IT STARTED WITH A COLD
After our Divine Expedition training in El Salvador, I came down with a case of bronchitis. With just a couple days before my scheduled flight to Ethiopia, I went to Urgent Care and had to cancel my travel plans. Fortunately, Global Training Network team members Mark and Gayll Phifer-Houseman and Richard Wallace were able to conduct the scheduled trainings.
As I began to recover, Sharon came down with what we thought was a cold. The cold continued and a cough developed. Then, ten days ago, she woke up and said with slurred speech, “Something happened in my head last night.” I noted that her smile (I asked her to smile) was crooked and she didn’t seem normal. I called her doctor who after my description asked to speak with Sharon. She then told me to take Sharon to the hospital.
ER AND ICU
Upon arrival at the hospital we were met by nurses who made us wait outside until they confirmed that her doctor had called ahead to have her admitted. I took a selfie while we waited to be allowed inside the Emergency area to then led to a room where Sharon could be tested.
I was only allowed in because Sharon could hardly speak and I could answer the nurses and doctors questions. For the next five hours all kinds of tests were conducted by specially gowned and masked doctors, nurses, and assistants. The tests showed that Sharon had pneumonia. Worse, she had had a brain-bleed due to a spike in her blood pressure. The good news is that she tested negative for the Coronavirus.
Sharon was then transferred to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and I had to leave. Because of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the hospital has a no-visitor policy…including spouses. My only contact with her thereafter was by phone.
After six days of treatment and monitoring in the hospital, Sharon was transferred to a rehabilitation facility where she is now. She has responded to the antibiotics so has stopped coughing, but she is still weak and undergoing therapy for the damage to her speech and the loss of strength.
I was able to meet her when she was transferred to the rehab facility but only allowed one hour before the no-visitor policy was applied. I was so happy to see her and she was happy to see me. I hope she can come back in a few days but it will depend upon her progress.
It is tough not to be able to visit her but I am thankful that she is receiving the kind of professional help she needs and will help her. I call her several times a day to check on her. Even if she doesn’t pick up, I just like hearing her voice message:
“Hello. So sorry I missed your call, please leave your name and number and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.”
I hope she can come back in a few days but it will depend upon her progress. Meanwhile, I am keeping our six children updated daily, and they along with others are praying for Sharon. I am also keeping my social distance from those around me as this is such a challenging time for our nation and world.
The focus of our world has changed drastically in the past two months as we face an invisible enemy. Those of us who know Scripture know there is another unseen enemy who is a thief and comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But we also know that…
…Jesus came to give us life (John 10:10).
…whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life (John 3:16, 36).
…nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39).
…Jesus came to destroy the devil’s works (1 John 3:8).
…the God of peace will soon crush Satan underneath our feet’ (Romans 16:20).
…through Jesus “death has been swallowed up in victory” (1 Corinthians 15:54).
We also know that we live between the gap of the ‘It is finished’ of the Cross and the coming day of final redemption that Jesus will usher in (Romans 8:22-25). Right now our world groans—and we are groaning too as Sharon struggles with the after effects of pneumonia and a brain-bleed.
But we aren’t just groaning or waiting around for the victory yet to come—we are living into that victory right now with faith, hope, and love, as those who have been made ‘alive with Christ.’ Sharon is living into it as she believes the promises above—she has since she was five-years old.
With faith, hope, and love,
Linus (and Sharon)