We lay in bed in the dark. Both of us tired, but restless. It was the night before Ken’s scheduled second surgery on his knee. We opened our cell phones and read different things to each other about his situation and his types of infections. By the time we said, “Goodnight,” we had decided to cancel the surgery in the morning if we were able.
We’ve heard a lot of good advice the last 5 weeks. Trying to put it all together is the tough part. Today a friend said to me, “God is not a God of confusion.” She’s right, and by noon today we had a bit more clarity.
On Monday, we will return to Ken’s surgeon to have him look over his leg. He is still wanting us to have surgery next week. On Monday afternoon we will see an infectious disease doctor. Today we signed papers with Anne’s orthopedic doctor to see if he would give Ken a second opinion. We may get to do that next week as well.
So we ask you to pray for wisdom and peace for us and that Ken and I would be unified in both of those things. We continue to look to God as the source of our wisdom.
Thank you for your prayers and your notes of encouragement with verses. We read and re-read each one of them.
Thank you for your prayers on our behalf for Ken’s health! We finally saw Ken’s original surgeon today. He asked us if we wanted to wait a few more weeks to see if his leg closed up, but we declined. It’s already been 3 weeks so we feel it is time to do something else.
Tomorrow, Ken will have his second surgery. Because two surgeons are suggesting this, we feel it is the right decision. But I also feel uneasy. I’m not sure if that’s just me or something prodding me.
This week as I studied Hebrews with my ladies Bible study, we talked about the Superiority of Jesus. The question in our study was, “Do people see in you that you believe Jesus is superior is all ways?” I have to say, “No, not all the time.” I often want to take things in to my own hands and my worry reveals my distrust and unbelief.
So we ask for peace and obedience and that God will be glorified once again. Please pray for our doctor by name, Dr. Fosnough and that the infection will be healed immediately.
Thank you so much. As my dad always said, “This too will pass.”
Some years ago, when our long time missionaries started retiring, someone had the foresight to build some low income housing for our members. Anne now manages one of them in Waxhaw, NC. We have another facility in Tucson, AZ as well as one in Dallas, TX.
Today we feature John and Billie Mishler who have lived and served in our Dallas facility for eighteen years.
John served his country in the Korean War, returned to the US in 1951 and enrolled in Arizona Bible Institute (ABI). It was there that he met fellow student and future bride, Miss Billie Jane Blevans.
Billie graduated from ABI and moved to California in ’53 to attend nursing school. In ‘55, John also moved to California to study aviation mechanics. That same year, they married and welcomed their first child a year later.
In June of 1959, they felt called of God to full time missionary service with Wycliffe Bible Translators and began training at the University of Oklahoma.
Preparations completed, they flew to Pucallpa, a city in the rain forest of eastern Peru, to begin their assignment.
Some of Billie’s favorite experiences were visiting Indian villages to do health checkups and give shots. She once spent a month partnering with a Bible translator beginning work with a newly discovered Amazonian tribe, the “Matses.” During her stay, a jaguar attempting to snatch it from its hammock attacked a Matses baby. Billie took the injured baby, treated his wounds, saving his life. In 2011, she had the joy of seeing this same child, now an adult, translating the scriptures for his people!
In 2000, the Mishlers returned to the US and eventually became managers of the Cowan Retirement Apartments in Dallas. Many times I sat as a guest at their table and in awe, listened to them tell of how, for 40 years, God had filled their lives with opportunities to serve the cause of Bible translation!
John now serves as our Senior Services Coordinator and is part of our Senior Benefits Leadership Team. Being the former Marine that he is, John has never used the terms “problem” or “challenge” with me in any conversation. He sees everything as an “opportunity to see God at work.”
I wish we had more space to share more about these special servants and their journey, but I chose this issue to share their story because Billie’s health began to decline this year after several heart procedures. Pneumonia set in and she was again admitted to the hospital. When it became apparent she was not getting well, she asked to be taken home under hospice care. After five and a half weeks at home, Billie slipped peacefully into the arms of her Savior surrounded by her family.
John has chosen to continue his duties at Cowan. We ask you to remember John and their children, Rebecca, Mike, and Julie as they adjust to life without their beloved Billie.
*** Our thanks to our co-worker, Jerry Stuckey, for sharing this story. Ken and Anne continue to work with John.
Our almost 30 years of work with Wycliffe Bible Translators has allowed us to celebrate many finished Bible Translations. Together with you, we continuing the work until it is done! Here are some numbers for you!
Wycliffe USA public statistics for fiscal year 2020: Approximately 1.5 billion people do not have the full Bible in their first language. At least 7,000 languages are spoken or signed around the world. More than 2,000 languages still need a Bible translation started. About 170 million people still need Bible translation work to begin in their language. Work is being done in more than 2,600 languages worldwide and at least 1,900 of these projects involve Wycliffe Global Alliance partners.
Number of languages waiting for Bible translation by regions of the world: ● Americas — 123 ● Europe — 64 ● Asia — 870 ● Africa — 643 ● Pacific — 415
Ten days ago, Ken had surgery on his knee. Previous surgeries were uneventful and Ken was up and driving the next day.
Not so with this one. The doctor removed a large mass from his knee. Praise God with us, it is not malignant! But the space attracted a lot of blood. Two extra trips to the doctor to have the blood painfully removed were necessary. We are very hopeful today. It seems like the knee is starting to heal.
We’ve cancelled some parties and Ken has been working from his Lazy Boy chair in the living room!
Staying tucked in for a few days allows us to slow down and remember the holiday we are celebrating. If you have children or grandchildren, we are including the link to a very fun devotional you can use. There are Bible readings, follow up questions, a recipe and a challenge to pass on what the children learn.
The second link gives you “12 Days of Christmas with Kate & Mack”, another fun resource from Wycliffe. You could use this in your church as well!
Yesterday, Ken had surgery on his right knee. A nagging pain the last couple of years, became a nuisance as it was difficult to sleep, walk or even stand during the songs at church.
The golf-ball-sized lump on the left side of his knee was hard. The surgeon really didn’t know what it was even after scanning it. He told Anne that surgery would take about 30 minutes.
I sat in the waiting room, fingering both his and my wedding bands. Simple bands, they’ve been around the world a few times. When we slipped those rings on each others fingers 36 years ago, we had no idea what challenges and joys lay ahead of us. There were times we twisted the rings with a smile on our faces, and times we wanted to throw them across the room!
90 minutes later, the surgeon came into the waiting room with beautiful photos of the inside of Ken’s knee. So amazing. It’s certainly a place I would never see with the naked eye! He patiently pointed out what several of the photos were; a bit of arthritis and two tears in his meniscus. Then he said, “I took out something about the size of my fist. I had to go really deep so he’s going to feel it for some time.”
I looked at him and said, “Can we just clarify how large this ‘thing’ was that you took out?” He answered, “Well… not as large as my fist, but half the size of your fist.”
Yikes….not expected by him or by us.
The ‘thing’ is off to the labs and hopefully we’ll get more answers within the week.
Meanwhile, I put my drugged husband into the car with help. If you’ve ever been with someone who has just been under anesthesia, you know how completely vulnerable they are. They say things they don’t remember, they can’t do a thing for themselves and they are depending on you to protect them.
I felt like a Mama Bear yesterday! I love that man so much! I would do anything to make sure he is cared for, especially when he can’t care for himself.
Time and practice made our marriage the thing it is today. I’d never go back to those early days. I love who we are today. And if the roles were reversed, I trust Ken would care for me in the same way. I KNOW he would. As they wheeled him off to surgery, half under his drugs, he said, “Go get something to eat. ” The nurse said, “He’s still watching out for you.”