Brethren, if you have ever considered supporting us in prayer, please do so now. We are walking through the darkest valley we have ever faced. Not only have we experienced a great deal of loss in recent weeks, but we are also facing a family health crisis.
At the end of my Winter Preaching Tour, I felt unwell. I thought I had just worked too hard (17 preaching dates in 18 days, 7 sessions the last 3 days, etc.). However, as it turns out, I was experiencing heart failure!
I had first noticed the symptoms at the end of December when Bridget and I returned to Dallas to bury her mother. I experienced fatigue, and shortness of breath, among other things. However, I chalked it up to traveling with heavy bags and restrictive masks (not the trifecta of a hereditary heart defect, last February's mysterious "pneumonia," and untreated sleep apnea).
Six days after bringing Bridget back to Lusaka, I turned around and embarked on what ended up being the busiest tour I've ever done. On the way home, there were stretches when I felt what I could only describe as being waterboarded every two or three minutes. That night, upon arriving in Lusaka, I contacted our family doctor. The next morning I was at a medical center doing a series of labs and tests that revealed the worst. I was experiencing full-blown heart failure.
As I write this update, Bridget and I are making arrangements to fly back to the USA, where I will undergo a series of labs, exams, and treatments. Some of those will be significant. Hence, the call to prayer and plea for help.
- Please pray that the Lord will grant us traveling mercies.
- Please pray that he will grant me strength for the journey. Right now, it is challenging just walking from the bedroom to the kitchen table; I don't know how I am going to survive a 36-hour trip.*
- Please pray for God's providential healing.
- Please pray for my dear wife as she walks through yet another valley—this time with her 'rock' leaning on her.
- Please pray for our children. They are terrified. May the Lord use this to teach them to trust in the Father who never gets weak or sick.
- Please pray for the doctors who will treat me.
- Please pray for finances to come through as we are currently uninsured and will have to cover everything out-of-pocket.
- Please pray for our witness as we endure this trial. We often think our faith shines brightest when we are on mountain tops when in fact, it is the dark valley that offers the sharpest relief and clearest contours.
- Please pray for me as I strive to lead my family while facing the reality of my own dependence.
*Update: On yesterday (Thursday), things took a turn for the worse, and I had to be admitted for treatment to stabilize me for our upcoming trip. By God's grace, things have improved, and we are clear to travel on Saturday.