Please Pray for My Bill—Brief Update #3

We will praise Him in the storm.

Forgive the length of time from the last update: We’ve been in a storm, like the one I experienced coming from Amsterdam Tuesday with the plane hovering over NYC’s JFK, only to be diverted to Detroit. Storms have a way of tossing us about and then cutting off our connections. The delay with Bill’s and my communication lines began when we decided the night before his accident to cancel our US phone line—save a $100 a month. I just needed to mention this for those considering. Learn from our experience and wait. 

We had our two Portugal lines, except with our new challenges, the lines were being cancelled once we were leaving the country. No cut-off time was given. The electricity was out when I arrived in NY because of the hurricane. So I hate that days have passed with sketchy details. Yet, we know, even without the details, you have continued persevering in prayers. We see the effect. 

For these past two weeks, time was of essence in getting Bill into an established spinal cord rehab hospital in the US, determinedly get medical records and then have them translated, as well as lining up a medical evacuation flight for Bill to the US. Many times we’ve been set in a holding pattern, fighting storms with Daniel 9 prayers.

Bill’s medical evacuation flight left Monday morning, August 3. The flight had two stops in Iceland and Newfoundland before landing in Chicago. The team at Shirley Ryan Ability Lab received him and began occupational and physical therapy the following day. They are meeting this week to establish his best course of treatment for in-stay and outpatient therapy. He has to quarantine for two weeks before we can visit with him, and even then, we’re not sure of their Covid protocol for us as visitors. 

Because of the loss of phone lines and electricity here, I didn’t get to visit with him until Wednesday. So to hear his voice was a lift. Bill sounds good, extremely good. His faith and trust continue to build. His days are full with therapy and various administrative duties, like where do we live when he’s in outpatient therapy, etc.  Yet, he stays busy with it all. 

God is using all of our prayers to support him, love him, connect with him across the miles.

I’ll say in hindsight, Melissa, Nick and I coordinated into a team working in designated areas. Yes, there were times we had our arms out before us flailing through the fog. Perseverance and prayer won out. Yet, we couldn’t have done all of this without an army of helpers and prayer warriors. As time allows, I hope to share soon about those big and little miracles.

God is in this storm. We all have them. Having them with others, makes the bumpy ride bearable, like what Nick, Joe and I experienced over JFK, then being diverted to Detroit, doubling our airport time, coming home to no electricity for a couple of days. I always think of those of you who have had endless days of trying tiredness–war zones, natural disasters–months and years wondering when peace will arrive.

One day a month or so ago, while sitting in my art room painting, I caught sight up amidst the rows of apartments across from our building, a mother with a baby in her arms and a toddler standing beside her. I wondered where her thoughts were. All she saw at eye level were more rows of apartments. Yet, above it all was a cerulean sky with white clouds whipping about. 

Through our storm, do we also see it?

In February, Bill and I joined the Stratfords for a weekend in the Douro Valley.

26 thoughts on “Please Pray for My Bill—Brief Update #3

  1. Ann,
    Great to get the latest update. We are missing you and Bill so much but know God is in control and had a plan and purpose in all that happens. Your blog is an inspiration and blessing. Thank you.💕Carole & Tim

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  2. Ann, we join you both in praying through this storm. Love you both & looking forward to the day when the calm peace comes. Praying boldly for healing & miracles.

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  3. Ann, you have weathered several different kind of storms here lately but persevered. I pray for you and Bill and i pray for healing and strength to get you both through. God bless you dear friend. Love, Becky

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  4. So good to hear from you and receive the update. Our prayers have been persistently fervent.

    Ann, is there anything we can do for you? If you need me to come to Chicago, just let me know !

    We love you both dearly and are eternally grateful for your partnership in ministry.

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  5. Hi Ann, I didn’t realize that you were in the air when we were on the ground during the hurricane! Heather said it was bad in NJ. The last time I took Mom to Arkansas, we landed in a tornado in Little Rock, and I expect your experience was much the same – no fun at all ( although our stewardess kept everyone laughing.) I sent Bill a card this week – hope that address was correct. Prayers!

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  6. Bill and Ann, We have an awesome God who’s afraid of no storm, who tells waves when to cease, who brings rainbows after rain. Trusting Him to see you through. Much love and prayers always,

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  7. Ann and Bill, I was so glad to get the update today. I am so sorry that your flight was delayed, Ann. I know after a long trip you are SO anxious to reach your destination! Diverted to Detroit sounds wild! I’m so thankful that the pilot kept you out of the hurricane. Robert said there were a lot of trees down in his neighborhood in Astoria, but not close to him, and he never lost power.

    We love you both and have a crew here praying for you. Julia and John

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  8. Bill and Ann,
    Your testimonies are so encouraging! In your storm you are giving “travel tips” about our trip with God to so many.
    We hear through YOUR voices “for I am the lord your God”.
    Please know we are listening. And we love you.
    Robert and Kary

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  9. Ann. You and Bill have definitely weathered a lot of storms lately. Hopefully, calm will come over you both to handle what all comes your way. Prayers

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  10. I pray everyday for you and Bill. I’m so glad that you had a safe flight back to the US through the storms. Extra prayers for rehab in Chicago.

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  11. I so appreciate you taking time to fill us in with latest news. As always, the joy of the Lord is your strength.
    So happy to hear that Bill sounds good.

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  12. I’m sorry I’ve been out of touch. I’m just catching up. I will keep Bill and all your family in my prayers. Love to you, my friend. Take care of yourself and rest when you can.

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  13. Love, prayers & hugs,
    We and many others continue to pray for you, Bill and the rest of your family. You are such warriors and examples for who Christ came to redeem us.
    Rolland & Cindy Mouser

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  14. Hey love!!! I shared with Matt your situation. We immediately stopped and prayed. I have kept you close in thought and prayer. Know we are standing with you in faith! HE IS MIGHTY AND HIS HAND IS NOT WAXED SHORT!! Love you!! Carol ❤️❤️

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  15. Thank you SO much for the update.
    DEAR Ann,
    ‘Maybe I can’t stop the downpour,
    But I will always join you for a walk in the rain.”
    Love you, sweet friend

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  16. Bill and Ann, glad to know that you’re back in the states. Prayers for healing, comfort, peace, and faith.
    In Him, Peggy and family

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  17. So glad back in the states. God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble. Ps 1;1. Prayers for strength and healng. Takes lots of hard work and patience for rehab. Husband is OT. Therapists are there to help and assist.

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  18. “I don’t like the storms I’ve had to walk through in my life.
    They were dark and heavy.
    But without those storms, I wouldn’t have been able to see just how real the faithfulness of God is. Without the storms it wouldn’t have been as evident
    that He actually carries me when I cannot keep moving.
    And for that, I am so grateful.”

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  19. Thank-you for the update; we have been wondering how Bill was doing; what course of treatment they have decided on. Ever since we heard of his accident , we have been praying daily for both of you. Keep on relying on His strength, as I know you both will. Sometimes it’s hard to believe, but God must have a plan in this.

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