excited to hear about his travels! He truly is doing God's work:)


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