Audra has managed through the third operation. They removed a rib, deflated her lungs and made an opening for their tools to go in and cut out the rest of the vertebrae affected by the tumor. Once again the operation went well with her coming out tired and beat up. It is a lot to bear but she is doing very well. I returned from Atlanta after a good revival with Mike Jone’s church. I was paid a supreme compliment from a woman named Marlisa. She said I was the only white preacher she was ever able to listen to. Mike and his wife Lisa took me downtown Atlanta where we took the tour of Coke. I purchased a t-shirt for Audra just like I used to when I traveled for Biblesoft.
I very much needed to be preaching again. When I arrived in Atlanta that Saturday night I thought my body was going to give up on me. Just didn’t realize how stressed I was. I could feel the tension level rising in Joan’s voice when we talked over the phone while I was gone. It was great to be welcomed and needed when I returned. Audra’s spirits were up but she was having trouble doing the two chores required of her. She was to move around to encourage coughing and she was to use a small devise that measured and encouraged deep breaths.
She loved the t-shirt and immediately commented that she still had some of the t-shirts I had brought home so many years ago. Her doctors and nurses treat her very well and to my eye I think they are impressed with her attitude (more verification to come). Thursday we put her in her shell and sat her up and Friday we did this twice the last time right as the shift was ending so it was some extra work for Sarah her nurse. Thursday night she asked for macaroni and cheese from Safeway which I got her and she devoured. Her first real meal in quite some time. Friday night found Tom and Marjean Cunningham, our pastor friends from Livingstone Zambia , in the room with us. She asked if Tom would use his wonderful gift for doing wonderful things to just pick something for her to eat. She got Chinese, which she again ate. Joan and I went to dinner with the Cunningham’s while Audra slept. The next morning I was leaving for McMinnville to cover services for Pastor Mammon. We visited Audra before leaving and got to see the whirlwind visit of one of the most effective doctors I have ever seen.
He quickly got Audra’s verbal report. Decided she wasn’t making enough progress in her chores. Made a judgment that her body was too use to the morphine and switched her to a oral drug. I left, got on a plane, got off the plane before it took off, got on another plane, arrived in Portland late and then went and watched a thrilling basketball game in Beaverton starring Levi Altringer the son of Andy who picked me up and took me to the game. Grade 8 players coached at a college level of proficiency. I was amazed and impressed. It was 60 to 60 at the end of the game and Levi’s team won in overtime 65 to 60.
The best part of my day was the call back to the hospital room and my talk with Audra. The change in drugs took away enough pain to allow her to excel in the chores she was asked to do. My sister Laurie, a nurse, gave her coughing lessons that really helped her. She was visited by many people today so it was a very busy time. She had a great talk with her nurse Sarah about her faith. No she hasn’t had a super spiritual experience like her parents had when they were plucked from the world’s grasp and brought into the Kingdom of God, and Sarah wanted to know what she had that was allowing her to do as well as she was because yes she was being favorably compared to others in similar circumstances. She just said she had made a decision to believe. They talked some more and Sarah seemed to be asking all the questions that could only be answered by her responding to God’s calling. Audra asked her if she wanted to pray. Right here? Right now? Are you sure? They prayed. Sarah said it was the most spiritual she has ever felt.
Do I understand the why’s of life? No. But I do know that God has way of turning the worst the world and the devil can do and bringing something good out of it. Yes it is true that “all things work together to good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose”. Did God give my daughter a tumor so that she could pray with Sarah? Only someone who doesn’t know God would think something like that. God is love and God loves my daughter and God loves Sarah. Now that is a why that is beyond our comprehension.
I want to thank the many visitors, special thanks to Jerry Perkins and all the Wickenburg folks, the Wilcoxes from Zambia, my Friday night bible study group in Mazabuka at the Okello’s for their call Friday, the Cummings and Collets from Mazabuka and everyone else who has joined us in prayer for Audra. Let God have His way.