The last blog update was posted in July 2016. A lot has happened since then and I will try to update you on all that has happened.
You may remember that I've had a lot of trouble with degenerative discs in my back. My orthopedic doctor wanted me to try physical therapy instead of more injections last fall. I had a month of aqua therapy in a pool with a physical therapist and thought they were trying to kill me. It was painful, but after a few weeks, I noticed a difference in my pain level for the better. I've not had any major issues with my back since then.
I do, however, have a lot of pain in my left shoulder. The doctor who did surgery on it 13 years ago is looking at it and I have a CT scan with contrast scheduled for next week. An MRI was done, but didn't tell the doctor what he needed to know as far as why I was having so much pain. Please pray we find answers and that it can be repaired. My range of motion is limited due to the pain level.
I've recently had my yearly update with my VA doctor and he was impressed with how well I was doing. He wants me to have my chest x-rayed to make sure that everything is fine there. He also wants me to contact another department in the VA to go over Agent Orange and how the exposure during my time in Vietnam is still affecting me today. I still have swelling and pain, but with the help of medicine and rest, it is mostly under control.
Our church is growing. We've had several professions of faith for salvation and we have a baptism for 5 people coming up soon. We have painted our building, installed air conditionings. Much of the funds have come from the faithful support of churches and individuals who support and pray for the work here in Juárez. We are training men to take part in the services. This past February, our church threw a celebration service for me in honor of my 51 years in the ministry. 46 of them have been as a missionary!
My grandson is now in college and is enjoying it very much! I don't get to see him as often because even when he's home, he's doing homework. And his mama won't let me disturb him!
This has been a very sad time for me and my family these past few weeks. My sister-in-law passed away with cancer. Rebecca and I drove 27 hours to Georgia to be there for my brother. I was able to preach the service along with my nephew (who is also a preacher) and see all my family. Pray for my brother Carl as this is a trying time for him, his 2 daughters, and son.
Also as we were getting ready to leave GA, I received word that Martina’s husband passed away. Martina is a member of the Ortega Baptist Church. Rebecca and I tried to get back to Mexico in time, but by the time we got home, they had already buried Manuel. It is a sad time for this family as well! Please pray for sister Martina!
1. Continual growth of our church.
2. Continual growth of new converts.
3. Continual protection as we work in Juárez.
4. Continual conviction of our visitors for salvation.
5. Continual training of our men for the work of the Lord.