“Here is comfort: If the Father of our Lord Jesus arranges all, then our friends do not die untimely deaths. Believers are not cut off before their time. God has appointed a time to harvest His fruit. Some are sweet, even in early spring, and He gathers them. Others, like baskets of summer fruit, are taken while the year is young. Yet some remain until autumn mellows them. Be sure of this, each will be gathered in season. God has appointed the commencement, the continuation, and the conclusion of your mortal life.” C.H. Spurgeon
“Tomorrow, we may all be in heaven. Tomorrow, we may lean on Christ’s breast.” C. H. Spurgeon
“The fruit of the spirit is….peace..” Galations 5:22
Dear Brethren in Christ,
First of all thank you for your earnest prayers on our behalf before the throne of grace. It was marvelous to see and know of so many beloved ones interceding on behalf of Andres and all the family. We are overwhelmed by how much love and concern were manifested on our behalf. Andres even commented on how unworthy he was to have so much love demonstrated on his behalf. God is good all the time and in every situation no matter the outcome.
God certainly does intervene and arrange things, of that we have no doubt. Just how everything worked so quickly for surgery dates, how Andres family arrived not even knowing all that was about to take place…just because one of his sisters had a burden to come visit and moved the whole family to come too. ( We didn’t know they were on the way until they were half way here.) How the financial care was taken off our shoulders, and I could go on and on. I wish I could tell you every innuendo, every little detail that happened during this whole procedure. I will try to share just a few.
All of you are aware of how critical Andres’ situation was…the nocturnal heart attacks wouldn’t stop…the ICD just didn’t have enough charge to maintain him. (Lots of technical things I could add here but there is no reason to overwhelm..suffice to say the ICD was losing its charge and thus the control to keep him stable.) Most of you are aware that Andres’ condition declined rapidly in 6 months. We were all astounded by this, perplexed by it. Still no reason we can pinpoint other than it happened.
But God has used all of this for His honor and glory. God being exalted is the ultimate goal for any one thing in a Christians life…From the moment that we knew a replacement generator was going to be needed many of Andres’ family, other brethren ( or maybe not, but believe themselves to be) from different doctrinal backgrounds and old school mates began to contact him.So many of his school companions from Jr. High to University mostly Catholics would talk to him and marvel how calm he was, how sure and stable he was knowing he would probably die. It was truly amazing how many people knew so fast. But none of knew how soon it would happen.
When the word spread that he was to be operated on so quickly a considerable number of his school mates arrived at the hotel to talk with him the night before surgery. (We decided to drive to Chihuahua City the evening before surgery and stay in a hotel close to the hospital.) But also brethren from the U.S. and Queretero, etc…were there. The school companions heard the tale of God’s faithfulness.
The surgery was scheduled for 8 am, Andres, Damaris and I agreed to be at the clinic for surgery early to pray with several brethren before hand. By the time we had gotten to the clinic’s waiting room several people were already there waiting. By the time Andres was passed behind doors the room was full. ( I am now going to have to rely on what others told me about what happened in the waiting room as I was allowed in surgery with Andres.) But what I heard was that the waiting room was turned into an intercession room, a witnessing room because many who didn’t know Christ talked with many who waited beside them. We all knew that most probably Andres wouldn’t make it through if God worked that way in this situation. Andres always would say that for him it was a win/win situation.
In surgery we saw God’s intervention over and over again. We almost lost Andres 4 times. His heart would stop, the hands would stop working and the count down would begin…one thousand one…one thousand two…etc… , each time he would come back beginning with a flutter. Work would once again start to replace the ICD…in the beginning the cardiologist thought to just replace the generator on the original ICD like he had done the time before…but with Andres’ failing heart condition he decided to change out the whole thing going for an ICD with heavier charge…it is like changing out Eveready batteries for Duracell ( if you believe the commercials). The doctor also changed over the procedure…he and the technician took many risks to their own safety to protect Andres…The doctor didn’t want to use the external defibrillator unless absolutely necessary ( he knew that with all probability Andres wouldn’t survive it’s use), he also used local anesthesia ( a lot of it) instead of general anesthesia which would put him at more risk…All of us in surgery could see God’s handy work on Andres’ behalf..
In the waiting room when the doctor walked through the doors ( it had been prearranged that if the nurse came through the doors Andres had gone home) many praised God openly, many openly cried..a general praise went up to God for His sustaining for a while longer His servant.
The clinic personnel were amazed to say the least at what they witnessed. So many phone calls coming to the nurses station during recuperation…I was passed every one of them…I heard one nurse say under her breath to her companions…”Who is this guy?” …because they saw everyone in the waiting room and then phone calls… After one call I just whispered to her…”He is a servant of God, a Baptist minister in a small mountain village. That is all..” They broke protocol, allowing people to see him from the door way, coming in after recuperation 2 at a time…the Lord had given us much favor. Even days later the receptionist would call and ask how Andres was recuperating. What will God do? Will this be a seed sown in at least one persons life, Lord willing, yes.
From the clinic the doctor had Andres admitted to the hospital. (All was done in the clinic to save us money. But for observation he had to be in the main hospital…not the social hospitals here in Mexico…a big , private facility with all the modern technology). The doctor had arranged the room. Oh my…. Anyway , while I was signing away my life, so to speak, at admissions Andres was taken to the room…connected to everything and even given lunch. I say room…it was a suite…private suite…the doctor had given us a private suite…Andres was allowed all the visitors that arrived…All I could think was , first…oh my maybe we should ask for a cheaper room…secondly, God has the hearts of kings in His hand… (never have I stayed in a private suite in a hospital…)
When admitted to this hospital you must leave a deposit..When we checked out, anyway, I dreaded the thought at checkout what we would owe..( you have to pay in the moment of check out or have a good insurance company standing in line with you)… For those who think, why that hospital…Answer..it is the only one with the technology to ascertain if the ICD is functioning correctly…most government, social hospitals here do not understand an ICD.
So on checkout…we find that the hospital owes us money…I giggled as did my companion brothers and sisters in Christ waiting there with me…Excuse me?…you will give me back money?…Must be a mistake…can I see the account transcript?…Someone had to deposit more to our account, right?…Nope…
God works in mysterious ways, even in this , His wonders to perform……..had to have been the doctor……he used his influence anonymously….even in this God showed His care for His servant.
Brethren, thank you once again for your prayers, please, oh please, continue to pray. The news is that Andres’ heart now depends 100% on the ICD…His heart cannot work efficiently on its’ own without the ICD stimulating it correctly, guiding it to do its’ work. Many things will have to change…he will have to sit to preach…he will not be able to do physical labor like he was doing before…We will know more once he has the check-up visit on May 14th in Chihuahua City.
God has preserved His servant here for a while longer…how long, only He knows. Andres has been given a reprieve.
Sorry about the lengthy “note”…I did leave out so much!
Please pray for those who witnessed all God was doing, all God did…too many names to write out here, God knows who they are…
Thank you for remembering us…Damaris and I are still recuperating along with Andres.
God impressed on our hearts from the beginning as we prayed about the situation…wait and see…there was no specific answer if Andres was being left here to continue to work or if he was going home…all we understood was …wait and see…God worked and is still working for honor and glory of His name…we pray that as we wait and see many will come to the kingdom in God’s time and in His way.
God be praised in all we say and do…it is never about “why” it is always about “what for”…”who are we to meet?”
Walking forward by God’s grace and in His love,
Andres, Rhonda and Damaris Galaviz