Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Every Port in the Storm

These days, we are all navigating uncharted waters. In a flash, our daily lives somersaulted into never-before imagined routines. What we knew as casual and commonplace personal interaction now requires antiseptic treatment before and afterwards.

We’re not sure how best to adapt to what appears to be a murky and uncertain future. Each of us is plagued by questions we never dreamed of asking.

~When will we get to be with family and friends again?

~Will I ever be able to go back to work – or will I even have a job?

~If I or a loved one do contract the Coronavirus, will I /they recover?

Life before COVID-19 seems a distant memory.

I’ve never before considered becoming an “escapee” from reality – but I have to admit that I have employed various distraction techniques during these past weeks.

There have been days of plowing into long neglected house projects, hours of yard work, ambitious cooking escapades (pasta making and bread baking) balanced with long stretches of wandering around the internet and binge-watching Netflix series. And of course, there is comfort to be found in music, piano playing, and long walks with my best friend. :)

Regular Zoom gatherings with family and friends have sprinkled joy, laughter and connection into the isolation world, allowing us to express love and give virtual hugs.

But yet, whatever the diversion, the truth is that this virus – and its ramifications – aren’t disappearing any time soon.

The even bigger TRUTH is, whatever our escape route may be, God is there, waiting for us with His safety net. 

Our loving Lord is our Navigator, our Companion, our Protector, and our Refuge. He waits patiently with open arms for us to arrive; He is happiest when we spend time with Him.

Whatever your diversions of choice are during this time, I hope that you will devote some of your attention to God. Being in His Presence is a balm for the soul that has ultimate staying power.

Rather than seeking any port in a storm, look in God’s direction.

He is our Every Port, for all journeys.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.~ Psalm 138:7

 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. ~ Isaiah 41:13


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Mission? Impossible.

The rhythm of daily life takes on a new tempo when you have been stopped in your tracks.
Physical activities that were previously routine and enjoyed, social and church events, and gatherings of friends at home are temporarily on hold.

When life comes to a screeching halt, God has a way of grabbing our attention.

And the challenge is to gracefully accept that we aren’t able to do many of the things that bring us the greatest joy.

For us, traveling to Third World countries with Medical Ministry International each year and serving on an eye project  has been part of the fabric of our lives for decades. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve God by having the opportunity to help improve and restore vision to those who don’t have access to eye care.

We will dearly miss being part of the team in Yapacani, Bolivia. This year, we can serve best by being prayer partners from afar.

And that will have to be sufficient.

When our hopes and plans change course, we have to trust that God will work things out.

And He has. Well-seasoned team members with years of experience have joined the team. Together with the experienced and new team members who had already signed up, another amazing group of volunteers is ready to bless many.

God knew ahead of time just who He needed.

And how grateful we are for His providence.

In this time of healing since our accident, God has spoken to us in countless ways.

When physical rest is necessary, God asks us to invite Him into our hearts.

He, too needs a place to rest.

And what a beautiful feeling it is to know that He is there, simply happy to have been welcomed in.

His peace and quiet restore our spirits, deepening the well of our faith.

And we are thankful.

When we aren’t able to do the things we love most, God helps us reassess our priorities.

We have had the gift of time to focus on what is really important.

Having days with empty spaces has actually been refreshing. We haven’t had to live by the clock, rushing to do the next thing, distracted by too many plans.

Open ended time with family and friends, where we can be truly present to one another, has been restorative.

And a life-changing blessing.

When time and God is all we have, we can refocus and refine our mission.

Sometimes, simply being with – and loving HIm – is enough.

The disappointments of life are simply the hidden appointments of love. ~C.A. Fox  (From Streams In The Desert, February 1)


Please join us in prayer for the MMI eye team in Yapacani, Bolivia, February 9-23, 2019.





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It was a typical Friday evening in Santa Fe; we were off to an art exhibit, followed by dinner with dear friends. Snow was lightly falling, the smell of burning pinon in the air.

A few steps into an intersection changed everything.

My husband pushed the crossing light button, and we waited for the signal. We noticed the snowplow opposite us at the intersection, but never anticipated it would make a left turn into our path.

What followed was the stuff of nightmares; as I laid in the street looking at my husband, his face bruised and bleeding, I prayed to God that he would save us.

Kind strangers came to our aid. Ambulances appeared. Wonderful ER personnel gave us prompt and careful attention. City police documented the details of the incident, and transportation officials sent messages offering support.

Our dear friends arrived, full of love and compassion – and prayers.

Having suffered the worst of the injuries, my husband was transported to a university medical center, where he spent 4 days recovering. Again we were surrounded by expert, caring medical professionals.

Our precious friends went above and beyond, riding in ambulances, following behind, spending the night with me, and getting me to see my husband in the hospital the next day.

Our three angel daughters appeared, calm and competent. They shopped, cooked, took care of details – and loved.

Through it all, we marveled at God’s Providence; He protected us from injuries that could have been so much more severe.

A split second further into that intersection could have resulted in dire consequences.

One sweet friend shared that she was sure an angel had pushed us out of the way.

And we agree.

And we have received the clear message that God isn’t finished with us yet.

In the weeks prior to our accident, we had many a conversation about surrendering our lives and our future to God. We laughed about being in “the 4th quarter” of life, and prayed about where we could serve God in the most meaningful way during this time.

The phrase “living a life of eternal significance” resonated with me. I adopted it months ago as one of my personal aspirations.

In the months ahead, we will be moving to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to our family. We have trusted that we are following God’s direction, knowing that we will be “stepping out of the boat” into uncharted waters.

We have felt God beside us, guiding us every step of the way.

And in the craziest way, He met us at the intersection that Friday night.

