Traveling East

The blog has been a bit quiet of late since our whole family is on the move right now. We’ve headed over to eastern Africa for a conference for a week and won’t be back in Ghana for a while.

Keep us in your prayers as we travel across multiple countries over the next 10 days or so.

Different Places & People

For the next few weeks we will be in another country with some of our colleagues to do some cross-cultural evangelism training. We arrived safely and already attended a wonderful worship service with a large variety of ethnic groups represented. William has also been able to meet up with several old friends from his days in the Ivory Coast.

Please keep us in your prayers as our family adjusts to this new environment and as we engage people in this new community with the Gospel.

William Learns to Walk (Again)

This past weekend William emerged from our house after nearly two weeks of being down with to typhoid. He is really weak from the prolonged illness but with a little help from his camera monopod and myself, he very slowly made his way up and down the road to our house.

It will be a couple more weeks before he’s back to his old self but these small improvements are encouraging. Thanks to all of you who have been praying for him!

Health Update

Almost 2 weeks ago, William started to experience body aches and fevers. These symptoms were very similar to his bout of malaria last year, so we decided to start treatment for malaria right away. After the treatment had finished, the fevers returned and we knew he was suffering from something else. Last Monday, he had severe headaches, persistent fever and began to vomit. Thankfully our friend, Dr. Peter Van Dingenen was visiting for the week. Together, we diagnosed William with Typhoid fever and began treatment with IV antibiotics and IV fluids. Thankfully, we were able to set this all up in the comfort of our own home. By Wednesday, the fever finally broke and the vomiting stopped, but he was extremely weak. In addition to generalized fatigue, he has experienced some neurological deficits (tremors, uncoordinated walking and involuntary eye muscle movements). Thankfully, we have found in the medical literature that although these extra symptoms are rare, patients who have experienced the same show complete resolution. Each day, we are seeing improvement, but the road to full recovery will be long.

In the same week, William’s younger, disabled brother was hospitalized (and remains in the hospital), Heidi’s grandfather passed away and Trey started showing early signs of Typhoid. We thank God for giving William’s parents strength and his brother’s doctors wisdom to determine the cause of his illness and the appropriate treatment. We praise God that my grandfather died peacefully, surrounded by family and is now in the presence of our Lord and Savior. We also thank God that Trey’s fever and rash miraculously healed very quickly and he has fully recovered. Finally, we thank God for the health and strength he has given me and our unborn daughter as I care for William.

Please pray for continued resolution of William’s symptoms and complete recovery of strength. Thankfully, he is eating well and gaining strength little by little every day. I have been clinging to the promises that God gives us in the Bible. He has given us strength and peace during such a trying time.

Thank you all,

Heidi, William, Trey and Baby

Pray for Fatima & Baako

Yesterday I drove to Tamale with Tommy Harrison (a long-term volunteer – as in, since the early 80s!) to pick up local pastor Baako and his terminally ill wife Fatima. She was seeking treatment at the Tamale Teaching Hospital where she had surgery to attempt to remove a cancerous growth in her throat. Unfortunately it was too little, too late.

Pastor and his wife at the hospitalThe growth began near the back of her tongue just a few months ago and progressed very rapidly. So much so that it now blocks her throat and airway. The breaths through a tube in her neck and is feed through a tube to her stomach. Her swollen tongue is now the size of my fist and protrudes from her mouth. Another tumor is growing out of her jaw. It’s a tragic sight and it breaks my heart to see her suffer so.

Tommy is basically providing hospice care for Fatima at his house in order to keep her as comfortable as possible in these final days/weeks. Her husband is also able to be by her side during this time.

  • Thank the Lord that we were able to navigate the rough roads and get her back to Nalerigu safely and without incident.
  • Pray that Baako’s faith will be strengthened during this difficult time.
  • Please pray for Fatima’s comfort and peace.
  • Pray that those in their community who do not know Christ will recognize the eternal hope that Baako and his wife have in Him.
  • Pray that Baako will be able to use what he experiences during this time to minister to those he shepherds when they face death and suffering in their families.

May our Lord be glorified in everything!

** UPDATE : Oct 19 **
Fatima passed away this afternoon in hospice care at Tommy’s house. Tonight they are taking her body to her village for burial. We praise the Lord that her suffering is over and she is now with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please continue to pray for her family, her church and her community as they grieve her passing.

Heading Home

We’re in the Accra airport about to board our flight to Amsterdam. Then to Detroit. Then to Tampa. We should be in Tampa on Monday around 4:30pm EST.

Pray for us and especially Trey during the flights and layovers. This 10pm flight from Accra has already been tough since it is past his bed time.