HERNIA SURGERY REPORT
What a title for a report, but, this has been my situation for the last 4+ weeks, change that to 12 weeks. You may recall that I had not one, but two groin strains from my exploits at our summer youth camps … one in Montenegro and the other in Romania which was much worse. On August 24 I had a MRI which didn’t really help solve the problem and the pain was much worse. Finally, my primary care doctor sent me to an urologist, a sharp young lady, who diagnosed the hernia. She immediately dialed the surgeon on her cell phone to set up an appointment. Within a few days the young surgeon, age 35, told me that I needed hernia surgery. All of these young doctors were very attentive and proactive ready to help me. Finally, after a couple of delays I had the surgery on October 15. I cannot believe that it was done as an outpatient surgery … I felt like death warmed over … pain on the Richter scale in my opinion. But, the Lord helped me although the first two weeks were really tough. Now after four weeks? I’m still moving slowly and doing some walking outside for 10 minutes at a time, but, I’m doing much better.
After visiting my surgeon a couple of days ago I can share that I have about another four weeks of recovery, but, he thinks I will be in good shape to go to Costa Rica to speak in youth camps there in January. He released me from his care telling me that the surgery is holding very well after I passed the “cough test”. He was so pleased explaining that he could not feel any pressure at all in the area of my surgery. He said that I will have more pain, but, that it will slowly improve. God sent me to an excellent young surgeon. I love hanging out with young people. Sharp, talented, proactive … what a blessing for me!
BEHIND THE SCENES WORK
This slow down in my life as I recover from my surgery has been very productive especially the last 10 days. I was not very productive the first 15 to 18 days after the surgery because I was so miserable suffering from pain. What a help for me that I could finally sleep on my right side on the 25th day after my surgery. Sleeping in only one position, on my left side, for 25 days became very tedious. Basically, I only took naps. Much better now! This helped me become more productive with behind the scenes work such as calendar planning for 2015, working on the ministry budget to submit to our Board of Directors for approval, organizing teams to come to our camps in Romania and Montenegro, mentoring by Skype phone calls and emails, digging into the Word and spending quality time in prayer. Some incredible things are happening because of the slow down and I am quite excited about this. Suffice to say that preparation time for all public ministry is vital and crucial.
COSTA RICA: SOMEBODY HAS TO ENDURE THE NICE WEATHER
God willing, I will be in Costa Rica in January speaking to teenagers in youth camps and connecting with church planters speaking in their churches. Hey, somebody has to endure the nice weather down there! January is their peak “summer” season and young people are on break from school. They return to school in February. So, January is prime time to hang out with teenagers in Costa Rica. Pray for these meetings. I will be speaking to Costa Rican Indians in the mountains during one week. After meeting a couple of top notch young Indians in January 2014 I can hardly wait to meet their friends. They are short in stature with orangish olive skin and jet black hair. I’m told that they are very attentive for the most part. I will be speaking to them during the first full week in January 2015. Can’t wait!!
Our director for LIFE Costa Rica, Cris Vidaechea, was in the States for three weeks recently renewing friendships and asking churches and individuals to kindly consider supporting him, his family an his ministry. All I can tell you is that I really believe in this young man in his mid 30s … to the extent that I write a check for his mission support. I kindly ask others to join me supporting this fine young man. See, I told you that I love to hang out with young people … so much potential! Your investment will make a difference as we make plans to have groups come from the States to do evangelism and as we hope to launch our first LIFE Costa Rica youth camp in January 2016. Pray much for this!
SASHA IN MONTENEGRO IS COMING ON STRONG
Speaking of young adults loaded with potential I highly recommend Sasha Olah who is representing our work at LIFE Montenegro. He is in his early 20s [Oh, how I remember my 20s … what a special time in my life] and he is really sharp. Well, I’m going to tell you that I write another check to support this young man and we need some more people to follow my example and the example of 3 or 4 other wonderful people who support him. Great soccer player … smooth as silk on the soccer field and can burst with speed at just the right moment to overwhelm his defender. Sasha uses his sports skills to build relationships so he can do evangelism and discipleship. He is doing follow up work on our campers who attend Camp Monty. Why don’t you consider writing a check every month with support designated for Cris in Costa Rica and a portion for Sasha in Montenegro? They are worthy of your help and you can make a difference in two sections of the world. You could do this through your online banking site to set it up in bill pay to do this automatically each month or go to our website to use Pay Pal. Pray about this if you would be so kind. Thank you for praying about this.
Wrapping up this Update thinking about you, dear friend, and giving a prayer of thanksgiving to God for our friendship. So thankful for you. I just prayed for you. May the Lord bless you!
