carried through a difficult month
by Laurie-Ann Copple
While we had a lovely holiday on the South African west coast and Clanwilliam, we have had a difficult January. During our holiday, I began sweating in sensitive areas and developed a rash that required a doctor's care and hydrocortizone cream. Then I developed painful boils and a huge carbuncle that left me bedridden for three weeks. In the picture above, you see me balanced on a pillow, while lying on my tummy. Tony attempts to apply Bee propolis (a wonderful product from a company named Simply Bee, in Hopefield, Western Cape). He did use a lot of that ointment, as well as colloidal silver, which was perfect for the job. Tony was an amazing nurse, and not afraid to deal with a messy illness. Unfortunately I was in pain throughout the month and had to stop nearly every kind of ministry - whether it was our newsletter, my Ways to Grow in God blog, our radio show, bookkeeping, and being with our Prison Alpha inmates or our teens. I even had to miss the first week of MasterPeace Academy, so Tony filled in for my art class. I continued my Annique shake regimen, with added fruit (thank God for South African fruit in season), and crockpot chicken soup. I kept in touch via my phone and iPad, and couldn't do much else than lay there, or sleep. Thankfully I did listen and soak to some wonderful worship music.
During that month, our friend Riana van Wyk (the lead of WCG's Kinderkerk) called to encourage me with the new Bethel Music song "I raise a Hallelujah," which was spirit-lifting indeed. Many people have prayed for me, for which I am very grateful. I wasn't healed quickly, but I was healed. The boils and carbuncle are gone, although due to being bedridden on my tummy for so long, I've lost physical strength in my inner core. I may need physiotherapy. Thankfully I still have some painkillers. Our doctor called for blood tests, since it would be a suitable followup for the boils, and he wanted to see if I was diabetic. Apparently, some diabetics are prone to what I had just experienced. I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone. It turns out that I am not diabetic at all (thank God!), although am low on iron and a bit high on cholesterol. So he arranged for a specialist to give me a colonoscopy and gastrophy to see if there was any blood loss there. While there wasn't, the doctor found a growth inside my stomach, which was sent to the lab. It should be benign. This wasn't cheap, but I did have excellent care. The specialist believes that I just have an iron absorption problem, which means not taking iron near calcium, vitamin C or my thyroxine. It makes for tricky scheduling, but I'll have to manage it.
Meanwhile, Tony has carried on, and I'm easing my way back into ministry. Just this week, I began my first art lesson of the year - on the element of LINE. I have five eager students - two are very young, so it's a different kind of challenge. So I'm learning how to teach even more simply than I have before. It's a good lesson for me.
And two groups (other than Iris family, church family and cellgroup family) have specifically reached out. First, the Brandvlei inmates wrote me a letter. The letter said, “Hello Laurie (sic). We all missed you, from the brothers from Brandvlei. We trust in the Lord to heal you soon, to be with us. We missed you a lot, because we don’t have a drummer like you.” That was heart warming.
Then the teens that we disciple and love under the wings of My Father's House Worcester reached out. First Tony filmed three of them saying how much they missed me (shown below) and then four walked up to our house from Avian Park to visit. They just wanted to love on me and cheer me up. They didn't ask for food (although we did give them cold water and a ride home). They didn't ask for money. They just came with the intent of loving me. Looks like they are learning to stop for the one. This is one of my greatest hopes. Sometimes you just have to get out of the way to see what God's been doing in those you love. He continues what he starts in us: he is faithful to complete what he creates (Philippians 1:6)
Tony and Laurie-Ann Copple (usually Laurie-Ann)
L-A's devotional blog
TONY'S DEVOTIONAL BLOG
Tony's south african journal
TONY'S POST MISSION JOURNAL