Emergency Prayer Request

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Update on Matt: Thanks to all who are persevering in prayer for dear Matt.
Here’s the latest:



--he’s still in a morphine induced coma—the swelling to his head has gone down so they were able to replace some of the bone over the brain. His eyes are visible now.

--he has pneumonia and coughing a lot

--he has strep throat, he was rundown prior to accident and had this

--he has a staph infection (meaning things and people need to be very sterile around him & this is something he got in the hospital)

--he’s still on the ventilator, pray his lungs recover so he can breath on his own

--having a lot of fevers so that his brain pressure spikes frequently; pray against this and pray the brain damage is not permanent

--pray for Marie to have wisdom in knowing how to handle logistics and the big change this means to her family and work.



Thank the Lord for the emphasis in the Word on miracles, we are sure praying and expecting one for our dear Matt.
Thank you for your support. I’ll keep you posted as the week progresses.



“Nothing on Earth of in Hell can withstand the power of the keys of the Kingdom, which you have access to at any time.”



[A little background is that he fell asleep at the wheel, around 3:30 am on his way to work. He hit a guardrail which jolted him awake and he overcompensated and turned the steering wheel so that he ended up on the other side of the freeway, landing in a gully after somersaulting through the air. It was outside someone’s house who came running and spoke to Matt briefly before he fell unconscious. This person called 911 and immediately help came so that by 4:15 he was in the operating theatre.]

May the Lord bless you all as you continue to pray for Matt ><>

Br. Bear
 
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Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ the Lord,

I have just had news about Matt.

Thank you everyone who has prayed for Matt.... I pray this update is encouraging for you all, in Jesus name...amen

Bless you ....><>

Br. Bear

...........................................................................................................><>


Dear Ones,

Here are the latest two updates on Matt for your encouragement at how prayer is working! Amazing! Thank you so much for praying!

(today)Matt stood up with help today and took a few steps with assistance.

We have a team going there in the evenings now to give him more stimulation. He still can't talk although sometimes he'll mouth something...but tonight some friends tried to play cards with him. He could shuffle and even deal but then he would just be confused as he wouldn't know what to do next.
His friend said that tommorrow the girls would be coming to see him and he smiled! Ha!

The therapist asked him how many brothers and sisters he had and he made the Chinese figure for 9. So anyway, it is amazing how the brain is healing.

Anyway, just wanted to keep you updated. It is truly miraculous how every 24 hours, he is so noticeably better. What an answer to many, many prayers for this dear young man.


(yesterday)This is an update from this morning! What a miracle the Lord is doing.

He still has no front or side "skull" to protect his brain so has to have what the call a "sitter" with him literally every minute. If the sitter has to go to hte bathroom, someone else comes in to sit by his side.

Matt is moving his right arm well now, opening both eyes (although the left one is weak) and he is mouthing words - even saying a few that she could understand!

Yesterday his mom was showing him pictures of his sisters. He doesn't recognize everyone but he did a couple of them. She showed him Chris's picture (his brother) and asked who it is and he mouthed, "Chris".

He can answer a few questions that the therapist asked him by mouthing the words. Yesterday she was showing him photos on the computer and he tried to type! He also tries to write with a pen! He wrote the words, "Do you..." but the rest was unrecognizable. Then he wrote, "I lived...?" .again it was questionable what he was trying to write.

At one point he seemed to be motioning for a drink and then said "orange juice". They put on these special boots on his legs to help circulation and he reached down and pulled off the Velcro and took them off by himself! Ha!

This is a real miracle and all the prayers are definitely working.

They have told her that the bacterial infection is under control (there was a mistake and it wasn't "staph" but rather bacterial) so we should be able to go in and see him soon. We still will need to put on surgical gowns and gloves and no one would be able to go who has a cold or sore throat, etc as he is pretty fragile himself.

Love you!
 
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Joining hands to pray for matt.

Dear Lord Jesus we uphold matt ,Touch and heal thy son by the power of

Resurrection.Bring him back form coma.In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I Pray.Amen.
 
