This is my first time to ever go to Asia so you might ask, why would you want to go at age 66 if you’ve not been your whole life? And the answer is a calling from my Lord, plain and simple.. It all started over a year ago when Ed, a good friend of ours, passed away from lung cancer. Although I’d not attended a funeral since my mother’s 4 years ago, I felt compelled to go to Ed’s because of our friendship with him and his wife and because I’d been asked to help with the meal we serve the family at church before the funeral service.
So I was there doing what I could to prepare the food and welcome the family members when the founders of PI joined the family because Ed had traveled with them for at least 30 years as a talented musician in their jazz band they use for sharing all over the world now. While they were there I felt a strong sense of the Holy Spirit leading me to dig down deep to find the courage to approach them and ask if there were any places in their ministry where I could be of help. They welcomed me so I spent the next few weeks going through the application process. Initially, I was asked to go to South Africa with the foreign education group, but due to a previous commitment with my daughter and her family, i was unable to. The director then asked me to go to Asia which I readily accepted knowing that when God opens a door, I need to go through it.
I’d love to say and “now here i am!” But that would be too easy and untrue. In March of this year I went to DisneyWorld with my daughter, son-in-law and three adorable grandchildren. The last time I’d gone was when said daughter was only 3 and now she’s in her mid-thirties, so that was a while ago. But I’m a firm believer in the old adage, Time passes quickly when you’re having fun.
So to say I embarked on the trip with unrealistic expectations would be an understatement of epic proportions. With the notable exception of having problems walking because of a sudden pain in my right hip causing me to follow my son-in-law’s suggestion of using a giant ice pack for the 9 hours or so of car travel, I continued to envision skipping through the Magic Kingdom as I’d done when I was in my early 20’s and had first visited DisneyWorld with my parents and grandmother. We spent the first night in a local motel so the parents could surprise my grandchildren the next morning with their first day at MK. We got up early, drove the few miles to the MK and toured the whole kingdom all day until the rain in the early evening caused us to go back to our rooms and unpack. All during the week I helped my daughter with their 2 year old toddler by scooping her up from the stroller when she wanted holding and running after her while the others enjoyed more exciting rides. I almost forgot the 10 miles per day of walking quickly through the various kingdoms. After 3 days I noticed the soles of my feet were numb, my first three fingers of each hand were numb and my hip pain would visit me at the most inopportune times. But, I just shrugged it off because I still thought I was 21 and bullet-proof as the saying goes.
Upon returning home after our Disney experience I’d love to report that my phantom pains said “adios” but no such luck. I was stuck with them. I did the usual search for a diagnosis by visiting the orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists to discover that I had “severe” nerve damage due to carpal tunnel only to be relieved by surgery. I kept wailing to doctors, nurses, family and friends that I just couldn’t because I had the Asia trip upcoming and just didn’t have time for surgery. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Thankfully, my third orthopedic surgeon, the one who specializes in hands, gave me a shot of steroids in both wrists, prescribed Ibuprofen for pain, and told me he thought I could delay surgery until after the trip.
So, thank you, Lord, He provided for safe travels and minimal pain for the excursion. Asia, here I come!