Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A pictorial time line of "Through Stormy Waters"

Through Stormy Waters: God's Peace in Life's Storms"  is a story - our story -  chronicling God's grace and peace in the midst of the storms of life we've encountered beginning on May 8, 1997. If a picture is truly worth a thousand words, I thought I would share just a few pictures that depict our journey through stormy water to a place of peaceful refuge

 April 20, 1997 - The Congregation called me to be Senior Pastor of Calvary Presbyterian in Enumclaw. We immediately began making plans to move from the desert of southern New Mexico to the green, damp Pacific Northwest.

 Northminster Presbyterian Church in Las Cruces where I was the New Church Development and first called Pastor for 13 years

 In 1993, after having interviewed at numerous churches, we decided to stay in Las Cruces. We had this house built believing that we would stay in Las Cruces for years to come..

 May 8, 1997 - Our church bus ready to be sold and ultimately the bus that would crush me then run over me and drag me for 40 feet.  At approximately 4:30 pm, I lay face down, crushed and unable to move. In spite of a realization that I was near death, I felt the distinct presence of Christ and the reassurance that I would not be alone. Judy and Melissa arrived at the church as I was frantically being loaded into the ambulance.


The parking lot, gravel area and in the distance, the basketball court where the bus finally stopped and left me lying face down - C5/C6 fracture dislocation, crushed pelvis, acetabular fracture of the right hip and socket, 9 broken ribs, internal injury and compromise to vital organs  and numerous burns, contusions, abrasions and lacerations on back, legs, face and arms.

MAY 8 - JUNE 12 ICU #14 at Memorial Medical Center in a Roto-Rest bed that kept my neck and legs in traction and the rest of my body completely immobile. This was my home for 28 days before moving to the 6th floor orthopedic ward after having my pelvis repaired and fixated (notice the fixator device in the picture below which, though awkward and uncomfortable, is much better than being in a body cast).

 June 12 - Rio Vistsa Rehabilitation Hospital in El Paso Texas - my home for rehab and continued care until August 1. 4 hours every day of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and CPM (continuous passive motion) treatment to reshape my right hip socket.

June 17 - Judy and I renew our marriage vows for our 25th anniversary in a conference room at Rio Vista and with friends and family. We gave each other silver rings and recited the same vows we had shared 25 years earlier. A friend even sang Paul Stookey's "The Wedding Song."

After release from Rio Vista hospital on August 1, I began outpatient rehab at CORE and at a friends clinic and continued it daily until October 1997. When we moved to Enumclaw, I began treatments 3 times a week at Stuart Jones Physical Therapy.

August 31 - Ready to attend Northminster. This was the first week of walking - albeit with a walker -  in spite of doctors prognosis that months and years of rehabilitation would be necessary. I had lost over 40 pounds..

On October 25, I walked oldest daughter Kresta down the aisle in Nampa, Idaho where she married Ryan Horn. They now have two sons - Sam (12) and Joe (7)

November 1, 1997 - I preached my first sermon at Calvary although I was unable to return to work full time until March of 1998.

December 29, we returned to Las Cruces and Northminster Presbyterian Church where - under the watchful eye of my neurosurgeon - I walked my daughter Melissa down the aisle. She married Jerry Parks. Today they have a son - Davis - who is 12.

December 2004 - after enjoying 6 years of boating on Puget Sound - first on Dawn Treader, a 25 foot Bayliner Cierra, then aboard Sea Quill, a 33 foot Sedan Cruiser, We purchased PROVIDENCE. She is 41 foot trawler with twin Lehman engines, two staterooms, two heads, a galley, salon, dinette and more.

Mission Trips to Africa, Mexico and the Gulf Coast, church retreats, church growth, staff changes, community involvement, including Faith in Action Sundays, Magic String Concerts, Rotary service projects, Bible Study groups, added services and much more have more than filled our lives since that day in May, 1997. How grateful to look back in retrospect and remember how God has comforted, sustained, blessed and cared for us and our family through many storms.

A few days after my accident, a wise, loving former colleague and mentor in ministry sent us a letter with a postscript reference to Psalm 118:17. "I will not die, but will surely live and declare what the Lord has done." These words of David have not left my heart or mind since. Our book and these postings are attempts to fulfill that challenge.To God be the Glory for the things "he" has done!

"When you pass through the waters. they will not overwhelm you..." Isaiah 43:3

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