October 31, 2011

A Call to Pray and Fast

It's been about two weeks since I posted anything here. I was away last week in Haiti, and the week before was full of preparations for the trip. We had a great trip. Learned new things, saw lives transformed. I am so blessed to be used by God in this new position as Missions Pastor. I love what I am doing!

One thing I am learning more and more is the importance of prayer. I am becoming more and more aware of our need to cry out to God in our time of need. He longs for our total and complete dependence on Him, and Him alone. I look around at great men of God, and I am blown away by their simple faith, their unwavering trust in God. Rather than worry about how something will get done, they simply move forward, knowing it is God's plan, and that God will provide the resources! Just takes steps. Just follow and obey.

This Friday, November 4th, marks 9 months since Garren ate his last Toaster Strudel. 9 months ago this Friday is when Garren went into the hospital. So much has happened, he has come such a long ways. He is getting stronger everyday. He is getting closer and closer to walking again. But his ability to swallow is a big concern for me. Since we cannot see into his throat, it's hard to know if or how much his ability to swallow is improving.

I'd like to ask you to join me this Friday in a day of prayer and fasting for Garren's ability to swallow. I am going to skip dinner on Thursday night, and fast from food for 24 hours. I will spend as much time in prayer as I can during those 24 hours. I am crying out to God for a miracle, for a marked change in Garren's swallow. Will you join me? I look forward to seeing God move in a big way.

Thank you.

October 14, 2011

Huge Praise

A big thank you to each of you for your prayers. Today is the last day that our primary insurance is going to cover home nursing for Garren. However, we found out today that Medicaid approved 12 hours of home nursing per day through December 1. That is truly a blessing. We don't feel like we get enough rest as it is. I'm glad we don't have to try and figure out how to manage taking turns staying awake all night!

God is good, and we are thankful for this answer to prayer.

October 12, 2011

Big Step

Today is a big step. Garren is at school without me, without Nancy. This is the first time since February 4 that we have left Garren with someone other than family for such an extended period of time. The reality is, I think Nancy and I are more nervous than Garren.

His assistant is very nice. She will work well with Garren. As much as he hates school (what 14 year old boy doesn't), I think he's ready for a break from mom and dad.

This afternoon Garren will go for his second workout at Race to Walk. I went with him on Monday, and wow - that place is awesome! They are all very friendly, and very knowledgable, and very upbeat and encouraging. Garren loves it too. Here are some pics of Garren in action.

October 08, 2011

Race to Walk

Nancy's been working hard, scouring the internet, talking to therapists and doctors, trying to discover anything that might be out there that could help Garren continue to progress. In the last couple of weeks she came across a new opportunity located in Mooresville: Race to Walk.

Race to Walk is a gym that is devoted to providing a comprehensive, post-acute program for individuals suffering from spinal cord injuries and other related neurological disorders. 

"Specializing in exercise-based training, we provide state-of-the-art equipment, strategic training techniques, in a safe, supportive environment. Our ultimate goal is to assist each client towards attaining their own personal goals. We will work together to maximize physical health and well-being in a quest for ultimate functional outcome and an improved quality of life."

We made an appointment for an initial assessment, and took Garren on Thursday. We met several of the trainers, and got a tour of the gym. Then they did an assessment to see what Garren could do, and to get a starting point for his training.

We go back on Monday for his first workout. Garren is really looking forward to this. When you walk in, it looks like a gym (instead of a hospital). The people that work there are trainers, with expertise in therapy, and a strong background in sports and physical training. The guy that assessed Garren played collegiate football. Nancy and I explained that Garren is used to being pushed - hard - on the the field in football practice. The trainer promised us (and Garren) that he would be pushed - hard.

The plan is to take Garren twice a week for a 2 hour workout each time. It's a 1 hour drive each way, so this is a huge time commitment. I think it will be worth it. Also, it is not covered by insurance, so the cost is entirely out of pocket. Again, worth it.

And just a quick update on school. An assistant has been hired. She's very nice, and is willing to work with us to make sure Garren has the best possible school experience. Because of the travel time required to get Garren to Race to Walk, Garren will be attending school on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so he can workout on Tuesday and Thursday. 

I attended school with the assistant this past Wednesday to help get her oriented. There's no school on Monday, so Garren will start with his new assistant on Wednesday. That'll be a big day for all of us.

October 03, 2011


Waiting. I don't like to wait. I don't know many people who do. Waiting is hard to do. We want it now. Everything around us tells us we can have it now, overnight, without any waiting. But life with God doesn't work that way. We are on a journey, and God uses waiting to teach us. It is through waiting that we learn patience. It is through waiting that we learn total dependence on God. Total dependence on God is what He wants from us.

Andrew Murray, in his book "Waiting on God," wrote:

"All the exercises of the spiritual life, our reading and praying, our willing and doing, have their very great value. But they can go no farther than this, that they point the way and prepare us in humility to look to and depend alone upon God Himself, and in patience to wait His good time and mercy."

Waiting is a necessary part of growth. We must learn to wait upon the Lord.

So we wait for Garren to heal. We do everything we know to do, but there comes a point when we have to put it in God's hands, and trust Him, and wait on Him.

Garren does continue to progress. He makes small but forward progress. We are very thankful for that. We found out recently that the insurance company has decided that Garren no longer needs overnight nursing care. We are not so sure about that. Without the ability to swallow, someone has to watch and make sure he doesn't choke on his own saliva while he is sleeping. We are waiting to hear if Medicare will cover nursing care. If not, come mid-October we will be having to figure out how to stay up with Garren.

My fervent prayer has been that Garren would start swallowing. This would just change everything. I have met so many of you who tell me you are still praying daily for Garren. We thank you so much for that. As you continue to pray, pray that Garren will swallow.