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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus the Lord,

News just came in about Matt and how he is doing now,

Bless you and thank you for your prayers,

Br. Bear


This is in two posts, this being part 1

Update and Answer to Prayer for Matthew – November 2008





God bless each of you with His joy and the peace of His presence in your life each day. I wanted to write on behalf of my son Matthew and myself, to thank you for your labors of love in prayer for his healing. Some of you I know personally and many more I have never had the pleasure of meeting, but to all of you, I sincerely thank you for your prayers. You prayed for Matthew’s healing, for strength for me during this time so that I could be a strength and help to my son, you prayed for supply of all that we would need and for our comfort and peace and I want to let you know how wonderfully the Lord has answered.



It has now been three months since Mat’s accident and we are so thrilled to tell you that he is nearly 100% recovered. Except for some remaining adjustments needed in his eyesight, more building of his pre-accident physical strength, and the need to out on a little weight, he is ready and able to resume his life. On a follow-up visit to the hospital, the charge nurse said his recovery is really a miracle. Usually people with his degree of injury do not survive or if they survive, they are often in a near vegetative state. We cannot help but marvel at what the Lord has done. We are so grateful for His healing touch and for how lovingly and sacrificially you prayed for Mat.



Heartfelt thanks also to those who kept the prayer requests going out along with updates of Mat’s progress and specific needs. I stayed with him almost constantly during the five weeks he was in the hospital except for taking time to sleep and eat. This and not having any direct internet access made me so thankful for everyone who stepped in to keep you posted. I know updates went out regularly, but with this healing testimony I wanted to recap some of the miracles both small and big that the Lord has done in answer to your prayers.



As you know, on the 18th of August at about 3:00 A.M., Mat had a terrible car accident. He’d been quite ill for several weeks with what he thought was a bad cold and sore throat. It seems in actuality, he may have had pneumonia at the time. He was on his way to work, taking an extra early shift for a co-worker who was on vacation. It appears he must have fallen asleep at the wheel. He was driving on the highway when his car hit the guard rail, spun across the road and then rolled several times off the highway, landing in someone’s yard. Because this person had heard the accident, he called 911 and police, ambulances, three fire engines and paramedics were on the scene quickly. Mat’s car was totaled and it took the firefighters an hour and a half to get him out of the vehicle.



He was rushed to a nearby Catholic hospital and immediately went into surgery where they removed a portion of his skull on the right side of his head. This was in order to clear the bleeding and relieve the pressure of his swelling brain. In the same surgery they then replaced the portion of skull that had been removed. After the initial surgery, a CT scan was done to check whether the bleeding was stopped. The scan revealed that there was further bleeding on the left side of his brain and he was rushed back into surgery for a second time where doctors then removed a portion of the left side of his skull and this time they left the piece of skull out, closing only the skin. This piece of his skull remained off for the next month giving ample time for all swelling to diminish.



The impact of the accident fractured Mat’s skull from ear to ear over the top of his head. Initially he was in a coma and remained so for about a week and a half during which time he was attached to a variety of tubes monitoring all his vital signs, a respirator as he was not breathing on his own, as well as catheters. The surgeon had also inserted a bolt into his head from which another tube was connected where they could monitor his brain pressure. His head and eyes were terribly swollen. He was also not moving any of the lower part of his body.



After having lived with us in a far eastern mission field for more than six years, Mat had moved and been living on the west coast of the US for the past year and a half, the last eight months of which were on his own, working and preparing to study. I received a phone call at three o’clock in the morning letting me know of the accident. I had to wait about six hours for the travel agents to open to begin trying to book a ticket. Martin, my husband called to ask for a flight and headed to the office. Everything was booked, but right then and there before his and the agent’s eyes, a cancellation popped up and I was scheduled to leave later that day. Getting a flight at this time was a miracle in itself. In the meantime my sister and two of my daughters living in three different parts of the US headed to Mat knowing they could reach him before I could. Several friends living nearby reached him before anyone else. Arriving in the ICU they almost walked past Mat because initially he was basically unrecognizable.



