A Yokefellow’s Chronicle: “Everything to be Thankful For!”
Pastor Amos Lee
This week, we celebrate a unique national holiday that is steeped in religious undertones. Thanksgiving commemorates the gratitude of a group of pilgrims to Almighty God for His providence, protection and care after a perilous journey on the Mayflower across the Atlantic, having endured a bitter winter in which about half their number died and an abundance of harvest cultivated with help from the local Indian tribe. We may joke about the day as “Turkey Day” but it was no joke for the pilgrims as they sought a new life in the New World. The holiday is a time to reflect on God who is not only Great, but who is Good as well!
On a personal level, I have much to be thankful for in 2017. Shortly after I retired after more than 40 years in ministry, my cardiologist recommended that I take care of a congenital issue that she had been monitoring for at least six years. My heart valve was hardening to a point that a replacement had become necessary. Furthermore, due to the valve issue, my aorta had become inflamed and the danger of a rupture was a great possibility. That needed replacement as well. She advised me that even though I was not young anymore (I was nearing 70), I was still healthy and my recovery from the procedures would have less complications. I took her advice and went under the knife for more than 5 hours. The following day, I was out of the ICU and recovering in the general ward. I went home on the 8th day after surgery. Three weeks later I was readmitted because of fluid retention due to post surgery trauma and for drinking 8 cups of water a day instead of 4! All in all, recovery was rather uneventful after that.
I thank God for giving me a wonderful cardiac team who took care of me, before, during and after surgery. And it has been more than 7 months since.
I thank God for my church, the leaders and the Pastors who made sure that my needs are taken care of.
I thank God for my family, especially for my wife Ruth, who has always been there for me … “in sickness and in health!” My son and his fiancé spent much time with me at the hospital during my recovery.
I thank God for my Chinese Baptist co-workers and friends who upheld me in prayer when they heard about me and my surgery. God certainly heard their cries to God.
But most of all, I thank God for his healing, a new lease of life He gave me through the surgery at the right moment and allowed me the opportunity to respond to His calling to be “on the road again” to serve the Chinese Baptist family in North America.
To God be the Glory!
What have you to be thankful for?
同軛手記 – “感恩不盡”
本週，我們慶祝「感恩節」。在美國，「感恩節」是一個非常獨特而悠久的全國性節日。它的起源充滿了宗教信仰的原素。「感恩節」是紀念一群清教徒向全能的神表達感恩之情。當年，這一群清教徒坐船「五月花」號跨越大西洋，經歷了五個月驚險的旅程、忍受了苦澀的嚴冬，其中大約一半人死亡。他們登岸後，得到當地印第安部落的人幫助，種植莊稼，大獲豐收。就在這豐收的時候，他們向神心存感恩，深知道這一切都是神的供應，神保護和關愛他們。我們也許會把這個節日當作“火雞節”開玩笑，但對於這群清教徒而言, 他們冒險到新大陸尋求新的生活絕對是非常嚴肅的事，甚至生命不保。「感恩節」是一個反省思念神的節日， 想到神不單只偉大, 衪更是美善看顧人的神! 就我個人而言，有很多事情要感謝神。直至2017年，我已事奉40多年了，退休後不久，我 的心臟病醫生建議我要治理我先天性的心臟問題。我心臟的二尖瓣一直有硬化，而這位心臟科專家已觀察它至少六年了，她認為是時候需要更換。此外，由於二尖瓣的問題，引致我心臟的主動脈發炎，很大可能有破裂的危險。 因此，主動脈也需要更換。她的意見是，雖然我不年輕（我快到70歲了），但我仍然健康。健康的身體有助減低患併發症的機會，從而有利於手術後的復原。我接受她的建議，並接受了5個多小時的手術。手術後第二天，我從深切治療病房轉回普通病房繼續康復; 手術後第八天，我可以回家。兩個星期後，我需再次入醫院，因為胸部有積水。這可能是手術後創傷引致積水，加上我每天喝水8杯，而不是4杯！積水減退後出院，之後的康復總算平穩順利。 我感謝神賜給我一隊非常精鍊的心臟科治療團隊。他們在手術前、手術過程中和手術後的細心治療。 我手術後至今已有7個多月了，一切平安。