Where Does Our Strength Come From?

At exactly 3am my driver appears at the door to my house. I doze on the backseat of the car as he drives the through the perilous curves and zigzags of the road. I don’t know what awaits me in Lima once the plane lands.

Actually I have only 1 real appointment and that is an unpleasant one. In the University Villareal there is one official who wants to blocks the recognition of our German medical licenses. The question is, can I change his mind? As my thoughts repeatedly return to this ordeal through my fitful sleep, I pray for God’s blessing and experience both hope and worry at the same time.

At 11am I walk onto the university’s campus situated on the edge of Lima. In the background are the barren hills which look something like a lunar landscape. The face of the official is ominous. “Here on my desk I have your application. I have the power to stop everything” he says, He doesn’t have the slightest interest in seeing my presentation about Diospi Suyana.

A half an hour later I slump despondently out of the university’s gate onto the street. Is this the end of the day? Or is it just beginning? What should I do now? I decide to visit the Evangelical Counsel. The journey across Lima takes about 30 minutes and costs about $4. The secretary there always has time for me.

Following several calls using this dear lady’s phone, I see the first glimmer of hope for the day. The second in charge to the Health Minister has made an appointment for me at 8 o’oclock of Friday morning.

My next mission is at the “APCI” office which controls all the activities of NGOs. Mr. Vicente is the bearer of good news. He tells me that on Friday morning I can pick up a document that will allow me to apply for a tax rebate. I have been pursuing this document for 2 months.

I head over to the tax office to see if there is any progress on the previous tax rebate applied for last September. I take a ticket from the machine and can hardly believe my eyes when my number immediately appears on the screen. The lady at counter 34 is very friendly and I find myself doing internal cartwheels because the check is finally ready. This will mean an influx of about $12,000USD into the hospital coffers – money that is desperately needed.

At the bank in southern Lima I can hardly wait to deposit the check. I double- check the information on the paper. By tomorrow the mission hospital will have an additional 30,536 soles in its account.

In a German bakery I treat myself to an orange juice and a filled bread roll. The day is steadily improving. Next door, I am able to send off my emails where the owner, who knows what we do, refuses to accept payment for the service. Meanwhile, a stream of emails flow into my laptop.

Among the multitude of news is an email from the Heine company advising that they are pleased to donated an ophthalmoscope. My happiness is steadily growing. Then another email appears. The Peruvian Health Minister has written to the President of the Apurimac State instructing him to expedite the asphalting of the entrance to the Hospital Diospi Suyana. For the past year my partitions for just this matter have been lying on the desks of various authorities in Abancay, without progress.

As the sun sets over Lima, another surprise arrives in my laptop. The Health Minister will meet with me the following week. As I count the blessing of the day, all 5 fingers of my hand are ticked over – a literal handful of good news. And now I am happy for the sun to set on March 27 – it has been an excellent day.

I sit calmly in the taxi during a traffic jam in the heart of Lima. Only twice must cover my ears when the cars suddenly decide to try to solve all the traffic problems in the world with the use of their horns.

For the next 2 or 3 minutes I delve into the business of medical technology. By the 15th of April a company is contractually obligated to provide (among other things) beds, IV poles, cabinets and wheelchairs for Hospital Diospi Suyana. Hopefully these things will make the trip to Curahuasi with 3 weeks.

The last remaining job for the day is the matter of a printer for my office. There’s always time to squeeze in one more chore in a day and with God’s blessing, there is always the chance of a positive turn to any day.

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