Thursday, February 20, 2003

Rebecca's Journey - 20

Greetings Friends,

I'm writing this from Kennedy Airport in NYC awaiting the departure of my flight home. It has been a productive 18 days in North America. One of the delightful "happenings" was meeting Maggie's parents, siblings, and extended family in Greensboro, NC. Among other things, we discussed wedding plans. The happy couple will be married in Brussels next January 3rd. Then there will be a Presentation and Reception on January 24th in Greensboro. Rebecca and I are grateful to Maggie and her family for celebrating this covenant-making where Rebecca can be in attendance.

These last several weeks Rebecca has had more good days than bad, which is progress. Sharrol Henley has been in Brussels helping Judy. I'm anxious to see Rebecca tomorrow and get a full update.

I received word yesterday that one of our neighbors has formally objected to the construction of our addition. We wait again for the Planning Commission to determine the validity of their objections.

On additional prayer request: For the past 37 years Rebecca and I have created our life together, partnering not only in the raising of our children, but in all that we've done and initiated. We've worked and traveled together, and our life has unfolded out of our relationship and communication. Rebecca's present limitations create a new situation. My desire and commitment is that the life ahead of us will proceed out of our relationship just as the life behind us has. We, frankly, don't know how to do this. Rebecca will be moving home in about 6 weeks. We're making the preparations for that now. I don't want to go about my life and just "visit" her regularly in her room. We need wisdom and insight to know how create our future together.

Rebecca had dictated some thoughts for this update to Judy several weeks ago. I apologize for being so delayed in getting them to you. They are below.

The therapist wheeled me into my room after physiotherapy and pushed the bell for the nurses to come and put me in bed. As I sat there I was already past my endurance for being in the chair. I felt shaky and nauseated. I began to pray, "Lord, please send those nurses quickly." I continued waiting, 5 minutes, then 10. I felt like I had gone way beyond my capacity. Then I began to pray, "Lord give me grace to sit here. You are exercising me; give me Your grace to extend my time." And I remembered, "Lord I'm waiting on You, and as I wait on You, You will strengthen me. Your grace will come."

Just a small turn of the prism where the light shines through in a different way and shows a different perspective! From "Lord save me!" to "Lord, enable me!"

"And God is able to make ALL grace abound to you so that in ALL things at ALL times having ALL that you need you will abound to EVERY good work." II Corinthians 9:8.

Our love to you all, in Him,

Paul & Rebecca

Monday, February 03, 2003

Rebecca's Journey - 19

Dear Friends,

Several months ago one of you Dear Ones from Ohio sent me a note saying that she felt the Lord had prepared not just bread for my day, but baguettes (the long loaves of French bread). She saw Him delivering a basket full. Now I don't think she realized what that meant for me, living here in Europe, where Baguettes are such a part of our lives. Several days ago a friend from London sent me a "baguette" which I've been feasting on all week long.

It was Il Cor. 4: 16-18: "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." I had forgotten that II Cor. is one of my favorites of Paul's letters. In it he shares so deeply of his pain and his own heart. I've gone back and have begun to reread it. Have I ever read it before? It is so fresh and so alive!

This week I've moved to a new ward where all the patients go home every weekend. So I had to leave my nurses, and have met a whole new group of lovely "angels". Where, in the last years, have I been with so many who do not know the Lord? The first 3 chapters of II Cor. are filled with God's perspective on the lost. I've not given you specific names to pray for, but I do hope that you are praying for these dear nurses. For many of them, I am the only "fragrance of the knowledge of Him". "Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart." Thomas Merton, a Catholic monk from the 20th century, said: "I must give myself to the duty of today, and thus find God." So you see how everything God does turns to His glory and goodness. "On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers." What a wonderful adventure we are on together, and your prayers have certainly helped me. Lydia Prince, Derek Prince's first wife, a wonderful saint, used to say: "Let us see what God will do for us." Yes, let us see what God will do for us together.

My love,


Greetings, Friends! This is Paul. Rebecca has had a good week - one of the best she has had for many months. The physiotherapist has been working her harder and longer, and she has sustained it well.

I leave tomorrow morning for 18 days in North America. Our dear friend, Sharrol Henley, will arrive as I depart, and will stay until the day before I return, to help Judy in caring for Rebecca. We hold you all in our prayers.
Yours, in Him,