Sunday, February 28, 2010

Good Week

What a joy to attend both morning and evening services here at Grace Church together as a family. It's been a while since we've been able to do that. I felt well and strong enough to sit and listen. What a blessing to hear God's Word so thoroughly and carefully expounded. The sermon from Hebrews 12 this evening was especially encouraging.
It'll be a busy week at the church because 3,200 pastors from all over the world will descend upon the campus to hear godly men exhort and encourage them in the preaching of the Word. The Shepherds' Conference is a real recharge for Brian and I know he'll be even more excited to get back to Malawi and into the pulpit. Also, two of the church leaders from our church, International Bible Fellowship Church in Lilongwe, are in the air right now on their way here.

My mom took a break in Santa Barbara this weekend, to spend some time with a friend and her family, who she has known since high school. She needed some rest time away from the boisterous Biedebachies :)

Tomorrow will be a whole week that I haven't had any pressure headaches! I still get dizzy at bedtime, but at least the headaches seem to be going away. Thank you Lord! Also, I haven't had the body drain for a week and a half now and so we're still absolutely planning to head out on March 16th. Brian goes for physical therapy again tomorrow and his knees are getting stronger.

We still would really appreciate your prayers especially for these next two weeks and for our 30 hour trip back to Africa. I miss seeing and hearing birds (here on Roscoe Blvd, we just hear cars). I miss seeing blue-headed lizards and open fields full of maize! I miss the amazing African sunsets.

This one was right outside our front door.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Newport Beach to Lilongwe

The Lord answered our prayers and Bied and I had a great time at the marriage retreat down in Newport Beach. I only had one headache the whole weekend! We enjoyed our time so much and were so blessed to be able to go away together. We have a couple of real busy weeks ahead before we head back to Malawi. We cannot wait to get home! By the time we get back, we will have been away for five months. We have missed our church family at IBF. Brian is excited to get back into teaching his students at ABC and preaching through Acts at church. We pray that the Lord will continue to use us, however He wills, for the truth of His Word to be preached in Malawi and throughout the rest of Africa. Please continue to pray for full recovery for both Bied and myself and also for the preparations of heading back to know it's a long way to "Li - long -wey", as Bied likes to say. Also pray for my mom, she heads back to South Africa a day before us. She hasn't been very healthy while being here. Bradley said the other day, "Nanny, you are 100 years old and your skin feels like a lizard's!" We love you Nan!
Lake Malawi

Transportation like this is common in Africa.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Get away

The kids have all been farmed out to friends for the weekend, except Ami who is staying with her Nanny. Brian and I are very excited about a couples' retreat that starts today and ends on Sunday. Rick Holland is the speaker and we look forward to hearing from God's Word and spending time with each other.

Please pray that my headaches and dizziness won't be bad so that we can enjoy the weekend. This will be the first major activity since coming out of hospital and so it will be a good test to see how we'll handle our trip home to Malawi in less than four weeks. Yay!

I have had one day this week with no headaches! I have also only experienced the body drain every other day. Lord willing, they will go away completely. Please continue to pray that if there is something wrong that we would find it out and even if we don't that we would trust God completely. PLEASE pray that I would be able to endure this trial patiently. I am finding it difficult to be joyful, especially when my head is pounding :( and my body is weak.

"Give thanks in ALL circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thess 5:18

"Do any of the worthless idols of the nation bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is You, O Lord our God. Therefore our hope is in You, for You are the One Who does all this." Jer 14:22

"God... is the blessed controller of all things, the King over all kings and the Master of all masters." 1 Tim 6:15

Monday, February 15, 2010

Red Roses

Yes, I did get a beautiful bouquet and you guessed right...they were the usual two weeks early :) For those of you who don't know my dear sweet Bied, well he just cannot bring himself to pay the ridiculous Vday prices and so I always get them real early with an extra dose of that flower food powdery stuff in the hope they'll last until the 14th.

Thanks for your continued prayers. We had a great day today!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Is your camera broken?

It's not, here are some pics for you.

Bied finally got to take Ami on her daddy date. They went to Disneyland to go on the fast rides.

Biedebach boys take on Kwacha.

Shirts versus no shirts.

Nanny is so much fun and eating cookies is too.

Precious kiddos.
Building robots- I think.

