Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Taiwan: Return to the US--Faith put to the test.

Following my "heart attack", I spent several weeks in the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Taipei. The doctors had monitored my heart from the time I was brought in, and had determined the location of the damaged quadrant. After some time, I was transferred to the Baptist Camp at Lingtou (next door to Calvary Baptist Church,) to recuperate. Living at the Camp was truly a blessing. The air was fresh, and much cooler than down in the city. Our cook came periodically to prepare our meals, but mostly Nannette took care of us, and I for one enjoyed her home cooking.
Our children enjoyed living there, but missed their friends. However, when the time for Baseball came around, our son Phil was enrolled in the T ball league. I had begun to do some walking exercises, and was able to attend some of his practices and games. But it was Nannette who made it possible for him to participate.
It is important to make note of the following information in order to fully appreciate what transpired in the US
 After moving to the Camp, I had been walking every day, extending the distance until it was almost two miles. I felt great, but was kept on a tight leash, just in case. One day as I was praying, it seemed the Lord asked me what I really desired of Him. I replied "to be healed." The response was simply "It is done." Naturally, I was elated, and shared this with Nannette and we were very encouraged.

The medical records from the hospital were forwarded to our Board's Medical Consultant, who then shared them with a medical conference on heart problems among younger men. (At that time, I qualified.) Pursuant to their evaluation, I was requested to return to the US, to have a special test (catheterization) to determine more accurately what damage had been done, and what surgery would be needed to correct the problems. When the word came from Richmond that I was to return to the US for tests and possible surgery, I was disappointed and confused. Had I not asked for and received a promise for healing? Then how was I to interpret this development? But the Lord was in total control and I need not have worried. According to FMB (Foreign Mission Board) policy, I was to return home on a medical furlough.. I had wanted to stay the full four years so I could take a study furlough and pursue a doctorate at Southwestern Seminary. Fortunately, I had made this formal request through our mission, so there was a record of it. But this would negate any such plans, so we trusted the Lord and prepared to return to the US.

Our Business Manager, Harry Raley, arranged our trip back stateside, and  included several stops along the way. The first was an overnight stop in Tokyo. After a nights sleep, we went down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. When our meal was over, on our way out of the restaurant we encountered an elderly Japanese businessman, who seemed to be taken with our daughter Emily, who was about five years old at the time. She had blond hair and was Very Cute. As we entered the elevator, the man got on with us, and was still on the elevator when we got off on our floor. Upon entering our room, our daughter Emily showed us several bills that appeared to be some Japanese currency. When we asked here where she got them, she said that nice man in the elevator gave it to her. As it turned out, it was two bills, $20,00 yen each. We were flabbergasted to say the least. I hurried back down to the restaurant to return the money, but the man was gone. No one seemed to know him and assured us that everything was okay. I did not know it at the time, but the money would be just enough to cover the cost of Emily's pre-school in the US.
Our second stop was in Honolulu for several days. Apparently all were concerned that the trip would be too stressful for me, and so the stops would give me time to recover. The days in Hawaii were very pleasant indeed and we each got nice tans.
We arrived in the US, refreshed and ready for whatever the Lord had in mind for us. Southwestern Seminary allowed us to stay in one of the missionary houses on campus, and Emily enrolled in the Pre-school program at Gambrell St Baptist Church. Soon, we contacted the medical facility in Dallas where my catheterization was to be administered. I arrived at the appointed time, and finally was able to see the doctor. After a brief stress test on the treadmill, the doctor sat me down and gave me the facts. "We will do the catheterization as scheduled because your mission requested it. But I can assure you that you did not have a heart attack."  The procedure was done, and after a short time, I went back for the final word. According to the doctor, there was not even a scar anywhere, which would have been the case had I really had a heart attack.
No one was more jubilant than I as I returned to our apartment to share the good news with Nannette, a genuine answer to prayer. Then I called and talked to Dr. Fowler, our medical consultant, to give him the news. He then transferred me to Dr. Winston Crawley for further consultation. When I shared the news with him he was very positive, and remarked that with this evaluation, our medical furlough status could be changed to a brief medical leave. He added that we could return immediately to Taiwan and then I could continue my plans to return after four years to take a study furlough.
What a whirlwind trip, and a real boost to our faith. God had provided everything we needed and answered all our prayers. The missionary couple who lived next door remarked how my countenance had changed with that news, from a gloomy and sad appearance to one of sheer joy.
So, we made our plans to return to Taiwan to resume our ministry there. Sadly, because Emily had to leave the preschool program at Gambrell St, it was closed due to lack of students. Otherwise, it had been a remarkable and inspiring spiritual  journey.
The following verse is our testimony to the faithfulness of our Lord. Believe Him and He will make a way for you.


Jeremiah 29:10:    …I will visit you and perform my good word toward you and cause you to return to this place, for I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

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