No, this month is not about the great and magnificent Niagara Falls; nor is it about that hospitable little city of Great Falls, Montana. It’s about a Miracle Fall. Let me explain . . .
If you’ve been following for a while, you may recall I had a ‘slip-on-the-ice’ fall early this year, and I told the story. And then I had a followup fall. A pride fall.
I guess I’m a bit weird, but I find that when injury and other ailments hit me, I cope with them by trying to be funny. It must be my defense mechanism or perhaps I’m just delusionally in denial, trying to hide my fears. I want to tell you what happened after my latest and greatest fall (the fall itself is best described by others since I was – to put it delicately – out cold). But first, if you’re still with me, a little background is necessary to lead up to what some people are now describing as, “My latest cry for attention.” How unkind! How insensitive!
A few years ago, I had a call from Dr Joon Choi, a Korean-American cardiologist in San Diego, California. He had quit his job, rented out his house and applied to attend our upcoming All Nations-All Generations DTS in Kona . . . only to be rejected. No school openings for their kids, nor suitable housing space was available for his whole family. Thinking that I might have some ‘pull,’ he desperately begged me to help him out of his mess. I jokingly told him that if he would be my personal cardiologist, I would see what I could do. I couldn’t do anything, but God could – and he and his whole family were accepted into the missionary training school that Donna & I were about to lead.
Fast forward a few weeks. It’s the first day of school in Kona, Hawaii. I was having a little trouble with clouded vision in my left eye; a trifling nuisance, I’m thinking. After welcoming the 100 students and staff, I then handed over to the worship leader, sensing I was to ask my ‘personal cardiologist’ for an opinion about my vision. After a 30-second examination, Dr Joon informed me that we would be going immediately to Emergency at the Kona Hospital.
Obediently I went, and after a day of tests, found myself in a siren-blaring ambulance on its breakneck, in-and-out-of-traffic careening dash to the airport, there to be met by another ambulance. This one had wings – and was waiting to fly me to Honolulu and Queen’s Medical Center. Oh yes! I forgot to mention that my personal cardiologist stayed by my side throughout this entire experience – missing the first week of school to be with me!
The whole episode was as near to being as enjoyable as is possible when faced with the slicing up of my carotid artery – which I knew to be a fairly important link in feeding my brain. Friends new and old rallied and prayed and visited and hospitalitied – it was so Hawaiian Island-like, almost a party! Yet, despite all this socializing, I still have to deal with looming, serious surgery to clean out my 98%-blocked artery which had caused my blurry vision. But everyone is so nice, the private room is like being in a 5-Star hotel, so no worries, eh?
The time came to wheel me down to ‘The Holding Room’ outside the mysterious ‘Operating Room.’ Donna is with me and others will be along soon, when in walks a doctor with a cheerful, “Aloha! I’m going to give you a glass of champagne!” Well. I’m not dumb and I know what he means – he’s going to ease me into unconsciousness through my already hooked-up IV. Things are moving along. Cheers!
With Donna beside me, I’m wheeled towards the ‘OR’ where there’s a line-up of family members – plus the good Dr Joon Choi, my personal cardiologist. Kisses and hugs all around and finally Dr Joon is the only one between me and ‘The Door.’ I suspect it was some wickedness in me, but I motioned to my friend to come close and solemnly whispered in his ear, “I just had a glass of champagne.” Poor Joon, his face turned ashen, he thought I had just made my final confession, and before he could grant me absolution, the door to the OR swung open, and my own ‘lights’ went out.
You may be happy to know, the tricky operation was a success, and almost six years later I am in pretty reasonable mental health (and vision). You’re not going to believe what follows . . . well maybe you are.
“Did someone fall?” I am reported to have asked. Now we’re in Hong Kong early this month, the night before the start of an enormous gathering of mostly Chinese Christians, with sprinklings of Korean, Japanese and other Asians. We’re having a prayer meeting with about 600 church leaders. Among them is my very dear friend Dr Joon. Visitors like Donna and me are invited up to the stage to pray for unity among the groups of Asians, so about 50 of us troop up onto this 5-foot high stage. It is crowded and it is dark. And there is no railing at the back.
You guessed it.
Sometime later, as I started to regain consciousness, I apparently posed the “Did someone fall?” question. The first thing that I remember is being shoved into an ambulance – with guess who? Along with a nurse, Dr Joon, again. I turned to him and said, “You’re going to have to get out of my life!” Fortunately by now, Dr Joon is beginning to understand my warped sense of humor.