Getting the initial call and heading halfway across the world to reach Mat, I really didn’t know if he would still be alive. I prayed desperately and put him in the Lord’s hands entirely. I poured out my heart to the Lord and even at a point to Mat, it was if I felt Mat could hear me, and I told both the Lord and Mat, that I trusted the decision they would make together regarding Mat’s future, whether he would live or die and if he lived, what the rest of his life might be like. I guess not much except the Lord’s unfailing grace; can really prepare you for this kind of news or the sight of your child in such a state. I want to tell you another result of your prayers; it is how through all these past months, as his mother, I have felt enveloped with the Lord’s love and peace. It has been remarkable.



Soon after arriving, the head doctor of the trauma team took me and my oldest daughter aside to give us the medical over view of Mat’s condition. He had suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and they said that due to his age and the speed at which they were able to get him into surgery, they were ‘cautiously optimistic’ about his recovery options, but nothing more. They also told me we wouldn’t really know the extent of the damage or recovery for about six months to a year, perhaps longer. They were also concerned that he might have a fracture at the base of his neck but wouldn’t be able to check on this until he was off the respirator and breathing on his own. At that point I was jet-lagged, exhausted and pretty overwhelmed with the situation, even experiencing culture shock at being in the US after having lived abroad for so many years. Everything was totally unfamiliar. Besides Mat’s condition there was a plethora of questions, papers and forms to fill out. I don’t think I retained much of what I was told at that point. Later a few other doctors told me that the only thing they could say for sure was that, he would never be totally the same again, though they admitted the ‘difference’ could be something small and insignificant or it could be a severe handicap. The brain is still largely unchartered territory in the medical field. One doctor actually said there is about 95 % that they don’t know.



It might sound strange to say this, but the fact that the doctors could not give any clear prognosis when it comes to a brain injury was actually encouraging. It helped me to keep Mat’s condition where it was most secure, which was in the Lord’s hands. It was obvious that no one but the Lord knew the situation with my son and so I felt a peace knowing he was truly in God’s hands. From pretty much this point on, I no longer asked the doctors about Mat’s condition. The Lord mercifully & miraculously kept my heart at peace and kept me looking to Him. For anyone who knows me, you will appreciate this miracle more. It’s because I do not see myself as a naturally trusting full of faith person when it comes to my kids. Over the years I have at times fretted and been fearful when faced with challenges of giving birth to and then raising nine of my eleven babies. Two of my children, the sixth and the eleventh, passed away shortly after birth. I confess that through the years I did not always face the multitude of tests that accompany parenting, with flying colors. Yet as I see it now, I am so very grateful for all I have learned and continue to learn through my children and for some of the deep ‘mines’ to which being a mother has taken me. I would not trade the ‘jewels’ discovered there for anything.



In answer to your prayers, each day we could see visible progress in Mat. First we rejoiced at how the swelling in his head was diminishing. By about day three we thrilled to see his eyelashes again through the dark purples slits of his eyes. The swelling was going down day by day. Within less than five days, we could actually see the shape and appearance of Mat’s face reappearing. After the first day or so, he was moving his arms and legs but mostly on the right side. His left side he moved very little. Then there were signs of what the doctors call ‘purposeful’ movement. When the nurses would make adjustments in any of the tubes near his head, he would grab their hands and push them away. And so it went day by day, an unfolding of the healing process and noticeable differences and progress. About five days into his hospital stay, he developed CDIF, a very serious hospital acquired bacterial infection which causes severe diarrhea and this caused him to have to be isolated and anyone coming near him to have to dress up in disposable sterilized gloves and robes. This too the Lord healed, along with the pneumonia and strep infection Mat had. Another obstacle the Lord overcame in answer to prayer was Mat beginning to breathe on his own in time to avoid his having to have a tracheotomy. Having a respirator inserted through the mouth presents greater risks of secondary infections and is also quite uncomfortable over a prolonged period of time. Mat’s tongue was very swollen from being crowded into the shared space of the respirator and the doctors were seriously considering the tracheotomy. However again the Lord came through and Mat began breathing on his own in time to avoid this other operation.



