Graham’s breath came in short, shallow gasps as he lay on the sofa. He clutched his head as another wracking cough caused him to struggle to sit upright.
I came home from the office during my short lunch break and was shocked to see Graham so ill. I placed my hand on his forehead and realized he had a fever. When I checked his temperature, it was concerningly high. His normally ruddy complexion was grey, and he told me he had been coughing up blood. The doctor started Graham on high-dose antibiotics, but for several days it did not seem to make any difference.
We were due to fly to the Irish Project in a couple of days, but the doctor stated categorically that Graham was not to fly until the infection had cleared, and I needed to remain at home to monitor him. Two doctors said Graham might need to be hospitalized, and if there was any more deterioration I was to call for the paramedics.
We called Stephen and Anna Burke to let them know we would have to reschedule our visit. This was frustrating for us as we had offered to lead out in the Friday-evening Bible study group and the Sabbath-morning services and had everything prepared. We do not like to let people down. I offered to Skype with the group and deliver the material we had prepared, but Stephen said there was no need, and he would do something instead.
We had also been planning to meet with two Irish ladies who were looking forward to seeing us again and sharing some quality time, but this also had to be deferred. I have been in contact with one of them, Helen, since meeting her earlier this year. Through WhatsApp and Skype, I encourage her and pray with her. I was thrilled recently when she told me that God had taken away the crippling fear she had been experiencing. This is something we had been specifically lifting up in prayer. It was wonderful to see Helen’s face radiating such joy as we talked over Skype. God has also been giving her some interesting and unexpected opportunities to witness for Him. She is filled with such love for Jesus, and each time she tells others what God has done in her life, she marvels again at the change that has taken place. Often these opportunities arise on Sabbaths, which she sees as even more significant.
In recent months, Graham has become ill just before or during important field visits, and we are beginning to wonder whether this is more than just coincidence. Please pray for our health, that we will be able to carry out the work we love, providing pastoral care and strategic support to our missionaries. Also, please pray for the two Irish ladies. Satan is not happy when people’s lives are being changed by the gospel, but we thank God that Jesus has already won the victory. Our weapons are not the weapons of the world but those with divine power to demolish strongholds.