Inspiration"Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples!" Psalm 96:3
“The Lord has blessed us with a beautiful son who happens to have Down Syndrome. It has been a crazy year going through this journey and realizing that our expectations are not always the same as the Lords plan for our family. I have had a lot of moments where I ask ‘why me? why not somebody else who is more skilled or more patient?’…
A few months ago our leaders wife had a vision for our family. She described God searching for the right family for Tatum to be a part of. His cherished son. A family he would thrive in. And he chose ours.
Knowing that this is God’s plan and acknowledging purpose in this makes me excited to be Tatum’s mother. He has given us such a deep love for this little boy. We have written on all of our children’s nursery walls “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). This declaration has been the same with our first two boys and with Tatum. He is here to do the Lords work and there is such a beautiful future ahead of him. I’m privileged to be a part of it. The Lord has been great to our family.”
He remembers the day with a chuckle. “It was July 12th, Orangeman’s day”.
Bob was helping his son tear an old roof off the ‘feed room’ at the farm. While his son was on the other side of the building Bob stepped on a weak place on the roof and fell 10-12 feet on a concrete floor. He landed on his right side.
“I remember my son holding my head in his lap. I could barely breathe”
Emergency services were called and in no time Bob was airlifted from the scene of the accident to the London Health Sciences Trauma Unit. Upon assessment it was determined that Bob broke his arm near the elbow as well as one finger on his right hand. He also sustained 12 broken ribs, 10 of which were broken in two places. Despite the impact that lead to this much skeletal damage, none of Bob’s internal organs were seriously damaged. His liver was bruised. But his lungs were intact, his heart was not harmed, his liver was intact and his kidneys were functioning well.
Two days after the accident Bob underwent surgery to repair his arm and all 12 ribs. Plates and screws were used to secure the bones in place. Recovery from this surgery involved intubation (oxygen being mechanically delivered to his lungs while under sedation) due to his inability to breathe properly. None the less, Bob was on his feet in no time and transported back to Owen Sound for recovery.
Through the entire experience Bob recalls pain, discomfort and the struggle to breathe. He does not recall being afraid.
Joanne, Bob’s wife, was out for lunch when the accident happened. She received a call from her son informing her of the incident and that Bob was being airlifted to London. Here is what she remembers:
“I came into the trauma centre when I arrived in London. I looked around, found Bob, and felt an overwhelming peace. I remember thinking ‘even if the Lord takes him, it’s going to be OK’. You see God’s hand in the details when you look back. I realize how much injury he was spared physically. I see the strength God gave my family to come and support us immediately. God gave me strength to keep going with very little sleep. He enabled me to keep going and to ‘hold it all together’. ”
Joanne recalls a moment while staying in the hotel room shortly after the accident
“My two daughters stayed with me. I remember hearing one snoring and the other one breathing loudly. Despite the noise I thought to myself ‘I am SO thankful for this’. This is one of the sweetest sounds I could possibly hear at this moment”
As they finish sharing this story, Bob and Joanne are about to head to physiotherapy. With a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face Bob says “I’m not much of a story teller”. But the story tells itself. We are loved by a mighty God who cares for his children. We are protected, strengthened and encouraged by His Spirit through the most traumatic of experiences. As a church we asked the Lord to spare Bob’s life. We asked the Lord to provide strength to Joanne. We trusted the Lord to provide peace for Bob in a trying time. And those prayers were heard. God is faithful.
A Call to Canada
Since my daughter and son-in-law immigrated to Canada seven years ago I have had my own plans to live in Canada, from buying land and building a house to building on the family farm. Three years ago I made the move and got a temporary visa.
On the second day of arrival I asked the Lord what He wanted me to read and very clearly I heard Genesis 22. As I read about Abraham sacrificing Isaac I heard the Lord saying “Sacrifice your son and I will be your provider”. Scary! It was OK for me to say I was coming to Canada but when God says it, it means no return!
In 2014 we applied for sponsorship which was going to take 69months to complete; and in April 2015 I came back to England to sell my house after feeling that was what the Lord was telling me. I also decided that when I returned to Canada it would only be until September and that I would wait the remaining time in England.
When I booked my return ticket I realized that I would have 3hrs to kill at the airport so went to my church to get a book from the used book shelves. When I looked the shelves were empty except for a handful of books so I reluctantly chose a book not realizing the significance of the title.
At the airport sitting in Tim Horton’s with a coffee I opened the book. It started with Genesis 22 and then went on to give four peoples testimonies of how they had to sacrifice everything and trust God not knowing what the next day would bring. The title of the book was ‘Climbing Mount Moriah’. So God had other ideas and when it came to September my Friends Rick and Jennifer invited me to stay with them.
June this year I returned to England for my son’s wedding. After a few weeks I received an email telling me to take a medical for my sponsorship application. When Colleen checked my application’s progress on-line it said that applicants need to be aware, that they were currently processing applications from 2011 and as I have said we did not apply until 2014. Well on September 14th. I will be returning to Canada with my permanent residence papers in hand.
God has a plan for me in Canada. What, I do not know; but after sacrificing everything I come with empty hands, an expectant heart and faith in a God who promises that He will be my provider and my friend.