Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What a difference a day makes

Minus 10 yesterday and already 36 at 9:00am today, and best of all the sun is out.  Today is a busy day for me so its off to the rain locker and then into the Dr. for my annual physical.  More later.
My physical went fine looks like I am even coming off of one medication.  We have been attending Weight Watchers since November and its been working.  I feel better and some have even said I look better.  Best of all is its good for me.  We hope to be able to do a lot of traveling once Bonnie retires and I want to be able to enjoy hiking and walking to see as many of our National Parks as possible.  So after the weekly WW meeting I had a quick supper with Elizabeth and Alexus.  What was a steady rain in East Aurora turned into a heavy snow fall by the time I got to Sheldon for the town meeting.  There must have been over an inch of snow by the time I left there.  But the roads were in pretty good shape and since the house is not at the top of the hill there was only about a quarter inch of snow at the house.  Still snowing as it is bed time, I can't wait to see what there is by the time I get up in the morning.   Did not get much reading done today hopefully tomorrow.  No update yet from the Mission Trip.

This update came in late last night so I will go ahead and post it here in the blog

Chapel Medical Trip 1/18/2011

Today was a real challenge. We left early for El Seybo (pronounced sabo) prison. This prison is located in a military base but houses only civilians. It was built to accommodate 400 prisoners but today the count was about 1440 and we saw several new additions to the population enter the gate. The guards are all military personnel with some inmates who have shown good behavior assisting the regular guards. A few of us were given a tour of the facilities and were speechless at the conditions we saw. Hundreds of prisoners were just inside the gate pushing and hoping to be one who would be let out to be attended to either medically or by dental. Just inside the hall we entered a common yard where we saw inmates milling about or sitting under canvas canopies. Garbage was strewn all over the yard. Prisoners are given one “meal” a day and if they want more they have to either buy it at small shops inside or send out for an order from a local restaurant. This of course is IF they have money to do that. Cells are about 6 x5 feet and may have two or three inmates sharing them with one sleeping on cot and others on floors that have all kinds of disease bearing objects or critters. Bathrooms are a common hole in the ground in a corner of a cell block which is shared by several dozen inmates. This writer has never seen such deplorable human conditions but was told they are very similar to conditions in neighboring Haiti. The Chaplain who is initiating the ministry here had gotten permission from the warden to bring in TV cameras from stations in Santo Domingo to show what was happening at the prison today. The warden needs prayer because for this gesture he can lose his job or worse. But he wants government help to clean it up.
The reason we went to this facility is because a godly chaplain asked us to come. Prior to our arrival there had been a day of prayer where hundreds of Christians had walked the perimeter praying and asking God to work. Yesterday some area churches went in and painted the entry way and one room which we used for our medical and evangelism stations. The best room inside the prison was the church which is being started. Inmates were busy painting it today and we got to see it. Over 200 men will also use this room to sleep on the cement benches but the primary purpose for the room is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. It was extremely crowded but God had a lot of work to accomplish. The first two inmates we encountered asked to receive Christ as Savior and that was just the beginning of a great harvest of souls. About 200 inmates were treated in one way or another.
After this very difficult day, the team returned to SCORE with thankful hearts for what they saw God accomplish today. To Him be the glory.
Tonight SCORE missionary Pastor Abby led us in devotions with a very challenging message about obeying God. God spoke to many of our hearts.
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