I do not know about all of you but I am ecstatic to put 2022 in the rearview mirror. There certainly were many good things about last year, as our ministry continued to grow every year for the past 20 years.
Health issues were, however, a whole other issue. Dustin, Alex, Beth, and I all had significant health issues and way too much surgery. Today I am 3 weeks into recovering from open heart surgery that I had at the Cleveland Clinic where the care was amazing, definitely a 5-star cardiac surgery center. Three months ago, I had a bike accident here in the USA and broke a few ribs. The next day a good friend called to check on me to see how I was feeling. I replied, “it feels like a truck ran over me”. Well, 3 weeks ago that same truck returned with a vengeance with the sternum-splitting incision that was required for the surgeon to get to my heart. The first 2 weeks are a bit of a blur but I assure you that I was well covered by prayer from many of you and people all over the world.
There were definite times of anxiety when I did not feel like praying or know what to pray but the Holy Spirit took over and carried me through some difficult complications. Our children, Dustin and Kelsey, and their families all came to Cleveland to support me and Beth. There were also a couple of angels from Convoy of Hope who just happen to live in Cleveland and who came forward and loved on me and our family every day that we were in Cleveland. I love our Convoy of Hope family who has been so supportive of me and our ministry for the past 20 years.
I am getting stronger and better day by day. Three days ago, I started riding an exercise bike for 45 minutes every day and I am sure that will soon bring lots of fruit. I’m feeling stronger every day and Beth and I are looking forward to joining the first team of the new year, St. Francis Catholic Church from West Des Moine. This will be the 8th year that Fr. Ray and his church have traveled to Africa to do mission work with us.
Why do I do all of this? “Because this is what God has called me to do and prepared me to accomplish”. Thousands of children are blessed by what we do every day in Africa and thousands of them are now following Christ because we have been successful in showing them the love that Christ has for them.
I pray that many of you will also feel the call of God upon your lives to join us in this exciting venture called life on the mission field.
A big thank you for all of your prayers for me and my family. I am here to testify that God heard your prayers and answered your prayers.