Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Trapped on Schooley's Mountain!

Anne and I drove up to the Liebenzell Mission headquarters over the weekend to see Dave Owen, the PIBC President, who was in the States for a few weeks on a PIBC recruiting trip. When we woke up Sundat morning, it was snowing hard. It snowed hard all day. Dave and I took pictures. You can see his wimpy pictures on his own blog. I say "wimpy" because Dave ducked out late last night under the pretext of "flying back to Guam." So this morning when I woke up, there was 6-8 inches on snow on the ground, and Dave didn't get to see it because he had wimped out and left for Guam. Now Anne and I are stuck and cannot leave as early as we wanted to. We will try soon, however, as we have to get back to Newark. Dave, just kidding about the wimping out stuff. We really were excited to experience winter so soon. Dave will be back in the tropics in less than 18 hours, so I have to kid him a little bit because after he left, it really started to come down really, really, fast and hard. These pictures are for all of you guys in Micronesia to look at and feel cool. I just looked at your beach shots from this past weekend and felt warm. OK, I'll be back with you in a few days after we get out of here!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Some Valuable Lessons

Dr. Cohen is the contact lens fitting specialist at the Wills Eye Institute for the new SynergEyes keratoconus lens that Dr. Hammersmith recommends I try. Thursdays are the only days she does contact lens fittings. Yesterday was Thursday. When I arrived yesterday at the Wills Eye receptionist’s desk for my scheduled appointment, I was met with the words, “Dr. Cohen has been called out of her office on an emergency. We have to cancel your appointment and reschedule another one. The next available appointment is not until January.”

Now, I must admit I was immediately disappointed and began to tear slightly as I stood there at the counter, the thought racing through my mind that I would have to wait another two months just to get fitted for a contact lens that might not even work anyway. My disappointment was evidenced by the cry that emitted from my heart, “Oh, God, no, no, no!...came halfway around the world…waiting 5 months…so close!” But after a brief moment, it’s like I felt a hand on my shoulder. I actually looked around to see who had touched me, and when I saw no one, I knew the Lord was there.

It was a moment that was bigger than just the moment. Now my devotions in Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest were beginning to make sense. He is doing something deeper and broader than possibly giving me sight. I have been looking at the individual aspect of the thing – getting my sight back; He has been inviting me to get into His stride, run along with Him at His pace (which means I also follow where he goes). It was an invitation to trust Him with the intimacy of His presence in the stuff of daily life. Could I give up my agenda and trust God when He says, “Wait?” Or did I need a visible answer?

When Jesus heard that His buddy Lazarus was sick and was asked to come heal him, His first response was to “wait” and stay where He was for two more days. Why? It didn’t mean Jesus loved Lazarus and his sisters any less, or that He was no longer capable or interested in helping. Jesus wasn’t looking at the individual aspect of the thing; He was running in stride with His Father! That meant risking His friends misunderstanding His love and His Father’s way when it differed from theirs. Wow.

As I began to ponder some of these things, I was interrupted by the receptionist’s voice. “Sir, we can get you in two weeks, on Nov. 15. Is that OK?” I smiled, breathed a sigh of praise to the Lord, said, “Sure, that’s perfectly fine,” and decided the Lord’s pace is certainly more exciting than mine anyway!

So, I thought it might be good to give you a little glimpse into my heart, with the hope you might benefit and be encouraged in your journey of running with the Lord.

Hebrews 12:1-3.


As you already know, I am here to see doctors at the Wills Eye Institute. When we arrived, I learned that I needed a referral from a regular doctor first. So we found a regular physician that gave me the referral. It was too late to keep the original Wills Eye appointment, so we had to trust the Lord to get another appointment at Wills Eye. The Lord provided an appointment this week. I saw Dr. Hammersmith.

After extensive tests, Dr. Hammersmith
recommended the following: Try fitting me with a new hybrid type of contact lens called a SynergEyes lens, which has a hard middle and a soft outer edge. (Note: the SynergEyer is not the same as the Energizer. That's the bunny!)

If the SynergEyes lens won’t fit, or I can’t see with this SynergEyes lens, step two is to shave off the scars on my cornea with a laser, and then try the SynergEyes lens again. If the SynergEyes lens still won’t fit and/or I still can’t see with the SynergEyes lens after they shave the scars off, then they will do a cornea transplant.

I have an appointment with the SynergEyer contact lens specialist on Thursday, Nov. 1.

Some Waiting Activities

On one Sunday afternoon, we drove a little bit north up into Pennsylvania, and got stuck in the middle of an Amish traffic jam. No, not really. But we did have to share the road with several dozen Amish buggies, many of which, we're sure, were either on their way to a Sunday meeting, on their way back from a Sunday meeting, or maybe they were just taking a Sunday drive, just like us.When we were in Philadelphia waiting for Steve to see the eye doctors a few days ago, we decided to do a little sightseeing. Philadelphia was the first capitol of the United States, and the place where the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution took place. Here is Steve giving some political advice to one of the original delegates from Virginia. He was drinking a cup of cider. Steve already finished his.
Here we are standing in front of Independence Hall, where the "signings" took place.
Philadelphia was the home of Benjamin Franklin. There are many statues in Philadelphia, some of famous Virginians, like George Washington and Steve Stinnette. But you have to be careful, because a lot of people like to imitate the statues. Such a thing was being attempted when the picture below was taken. See if you can tell which one is the statue and which one is the imitation.

Our Place of Waiting

So while we're waiting for things to happen with the eye doctors, you may be wondering how our situation is. We live in the basement apartment of Don and Anne's house. Here's a picture of the apartment from the outside. We have our own bedroom, an office, bathroom, and a living room with a wood stove. Let's not forget the wood stove. It's what's been keeping us warm during some of these 30 to 40 degree nights! We have our own seperate outside entrance that we can use if we want to come and go without going through the upstairs part ofthe house.

The back of their house borders on some nice "woods" - that's stateside terminology for "jungle." There are miles and miles of trails winding their way through the woods, with deer all over the place. We even saw a fox a couple of days ago. We take walks, and sometimes I even attempt to run (jog, actually) along the trails. So far we haven't gotten lost, even though it would be easy to do so. There are a few streams that we have to cross. Here's a place where we cross almost every time we go hiking.

And of course, we've had to dress in warm cloths because it's not exactly "boonie stomping" weather! I'm waiting for it to snow.