Thursday, July 31, 2003

Rebecca's Joureny - 32

Rebecca's Up-date: July 14, 2003

Dear Friends,

When we first started writing updates to you, Paul and I determined that we wanted to be candid about the challenges and our responses to them. We wanted to express the reality of our day-by-day happenings, both in our circumstances and in our souls. Today I am very discouraged. I am better than I was earlier this morning, and will be better by this evening, I'm sure. I had a good cry with Judy, or should I say we had a good cry together. I also had a good time with the Lord, so my perspective is a bit better.

I especially want to share these thoughts with those of you who have serious or extended illness. Yesterday and today I have felt a terrible burden, or should I say I have felt that I am a terrible burden to everyone around me. The reality is that everything I need must be brought to me or done for me. Often I don't even express the things I want because there are so many things I need. To "want" something only adds more of a burden to those who love me and are committed to my care. Everyone around me needs a break to get away from me. I know it is not a break from me, but a break from the burden of my constant care.

Judy expressed it well this morning when she said: "He is faithful to bring us all to a place where we know we need Him. We can't do it on our own." She, in her extremity and weariness, sometimes not knowing if she can go on, and me in my inability to continue being so needy, wanting to get up and do something for myself' The Lord has to teach us how to do this. All along, and especially lately, my cry has been: 'Lord, teach me, show me. I don't know how to do this. Teach me how to go through the day as You would go through it." It is in our extremity that we truly find Him. (How many times have I said this to you?)

He brings us through phases, doesn't he? We go along and then He takes us to another level. This morning the Lord led me to Psalm 62:5-8,11.
Find rest O my soul in God alone;
My expectation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard;
That You, O God, are strong, and that You, O Lord, are loving.

Lord, our expectation is from You. We look to You and know that even through days like these You'll bring us into a wide place. Love, Rebecca

From Paul:

Stephen and I are home from our 3-week, 9-city trip in Canada and the US. We found Rebecca well. She had dictated this note to Judy before I returned.

Judy flew out of Brussels for her 5 weeks at home just as we were landing. So we missed saying good-bye to her. Then Stephen, Robert, and Tracey leave on Saturday, 2 Aug., for a month in the Congo. This will be R&T's 1st trip, so Stephen will help them negotiate the travel and translate for them. He'll probably do some handy-man tasks while he is there, as well as speak to the youth.

While we were gone the physiotherapist began sitting Rebecca up on the side of the bed. She can now hold herself upright for 30-60 seconds at a time, and even move herself to the left or right, backwards or forwards, and then return herself to a stable center, with her head held up. This is a significant step forward.

Love to all,


Saturday, July 19, 2003

Rebecca's Journey - 31

Greetings, Friends,

This is Paul. Stephen and I are in Michigan. I just received this from Rebecca via Judy, and wanted to pass it on:

As you know our "men" are traveling in the States. We laughed the other day when we realized we are a household of 5 women. Judy, Annie, myself, Molly and Hopie (the two dogs). We've had some difficult moments, but basically we're having a delightful time. We have learned to flow together, call upon Robert across the street when we need him, and laugh a lot. We thank you for your prayers and the Lord's faithfulness to keep us well.

I have been "living" in Psalm 96 to 105 during the last week. Ps. 105 verse 1-4:
"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name;
make known among the nations what He has done.
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
Tell of all His wonderful acts.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength; Seek His face always."

I love these verses because they make me think of you. As these e-mails now go out to so many nations I want to "tell of all his wonderful acts."

We have had so many answers to prayer. Psalm 96 begins, "Sing to the Lord a new song." As I began to read that the other day, I began to sing it. I was shocked. As you know, I have not been able to sing. I can now sing do, re, me, fa, so, la, ti," I feel sure this is a continuation of the restoration of my voice for which so many of you are praying.

We have also seen wonder provision of new people to help us. We received an email from Monique saying she had just move into the area and asking if there was
anything she could do to help. She comes once a week for a morning and has been such a blessing and strength to us.

As you know Stephen always turns me at midnight. So, with him gone, we needed the Lord to fill that place. Ashley McNamee volunteered to come every midnight to turn me. Robert has give great instructions to our "midnight turners". As Ashley was only able to do it part time, and then had car trouble, her boyfriend drove to help her. With all of this we have had several "midnight turners". The training sessions have been lots of fun and we have learned much from Robert's expertise and great teaching ability. In it all, once again, we've seen the Lord's provision and care.

Judy and Annie, as they work together, have been a blessing and strength.

We look forward to Paul and Stephen's return and we rejoice in the Lord's faithfulness to us here at home. Thank you again for your prayers and love,


Thursday, July 03, 2003

Rebecca's Journey - 30

Greetings Friends,

Stephen and I are in the air en route to North America as I write. I wanted to update you on Rebecca's first trip (for pleasure) since the accident. Rebecca, Robert, Tracey, and I departed Genval about 1:00 on Friday last, and arrived at the hotel, beautifully situated in a rural setting, about 4:30. She managed the trip well. That evening we had a delightful 4-course meal. She slept well, and in the morning we had a leisurely 1½-hour breakfast in the dinning room. We left the hotel for home about 2:00.

One of our goals was to give Rebecca confidence that she can travel and eat out. Goal accomplished! But my greatest desire was that she would thoroughly enjoy it - and she did. It could not have been a more delightful time.

We also now have a definite (at least as definite as it can be) date for the beginning of construction: 6 Aug. The contractors hope that it will be completed in time for her to be in by Christmas. This will be the next big step for her.

I've thought often of the idyllic world that our Father created, with such hope and promise. Then the tragedy of the Fall, and all the subsequent pain and distortion. The first couple focused blame rather than love on each other. The first man born on earth became a brother-killer. There was great loss on every hand, especially for our Father. And yet, He, at great personal sacrifice, has brought redemption and joy out of that tragedy.

Life took a huge and tragic turn for Rebecca and me, and our family and friends, on 4 October 2002. Our world was turned upside down. And yet the Father has worked such redemption and joy - and "it doesn't yet appear what shall be."

Whatever the circumstances, there is always reason for hope and confidence. Life is so different from what Rebecca and I had imagined it would be. And in the midst of loss we have found great treasure. In the midst of change we have discovered more deeply the wonders of the One who never changes.

The future is not found looking back. Longing for things as they were makes the present good insipid. David said: "I would have perished if I had not believed to see the goodness of God in the land of the living."

We have found the goodness of God in the land of the living, and look forward every day to what He will show of Himself, and what He will do.

As always, many thanks for standing with us on this journey.

Our love to all,