A La Mano of Hope team of 9 individuals left their homes and families on April 13, 2012 to offer their time, skills and most of all love to a community in the southern part of Quito, the capitol city of Ecuador.
The team, led by Dr. Jill Ciccarelli and Melissa Linn, worked in a make shift clinic hosted by a local church, Iglesia La Fraternidad El Ejercito and missionaries Shannon and Susan Pruitt and Phil and Deanna Barber. Dr. Ciccarelli was accompanied by four nurses from Maryland, Brandon Purdy, Yolanda Hurd, Rachel Gerringer and Chris Ciccarelli, as well as a local Pediatrician who volunteered his time, Dr. Franz Guerra. Additionally the volunteer assistance of Cindy Smith and Jim Spatz, affectionately known in Quito as Jimmi Gigante, aided the team in effectively managing the pharmacy and distributing the medications which were donated in part by local physicians in Maryland and Pennsylvania who generously gave of their resource.
Thanks to God and to your help, we experienced a miracle…. The team was especially blessed by medications delivered miraculously by angels sent from North Carolina. There was a “mix up” in lodging arrangements. The night before clinic opened, the team returned to the mission house where we slept the first three nights of the trip, only to be greeted by a van load of North Americans who apparently were double booked in the same mission house for lodging that evening.
What an amazing miracle we realized had just been done in that moment. Our hosts were embarrassed by the overlap in lodging arrangements but their embarrassment quickly turned to joy as they too realized that God had used this situation to provide a great need and that many people in the clinic would be able to receive medication that might not otherwise have been able to be treated.
It was an apparent “confusion” in scheduling. We quickly discovered that it was no confusion at all but rather a miracle waiting to be realized. This group happened to be a medical team who had just finished their work in the northern section of the country in the mountains near the border of Colombia. They were exhausted and working diligently to arrange their left over supplies and put in storage until their return the following year. In their labor, they realized that many of their medications would be expired by the time they returned the next year. As God would have it, they asked if we would be interested in using the medications for our clinic. Well, it certainly wasn’t an answer we had to think about. An immediately “yes and Thank You God!”
We had been out earlier that day purchasing medications and were unable to secure several items that we needed for lack of supply in the pharmacies. In the locker that they donated, the medications were provided! They were labeled and ready for distribution. Additionally 90 percent of the medications they supplied, were not duplicates of what we already had, but rather medications additional to our current supply. What an amazing miracle we realized had just been done in that moment. Our hosts were embarrassed by the overlap in lodging arrangements but their embarrassment quickly turned to joy as they too realized that God had used this situation to provide a great need and that many people in the clinic would be able to receive medication that might not otherwise have been able to be treated.