Nr.182 ended with, “After ten days I was allowed to go home, but not for long, we didn’t know then that I would soon be back here…………..!” (See richardandmarina.net).
My cardiologist had told me that I had lost 20% of my heart and needed to rest a lot and take it easy. It was very difficult for me to have to cancel a whole lot of Bible studies and speaking engagements. My dear wife Marina, sure looked after me well. One afternoon I was pulling some weeds from our lawn and while bent over I turned a bit and heard a pop in my lower back and as I straightened out it started hurting, but it wasn’t too bad and I could sit and bear it while we had company from Antwerp.
But when I got up the next morning and was putting on a sock, something popped again, and this time it really hurt. When I stood up I could not get my left foot down to the floor. It was really bad. Marina phoned the doctor who came and gave me a needle for the pain. He looked at me and said, “I have never seen anyone so white.” For a whole week I lay in bed with my legs high up on pillows, but it did not improve and so the doctor called an ambulance which took me back to the hospital. I was there for a week while they did some tests and came to the conclusion that I had a herniated disc in my lower back and I needed surgery. The day after the operation, in the evening, an alarm sounded and the nurse quickly turned the end of my bed up so that my head was lowered and my feet up. Blood was taken and soon the news came that I had a second heart attack. So back to intensive care. After about ten days I was allowed to go home but had to stay in bed. And to keep the story short, altogether I was flat on my back for 55 days. “God never promised us an easy journey, but He has promised a safe arrival.” 🙂
However, while I was laid up, the work of the Lord continued, people were still being saved and added to the churches. But things were changing, the first 20 or so years had been the pioneers phase when many came to the Lord and many assemblies were started, but now we entered into the stabilizing phase. More structure was needed, leaders had to be trained and believers needed to grow. As exciting as the conversion of many people had been, this phase, seeing people mature and becoming active in Sunday school work, camp activities, leadership in the church and other activities was just as rewarding. Jesus was building His church in Belgium, step by step, and that, right then, without me, wonderful…………….! (Go to Musings).