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Rich Davis on November 29, 2016

World Pause

Be diligent - to come unto me . . . (Titus 3:12)

As the Apostle Paul coordinated the missionary effort at the beginning of the church age, he placed committed believers in strategic locations to carry out the Great Commission. The last ten years for us have been filled with multiple ministry opportunities as the Lord placed us in strategic locations from Peru to India, to Central America and the Caribbean and then lately to St. Thomas. We sensed a certain urgency in each of these transitions - so much so that we only slowed down to pack our bags and travel immediately to the next location. Even the academic training to serve as Bible College President was done simultaneously while administrating and teaching at the college. 

To say that we are thankful to the Lord for entrusting these great ministries to our care would be an understatement. Each calling was pressing and the Lord had prepared us through the years to take on each new opportunity. After completing our responsibilities in St. Thomas and before knowing what the next assignment from the Lord would be, we committed to pause our overseas ministries long enough to report personally to each of our supporters and supporting churches here in the states. 

The reporting schedule was arranged and confirmed with almost all of our supporting churches when the most unexpected event occurred. While on our way to Florida, we spent the night in SC when Jo Ann experienced a sudden and excruciating pain in her back. The emergency hospital in that town advised us that it might be best to return to Harrisburg for more extensive testing.

Vertebray View

Be sure - your medical history will find you out (convenient Davis adaptation of Num 32:23)

The MRI revealed that a blood vessel was hemorrhaging causing a large blood clot to form on her spinal cord. The pressure of the clot created unbelievable pain along with the almost total weakening of her right leg. What caused the bleeding? Following a severe stroke over 25 years ago, Jo Ann was prescribed to take Coumadin to avoid the risk of another stroke. One of the side effects of that drug is possible internal bleeding which is exactly what occurred in this most recent trauma. No doubt, some of you will identify with our joy of finally being out of hospitals after a month!

How should we view this turn of events? Our first response is gratitude. Because we have served in places in the world where high-quality medical care is not always available, we are so grateful that we were here in the states and were able to get the most advanced care available on the planet. We are grateful that the health insurance required by ABWE has covered all but $5,000 of the total costs which have gone well over $100,000 so far! We are also grateful that other medical concerns were discovered while analyzing the MRI images. A fist size cyst was found on one of Jo Ann's ovaries which are being scheduled for removal shortly. We would not have known about this concern had it not been for the recent MRI. What a blessing also to be at our home in the states where we are surrounded by our church, so many loving friends, and great medical care.

Jo Ann and Friend Jo Ann with one of the students from Central Asia

Be Humble - . . . you do not know what tomorrow will bring (James 4:14)

As James describes (4:13), we were like those who said, "To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year . . ." We had planned to be in California from November through most of January and then on to Colorado and Montana. By April or May, we planned to be in Moldova (Eastern Europe). While we planned to pause our overseas travels, it turns out that the Lord had a better plan and we now paused even our stateside travels. All of our California churches have graciously agreed to reschedule our meetings until next spring. By God's grace, we are still hopeful that no further adjustments need to be made in our plans although we may need to reschedule our arrival date in Moldova. 

The reason for the uncertainty is that Jo Ann needs to recover the strength that she once had in her right leg so that she can walk with only the support of her foot brace but free from a walker or cane. Please join us in prayer regarding these goals. She also has the goal of being able to drive again regaining the independence which has always been so helpful wherever we have served. She is receiving physical therapy as an outpatient three times a week right now, and we are continually seeing incremental improvements in her progress. Thank you, Father, and thank you, dear friends, for praying for us even when you weren't aware of our most current needs!