January 10, 2016 Woodlands Medical Mission-Guatemala 2016 One thing I have learned from doing these mission trips is that when you think you have experienced it all and you are totally prepared, something different happens. That's why we pray the acronym, FROG, fully rely on God.

We just left Woodlands yesterday and already we have three obstacles or changes. One of our dentists, Glen Magyera, brought a sterilizer for dental or medical instruments that he would donate to our cause in Guatemala. This is a 70lb metal oven that bakes the instruments at 400+ degrees instead of just soaking them in a chemical to kill the germs. Definitely a step up in our dental care and all we had to do was get it there, right? The first challenge was packing it Thursday night . We had an old red suitcase that was on its last legs and we really didn't care if it made it back. With all the expandable zippers open we were able to barely get it shut. Fast forward to 4:15 am at the Delta check in counter with a sweet but slightly overwhelmed 35 year veteran check-in attendant looking at checking in 34 of us. Of course she would have 'seen everything by now' too when I put the bag on the scale as it registered 85 lbs. "You know the weight limit is 50 lbs", she said politely. She then proceeded to ask if we could take a few things out of the suitcase to lighten it a bit. I gave her my best sad face and said "but there's only one thing in there and we are donating it for missions, please!" We knew we would have to pay the $100 for shipping but couldn't she just help us get this thing on? With 33 people left to check in and our flight boarding at 5:30 , she decided to call a friend. When she arrived, she informed us that there is an embargo in Guatemala that doesn't allow packages to be flown in that are over 70 lbs. "Seriously?" So here's the deal she continued; First you have to leave it behind. Second, you cannot store it for a week here so you will need to have someone stop by and pick it up; sure, now I'll call a friend! As I explained this to Glen and Steve, one could see the light bulbs going off in their heads and they said "give us a minute". Less than five minutes later they return with the door off the thing, without any tools! They toss it on the scale and ding-ding-ding, it weighs 68 lbs. Wow, can you believe the door weighed 17 lbs? Problem solved, yes! Another acronym, PTL! Praise the Lord. So the game ball for day one goes to Glen and Steve, our two wonderful dentists.

Dan Kraeger

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