Dear Prayer Partners:
In May each year we attempt to have our newsletters printed and sent out. Once again this year we aren't meeting our self-imposed deadlines. One reason is since our move from Flint to Detroit in mid-April, we've been busy with house-hunting almost every evening after work. But the greater reason is that God, who controls even the minutest detail of our lives, delayed us so that we could pass on "unplanned" news to you.
On Saturday evening, June 18,1994, Berta Foster , my mother, had a heart attack. It was quite a shock as she didn't have a weight problem, nor were we aware of a cholesterol problem. In fact, because of the nutritional therapy program she underwent during her bout with cancer in 1977, she changed her diet radically to eat wholesome foods. (It's just that her diet wasn't necessarily fat-free.) Stress and lack of exercise are the likely causes of her heart failure. Also the swelter-ing heat wave which passed through Detroit recently might have precipitated the attack.
God was gracious during that trial. Whereas my mother is one who avoids going to the hospital unless it's her last resort, God had it arranged for a friend to take her. Regina Dale, a hearing friend, had visited Mom to rehearse voice overlay for a speech Mom was planning to present the following day. That evening Mom felt chest pains along with stomach discomforts and assumed it was heartburn or food poisoning. Regina didn't want to take any chances and insisted on taking Mom to the hospital. Praise God for His sovereignty in having Regina with Mom at the right time.
Shortly after they arrived at the hospital, her heart failed. Because Mom's heart attack was in its initial stage, the doctors didn't need to perform CPR to help her heart to work again. Instead, they used a thrombolytic drug to open up the blockages in her heart. In time, as the EKG showed, the medicine did its job thinning out her blood and circulating it to her heart.
Six days after the heart attack, the medical team performed a heart catheterization. The blockage in her arteries were so severe that angioplasty was out of the question. A double bypass, or even triple bypass, surgery would have to be done to re-route blood and oxygen to the heart around the blocked arteries.
On Tuesday, June 27, the surgeon operated on Mom. Instead of two or three bypasses, he had to do four. We praise God that there were no complications during the surgery and that everything went well. We're also grateful for the love that local saints have shown through their visits and prayer support.
Praise the LORD for sustaining Berta Foster during this life threatening situation. We thank Him for His promise to us in James 5:14, "...the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the LORD shall raise him up...." The doctors are pleased with her progress. By the time you receive this letter, Mom will have already gone home. Her recovery will take at least six weeks. Please pray for complete healing.
Where do we go from here? Mom's doctor has ordered her to minimize her work load--which includes curtailing correspondence.. But how can she do that with the insurmount-able administrative task set before her? One of the blessings of her moving to Detroit is having an office detached from her home so as to make it feasible for volunteers to come into the office to work. But the mission still does not have someone to replace the late Andrew Foster's leadership. Will you pray specifically with us that God will make a way to lighten Mom's burden? Up until now God has not seen fit to bring in a new executive director for CMD. Since Dad's death six and a half years ago, Mom has assumed a large portion of his load (except for deputation and annually commuting to Africa) and added it to her regular administrative load. Is it any wonder that she had a heart attack! Please pray for wisdom and provision in this area.
To summarize Dad's job description of executive director could take more pages than this newsletter would allow. Here's an attempt to be specific: we need a spiritually mature person with leadership and communication skills. Since much of our work is in Franco-phone countries, proficiency in French would be greatly desired. The nature of our mission would require travel to our different schools and Sunday Schools to check up on their progress to keep the home board apprised of the state of affairs. The position would also require deputation across the USA and Canada. Do you know of someone who is willing to raise his own support and fill this position? If so, please have him send a resume to our new address printed at the top of this newsletter.
Perhaps God has completely different plans for the mission. If so, please pray with us that He will make His will clear to us. In the meantime, do pray that God will give my mother wisdom in knowing how to cut back on her work.
As for the housing situation, thanks to you who prayed in this regard. The house in Flint sold in April. Even though it was on the market for almost two years, the actual processing of the sale took less time than anticipated. Thus, Mom didn't have much time to look for a new home. God provided a temporary rent house which she was originally supposed to have vacated in the beginning of June. But the homeowner, a Baptist church, graciously extended the home for a couple of months as their usage plans had changed. Living in a rent home in the Detroit area has made it much easier for Mom to look for a permanent home than to try to commute regularly from Flint (70 miles north) to find a house.
It seems that God is answering your and our prayers. With the help of a realtor friend, Mom found a nice bungalow in the southwest side of Detroit near Dearborn. The sellers accepted her offer over another's offer (which was also for cash) and she signed her contract on Saturday morning...hours before her heart attack. Please pray that God will work out all the details! (Especially as her medical bills continue to mount, in spite of her health insurance coverage.) I might add that on Friday, before her offer was accepted, Mom called me to tell me about the house. The price was good, the repairs very minimal. She pleaded, "please pray that they will sell it to us because I'm tired of looking." (Emphasis mine.) Her tiredness was indicative of the general stress in her life.
On behalf of Berta Foster and the mission board (and thanks to my husband Mark in Texas for "loaning" me to Mom), thank you for your continued prayer support. We value your prayers!
Faith Foster Haynes
P.S. The Bibles arrived safely to Sierra Leone, Benin and Likasi, Zaire. Thank your for your support and prayers toward this project.
Please pray that the 14 other schools and churches which we shipped parcels will also receive their Bibles safely. In some places the delay is due to local political turmoil.