Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Rebecca's Journey - 14

Dear Friends,

This is Paul. It's Monday afternoon, and I'm at the hospital. We had a wonderful 30 hours at home with Rebecca over the weekend. We began decorating for Christmas. Stephen was the motor behind this, with Rebecca giving suggestions from her bed, surrounded by boxes of decorations and pine bows. Sunday brunch was Rebecca's 1st meal at table in over 14 months. We wheeled her chair to a beautifully decorated Christmas table, looking out over the garden. Stephen fixed omelettes and other goodies. She says she's not ready for a fancy restaurant yet (true-smile!), but it is another real step forward.

She has had several thoughts that she wanted to share with you, so I'll take dictation.

~One of the recent wonderful developments that I've experienced is the ability again to read my Bible for myself. My nurses prop it up with pillows and help me get my reading glasses on. One nurse always drops a tissue into my hand and quietly closes the door. Last Sunday morning I was reading in Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount, (one of those passages we've all read many times). When I got to the part: "He who saves his life will loose it, but he who looses his life for My sake will find it," it was as if I'd never read it before. I have lost a life, in His service, and, in the coming months, will surely be finding a new life, in His good plan and purpose. My mind immediately went to Paul's and my discussion, just days before, about the possibility of a new bedroom on our house. This was really the first time I had been able to envision a place for me in the future.

The next day, when the doctors made their rounds, they talked, for the first time, about my working toward going home every weekend, with the goal of going home permanently by the spring. It was a bit of a shock to me. And then I remembered "finding a new life", and such joy filled my heart. Isn't His Word, and the timing of it, amazing? His kindness and goodness continually catch up with me and overwhelm me.

I've had another unfolding story this past month. It began when a new student nurse leaned over my bed and a silver cross gleamed out from her uniform. I said to her: "Does that cross have meaning for you, or is it just a lovely piece of jewellery?" "Oh," she said, "it has meaning - and I'm supposed to find out if you are a believer." I was so shocked! In the discussion that followed she disclosed that another student had become suspicious of my faith by some of the Bible verses written around my room. She had said to Natalie: "You find out if she is a believer. My English isn't good enough."

What followed has been a most delightful, daily sharing of the Lord's life with Natalie, who, I came to find out, was a brand new believer. She is in the process of leading her 2 teenage children toward the Lord.

Some weeks ago I asked Paul to get several Flemish New Testaments, a new translation. So on Natalie's last day here I gave the first NT away. I pointed her to Matt. 11:28-30, ("Come unto Me all you who are weary..."). She immediately went off by herself with her NT, only to come back in 15 minutes, tears streaming down her face. She said: "How did you know what I needed? God has spoken to me!" I just said: "Natalie, go to Jesus, and He will lead you to the Father."

What a daily adventure we are all having together; as you pray, Jesus is leading. I still have 3 more NTs. Won't it be fun to see who they are for? ~

Love from us both,

Paul & Rebecca

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Rebecca's Journey - 13

Dear Friends,

It has been nearly two weeks since we've written. Sorry for the hiatus in communication. Rebecca has some things she wants to say, but her energy and my availability to take dictation haven't come together this week.

I do want to get some information to you, though, mostly scheduling and prayer requests. I'll just enumerate them below.

~Rebecca comes home in a few hours for her 1st over-night visit - 1st in over 14 months. We can't wait!
~Judy left yesterday for 6 weeks in the States.
~Annie is here both this weekend and next to help.
~Phillip arrives on the 17th for a month.
~Susannah arrives on the 23rd for 2 weeks.
~Rebecca comes home on the 24th for 8 days. (We'll move the couch and coffee table out of the living room end of the LR/DR and put her bed there by the tree and the fireplace.
~Matt and Stephanie arrive the 28th. We'll celebrate our family Christmas that day.

Other information:
~After much consideration and prayer, the best option, actually the only realistic option, for staying in this house is to add a bedroom/bathroom on the back of the house for Rebecca. An initial sketch of this is being made by the architect. This will then be taken to the local planning commission to see if they will allow us to do it.
~Sometime after the first of the year, the doctors have said they want Rebecca to start coming home each weekend.
~The doctors have said they think it is reasonable that Rebecca would return home permanently sometime in the spring.
~Please continue to pray for her strength, the recreation of neurological pathways, and increased enervation in her left vocal chord, and for the plans and preparations for her return.

Many thanks for your interest and prayers.

Our love to all,