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






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







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.

Deep Destinations

Do you ever feel like you are always living in next week….or next month?

Lately I have been noticing how much of my day is spent thinking, planning, and making arrangements for future occasions.

Nothing wrong with that – unless it interferes with being present to the moments at hand.

Continually getting ahead of myself definitely diverts me from the now.

My determined efforts to be, rather than to do, still prove to be a continual challenge.

How funny that just “being” takes a modicum of effort – and yet my mind can spin for hours on planning, and decisions?

We’ve all head about staycations, where time is spent at home, or doing things locally. Diverting from our usual routines can be restorative, and helpful in increasing our appreciation for each other, and where we live.

What would a praycation look like?

Doesn’t take much effort to plan one.

The thought of setting aside a day, an hour – or even minutes –  where my resting-place is with God, feels like a warm rain washing over me.

And just think…no need to vacillate about what clothes to pack, what route to take, or where to stay. Or how much the cost will be!

Going deep, in terms of water, is not one of my most favorite things.

My one scuba diving adventure did not bode well, as I inadvertently doubled up an antihistamine and sucked most of the air out of my tank early on, resulting in panic.

But…diving in to God’s living waters is oh so inviting.

Wonder what a promotional piece for a praycation would look like?

Images of the underwater world are spectacular – a riot of colors and an incredible array of sea life.

What visual image can convey stillness of mind and peacefulness of heart?

The calm mental waters that result from intentional prayer time remain deep within, and build serenity and strength with each encounter with God – who so desires us to choose life with Him as a destination.

I’m taking the plunge.

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.~Colossians 4:2 NLT







Perpetua(l) Beauty

To hike or not to hike?

That has been the question many a day during our time on the Oregon Coast.

We decided to visit Cape Perpetua, so named by Captain Cook when he sighted it from his ship in 1778.

After mulling over our trail options at the Visitor Center, we decided on the St. Perpetua trail, described as

“difficult, but worth it”.

My question to my dear husband (whom I affectionately refer to as Nanook of the North during our adventures):

Should we bring our hiking poles? There is a significant elevation gain.

His answer: No, we’ll be fine.

This reply made perfect sense – as at that moment we were surrounded by an assortment of tourists who also came to see the beauty of this area, none of whom were carrying poles.

And so, off we went on our merry way.

Our initial meandering through lovely forest progressed to some significant climbing.

As I trudged along, my not-so-great memory flashed to reading of a hike described as having 11 switchbacks.

Could this be it?

Further along, huffing and puffing, I began to fantasize that I was using my poles as I climbed.

After about the 7th switchback, my thoughts weren’t quite so pleasant.

What the h**** are we doing?

All the while, we saw only one other couple on the trail.

When we finally got to the summit, we were astonished to find many people there, all looking fresh as daisies, gazing at the vista.

And then Nanook asked someone the big question of the day:

Can you drive up here???

We had a good laugh at the answer – and then lunched happily on a bench, taking in the splendor of (what we now know!) is the highest point on the Oregon coast.

And we were grateful that we had the opportunity to appreciate God’s amazing handiwork once again.

To me, this hike is analogous to our life journeys…

Can you think of an experience that has been difficult, but worth it?

One where you thought that your own fortitude wasn’t enough to get you through?

When life brings seemingly insurmountable hurdles, we need to remember that God’s hiking poles – Faith and Hope – are readily available for our use.

Free of charge.

When we think we are managing on our strength alone, God has a way of making us aware of His perpetual help.

And I’m so thankful for this reminder.

The trip back down wasn’t so bad, though for a fleeting moment we entertained the thought of hitching a ride.

Best of all was having more time to reflect on God’s Presence, everywhere, always.

I hope that you can feel Him walking with you today, wherever your journey takes you.

Having God by your side is always worth it.

Day by day, morning by morning, begin your walk with Him in the calm trust that God is at work in everything….It is your personal business, as a discipline of your heart, to learn to be peaceful and safe in God in every situation….Remember, friend, where your real living is going on. In your thinking, in your reacting, in your heart of hearts – here is where your walk with God begins and continues. So when you start to move into trusting Him, stay there. Don’t wander out again into worry and doubt!  ~ Anne Ortlund



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