Folks, I'm still alive! I don't just mean that figuratively, I mean it literally. It seem like I've made a lot of excuses on this blog over the past year, for the chunks of time where I seem to disappear for a while. Well, this time I really had a good excuse!
Last October I had a bit of a 'mishap' while riding my motorcycle. That sort of put me out of commission for a while. But now things are back to normal. (There's a lot more to the story, but if you don't already know it, and want to hear more details, then write me an e-mail.)
Here's our latest family photo, taken in April.
Since I've been gone from the blog for so long, and wasn't flying for a while, I thought I'd start by showing proof that I'm back in the saddle again. :-)
A huge thank you goes out first to my wife and kids, and our families back in the U.S., who've been such a huge support and encouragement throughout this 'stretching' season in our lives. And second, we'd like to thank my amazing DPT, Nicky, who gave SO many countless hours helping Joy and I to retrain my body to do what it is supposed to do, and in the process has become our great friend as well! And of course my brilliant surgeon, Dr. M. in the U.S. who did wonders to fix some seriously busted stuff. And all the other docs and nurses who helped in so many ways. And of course our MAF team here in Uganda and around the world, and so many others here in Kampala and elsewhere who encouraged and prayed and helped in practical ways. We are so grateful for all of you!
But make no mistake, I am here today ONLY because of God's grace. I should have died... several times. But for some reason, that only He knows, I'm still kicking. And not only that, I'm back to 100%. A lot of people deserve credit for helping me get here, but ultimately, all the glory and credit belong to my Creator and Healer!
It's been great to see so many friends, like Celestino in Yambio, South Sudan, after being absent for so long. He, and so many others like him, were praying for my family and me a lot over the past months.
And in case you're curious... yes, I'm riding my bike again. That was a given. I was already riding several months ago. And yes, Joy is fine with it. The truth is, Joy, understandably, did have quite a bit of emotional trauma to work through as a result of all of this. And I certainly wasn't going to push her to let me ride again soon. But she also knows me well, and she knows that I don't live my life in fear of what might happen, or what did happen. Life if far too short for that. Plus, I love riding... been riding motorcycles since way back in flight school twenty some years ago. And a little knock-down ain't gonna change that. There's more to it than that, but for now, you can just believe me when I say that Joy and my kids are all fully supportive, and I'm so glad to be back on the bike again. :-)
(Incidentally, I've gotten a lot of flack from a few people--even to the point where some have indicated that they feel betrayed, or even angry at me, for riding again after they have prayed so much for me to recover. It's like they take it as a personal offense that I would have the gumption to ride again--like I take all of this for granted. I don't. But there's more to it than that. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but if you're upset at me for riding again, it's not going to do anything to change my mind. I am sorry you feel that way, but I don't live my life, however short or long it might be here on earth, trying to make others happy with me. I am definitely concerned what my wife and kids think, but aside from that, I do what God gives me peace to do. And that's basically how I role. I hope you can understand.)
In other news, a big congratulations to our oldest, Britt, who graduated yesterday from HIS (Heritage International School) in Kampala, Uganda. We are so proud of him and can't wait to see what God has in store for him in his future!
Britt will be starting at Liberty University this fall, majoring in Zoo and Wildlife Biology.
Over the next few weeks I'll try to fill you in on some of the other things that have gone on over the past number of months.