Mum is able to get up from bed, to stand up and use a walker. She uses it to come to the dining table and to use the washroom. Mum is able to take a bath on her own while sitting on a chair. It takes her some time to clothe herself, but it is all a learning process. We supervise her going to the bathroom and bathing of course. She has a remote bell which summons us when she needs help.
Tuesday, 19 April 2022
Well friends, we have now been in Odisha with Mum for 5 weeks! Time has certainly flown by it is already 3 weeks since we last wr ote to all of you. So, deep breath… here is the news:
Yesterday we celebrated Resurrection Day! God has continued to be so good to us and the hope of Jesus gives us strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.
Of course the question on your minds will be: how is Mum doing? We are glad to report that Mum has seen some real progress in many ways. Her right arm, which at the beginning of this ordeal was completely inert, has greatly improved its functioning. She can lift it (though it is still weak) and has regained some use of her right hand too. Her current work for the right hand is to use it to eat her food with a spoon. This takes Mum a long time – but she is a determined lady.
Mum’s days are full of distinct tasks. She gets up and uses the walker to get to the dining table for her breatkfast and her morning medicines. Then she spends time sitting and reading her Bible. She often sings songs from “Brunnenquelle Aller Freude” – her song-book from her youth group days in East Germany. She then does some ‘writing work’ – trying to train her right hand to work. She then goes back to her bed and does some exercises. While doing this she normally hears an audio Bible from her mobile – in German! She has come to the first chapters of Deutoronomy now.
She may then take a nap. And then some mid-morning tea and a snack. Then more exercises or she reads her Whatsapp messages. A few phone calls too. Then lunch and another nap after lunch. In the afternoon, we ask her to fold the clothes from the day’s wash – another kind of therapy, and today she did some walking exercises with Sandhya – the lady who helps out in our home these days. Another cup of tea in the late afternoon and sometimes a bit of a nap too and then we are into supper season.
And then we have visitors too! On most days there is at least 1 visitor per day to see Mum. We have quite a spectrum of people who come to meet Mum. Each person is blessing! They may be medical students who are at Asha Kiran for a mission exposure time, or staff families, or special visits by folks like Dave Hicks and Mike Stachura or John Gabriel from Mumbai, or our dear closest neighbours Victor and Sarah (Sheba’s sister for those who don’t know these amazing folks personally).
There are on-going challenges with toileting at night – and last week Mum had a fever which we think was a urinary tract infection, but all things considered she is making slow but steady progress. One of the challenges is the slowness of everything. Being a person who is fiercely independent, to be in a state of dependency, to have to be ‘watched’ when she walks on her walker, to get help when her mobile rings and she is not able to quickly slide it open – all of these things are hard.
And made harder when thinking back that just 2 months ago she was taking 1 hour walks outside on the steep Mussoorie hillside and presiding over her beautiful home, welcoming guests and ministering to different people.
Currently Mum still has not left the house since she got here 5 weeks ago. Mum is still not confident to sit in one of our small group church services. So there is a lot of adjusting that is going on. Sheba has started back to work and also cares for Mum in the nights – and I am currently doing part-time work so am able to basically be at home most of the day.
What will the next steps be? We don’t know at this point, but we do know this. Mum is with us now and will need care and support for the near future. Your prayers and blessings are so very appreciated by her. You can send whatsapp messages and recordings to her at +91 9557267515. You can also call that number on whatsapp or her for normal calls you can use +91 6371338132. She has also started using her email again and can be contacted at Eicher.Christa@gmail.com
And so our lives move onward. Each day has its own joys and sorrows. But we know that God has given us the opportunity to trust more on Him – and learn to love each other more.
One of Mum’s amazing prayer partners is sister Rani who has suffered with tremendous arthritic pain over the past years. Yesterday Rani attended our Resurrection Sunday Sunrise service and shared her story of how God has been ministering to her in the midst of her pain. Rani said that she is seeing the reality of Ps. 119.71 “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Rani lives 3 houses away, and till last month was house-bound for almost a year due to her condition. We can learn so much from each other!