Trials like bullets are no respecter of timing or gallantry when they are set to hit their targets.
Who would have imagined that what initially started as a mild lower back pain at the peak of my ministry and professional life would turn out to be a long-term, life-changing, and life-threatening journey of faith, character molding, and total re-surrender of my ambitions, hopes and plans to the Lord. Seminary and multiple graduate degrees were no match for these attacks, but our Lord Jesus Christ is FAITHFUL!
I would never have imagined that when I left Sierra Leone almost three years ago, bidding my family, church and friends goodbye for four weeks, that I might actually be saying my last goodbyes, had it not been for the grace of God through the interceding prayers of many.
That lower back pain was actually the onset of severe kidney disease (Glomerular Membranous Nephropathy) causing (so far) ten hospitalizations (twice in ICU for nearly fatal blod clots), two biopsies, four rounds of chemo, and finally, admission for dialysis. It is certain that these incidents would have been fatal on the other side of the seas, where diagnosis and treatment options are nearly non-existent. But Alelujah! I'm ALIVE because of the Lord's mercies, your prayers and support, and an amazing, providential American medical system.
So, this four week trip turned into 134 weeks (33 months, just 3 shy of 3 years) away from my family. Aside from God's grace, these challenges would have been impossible to overcome, but the Lord has heard the petitions of many by granting me an extension of life and now granting the upcoming reunion with my family here in the US. Meanwhile, I will continue with dialysis as I hope and pray for a kidney transplant in the future.
Through all these trials, the Lord has taught me to: (a) Wait in prayer; (b) Wait in faith; (c) Wait in quiet patience, and that:
"The greatest values and character in life are not randomly blown across our path by wayward winds, for great souls experience great sorrows." (Streams in the Desert Devotional)
Visas have now been approved,and I'm expecting my wife and three children in the near future. Praise God! Our one-time needs of $15,000 include airfare ($7,000), car ($5,000), and appliances-homegoods not donated ($3,000). I first covet your prayers, and then any support you can provide as the Lord leads is a double blessing. All funds go to a Chase Bank Donation Account, where withdrawals must be approved by others - not me - for clear accountability.
Thank you, sincerely, for your consideration!
By the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
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