I'm back in Naples as of the 7th of June. It's said in the singular because I'm alone this time--for a little while. Linda is stillin Haines City, Florida with my dying mother. In my last Prayer Letter we were about to leave Naples, Italy for an unscheduled furlough because momhad just been diagnosed with acute Lukemia in addition to her Conjestive Heart Failure. She was soon to be under Hospice Care whenI found out about the situation, and I wasn't sure that I'd get to see her again - it was pretty grim - as the doctors and nurses had given her just a matter of days. Additionally, the chemo that they gave her for the lukemia almost killed her due to her greatly weakened heart from the ConjestiveHeart Failure. The one was working against the other.
Here in Italy, Linda and I were in the midst of reapplying for our Permesso di Soggiorno which is like an extended Visa allowing us to live here as missionaries for two more years. The Lord worked it all out,and the renewal process went through smoothly as we had all the required documents and passports in order. We were told we could pick up the new two year Soggiornos within a week after we returned in April, but we had a complicating problem on the way home when my passport was stolen at the Miami airport...
A few days after our arrival home to Florida, Mom was up on her feet, and things appeared to be improving and copesetic. Since we were home we were asked to report to some of our supporting churches, and I contacted a few others in the general central Florida area, as well as some others to fill in open dates while we were on the road. Mom seemed to be improving, so we rented a car for a month, and set out on a more than two week journey to about ten churches.
The very day we left for Chattanooga mom had a bad turn for the worse. Hospice workers moved right into the house with mom, putting a hospital bed in the middle of the living room with associated paraphernalia. My brother was there at mom's house, and he suggested that we continue our mission conferences and meetings, and that he would giveus daily reports. We made it home in a couple weeks having beenin really wonderful meetings in several of our faithful supporting churches. All the while mom was still hanging on, but greatly deteriorated;the hospice nurses began calling mom "The Miracle Lady." We turned in the rental car with about 5000 extra miles (I got my money's worthout of that rental). We also celebrated mom's 84th birthday; I'm sure it was her last.
It was necessary for me to extend my stay for a month in Florida, but I'm back to my ministry in Naples now. It's great to have confidencein ones church, and the church is still going strong and moving forward,but Linda stayed behind in Florida for mom's final days. Just before I left for the airport mom's last words to me were, "Here, There,Or In The Air; I Love You Chuck." It's very comforting to know that your loved ones have trusted in Christ. I'll see her again, and it will be a wonderful time. Please keep us in your prayers as the situation continues to change. I talk daily to Linda, and she tells me that mom is just skin and bones. It wont be long now.
This past Wednesday I was able to pick up my two year Soggiorno,but they wouldn't let me have Linda's as they want her to pick it up in person.
Please be in prayer for us as next week we will be having Vacation Bible School, and a church from Summerville, Oregon will be with us to hold the VBS.
In closing we truly want to thank all of our supporting churches,and individuals for the extra special help and prayers that you have sent our way; without it we wouldn't have been able to carry on properly. There are some who have been of extra special help. Thank you all for being sensitive to the Spirits guidance. God Bless you all, and please keep us in your prayers; we truly need them.