Only 49 more calendar days until Heidi finishes her residency! (But, really, who's counting?) We have been so blessed in the last few weeks that we felt we had to pass some of this on to you so you would know how the Lord has been working in our lives.
* Agape in Action, our sponsor group, has been able to purchase a laptop ultrasound machine for us to take to Guatemala with us. This particular machine lists for around $60,000 with all the toys it comes with. We were able to get it for less than half of that. It's sitting in our living room and we're working with it almost every day to hone our skills!
* David Dickson, of TSI Healthcare in North Carolina, has generously donated a Panasonic Toughbook for our use in Guatemala. This is a practically indestructible laptop computer that will house our patient database and a GPS to make sure we don't get lost in the middle of the mountains!
* Robert Emanuel, one of Matt's co-workers, is donating his time to build an extraordinary patient database to house the patient, clinic visit, and pharmaceutical info we'll be working with in Guatemala. This will be invaluable and really help us provide much better patient care than we could without it. (Face it, we're kids of the computer generation - we're lost without them!)
* Paul and Polli Lancaster, also Matt's co-workers, are donating a gas generator which will be used to ensure a steady supply of electricity in our clinics. Since we'll have an ultrasound and a laptop with us all the time, electricity will be very much appreciated. (And we're sure that there will be 1001 uses for that generator in ways we haven't even thought of yet!)
* Bedford Township, Michigan (the area Matt's parents live in) has adopted Pass Christian, Mississippi for Hurricane Katrina relief. During their last trip to Mississippi, they brought down a trailer full of relief supplies that was to go back empty. Instead, it went back with a load of our personal "irreplaceables", such as pictures, books, and a few pieces of furniture. This saved us about four days on the road and untold logistical hassles. (Also, thanks to Ken Schulte for loaning us his truck to get our stuff to Mississippi!)
* Randy of Beaumont Carpet One was able to move Matt's carpet job up on the schedule (Hurricane Rita-ravaged Beaumont has every contractor in town up to his ears in work) to improve our chances of selling the house before we leave. It turns out that one of Randy's best friends has done missionary work in Guatemala and he was very sympathetic to our situation. The house is now physically complete and only awaits a final "deep cleaning" before it's ready to be put on the market!
* Matt's neighbor, Stoney, and his friends, Billy and Kwa, have been instrumental in helping to get the house ready for sale. Lots and lots of things have just "been fixed" when Matt comes into town to check on the house. Thanks guys!
Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us and our upcoming mission on a daily basis. We know your prayers are being answered, and the things we've listed above are just a few of the examples. We look forward to staying in touch with you in the upcoming days as we finish our preparations for leaving.