是的，我在5月3日星期二又去了急診室！那天早上醒來，我發現我的左臉麻木了；我首先想到的是我中風了嗎？我和妻子趕到急診室，就在9週前，我已經連續去了3次 (詳見文章《忽然來的驚恐 A Sudden Terror》)，
5週前在土耳其也去了1次 (詳見文章《我的“半個”土耳其之旅 My “Half” Turkiye Trip》)。和以前一樣，醫務人員非常專業和人性化的應對：我立即入院，甚至在換衣服之前就進行了CT掃描。感謝主，診斷不是中風，而是暫時的病症叫貝爾麻痺症 (Bell’s Palsy：面癱)。我帶著處方被送回家了，上帝也提供了一個為我做針灸的弟兄。
複診時，幽默風趣的專科醫生叫我看喜劇多笑，以鍛煉面部肌肉； 我告訴他我現在已經在看了！ 他要我放心，情況是良性的，幾個月內會自行康復。
事實上，吹號者事工的誕生是由於我雙眼視網膜脫離的結果，為此我在2016年進行了4次手術，在2019年進行了2次手術 (詳見文章《生命的旋律：曾經瞎眼 今得看見》)。所以我了解到疾病有時可以成為上帝前進的標誌。
對吹號者事工的整體反應超出了我的想像，這真是上帝的恩典。這種反應越來越強烈，因為無論我走到哪裡，我都看到和聽到許多家庭都經歷過同樣的問題：他們的孩子，從小在教會長大，後來卻離開了信仰 (或許從未接受信仰)。我祈求越來越多的教會和父母能夠認識到：我們自己的孩子是最重要但最被忽視的宣教工場，而單靠兒童主日學和青年小組聚會本身並不足夠裝備我們的孩子來面對今天 (甚至昨天) 的挑戰。如果大使命是教會的主要焦點，那我們需要更多投入搶救下一代的戰場。
保羅為了福音而經歷了許多患難，但他並沒有喪膽。相反，他每次反彈時都會變得更加強大，因為在他裡面有一“寶貝”：上帝“莫大的能力”！這是保羅儘管遇到許多的障礙仍能繼續前進的秘訣。就像兒童的不倒翁玩具在被擊倒後總是能反彈因為底部很重，同樣我們基督徒也應該“反彈”，因有上帝“莫大的能力”為底部。是的，“我們處處受困” (被擊倒)，“卻不被捆住” (反彈)，“困惑” (被擊倒)，“但沒有被絕望” (反彈)，“遭受迫害” (被擊倒)，“卻不被撇棄” (反彈)，“擊倒在地” (被擊倒)，“卻不致滅亡” (反彈)。當每次遭受苦難或被擊倒的時候讓我們與耶穌同死，但藉著上帝“莫大的能力”將使我們反彈，“使耶穌的生也在我們身上顯明”。有時我們好像被擊倒，但我們終將“反彈”，“為要顯明這莫大的能力是出於神！”
My Ongoing “Sudden Terror”
Yes, I went to the ER again on Tuesday, May 3rd! Upon waking up that morning, I found that the left side of my face had become numb; the first thought that came to my mind was that I had had a stroke. My wife and I rushed to the ER, something we had done three times in a row only 9 weeks earlier. (See my previous post)
5 weeks earlier we had also gone to the ER while visiting Turkey. (See my previous post)
The medical staff were, as before, very professional and personal. I was immediately admitted and was given a CT scan even before being asked to change my clothes. Thankfully, the diagnosis was not a stroke but a temporary condition called Bell’s Palsy. I was sent home with prescriptions and God also provided a brother who is doing acupuncture for me.
On my followup medical visit, the specialist, who is a humorous man, told me to watch a comedy to laugh more in order to exercise the facial muscles; I told him I was already watching one! He assured me that the situation was benign and would resolve itself within a few months.
This seemed to be yet another setback along with others which I have been experiencing over the past few months. But I can only continue to trust God that He is good asI have found through all of my life that “in His time He makes everything beautiful”. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) And, interestingly, every time I share about my “new” illness, many tell me that they have had the same illness before! That I was not the only one to experience a particular illness always gives me some comfort, but the challenge for me is that each one makes its appearance on the heels of another.
Indeed, the birth of Trumpeter Ministries came about as a result of retinal detachments in both eyes for which I had four surgeries in 2016 and two surgeries in 2019. (See my previous post)
So I am learning, perhaps ironically, that illness can serve as a sign from God to move forward.
It is truly God’s grace that the overall response to the message of Trumpeter Ministries has been beyond my imagination. This response has grown, as everywhere I go, I see and hear of the same situation experienced by many families: their children, even those who had grown up attending church regularly, have turned away from the living God (or never have come to faith in God). I pray that more and more churches will come to recognize that our own children are the most important yet most neglected mission field, and that Children’s Sunday School and youth group meetings alone cannot build up our children to face today’s (or even yesterday’s) challenges. As the Great Commission is the Church’s main focus, we need to pour all of our resources towards saving our own children.
When a soldier goes out to the battlefield, he risks losing his life or being injured, so my illnesses may just be considered as injuries sustained on the battlefield. There are ways to keep going forward; when Bell’s Palsy hinders me from speaking, I can still write. I am also encouraged that everywhere I go, I see an increasing number of parents standing up for God’s name and for the souls of their own children. I am glad and honored to be on the battlefield and not in my own comfort zone.
Paul experienced many hardships for the sake of the Gospel yet did not lose heart. Instead, he bounced back every time even stronger, because in him was a treasure: the surpassing power of God! This was the secret of Paul’s ability to keep on going in spite of mounting obstacles.
Just like a child’s tumbler toy always bounces back due to its weighted base, we Christians should “bounce back”! Yes, we are “afflicted in every way” (pushed down), “but not crushed” (we bounce back), “perplexed” (pushed down), “but not driven to despair” (we bounce back), “persecuted” (pushed down), “but not forsaken” (we bounce back), “struck down” (pushed down), “but not destroyed” (we bounce back)! Let every incident of suffering or being pushed down cause our “old selves” to die with Jesus, so that the surpassing power of God can help us to bounce back to manifest the life of Jesus in our bodies. Yes, there will be some setbacks, but we shall bounce back… all because of the surpassing power of God in us!