Executive Director, Life Impact For Eternity
Office for Donations:
Life Impact For Eternity,
3984 Manatee Avenue East,
Bradenton FL 34208
—Major Developments in Montenegro
Earlier I wrote to you that I suffered a serious groin strain, actually two of them, one in Montenegro and the other in Romania. The pain has been horrific the last seven weeks, but, a solution has been found. A couple of days ago I met with a specialist who told me that I have two hernias needing surgery. She immediately called her surgeon friend who allowed me to come for an examination later that day. The surgeon asked me to cough deeply, then, make a groaning sound as though I was lifting something heavy. He confirmed the diagnosis and talked to me about scheduling a double hernia surgery agreeing on October 8.
What a relief! Finally, I know what my problem is and that there is a solution. Recovery time may take up to six weeks or so due to this being a double hernia surgery. This means that my next trip to Romania and Montenegro has been postponed. Everyone there needs me to get healthy again, so, I will do what is necessary to prepare for the long term. Looking forward to 2015 being an extraordinary year!
God really used me in both doctor offices with both of the doctors and their nurses. They listened with great interest when I told them what I do with disadvantaged young people, about the loss of Lynne and how God has helped me. One nurse with tears in her eyes listened to my story then, she shared her story of loss. The first doctor told me that she had never met anyone like me and that she is so impressed. She gave me top quality service. The surgeon came in and sat down without saying a word … his nurse standing nearby. Finally, he said, “Your story is all over my office.” I glanced at the nurse who looked away with a little smile on her face. “I don’t know quite what to do with a real, bonafide missionary who has a story like yours.” After he asked me various medical questions … what I eat, drink, do or don’t do … he turned away from his laptop and said, “How long have you been a missionary?” “I’m in my 37th year” He was quiet as he shook his head [I guess he is about 36 years old]. “Can I be like you when I grow up?” I said, “You sure can. Let’s plan your first mission trip.” Big smiles. He gave me first class service. I’m in good hands … he is really sharp. Pray for successful surgery on October 8.
He thinks that I have a lot of damage, so, he described three surgical methods with each method being more invasive. Recovery time will depend upon which method he ultimately uses. This is outpatient surgery and he expects this to be successful. It’s in God’s hands so, thank you for your prayers.
MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN MONTENEGRO
Camp Monty has been a huge success since its inception in 2007 because God led us to this needy country and He has blessed this work. Many have come to Christ, but, follow-up is always an issue for any mission in any country. It’s true for a church in the United States. Simply put, discipleship is hard work. But, it is a necessary work.
We have had a dream of having a coffee house or youth club that would be open for young people to come together for fellowship or simply hanging out together with some of our staff. Bible studies, special speakers, evangelistic events and informal get togethers would be part of the focus. Dear friend, this is close to becoming a reality. Rick DeYoung and Jim Compton were over there last week and they were delighted to see God open doors very quickly.
Danijel Petkovski has played a key role in Camp Monty in recent years. He leads a ministry to university students in Niksic, Montenegro. He loves teens and has helped us with some of the follow up work for our campers. He also has a vision for a youth center, so, we are partnering together so that we can reach out to university students, teenagers and children. Our staff member, Sasha Olah, in his early 20s is quite excited about this. It is good for him to work Danijel who is around 30. A couple of the men involved in the local church with whom we partner are very interested in being involved so, things are coming together very quickly.
Rick DeYoung, Director of Camp Monty, phoned that a new building that all of us, including me, looked at this summer, is nearing competition so they called the phone number posted on the window. Would you believe that the owner’s son attends Camp Monty? He was there in five minutes! Things usually are not moving this quickly in Eastern Europe. God is at work!
Within minutes I was viewing a video made by Jim Compton listening to the negotiation. This summer my hands and face were next to the window as I looked in. Now, I was “inside” via the video watching the owner agree to the reasonable terms! My heart was soaring!!
A family who has helped us at Camp Monty have made an investment in helping to fund this new ministry. But, we need more partners, supporters to help us with this opportunity. $800 per month would be help us cover the rent, utilities, refreshments, coffee and tea, supplies and helping with Sasha’s support. Your $25 per month would help to make a difference. $10 per month or $50 per month will help. Can we count on your involvement?
Designate your check “Montenegro” and mail it today to Life Impact For Eternity, 3984 Manatee Avenue East, Bradenton FL 34208 or donate onlinewww.lifeimpactforeternity.org via Pay Pal.
Let’s make a difference in Montenegro …
ADDRESS FOR DONATIONS:
Life Impact For Eternity
3984 Manatee Avenue East
Bradenton FL 34208