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"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations . . ."(Matt 28:19)

10 August, 2016

Reflecting in Gratitude

August 10, 2015, a date etched in my mind. The day of my open heart surgery for aortic valve replacement and repair/replacement of the ascending aortic aneurysm. The first day on my road to recovery from a failing valve and growing aneurysm. I can’t believe it is already August 10 again!
As I reflect on the past 13 months, memories of preparation for surgery, going through surgery, learning to live with limited movement for several weeks, regaining strength, healing from pericarditis and cardiac rehabilitation work all swirl through my mind. And overriding it is the
realization, “All is well.”

My brief time in the hospital for surgery and four nights after surgery was filled with learning…
day 2 post op
how to control nausea caused by the drugs, how to move correctly, how to manage pain, how to rest when I needed it and how to use my "best friend", a heart shaped pillow, which was a necessity for movement in the early days following surgery.

My early days at home were filled with wonder that I could be THAT tired so easily, that I needed to rest THAT much and that I was prayed for by THAT many people. The words of encouragement and assurance of prayer poured in from around the world. Our WGM family, African friends and many others assured us they were traveling the road of recovery with us. Christine and I were strengthened and encouraged.

The onset of fever was an enigma to many, but perseverance in pursuing the cause led to proper treatment for pericarditis, a common occurrence following heart surgery. The right drug brought rapid relief. I was able to work hard in my cardiac rehabilitation classes and my recovery continued on a steady course from there onward.

3 mos post op 
Four months after surgery Christine and I boarded the plane to carry us home to Uganda. We arrived in Kampala December 31, an hour or so before midnight. On our way home from the airport, just as we crested the hill into Kampala, the clock struck midnight and the fireworks went off all over the city. We could see them all around as. Our hearts exclaimed, “All of Kampala is celebrating God’s faithfulness with us, His goodness to see us home to Kampala!”

We continue to proclaim God’s faithfulness. Surely, the Living God is among us! We rejoice in His provision for our return. His healing touch restored me fully. All is well.

Today, August 10, 2016, Christine and I are taking the day as Sabbath rest. Time to reflect, time to praise our God, time to rejoice in God’s faithfulness. We are remembering His provision through His people. Prayer, meals, words of encouragement, cards, text messages, hugs (very gently at first), housing, help at every turn. The Body of Christ ministered to us. All is well.

I am fine. I have no restrictions. I feel good. I play basketball for a couple of hours once a week. I completed my first run/walk 5K. I have no problem walking the hills of Kampala, Uganda. I work hard and I play hard. I am fine. All is well. And I am forever grateful.

Jeff