Our hearts are overflowing with thankfulness that we are alive! And we have been both overwhelmed – and humbled – by the outpouring of prayers, good wishes  and offers of help we have received from so many gracious people.

We continue to recover, bolstered by faith, anchored by hope and trust, embraced by God and surrounded by the love of family and friends.

In the weeks ahead, God will help us restore our energy and repair our injuries. He is stitching our hearts, souls and bodies back together as I write.

And, God willing, the “Whirling Dervishes,” as we have been fondly referred to by our family and friends, will return in full strength (or maybe at a few less RPMs).

With all the credit given to God.

I pray that your close encounters with God will not be as dramatic as ours – but that you will have the exquisite awareness of His Presence and His Plan for your lives.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ~ Jeremiah 29:11






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Blessings Beyond Measure

Our MMI Bolivia team breezed through Customs when we arrived in Yapacani, thinking that this ease of entry would bode well for the project.

However, we had a host of challenges ahead.

Equipment crucial to the project wasn’t functioning.

Torrential rains flooded the roads that patients needed to travel to get to us.

One bus got stuck in the mud on the way to the clinic; another had a dead battery at the end of the day.

Roads were blocked on a day of national protest. (And yet  – He made a way through when we thought there was no way.)

A wave of illnesses threaded its way through the team.

Still, we persevered, believing that God would send the very patients he wanted us to help.

And He did.

Early on, we prayed that our equipment would be fixed, the rains would cease, and, most of all, that we would build a bridge of trust with the community we served.

It only took a few days for us to be up and running as usual.

And, after some successful cataract and strabismus surgeries, the people came – by the hundreds.

The shift in their perceptions of us were palpable; later, we heard that they so appreciated being treated with dignity.

Our organization does need to keep statistics regarding the numbers of people who are served on the many MMI projects throughout the world. And we do understand that this is important to the Board of Trustees and donors.

But…. so much of a mission project is about the changes in lives that ripple and flow through the members of the communities we leave behind.

The results of eye care, both little and large  –  can change a life forever.


The woman pictured above is a 37 year old mother who is blind from glaucoma. When one of our doctors was examining her eyes, she meekly said that she prayed that our group could do something “just to make her see a little better.” After she received the heartbreaking news that there was nothing we could do to restore her vision,  one of our compassionate doctors suggested that we give her a pair of reading glasses to protect her eyes. And then we prayed with her.

We hope that her smile comes from feeling God’s loving care.

Who could know that simply attending a church service could result in new sight? Some of our team attended a local church on the Sunday mid-project, encouraging people to come. The man on the right, a church member, told his friend (on the left), who was blind from cataracts, to come to our eye clinic. This photo was taken the day after his surgery, when he could see.


Tears of joy sprang up when little Cielo, age 2, with congenital bilateral cataracts was able to see. Initially she walked into the clinic holding onto her father’s leg, not sure of her steps. When she  got home after her surgery, Cielo ran outside and played in her back yard.

God orchestrated it all.

Crossed eyes were straightened by strabismus surgery, 35 people received prostheses for injured eyes or those that had been previously removed, with remarkable results.

A pastor, upon receiving reading glasses, excitedly grabbed his Bible and starting reading Scripture verses aloud!

Most importantly, bridges of trust, faith and friendship were built.

And our team, powered through, relying on the greatest Physician of all.


….Today is holy to our Lord, so don’t be sad. The joy that the Lord gives you will make you strong. ~ Nehemiah 8:10


Here’s a song with a message that helped us stay focused…on Him.     Joy of The Lord







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The Second Monday

The mid-point of a medical mission project is a very significant day, for both the team members and the patients.

Most commonly, reports of compassionate care received and successful surgery results have spread like wildfire through the communities being served, resulting in long lines, with hundreds of people hoping to be seen at the beginning of the second week.

Today was no exception.

The patients’ feelings of hope, mixed with more than a little desperation, was palpable.

I often think about how that must feel, especially for those who have been living with little or no vision for so long – or the teasing endured by those who have “crazy eyes” (crossed eyes from strabismus). And it is astonishing to see the number of people who are in need of a prostheses due to an eye injury or an illness. Many have lived with an empty socket because there was no affordable alternative.

It is no wonder patients are concerned that the endless lines will prevent their entry as the week goes on.

Worry and fear are clearly the overriding sentiments – but those are coupled with hope, and an enormous amount of patience as the hours of waiting in line increase.

For the team members, the feelings experienced are gratefulness (we are seeing the large crowds of people we hoped for), determination (we will continue to provide love and good eye care to each and every patient), and faith and trust (God will bring the very people He wants us to help.) We also hope that we have the stamina to power through the long and exhausting days ahead.

I never thought about it before – but I do believe that we all have “Second Monday” experiences throughout our lives.

What do your Second Mondays look like?

…Do they come when are you afraid of what might happen in the days or weeks ahead?

…Are there times when feelings of desperation or hopelessness overcome you?

Where do you turn when life circumstances begin to crush your spirit, stealing any remnant of joy you might have had?

I am envisioning each and every one of us in line, waiting in hope to encounter our God of boundless love and compassion, who will minister to our every need.

The beauty of His Presence is that He stands beside us in the waiting – and joins us in each step forward along the way.

He waits…for us to see.

And sometimes the only visual adjustments we need are within the lenses of our own outlooks.

If we can focus on God, we can find the pockets of peace in the midst of our Second Mondays.

And, that being attained, we can celebrate the most clear vision we have ever enjoyed.

His Mission….accomplished.

For I am the Lord your God Who holds your right hand, and Who says to you, ‘Do not be afraid. I will help you.’ ~Isaiah 41:13 (NLV)


This was written on the Second Monday of the MMI eye project in Yapacaní, Bolivia.

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