Alli Mae - 8 months on the 15th

Handy Nanny.

Ami in her Kindergarten class -30 kids!

Howz it going?

Brian's knees are doing well. He will see the orthopedic surgeon for his check up tomorrow. He will also start physical therapy soon.
Grandma is doing better too. We are trying not to overwork her. She gets to attend a grandparents' day tomorrow at Ami's school.
The doctor called with results from my blood tests. I have very low vitamin D. It's supposed to be 50 and mine is 15. This means I have to sit in the sun for at least 45 minutes every day. My blood sugar was also low and the doctor thinks I should try and eat 5 small meals a day to keep my levels up. I have had a couple of not so good days and some great days too. We are doing more tests, starting on Monday.

I was reminded yesterday when reading that we shouldn't be surprised when trials come, as though something strange were happening, but rather we should rejoice in the participation of Christ's sufferings so that we may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.
"Suffering has profound potential for good and it can also be a destroyer. Suffering can pull marriages and families together, uniting them through hardship, or it can rip them apart in selfishness and bitterness. Suffering can file all the rough edges off your character, or it can harden your heart like iron. It all depends. On us. On how we respond. It depends on what we choose to do in the middle of our suffering. Do we use it- or let it use us? Do we go to God, or try to battle it on our own?" Quoted from Adversity by Joni Eareckson Tada.
I have to continually remind myself to be thankful for all the things God has already done. I have to take the spotlight off self and shine it on Him. He deserves all our praise. He is working this all out for HIS GLORY and our good.

Friday, February 5, 2010

"What a faithful God have I"

We used to sing this song at Grace Church in Primrose. I can still hear Beth Woollacott singing it. He is faithful in every way!

Brian is resting and also trying to take short walks on his crutches to help his circulation. He is not experiencing too much pain and has enjoyed having his meals in bed!
My mom is doing better too. Her blood pressure has come down. She is still dizzy, but she thinks it may be because of her cold.
I am doing much better. Praise the Lord for answered prayer. I have prayed that He would give me strength to look after Bied and He graciously has.
The doctor had said that he suspects no post-surgery infection. He also reminded me that I can't expect everything to just go away overnight. Being sick for so long will take time to heal. My body just has to take it easy. We should get the blood results soon.
Anyway, all that to say THANK YOU so much for praying. Our God is so faithful and we trust His plans because we know they're better than ours!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The B's Knees - right knee

Brian hasn't been kind to his knees over the years. He played football in high school and college and had knee surgery once back then. And now he is a 40 year-old man who likes to play basketball with 20 year-olds. Over the years there have been times where his knees have been sore and so he has had to ice them and lay off the exercise a bit - but it hasn't been sore enough or serious enough for him to consider surgery. This is why Brian was somewhat glad that he tore his cartilage 10 days ago playing basketball. Perhaps now, the doctors can really clean up his knees.

The first video is a survey of his right knee and the second one is where the doctor took "basket scissors" and started snipping away at the damaged pieces of Brian's cartilage. He later took a "shaver" (which looks like a high-tech nose-hair-trimmer) and shaved down the rough edges around Brian's knee.

Brian is home now and the surgery seems to have gone really well. Thanks for praying. Please pray for him in the coming weeks as he begins rehab.

The B's Knees - left knee

Brian's left knee was in worse shape than the right. This is the one with the cartilage tear that has been causing him so much pain for the past 10 days. It is quite amazing that they can go in and do surgery on both knees in the same morning. The nice thing about it is that they both can be rehabbed together and so you don't have to wait for one to get better and then go in for a second surgery on the other. Brian's surgeon told him that professional athletes can recover from this surgery and be playing again in as little as three weeks. Brian is not a professional athlete:)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Something is still wrong

I am still not well. Something is not right. We have removed all the so called stressors and yet I continue to suffer from dizziness, headaches and other symptoms which now may be endocrinal. My mom also hasn't been well and a doctor came to see her on Sunday night to check her blood pressure and adjust her medications. We are both going to see a doctor today for blood tests and Brian is at the orthopedic guy right now. He is having a MRI on his right knee too. There is a strong possibility that they will do surgery on both his knees! Please continue to pray. Thy will be done. To Him be all the glory. He knows exactly what is wrong. Pray for patient endurance and continued trust.