September - October 2006

Linda and I

 

August was Australia month

Linda and I arrived in Sydney on August 7th, having stopped over at Hong Kong for two nights to break up the very long journey to the other side of the globe. I had looked forward to seeing Hong Kong but I developed a very painful right foot which kept me limping slowly on a walking stick or lying on the hotel bed with my foot up in the air, wrapped in ice cold cloths.

I had hoped to skip off the plane at Sydney but instead limped off.  However this was the only - and short lived - blip in what was otherwise an amazing month.

 

7th Arrive in Sydney
8th -10th Rest
11th Supporters day lunch at Gilbulla, outside Sydney
11th - 13th Father heart of God
14th Rest
15th - 17th Marriage as God intended
18th - 20th Ministry to men
21st Fly to Perth
21-24 Holiday in Western Australia
25th-27th Father heart of God at Springhill, Perth
28th Rest
29th - 31st Men's issues
Sept. 1st Fly to Singapore

This was our schedule for the month, and a full report on the trip can be read here

While in Australia a young man called Damien Armstrong - a pyrotechnics expert - put on a firework display to say thank you for teaching he had received on a previous visit to Australia in 2004. It was an awesome firework display as you can see here!

Linda has always joked about wanting to drive a red sports car and she got her wish thanks to Ellel friends John and Marcia. They lent us their BMW Z3 red sports car for a two day break in South west Australia. I confess that we got lost so many times it was embarrassing, but this way we got to see parts that other tourists might not see!

We returned home after spending two nights in Singapore, and thankfully there was no sore foot this time, so we were able to walk and walk for miles, amazed at the vast shopping malls that lined both sides of the roads. I purchased a 'real' camera in order to return to one of my previous hobbies of photography.

My health on the trip was simply amazing. Besides the supporters day I taught approximately 44 sessions each lasting one and a quarter hours each. At no stage was I unnaturally tired and I had ample energy for free day exploits. I did not even suffer from jet lag when I returned home!

It was with very great regret that while sitting in Heathrow airport on our return journey that we learnt of the death of Australia's Steve Irwin, 'The Crocodile Hunter'  He summed up so much of what we love about Australia. With his passing the world is a poorer place.

 

In mid September we had the privilege of ministering the Father heart of God to a group of men from Dublin who have come out of, or are coming out of, heavy usage drug backgrounds. Many had become Christian in the past two or three months, and several were unsaved. Every man bar one came forward at the ministry session to have a personal encounter with God.

God was very present at every session and the icing on the cake was that one young man got saved at Sunday lunchtime.

They will all come back in December for part two when we will teach the Lordship of Jesus, and minister into rejection, rebellion, anger, fears, etc.

The best part of the weekend for me was hearing the fruit from the last such course. Two of the young men who came on that course now minister to the homeless out on the streets and have prayed in two vans and sixty sleeping bags. They take stew out to the homeless at nights and share Jesus. One of the young men on this weekend was led to Christ two months ago by one of these two men.

One of the young men who came on the last course is now going through Bible College on his way to becoming a Pastor. Another who had HIV was so radically changed that his whole family got saved and for the first time he was able to father a child.

Amazing stuff!  Isn't our God Wonderful?

In the previous newsletter I said that I was still awaiting the results of the echocardiogram which the heart consultant asked for after seeing how amazingly and unexplainably well I am doing. The results were meant to be through in three weeks but despite many phone calls to the busy hospital, as we left for Australia they had not been looked at yet.

When I left hospital on September 3rd 2005 my heart chamber was only pumping at 10% due to the massive damage caused by the virus. The consultant stated in May that if 'for some reason' my heart muscle was now pumping at a 40% volume he would be willing to try another cardioversion (Electric shocks to the chest) to see if he could get a natural rhythm restored.

The results have now come through and the figure is exactly 40% and so on September 21st I go into the hospital for a cardio-version.  This failed three times while I was in hospital so it will be interesting to see what happens this time. (I know that God is in control of the events in my life because I place my life in all of its aspects under His Lordship on a daily basis)

Please note that this improvement in heart muscle from 10% to 40% in nine months is phenomenal since heart muscle has a limited ability to regenerate and so can not repair itself.[*]

Update: The cardio-version on Sept 21st failed to get my heart back into a regular rhythm. It remains in a very irregular rhythm. My amazing health and energy levels proclaim the glory of God. However several days later I had my next appointment with a heart consultant at the Royal Victoria and what a blessing it turned out to be. To my surprise she said that my 40% heart volume was reasonably normal for a man of my age (nearly 59), and that there was nothing to stop me leading a completely normal life.

I asked the doctor what 'the odds' were of someone going from my initial life threatening state to a normal life, especially within several months.
She said "very slim" I pushed her a bit further on the issue and she finally said ..
"It's very rare. I've never seen it happen

That will do me!
Glory to God in the highest!
 

Late September, early October Linda and I will spend some time in Southern England with two dear friends.

Later in October we plan to teach in Southern Ireland, plus do a recce for our next city visit there.

Following Jesus continues to be such an adventure!

previous Newsletters