Update from Craig
“Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
It was just a year ago this month that my family’s life was turned on its head, so to speak, with a second major upheaval. The first one occurred nearly ten years ago, in August of 2003, when Seth suffered a near-fatal car accident that left him in a severely and permanently disabled condition with a brain injury. Then a year ago Mary was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, suffered through a major brain surgery, radiation and chemo treatments, and finally succumbed in October. The sadness and sense of great loss goes on, tempered by the grace of God, Who “comforts us in all our affliction.”
I am heartened by the fact that Mary’s influence continues on in several ways. First of all are the kind words of friends and acquaintances who have shared how her life impacted their own lives by her godly example and practical counsel. Happily, this will not necessarily cease. A few months ago I was looking through some old boxes of cassettes and found a ten-week series of Sunday lessons she taught the ladies at a former church entitled “Teach Us to Number Our Days,” one of her favorite Bible verses and a statement that well-expresses the intentionality of her life—informative messages on various biblical disciplines, of being a wife and mother, and ministries that were drawn from her own life experiences. Having not attended that class myself, I was impressed with the practicality of it all and was blessed by being reminded of many scenarios from our family’s past. I’ve transferred them to CD’s in hopes of perpetuating her teaching ministry and am pleased to hear that a former church will use them at a women’s retreat next fall.
Finally, the balance of the donations from Mary’s well fund (over $32,000) have been sent to Charity: Water—an organization that installs water wells in areas of Africa that desperately need clean water (most of the diseases in that nation stem from impure water). With the monies we provided, two deep bore wells will be installed in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, one being a community well and the other a well and other sanitary facilities for a school. From start to finish the projects will take about 18 months; information on the progress of each well will be provided from time to time and ultimately a GPS coordinate will be assigned on each well and their respective sites can be viewed at www.charitywater.org. Also, a bronze plaque in Mary’s name will be installed at each well. Hopefully, at some time in the future my son-in-law, Matthew, who served as a nurse in Ethiopia a few years back, will be able to view these wells with our grandson, Andrew (a fitting tribute to his grandmother).
Charity: Water informed me that an anonymous donor has offered to match any funds for work in that area at this time, so an additional community well and school project will be provided beyond that sponsored by Mary’s well fund—four deep well projects total, all because of a desire Mary had last fall for our family to collect loose change up until Christmas and donate the proceeds to some charitable organization for digging a well somewhere in Africa! Not only so, my youngest daughter, Kirsten, organized a combined birthday party for her and friends last week that raised over $2,000 for another Charity: Water project.
Otherwise, Seth seems to be doing well. With warmer weather on the horizon he will be able to sit outside and enjoy the sunshine he loved in former years. He remains remarkably fit for one in his situation, with daily routines in the Quadriciser, a passive exercise machine, and episodes on a tilt board that is designed to keep his leg bones strong and his feet properly straight and flexible. I am grateful for the friends who offer to come over and stay with him when I need to get out for errands and appointments.
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