We don’t know what the future holds but Beth is helping me learn that today is the best day in which to serve the Lord since we are not promised tomorrow. Her doctors are still holding out a fairly positive outlook in that she has about a 60 to 70 percent chance of survival after all the treatments. This may seem dismal until one reflects on the original picture we were facing not too many months ago. We are confident that our lives are in His hands and we are not a statistic to Him.
To all concerned,
I talked with Mrs. Roger Russell (Janet) this morning. They had been with Pastor Flynn most of the day yesterday, leaving about 9:30 last night. Here is the latest.
Pastor Flynn has a broken jaw, is missing three teeth and may lose a couple of more which had the gum sewn around them to hopefully save them. He still has on a neck race and will keep it until they are sure that he has no neck or spine injury. The brace is keeping them from repairing the broken jaw. They are hoping to be able to take that step tomorrow, Wednesday.
He had a pretty bad tear in his lower lip which was repaired by a plastic surgeon yesterday. He had some cuts on an arm and a leg, and the suspected broken bones in them turned out to be negative. He has a bruised lung but no broken ribs. He has a “slight tear” in his spleen, but they seem to be unconcerned about that presently.
He is in the intensive care unit and is expected to be there for two or three more days. He remembers dropping Susan off at Camp Peniel, but remembers nothing between that event and waking up in the hospital.
For those who wish to send a card, He is in: (I do not know the room number of the ICU)
St. Vincent’s Mercy Medical Center
2200 Jefferson Avenue
Toledo, OH 43604
Please continue praying for him. We older guys heal at a slow rate and need all the help we can get.
Ralph Flynn was involved in a head-on collision early this morning on his way home from camp after dropping Susan off. His car rolled over and the Jaws of Life were needed to remove him from the wreckage. He was life-flighted to the hospital in Toledo. The Gassmans are with him and Susan.
The latest update is that they don’t think his arm or leg are broken. He has surface cuts to the face and mouth and a broken jaw and has lost a tooth. He has a small tear on his spleen and a bruised lung. At this time he is stable.
Pray for both Ralph and Susan.
Later at the Bible Institute of Ohio (BIO), I had the privilege of taking classes with a Trinidadian named Mervyn Brereton. He was a former race car driver, mechanic, and political worker, who had been saved through the mission our church supported. From, what I remember, Mervyn drove our pastor around the island while he was visiting the island. That visit made him aware of BIO and shortly after, Mervyn moved to Ohio to begin classes.
Although Mervyn is a few years older than me, we became good friends. To this day, my children know him only as “Uncle Mervyn.” In fact, my daughter Katie asked me with a quizzical expression, “Is Uncle Mervyn your brother?” That led to a lot of laughter, but we didn’t mind a bit.
Mervyn and I were assigned to the same cabin one year at Junior II camp. Pastor Spence wanted someone to interpret Mervyn’s speech to the campers. But even after several years of knowing him, I had trouble interpreting the accent. One evening, as the kids were getting ready for bed, Mervyn looked at me and said, “Ahn-dee, go to the boff-room and get a pik-shah of wat-tuh.” No matter how many times I asked him to repeat his message, I couldn’t understand what he was saying. So, with a look of frustration, he ran off to the bathroom and returned with a pitcher of water. He held it up for all to see and announced that the first boy to talk after lights out would get the water dumped on him. The funny thing was that nobody had a problem understanding what he meant!
Presently, my buddy is pastoring a small congregation in Powell, Ohio. He has also worked with inner city youth in Columbus and served as chaplain for the Columbus Crew professional soccer team. It is nice to see the Lord using him and others with whom I attended BIO in the early 90’s. And after receiving this picture in an email, I just wanted to share my memories with you.
After the wedding, I went off to Northland for more schooling and didn’t hear much from Bryon and Missy. He joined the Army and they moved to Hawaii where he worked as a truck mechanic. In his spare time he also played for a football team called the Hawaii Warriors (or something like that). Then one day, during a military training exercise, Bryon fell off the back end of a boat and had part of his hand severed by the boat’s propeller. That led to a medical discharge from the military.
Our paths crossed at the Memorial Day gathering at Camp Peniel shortly after Katie was born (probably 2001 or 2002). We talked about cars and the blue Saab I had just bought. We also talked about his injury and what the Lord was teaching him. It seems that his experience on the football team had caused him to lose his spiritual focus. Afterward, he began to think about what the Lord would have him do. He told me he was thinking about becoming a youth pastor and that he’d like to serve under me some day. That was the last time I saw Bryon.
I received a call Wednesday afternoon from a pastor friend who informed me that Bryon had been in a car accident. The news report says that he and a friend were driving on a country road and “failed to negotiate a right curve with the car traveling off the roadway, striking several trees.” His friend sustained minor injuries but Bryon didn’t make it. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
Bryon was 35 when he passed away. He left behind his wife Missy, and three children: Allison, Joshua, and Emmalee. It will be especially difficult for them to handle the loss. It certainly wasn’t something they were expecting. But his unsaved brothers and sisters are also taking it hard. Without the Lord, they have no comfort about their brother’s death. Though you may not know the family, would you take a moment to pray for the family.
Please continue to pray that the Lord will help Amanda to be a faithful Christian there in Kuwait. She has about three months left to serve on her tour of duty. If you’d like to pass along your congratulations, feel free to make a comment below. I’ll be sure to forward them to her.
Mark & Rebecca Perry and Doug & Lori Morrow joined my family in Painesville for chips and pop after the evening service. I haven’t laughed that much in a long time. Doug told his account of getting stuck in a gas station bathroom for the 90th time and we all laughed just as hard as ever. (This time I recorded it on my pda.) The Lord blessed us with a good time fo fellowship. Wish you could have been there.