Friday, February 28, 2014

Eric Going Home

Hello Everyone!

Many of you may remember Eric, a 26 y.o. man who came to us in October 2012 after a construction accident in one of the major cities, leaving him a quadriplegic.
He accepted the Lord early in his days here at Bongolo and in December 2012, he and I had begun studying the Bible together with his mom in the ICU.
For the next 8 months, we continued in our study together, often being joined by other patients and family members in the ward.
Eric's desire to share what he was learning grew, and he has often shared his testimony with other patients and family members, sharing his story, praying for them and bringing them to Christ.

Eric has become a "landmark" so to speak of Bongolo in the ICU/Recovery where he has stayed.
Everyday staff, students and nurses swing by just to chat a few minutes with Eric.
He has been in the recovery room long enough that he knows the ropes for helping a patient after surgery, and even though he can't help them physically, he's often teaching a family member what they need to do for their loved one.
Eric is also a constant observer.
While nursing shifts come and go each day and night- Eric is always there and sees everything- and so has become reliable source for the staff, a sort of "extra hand" as they care for the other patients in the ICU.

Now after 16 months in the hospital, Eric is going home!
As you have realized by now- he will be greatly missed.
Eric and his mom were very blessed that a church in the U.S. paid for all his hospital expenses after his extensive stay.

And thus the bittersweet story of bringing Eric home.
Pictures always say it better.

Eric being wheeled out by students and staff, excited to be going home after spending 16 months at Bongolo Hospital.

We borrowed a pool raft to use as a mattress for Eric in the back of the truck.

Teamwork, planning & prayer- we were very thankful moving Eric in and out of the truck went smoothly.

Ralph and Mama Brigitte, nurse's aid and nurse who have worked in the ICU caring for Eric for many months.

Getting Eric comfortable for the bumpy dirt road ahead.

Ralph praying over Eric and his journey

Eric and I hanging out for the ride - even though he couldn't see out the windows, he knew exactly when and where to tell us to turn to take him home.

Barry and Eric
 While I was visiting the States in August this past year, I asked Barry Newman if he would start meeting with Eric in my absence, so he could continue in his study of the Bible. 
Barry agreed and he and Eric hit it off so well - that when I returned Barry said he would be willing to take on Eric's discipleship on a full time basis. 
This was such an answer from the Lord! 
I had been praying for months that God would provide a strong man of faith to take on Eric's discipleship. That answer came in Barry, and he and Eric are now good friends.

We made it! Eric is home!

Getting Eric and his Mama, Veronique, settled back into their home. I will miss her and her kind spirit at the hospital.

Saying "goodbyes"

Praying God's protection, encouragement and strength for Eric in adjusting to a new environment with his disabilities.

Please remember Eric in prayer.
Pray for physical and spiritual protection, protection from infection and physical decline, discouragement. Pray for encouragement for his caregivers and support system, especially his mom, Veronique. Pray Eric will continue to be light, now in his village, as he was with the patients and their families at the hospital. Pray Eric's relationship with God would grown deep, strong roots that are a constant source of the Living Water.

Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support.
I could not be here without your partnership.
I'm so thankful for the Body of Christ and the gift of being able to serve our God - together. 

Love from the Jungle,

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