Dear Family and Friends,
Greetings in the blessed name of Jesus. Another great summer with over 700 youth (150 more youth than in 2010) all safe at home. Praise the Lord!
I had a long journey with my health this summer. In March, I reached my 80th birthday and was to have knee surgery to repair a part that had worn out from a knee replacement 12 years ago. So I had to have a full medical checkup: blood work, EKG, stress test—all came back good. I had knee surgery, finished my therapy and am now walking well. Then Boot Camp started. On June 20th I had been supervising a team for most of the morning and around 5 PM while standing in the food line, I passed out and fell, re-injuring my knee. I thought it was from the heat of the day, but I later passed out again at the office. I was checked by our in-house nurse. My pulse was 30. Immediately a call was made to 911 and I lost consciousness. When I was revived in the emergency room they had cut off my clothes and were preparing to put an air tube in my lungs. I didn’t know what was happening to me, for I had no pain. I asked the doctor what happened. He told me I had a complete heart failure. How could that be? I had no pain. He told me my electrical system had quit. I needed a new source of electrical power. My heart had stopped five times before arriving at the hospital. So the doctor implanted an $18,000 pacemaker with two leads into my heart to keep it in rhythm. (The cardiologist’s name is Watts. He had the proper name for the job!) The good news is, my muscles and veins are okay. Every three months I have to have my pacemaker checked. I can’t thank God enough for your prayers for my sake and God for sparing my life. Psalm 116:7-9
My knee still bothers me at night. Dr. Helmy has drawn blood from it twice. He told me it will be four months before it heals completely. My most recent surgery was Oct. 12 on my left hand for carpal-tunnel. I hope that this will be all for this year.
Betty has had three epidural nerve blocks to ease the pain in her lower back. Betty and I are witnesses that growing older is not for cowards.
Betty and I have prayed and talked about what we should do with our lives…we will be remaining with the ministry of Teen Missions, which has been our life for 33 years. Thank the Lord!
We’re back at the office preparing for 2012 teams now. Betty and I thought about how much we really enjoy what we are doing, as we sat across from each other in our offices. Sarah, a new student, has been assigned to assist us with the work.
I was standing one evening in Big Top #1 when a young lady came up to me and asked me if I knew who she was. Ruth Johnson was her name; she was on the Wings of Faith Team in Honduras 33 years ago in 1978. I also saw Keller Hopkin. What a blessing to see them again after so many years. They both had a son on teams this year.
We had a pleasant surprise when our friends from the Ukraine came for a visit. Betty and I have known Valery and Luba for 20 years; we met them in 1990 in Odessa. They’re such dear people. They helped us with the Teen Missions Boot Camps we ran. Valery told me he didn’t think he would have ever visited our house. We really had a blessed time together. It was their first visit to the States. They came to be at their daughter’s wedding in Alabama.
We celebrated our daughter, Nancy’s, 50th birthday on September 24th and had a good time with a cookout. Betty and I enjoy when our fourth great-grandson visits us on Tuesday evenings while our granddaughter, Desiree, attends college. We like being grandparents best!
I finally let my 1976 Ford Pickup go that we had purchased new in June of 1976. It was 33 years old—a real antique. Even though it still runs, it was too expensive for us to keep. As we watched it being hauled away I had a heaviness of heart and almost had a tear come to my eyes. It had been a part of the family for so long.
Betty and I will celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary on November 11th. We will be having the party in Tampa on December 10th when my side of the family will gather for their annual get together. We also plan on a trip to Key West in December for our 60th, as we have never been there before.
As the year draws to a close we would like to thank each of you for your prayers and to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…in case we don’t get back to you. Life is good. Live it each day for God.
Prayer requests: Health Safety in travel Wisdom in decision making
Our great grandson Brennan
Our family’s salvation