Monday, 8 June 2015

A few words about Dad... and a special visitor

Dad's chemotherapy has been fairly blessedly uneventful so far.

A small episode of diarrhea 3 weeks ago, some low blood counts to delay his second cycle by a week, and some swollen feet, but so far, Dad's experience has been largely without drama.  

This morning, however, Dad complained of dizzyness.  He stayed indoors instead of coming over to church with us.  We are not sure whether this directly linked with the medications - but we know that it is not easy for Dad.  

Dad missed out on an amazing sharing about 'oneness' that Dr. Fredrick Kellerman shared with us in our fellowship meeting.  How much God wants us to be one with Him - and one with each other.  At home, in our work places, in our places of worship.  What sweet fragrance there is when we die to 'I' and kneel in confession and prayer with each other.  We have so much to learn from our sweet Lord Jesus who modelled this for us, and who sends His Holy Spirit to help us live this out as a sweet fragrance.

How I wished that Sheba and Asha and Enoch could have heard this beautiful teaching - but they were on the other coast of India, hearing a Telegu sermon at the fellowship that Amma and Appa attend in Gajuwaka, Andhra Pradesh.  I am counting down the hours till they return on Tuesday evening after seizing this blessed window of opportunity to be with Amma and Appa just before school starts for Asha and Enoch next week.  The visit is especially sweet as Sheba's elder sister Daisy and her husband Ramesh and their kids Frankie and Shofar are also there.

In the afternoon, we Thane Eichers were blessed with a very special visitor - Uncle Alfy Franks - who along with Dad helped lead OM India for many years.

What a joy to see the two old friends and co-labourers talk and pray together.   Dad handed over leadership responsbilities to a new generation in the late 1980s.  Soberingly, he was the age I am today when he heard the Lord telling him that it was time to let younger men take up the responsibilities that had been entrusted to him while he was in his late 20s! 

In the mean-while uncle Alfy continued to serve as a mentor within the movement, and has stayed on as it has gradually transformed itself into a network of many indigenous churches across the country.  As uncle Alfy put it to us this afternoon, given the need to provide structure for the current iteration of this movement, he has taken on episcopal duties in the Good Shepherd Church of India.

Over the last year, Uncle Alfy has been writing down various thoughts and stories of how God has worked in their lives during their OM days.  And Dad has used the last week organising these into a chronological narrative.  What a rich heritage of love these two men have - and how much they have been able to work through.  How many hours of prayer they have experienced together.  What tears they shed, what disappointments they lived through... and what joys they also were able to see.

In the early evening, after uncle Alfy had left, Mum talked to me.  She told about how at a very crucial part of her life, uncle Alfy had told her: "Christa, I know that you do not have any siblings since you are an only child - but I want you to know that I am here for you as your brother."   Mum was deeply touched by those words, and they echo into her life today.

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