Thursday, September 27, 2012

Storms and Goodbyes

"I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together." Psalm 34:1-3

stormI have never understood how people praise God in the good moments and then curse Him in the bad. It is as if He owes them something and then fails to follow through on paying His debt. I have come to understand that my Jesus owes me nothing at all. Rather, I owe Him everything. As a result, he deserves my praise and worship through the storms as well as the clear weather.

God is good, regardless of the circumstances in which I find myself. Right now that truth is such a comfort and peace in the midst of our current storm. My Jesus is good, and He holds me and my family.

On Sunday Wanda and I will be flying to NC to say goodbye to my mom. Unless she receives a miraculous touch, we will remove her ventilator on Monday and let her go be with Jesus. In that moment, she will exchange her frail, broken body for one without blemish or defect, and she will get the chance to see first-hand how good our Savior really is.

I expect the funeral to be Wednesday or Thursday, but do not know for sure. To be on the safe side we are planning to stay until Saturday. It will be good for us to be able to spend time with my sister and brother and their families celebrating mom’s life and comforting one another. Your prayers are appreciated.

I have worked hard this week (as much as I have been able to focus) to catch up on work and plan for another absence. However, I ask for your patience with me over the next couple of weeks. If you have business with our ministry that I need to handle, if possible please wait until October 8th to send it. If it is urgent and cannot wait, please be patient with my response time. I will try to keep up with e-mail, but will not have ready access so my response will likely be delayed. If you are awaiting communication from me, please be kind enough to remind me as I am afraid that my cluttered mind may have forgotten. As always, feel free to contact our Office Manager, Emily, at our US office (937-216-1300).

Please note that I will be out of phone communication for much of our time in the States. The best means of communicating with me is through e-mail. If you need to speak via phone, send me a message and I will call you when I am able. Thanks for your patience.

Once again, thank you for all your prayers and kind words to me and my family. They are precious and I savor each one.

Because of Him!

Daryl (Wanda and the Crew)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Life and Death Decisions

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." Psalm 46:1-3

When I last wrote, I was packing and preparing to fly to the States to be with my mom who was in a serious auto accident last Friday. Much has transpired since then, and I wanted to bring you up to speed.

After a long day of travel I arrived in NC late on Sunday evening. My brother met me at the airport and drove me straight to the hospital. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived my mom was not responsive and remained that way for most of the week that I was there. She had to remain heavily sedated since she would become agitated due to pain and fear from the respirator. There was one point (I believe on Wednesday) that she did smile and nod her head, but other than that I could never even get her to squeeze my hand.

I realized that I waited too long to travel. If I had arrived on Saturday I could have seen her before they intubated her and could have talked with her. Hind-sight is always 20/20, but this was a majorly blind mistake on my part, and I missed my last opportunity to be with my mom.

On Thursday I made the decision to delay my return to Guatemala until today (Sunday). As Sunday approached, it seemed like we were not close to knowing anything definite, and the doctor indicated that it would likely be a week or two until we knew if she would recover or not. So, last night I spent time alone with mom telling her goodbye. In my heart I knew it would be my last time to see her in this life, so I wanted to say everything that I needed to say. I then boarded a flight early this morning to head back to Guatemala.

When my plane landed in Miami I received a text from my sister, Kathy, telling me that she had spoken with the doctor this morning. He told her that he does not believe my mom will ever recover and be able to breath on her own. So, we either choose to have them do a tracheotomy to maintain her breathing long-term, or we need to discontinue the use of the respirator and let her go. Mom always told us that she never wanted to live like that, so we will be letting her go.

Kathy, my brother (Rusty) and I will be making a decision regarding the timing of this. I am inclined to make it sooner rather than later because she has been suffering so much. I will be finishing my trip home today and will then schedule a return trip later this week for the funeral. There is simply no way to intercept my bag and turning around now would not save any money.

Please pray for Kathy, Rusty, the in-laws, extended family and me in the days ahead. Pray for Wanda and the kids that will need to do without me for more time. Also pray for provision as I once again have to pay for another trip to NC. Finally, please pray for our ministry in Guatemala that is suffering in my absence.

While I do not understand God’s ways, I trust Him with all my heart. He is the very definition of goodness and love. So, in the midst of this pain, we cling to Him.

Thanks for all your prayers and encouraging words.

Because of Him,


Saturday, September 15, 2012

An Emergency Trip to the States

It has been a while since my last update and, I am sorry to say, this is going to be a short one…

My mother was in a serious car accident yesterday (Friday) in North Carolina. Most of her ribs were broken on her left side and her spleen was injured and was bleeding. I am happy to write that, as of this morning, the bleeding had stopped and her blood count was holding steady. However, she is not out of the woods. She is elderly and already had poor kidney function and breathing difficulties before the accident. They are now very concerned about pneumonia. She is in a tremendous amount of pain.

After hearing the reports we decided that I needed to fly to NC to be with my mom, brother and sister. I will be leaving tomorrow morning and plan to stay until Friday. This trip is especially difficult because my two daughters, Carissa and Teisha, leave for Uganda on Wednesday for a six week trip. This means that I will not be able to be here for the family day we had planned this week or to see them off on their journey. I have never felt so torn between my role as a son and a father.

Prayers would be greatly appreciated for my mom, Pauline. She is in ICU and in much pain. Also pray for my family that I will be leaving behind in Guatemala. Please ask God to be the husband and father they need during this challenging time. Pray for Teisha and Carissa as they leave, travel and serve in Uganda. Please pray that God will be the Daddy they need in the weeks ahead. Finally, pray for me, my brother and my sister in the days ahead.

Thanks for all your prayers and support!