Saturday, September 02, 2017

On the “Bench”

20170831_121148 (1280x960)One of the hardest things about having my cancer is that I feel like I've kind of been "put on the bench" in terms of ministry, and even in terms of fellowship.  I haven't been able, over the past 9 months, to get out in public and interact with people. I've actually only been to a church service twice since I was diagnosed with cancer in December. Most of that is due to the fact that I can't sit up for long periods of time.  In one way this has been a good thing. I've been able to spend a lot of extra time in study, in prayer, and enriching myself by taking Bible courses on YouTube. One fellow missionary mentioned to me that I had not taken a sabbatical or a furlough in the last 14 years, so God has been enforcing one on me over this past 9 months. I think he may be right. The downside is that I get bored quite often. I really do miss interacting with people. I'm looking forward to moving next door to the church at Gold Country Baptist, where we will be able to, hopefully, see more people. We should be moving there in a couple weeks. I do get tired if there is too much interaction, but I'm looking forward to being able to see more people.

20170831_121340 (960x1280)In the meantime, I have appreciated the ministry of the Gold Country Baptist elders. Three times one or more of the elders have been to my parents' house to minister the elements of communion to me. This was a very significant encouragement to me. I really miss participating in corporate worship. I've also had other pastor friends come and celebrate the Eucharist with me as well. Being on the other side of this situation has really reminded me of how important it is to reach out to the sick or disabled within our churches. That's something that is often gets overlooked, especially in big churches. So I would urge you to reach out to somebody that, perhaps, you haven't seen in a while because they've been sick or unable to come to church. And I would also invite you to come by and visit with Joyce and me sometime. I'm very thankful for the way God has ministered to me since I've been sick, both directly and through His people. I have really experienced the love of Christ through several generous and loving people and I am very very thankful for that. Thank you for praying for us too. God bless.

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