About 9 years ago, my wife Johnnie and I went on a medical mission trip to Ecuador. We went with a group from Western Heights Church of Christ. We have been on a number of short term mission trips. This was our first trip to Ecuador.
Johnnie had just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was stabilized by medication but was still a little unsteady on her feet. We had a younger couple who said that they would sort of look after us. We needed that.
We flew from Dallas to Atlanta. That leg of the journey was uneventful. A change of planes in Atlanta was ok until a young couple, confused of the time zone change from Dallas to Atlanta went away from the airport but did not return on time to catch the flight. We pulled away from the gate but then the pilot decided that we needed to take the bags off that belonged to the young couple. After a few hours we got those bags unloaded and took off to Ecuador. We were supposed to land in Quito, Ecuador at about midnight but when we arrived there it was fogged in and after circling for a few times to allow the fog to lift we had to land near the coast to refuel.
We finally arrived at the hotel in Quito and checked in at about 8 am but had to leave around noon to take the buses to our destination for the medical clinics. We were worn out. Johnnie and some of the ladies decided to go shopping but I decided to take a nap in the hotel room.
Things got better and we had a number of people we helped. Traveling up the river to the clinic was neat. We got one free day off before we return to the States. Interestingly, they used American currency so there was not any money exchange hassle.
Why am I telling this story? We left on that trip 9 years to the day tomorrow – January 2, 2009. We have not been able to make any more trips like that because “Parky” has entered our life. Johnnie is now on Hospice because of “Parky”. We have a promise. That pesky “Parky” may occupy Johnnie’s old body but the ‘new body’ will be amazing.
Have a blessed New Year.