The past two months have been interesting, to say the least. We have traveled over 3,000 miles, visited the Grand Canyon, been to the hospital for emergency surgery, and gained more support! God has blessed us with exactly what we needed right when it was needed and even included things we did not need but simply wanted.
While heading to Mesa, Arizona, for a missions conference with Pastor Kevin Cowling, we decided to take the time to visit the Grand Canyon. I had not seen it since I was six, and Irene had never seen it. It was amazing to see! We were able to spend three days there and see everything on the south rim via walking, bicycling, and bus. It was a great opportunity, and we highly encourage you to make a visit if you have not already. The entrance fee is good for seven consecutive days, so plan to stay for at least a couple days. God made it possible for us to stay overnight three nights for only $20 in a federal recreational campground, which was very unexpected. It would normally cost $30 per night!
After this amazing, refreshing stop, we continued to the conference. We had a great start over the weekend with soul winning and bus visiting, then enjoyed riding the bus in the morning and the preaching of our friend, Dr. Siemer, who was the guest speaker. On Monday morning we were invited to help with some landscaping at the church. I, of course, jumped right in. As we were finishing, I started feeling pain in my abdomen and had to sit down. It was quite painful and was getting worse, so I had to lie down for the rest of the day. I missed the evening service due to pain and vomiting. After the service Dr. Siemer wanted to see me. He felt that I had an incarcerated hernia and needed to go to the hospital. Pastor Cowling took us to the hospital, and Dr. Siemer drove there too. We got there at 9:30 p.m. They saw me quickly and did tests to find out what was wrong. It was exactly what Dr. Siemer had said. One of the hernias which I had surgery to repair three years ago had been expanding. The physical labor caused a section of my intestines to squeeze through the hole in the muscle tissue and cut off the flow through the intestines, just like squeezing a garden hose to cut it off. They admitted me and told me the doctor would be in at 7:00 a.m. and decide whether or not to operate. At 7:00 a.m. the nurses came in and started prepping me for surgery. By 9:30 a.m. I was in surgery, and at 11:00 a.m. I was back in my room. By 3:00 p.m. I was walking and did not need any pain medication, and at 5:30 p.m. I was discharged. I was able to make it to the evening service and have been rapidly improving since then. Many thanks to Pastor Cowling and Dr. Siemer, who stayed with us at the hospital until we were settled and knew what was going on. They both stayed until after midnight. The conference was great and left us feeling recharged and ready to keep going.
God put us in the right place at the right time with the right people to take care of a problem we did not know we had. He has blessed with an amazingly fast recovery and blessed again by not letting it happen in a small town or along the road somewhere. We serve an amazing God! He has given us four new supporting churches during this time period, with several more that want to take us on as they are able. Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.
Your partners in Christ,
Chris and Irene Williams