On Wednesday I informed you, our prayer partners, of how our daughter, Allison, is having some serious health difficulties, and asked for your earnest prayers. For the past few months Allison has struggled with abdominal pain about 30 – 40 minutes after eating. This pain is so severe that many times she is unable to stand. This has caused her to avoid eating, which has led to a rapid weight loss which also concerns us.
We thank you very much for your prayers. Many people wrote to us assuring us of their prayers and also making suggestions about possible causes and treatments. Some of the causes have already been investigated, and some treatments tried. I wrote down every idea and suggestion so that when Allison gets to see a gastroenterologist we can ask for their opinion as well.
Thursday Allison was feeling better but on Friday at work the pain was unbearable and Andrea rushed Allison to the Emergency Room. She was a bit dehydrated and they gave her two bags of fluids intravenously to rehydrate her. They also took an X-ray of her upper abdomen. The ER doctor did not actually palpate (touch) her stomach though and that seemed odd to me.
In the end the ER doctor concluded that whatever was causing the pain was not killing her and so all he could do was write a referral for a gastroenterologist in 2 weeks or so. Literally, he told her that since her symptoms were not life threatening he could not order more tests and the referral was the best that he could do. As you can imagine, we are very relieved to hear that her condition (in this man’s professional opinion) is not life threatening, but we are disappointed that more could not be done at this time to find the cause of the severe pain and get her in quickly to see a specialist.
The rehydration helped somewhat and Allison is supplementing with protein shakes and constantly sipping on Powerade. On Saturday she was able to eat part of a normal meal.
Jill and I are concerned for Allison’s health and we ask for you to continue praying for her. We also ask that you pray for us as we consider alternative options to get Allison in to see a gastroenterologist more quickly. We feel that sooner treatment, rather than later, would be beneficial.
Thank you so much for standing with us in prayer not only for the Lord’s Work here in Zambia, but also for our family’s well-being in the United States. Sometimes the 8,200 miles of separation from our children seems daunting, but we praise the Lord for FaceTime calls, messaging, and ease of communication.
This week Calvary Baptist Church of Ndola again met in one of our Sunday school rooms for our church services as the main church auditorium is having work done on the floor. The old floor has been removed and workers are busy installing the new terrazzo floor. Each Wednesday and Sunday our church members gather at the door and look at the progress. The floor itself should be finished this week, and then we will need to apply the sealer to protect the new floor. The floor has to cure for 21 days before the sealer is applied, and we will see if we remain in the Sunday school rooms for that time or use the uncured floor. Please pray for wisdom for the church as we decide the way forward with the new floor.
It is interesting having services in a round Sunday school room designed for less than 20 people. We make it work though. Because of the close quarters we do not stand for congregational singing, and we cannot use the piano, so all the singing is a cappella, but other than that the services proceed as normal. Last week we had one first-time visitor and a couple of returning visitors. I explained our situation to them, and they were very kind and understanding of our unorthodox meeting situation. It is encouraging that even with the work going on in the church, our attendance remains pretty level.
In the past month or so we have seen some people saved who were raised in a Jehovah’s Witness background. Because of this I have been preaching on topics that prove how Jesus is Jehovah and how the Lord preserved His Word and we can be confident in the accuracy of our Bible. The sermons have been well received not only by the new converts but also by our church members in general. Please pray that the Lord will continue to speak to people’s hearts and that the Holy Spirit will continue to reveal the truth to those who seek it.
Our basketball court that we installed on our church property before camp two years ago has become quite an evangelistic outreach tool. Zambian youth love basketball. It is a growing sport in this country. Although soccer still holds the number one position more and more youth are learning how to play, and enjoying basketball. Each week we see many youth visit our church property just to play basketball. In the past 2 months we have seen numerous visitors to our church services by young men and women who initially came to our property for the basketball court. We have seen 3 accept Christ as their Savior as well. We praise the Lord for the blessing this addition to our church property has been. Thank you to those of you who, two years ago, gave financially for us to install this recreational resource at the church. Your investment is paying eternal dividends! We are praying about ways to maximize the basketball court and to see even more youth come to hear about the Savior. Please pray with us for new ministry opportunities.
Thank you very much for your faithful prayers and support for our family. Your notes of encouragement and assurance of prayers mean so much to us.