WALKING WITH MY LORD
My Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has been a pillar of strength and peace, during the past 6 months of a rollercoaster ride. The storms of life blew over but his presence was enough to see me through this phase.
Between September and November 2018 , I drove to Goa several times with Anjean, to prepare for our daughter Annalize’s wedding, Goa being the venue.
However in November I began to have a throat problem , which did not get cured with antibiotics . As the problem persisted , I consulted a specialist who observed a small mass on the tonsil during the oral examination. Subsequently , he advised that a biopsy be done, which led to the early diagnosis of Non Hodgekins Lymphoma. Dr Jaquie was very helpful at the Hinduja Hospital, from that first instance as well as during my regular hospital visits for the chemotherapy later.
In November I also got a shock to know that my investments with our trusted broker were in jeopordy , as his business had failed. His promise to repay everything , would remain a promise until he hoped to recover, by merging his company with a bigger firm, in the near future.
I was diagnosed on 13th December 2018 , and Annalize’s wedding was scheduled for 27th December 2018. The doctor calmed us , specially Anjean and Annalize, and mentioned that the early diagnosis was very helpful and the cancer could be treated and cured ( a blessing indeed). He advised us to celebrate the wedding and commence my treatment soon after.
However due to the urgency and financial duress, I was constrained to take loans to meet with these challenges.
My son Ralph , was a big help at this stage. He had come down from London for the wedding. All my family proceeded to Goa which was the venue . He stayed back to help me with my visits to the hospitals and so much more. I admired his steadfast approach , not knowing that he was quite upset himself.
Our celebrations in Goa went off very well. The Lord had given me a total acceptance of my health condition. I took part wholeheartedly in the celebrations. My family too got over the initial shock and all went well .
We returned to Mumbai on 1st January 2019 and my treatment commenced on 2nd January 2019.
For every session , I was admitted to the hospital , to be administered the drugs. The specialist doctor and his team, and the nursing care, was excellent. The after effects of the chemotherapy, were at times very painful. Surprisingly during 3 specific occasions Romeo Fernando, leader of the Community of the Good Shepherd, telephoned me. He prayed fervently with me , pleading of the Lord for my healing ; and with God’s grace I was relieved from pain. His intercessory group prayed regularly for my healing. I cannot forget my mentor Ken Knoecker ( Elder of the Servants of the Word) , for all the prayer and support extended to me, during this time. I also discovered , the aspect of sharing my suffering with the Lord, and interceding for others.
Members from my Community (Community of Jesus: Light of the World) and the local Church and Communities ( Sword of the Spirit Communities) from far and near prayed for me. There was an outpouring of love as members regularly telephoned or visited me, and also prayed with me. People who I hardly knew as well as old friends, assured me that they were praying for my healing and visited me.
My eldest daughter Karen with her family from UK, specially changed their flight schedule, ( which involved a fresh ticket) to be with us for the first session. Subsequently my son Ralph took time off , for one month from his job in London ( while working from home) to be with us in Mumbai for the next sessions. Annalize too spent more than a month later and finally Larissa was with us in May.
I was administered 6 cycles of chemotherapy from January to April, and after the 4th cycle , the petscan showed that I was clear of cancer. Praise and thanks to God!
This was a time of great restoration and renewal. I had plenty of time to pray and read scripture. Importantly , Ambrose our community member brought Holy Communion for me daily, which was a source of healing and kept me positive and courageous.
Aroon willingly took up responsibility to lead the Community of Jesus: Light of the World , in my absence during these months. His numerous visits were an indication of a brotherly tie, which I deeply cherish.
I also saw bonds of brotherhood within my extended family being renewed. My two elder brothers, Allwyn and Gerald who are doctors, and my niece Joanne (also a doctor) , reached out to me in significant ways.
Anjean cared for me so well . Diet and medicines were constantly monitored. So I came through these months peacefully. Dane, a young man from the Youth group , was kind enough to drive us to the hospital on several occasions . Some of my community members also took time off to be with me at the hospital. But Anjean was my constant companion.
In the meantime , help poured in from various sources. I am truly overwhelmed at this support.
God showed me His love , through these brothers and sisters.
He also assured me that His provision is enough
A few days ago , when again I experienced a setback, I was assured by the following words from scripture:
‘Give us this day our daily bread ‘( Matthew 6:11)
( on further reflection and study, I was led to believe that daily bread is for daily sustenance and not to accumulate wealth. Bread also signifies the Eucharist ,which is life giving.)
A little further :
‘ No one can be slave of two masters; he will either hate the first and love the second, or treat the first with respect and the second with scorn. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’ ( Matthew 6: 24)
‘ Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you are to eat and what you are to drink, (Matthew 6:25a)………..‘But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.’ ( Matthew 6: 33)
Isaiah 55: 1-3
‘ Oh, come to the water all you who are thirsty;
Though you have no money , come!
Buy corn without money, and eat,
and, at no cost , wine and milk.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
your wages on what fails to satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and you will have good things to eat
and rich food to enjoy.
Pay attention , come to me;
listen, and your soul will live.
listen , and your soul will live.’ (Isaiah 55: 1-3)
The Lord has revealed his love and care so much more during these days. He is truly my Saviour and Healer and I can trust in his provision daily.
For this I say “Thank you Lord”
And “ thank you” to every person who has reached out to me.