September 2012

“I feel that a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is timely since you have been experiencing these changes for a considerable period of time,” said the neurologist as he sat on his haunches by Kathleen’s chair and kindly patted her arm as he spoke comfortingly. He proceeded to arrange for her to begin taking the medication prescribed for such memory disorders.

Two things impressed me from that time of “bad news!” First was Kathleen’s seeming complete acceptance of a most distressing fact. Of course, there were months of preparation knowing that this was always a possibility, but the reality was troubling. Kathleen handled it with a calmness that helped my feelings of distress.

The second impression that really moved me was the caring attitude of the neurologist, probably an immigrant from the Pacific Asian region. Many doctors would just blurt it out with little explanation and then say, “Any question? OK, see you next session!” I thought how important it is for us as messengers of divine truth to always deliver those messages, some of judgment and some of blessing, with a genuine caring attitude that moves the recipient of that message.

The medication can maybe stabilize the symptoms and slow the progress of the disease. The doctors say the chances of that happening are about 50-70 per cent. We are praying that Kathleen will benefit from the medication. However, our trust and hope are in the Living God, the Faithful Creator Who is in complete charge of this case. He has allowed us to have each other to help one another, no small blessing at 80 and 74 years of age. We also live next door to a loving and caring daughter along with her family, which seems almost unbelievable to fathom.

The two grand daughters (22 and 24) planned a sleep-in “slumber party” for grandmother two days after the diagnosis. It was an absolutely delightful evening for both of us! Our plate is piled high with blessings. A loving pastor and church that exceed all imaginations are of constant comfort to us. The day after the diagnosis Kathleen said she wished our pastor would just tell the people the diagnosis and explain that they should not be surprised or offended when she repeats salutations or questions! He did that at the Sunday business meeting of the church while we were gone speaking in another church.

As we move forward on this “seniors’ journey,” our daily prayer is that the Lord will continue to use us to be a blessing as long as He leaves us on this earth. It’s not always easy to understand just how He is going to accomplish this, but we are looking to Him. “O satisfy us early with Thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!” Psalms 90:14

One of the exciting things happening at our growing church is the ordination this Saturday of a young man who was saved, trained and sent out to start a new church in Newcastle, a city two hours drive north of Sydney. He graduated from Sydney Bible Baptist College and served as an intern in another church for a year as well as another nearly two years in our church. Please pray for Charlie and Janet who are well-prepared and doing a good job in the new ministry.