Quizzed by ER doctors, one asked me, “So what were you doing on stage?” I must have been thinking in slow motion, because later an appropriate answer came to me: “Doing my best imitation of Buzz Lightyear.”
To Infinity – and almost beyond
Even though X-rays and a CT scan were all negative (or is it positive when things are OK? I never get that right), they made me stay a night for ‘observation.’ Stuck in a ward with nine geriatric old geezers, it was I who was the observer. But that sleepless night will have to await another telling. A bit of a horror story.
I’m home now, recovering. No broken bones, just a few rattled ribs and mushed muscles that are normally attached to one another. The Lord is good – and so were the 600 who literally prayed up a perfect storm on my behalf. My nickname became Lazarus, but actually I felt more like Eutychus (read Acts 20:7-12). I thought about that young man a lot that first night. He fell out of a third-story window, was picked up dead and prayed back to life. And here’s a bit more of my warp: I got to wondering what this young man’s first words were . . . “So what’s the big deal? Someone fall?”
Enough damage for this month.
P.S. Thank you if you prayed for me after my great fall. News gets around . . . I received an email from someone who attended a prayer meeting in the nation of Jordan, and heard about ‘an old man’ resurrected from death after falling down from a stage in Hong Kong! Who am I to say exactly what kind of miracle really happened? But to be called an ‘old man’ was a bit discombobulating!
“Experiences can become legal hiccups that may one day become a form of religious rituals that make the flame become a pile of ashes on a church pew. I don’t want to be religious; I want an ongoing relationship with Jesus.” Quote from a missionary’s newsletter.
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Trusting & Being Trusted
We’re learning more and more what true family is.
Peter shared (in humor), his part of the story, but his fall backwards from the stage was a nightmare. Dozens crowded around him praying as he lay unconscious, eyes rolled back and the death gurgle quite clear. Ruth Demian (a doctor, friend and ‘family member’) said, “He still has a pulse, but it’s serious!” I held Peter’s head in my hands, carefully speaking into his ear, “You are going to live.”
After about ten minutes (not sure how long), he opened his eyes and someone helped him sit up and the ambulance arrived. He doesn’t remember a thing until he was in the ambulance. Our daughter Julie, Hannah (our granddaughter), Ruth Demian and Andrew Ho, a Chinese pastor – also a ‘family member’ – followed the ambulance to the hospital. We all stayed with Peter until 3am.
Late that night as I was going to sleep in my hotel room I could sense Jesus sitting beside me on the bed, and I said to Him, “Why did this have to happen?” Many saw the spirit of death hovering over Peter so it was obvious the enemy was trying to take his life. I sensed Jesus say, by His Spirit, “Because I could trust you and Peter.”
This shocked me. The next day in the leader’s meeting of this gathering of 20,000 people, the Lord asked me to share what He had said to me. That was difficult because i didn’t want people to think I was proud. I was crying and shaking as I looked at my friends and shared what Jesus had said. And then I asked the question, “We can trust God, but CAN GOD TRUST US?” Can He trust us when we are close to losing a family member or even losing one to death – like Lazarus?
- Can God entrust us with His secrets, and His mysteries? (1 Corinthians 4:1-2; Proverbs 11:13)
- Can God entrust us with worldly wealth, so that He can trust us with true riches? (Matt 25:21; Luke 16:10-12) ?
- Can He entrust us with other people’s property, so that He can trust us with our own? . . . Because it all belongs to Him, if we’re truly His disciples.
- Can He entrust us with ministry (1 Corinthians 9:17-18) – or do we use it for profit? (2 Corinthians 2:17)
- Can He entrust us with giftings, miracles, leadership and all His other good gifts? Do we take the glory, or give it all back to Him?
Friendship with God, comes out of trust. We trust Him and He trusts us. Friendship with each other – in just the same way – comes out of trust.
With my love – and trusting with you, that God’s purposes will be fulfilled. Let’s keep our eyes on Him and our ears in tune to Him.
Renewal Camps & Gatherings 2013
August 4 – 10: YWAM Champagne Le Gault, France have a look here
For more information about the European Camps click here
ovember 6 – 10: Singapore: Dean Fujishima, Peter & Donna Jordan & Team click here to email for information
And Finally . . . Well dear friends, it almost was.
Till next time,
The Small Print
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Editor, Peter Jordan; Regular Column, Donna Jordan;
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