It has been about 10 months since I have stepped “foot” back home in the Dominican Republic.
Jessica spent about three weeks in June down to support our AMAZING Medical Staff Coordinator Kailey Stutzky, RN (read about her trip here). Jessica was also able to move our home into a cheaper accommodation from the house that we were renting since our lease was up. We’ve had more volunteer groups this year than ever before and I feel absolutely terrible I have not been able to do more to assist in the mission God has called us to do. Like a slug, I lay around for months hoping to have a hole heal in the left foot that developed my last trip home (November 2017). The wound became infected. The infection eventually reached the bone, then completely disintegrated the metatarsal joint rendering it useless with fractures throughout the metatarsal. After MONTHS of high powered antibiotics, we concluded that it needed to be removed to be able to heal fully.
One of the hardest decisions one could ever make would be to amputate a body part. Albeit, and thankfully, “just” a toe that is not of major significance to balance and walking. Finally, August 10th, I went in for that outpatient surgery. It was successful and pretty painless. In the days after I had some swelling and discomfort, however, far less than I anticipated. I had an appointment 5 days after to have the dressing changed for the first time seeing it uncovered. I’m not going to lie, it was absolutely horrific. It was far worse looking than I had anticipated or imagined it to be. The good side of this is, I can still hobble on it because I don’t have stitches on the bottom (just the top). Now when I put a little pressure on it I notice an incredible difference. The joint no longer is swollen and protruding through the top part of my foot with excruciating pain. Because, well, it’s not there anymore. The toe is no longer dislocated from the joint and fractured because it also is not there anymore. However, I am left with the reminder that some people have to have far worse amputations and difficult decisions to make in their lives. A lot of times in service to their country, a service member may lose a limb or worse in combat situations. I have a lot to be thankful for.
I have had an incredible support network over the last 10 months. Countless people laying hands on me and praying for a healing. This was not Gods will. However, it IS Gods will for people to offer their prayers to be combined with mine. We don’t always know the reasons why God allows some things and heals other things. It’s not a reflection of our lack of faith, but a testament to what we’re willing to suffer for in our faith. We have the choice to offer our suffering up to God for what ever we choose. For me, it’s to all of our brave men and women who have been horrifically disfigured from war while protecting our freedoms we enjoy every day. My issues don’t even begin to compare, but I feel it was appropriate given how I feel about my situation. I encourage all if you in times of suffering to pray about and choose what to offer your suffering up for. I promise there is great benefits linked to that choice and action.
Please continue to keep us in prayer this month as Jessica is getting her surgery done on August 23rd to have her gallbladder and appendix removed. Double whammy! We’re a #hotmess. We need prayers!
I also want to send a special THANK YOU out to our support team that has continued to faithfully give to our family during these last 10 months. We are so grateful for your support in many forms: financial, emotional and spiritual.
Thank you all and God bless!!
We are Catholic lay missionaries serving along the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
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