As many of you may know, I suffered a major heart attack this spring……although, at the time, I was unaware of the fact.
A group of us were on a missions trip to Guerrero Negro, San Ignacio and a residential school in the mountain region of the area. On the final evening of our tour, we were expected to eat at a restaurant in San Ignacio at 6:00 p.m. We did not arrive until 9:00 p.m. The owner was upset by our delay but fed us nonetheless and we all ate the same food. During the night, I had a severe stomach ache and wondered if I had some food poisoning. In the morning, I was no better and by noon, I was vomiting. Everyone else in our group was fine. I rested a while and then we decided to travel home, stopping a few more times along the way.
The next day, I was still unwell so our pastor, who is a medical doctor was called. He examined me and then referred me to a specialist in Ensenada. I could barely walk on my own and Victor took me to Ensenada the following day. The specialist examined me, ordered more tests and made his diagnosis – I had suffered a “slight” heart attack but no serious damage was done. He said that with medication and complete bed rest, I should make a full recovery. I was placed on very expensive medication and requested to return within a week.
News of my illness spread quickly and many came to pray for my full recovery. I am grateful for their prayers on my behalf and their concern during my convalescence. I thank God for all the support I received during this difficult time. When I returned to Ensenada to see my specialist a week later, I was told that the results of an ultrasound confirmed that I had indeed suffered a “major” and not a “minor” heart attack, as initially diagnosed. I was to continue on my medication and resume my complete bed rest for several more weeks.
I am thankful for all who cared for me – especially Christina, who provided my daily personal care – and Victor, George, and Yolanda who were there on a daily basis taking care of everything. Victor, as always, looks after construction details, etc. Yolanda is always there taking care of the clothing depot, making the soup, doing laundry, etc. Together they, and all of my other faithful workers took care of the ministerial duties and the work of the Lord continued in my absence.
Arturo is a more recent addition to our staff – he plays guitar, sings and preaches and helps us in all of our outreach ministries. Hector and Andres graduated from Bible School and are now doing well as the pastor and co-pastor at our ‘La Gloria’ church. The church in Nelson, B.C. who support Hector, plan to come in November 2010 to build a house for him near the church.
After several more trips to the specialist and more bed rest, I finally got the good news on my last doctor’s visit – my heart, lungs and blood pressure are in excellent condition, although I am still on some medication. My next check up is in three months. I thank God for restoring me to good health. I am back in the swing of things and involved in the ministry as before, with no side effects whatsoever; but my doctor advised me not to travel to Canada this year.
I regret that I am unable to make my annual visit to see you all; however, I hope that you will continue to support the ministry with your prayers and financial gifts as God leads you. Unfortunately, we have not had many groups coming to work here this summer. There is still much fear as a result of negative media reports about the danger here due to drug wars etc. I want to reassure you that we are not affected by any of this violence and that these reports refer to the Tijuana or Juarez areas.
The needs are great and we are expanding our ministry to include several different outreaches. Some of the most pressing needs include the following.
– $4000 is needed immediately (before Nov 1st) to purchase a lot for Hector’s house
– $800 is needed for Daisy Mae Daycare property taxes for 2009 and 2010
– Due to our expanded ministry outreaches and greater distances of travel, our fuel costs are much higher now
– More money is required to maintain/repair all the buildings owned by our foundation
In other news – Victor has been involved in some construction projects with some groups this summer. A house was built for a disabled young man from El Rosario who is now attending school for two years. Upon completion, he plans to go to university to further his studies.
The community hall in San Telmo is such a blessing and is being used for various church functions.
The Daisy Mae Daycare is nearing completion and we look forward to its opening in the very near future.
Three weeks ago, we baptized another five men from the El Socorrito Rehab in the ocean while Arturo played his guitar and sang for them (while in the ocean also). Two ladies from Penticton, B.C. were visiting and helped us feed them and the guards who had to accompany these men. It was a glorious day!
Last week we were invited to visit a place where horses are being used for therapy of disabled children. They come from everywhere and ride the horses free of charge. We met two girls who have never walked and are now benefitting from this therapy. We will be using our handicap van each Saturday and Sunday mornings to transport some of these children whose families are too poor to bring them.
The Ministry in Rancho San Francisco is growing. New folks have moved into the camp and some houses are being built.
This morning we are going to a fish camp past the volcanoes where Arturo has been asked to minister. We welcome the opportunity to proclaim God’s word.
The needs here in the Valley are great and the labourers are few. We continue to pray that more people will get the vision and come to help us or support others who are able to come to do the Lord’s work. May God bless you all abundantly.
In His glorious service,
Erma C. Fennell