At about the tenth day, Mat was out of coma and on the eleventh day he was officially moved from the ICU to the trauma floor. On this day he also sat up on the side of his bed with a little assistance. For the rest of the five week hospital stay Mat remained here in this unit and seemed to always be surrounded by very caring doctors, nurses and nurses’ aids. Everyone who came in contact with him seemed to develop a sincere interest in and a liking for him. Once Mat was out of coma, he was fitted with a customized helmet to protect his head especially since a piece of his skull was missing on the left side making him vulnerable to further serious injury should he fall or hit his head. By this time he was moving all of his body though the right side was still weaker. His right eye was the first to open and then later the left eye opened but only partially. By day 14, Mat got up to walk though he needed assistance and was very wobbly.



Though Mat was out of the coma, he was still disoriented and was suffering from memory loss. It took some weeks before he knew where he was and at first it was only because we told him. He would forget from day to day where he was or even what had happened from one day to the next or even from one hour to the next. From the time he was out of coma, various therapists worked with him in physical and mental rehabilitation doing various exercises to jog his memory and make him move and coordinate all his body etc.



When he was first waking up, he would follow simple commands such as my asking him to squeeze my hand if he could see me or hear me etc. As the days passed he could do more and more. One particularly difficult time for me came after I walked into the room during one of his rehab sessions and the therapist told him to look up, that I was there. He wasn’t talking at this point but was trying to mouth words. He looked up at me and mouthed the question, “Have I met you before?” Needless to say my heart sank at that moment and it was one of those times I had to go and have a good cry and desperate prayer. It was interesting that what the Lord said to me was, “I have loved so many people who have never recognized me, what is that to thee?” It was a good and strong reminder that my role was simply to keep loving and caring for Mat, come what may, as at this point, the outcome of his recovery was still so unknown.



As days went by we could see his long term memory coming back. He began to recognize pictures of his family members and events of the more distant past. It was his short term memory that was most affected. Even now that he is almost fully recovered, he cannot remember many things from about a month prior to the accident, nor can he remember the accident or most of his time in the hospital. But most of this, thankfully, he doesn’t need to remember and perhaps it is even merciful of the Lord that he cannot. And yes, a few more days after the incident described above, Mat remembered who I was. It came about in a way the Lord had actually prepared me for; a way that I would know it was him. Mat took my hand one day and expressed something personal to me that I had previously known he would be concerned about. He was back.



On day eighteen they were able to remove Mat’s feeding tube an especially welcome victory for Mat. Actually all along he was trying to pull out the tubes and catheters and at times trying to get out of the bed, so much so that he had a ‘sitter’ assigned to him 24 hours a day to ensure that he didn’t succeed in any of his attempts. This is partially due to the disorientation that occurs after brain injuries. I was told that brain injured patients can become very agitated and to be prepared for Mat to say strange, mean and very ‘out of character’ type things. Again the Lord miraculously and gently kept this from happening. From the time of Mat being awake after the accident, he always seemed peaceful and the more awake he became, he remained always cheerful and upbeat despite strong pain at times. I think this further endeared Mat to the medical staff because he was always cooperative and easy to work with. Exactly three weeks from the day of the accident, Mat enjoyed his first real meal of ground meat and mashed potatoes. Hurray! What a joy to see him eat!



Continued next post.....
 
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Part 2.....


From the beginning I had been prepared by the doctors for a prolonged recovery. Brain injuries usually take from one to two years before the full degree of recovery can be ascertained. I was told he would be in the hospital until he reached a point that that type of close physical care was no longer needed at which time he would need a live in rehab situation and then from there he would likely be released to out patient rehab. It seemed we were looking at many months before he would be going home. It was startling to say the least when one day I was told he was about to be discharged home! Oh Lord, I thought, what now, I have no home here! Ha! Let me back track a little as this is another inspiring testimony of the Lord’s ever faithful and thoughtful care.



As I mentioned I came from the Far East to the US at the time of Mat’s accident. Mat had been living in an apartment on his own with a flat mate. When anticipating a very long recovery we gave up his apartment. We had no relatives here in this part of the U.S. and no one we knew close enough to the hospital for me to stay with and commute. My sister and daughters had rented a hotel but when they had to leave after the first five days or so, I needed a place to live. At this time the Lord did one of His many miracles of supply. A social worker at the hospital went to bat for me. She was like an angel during this time and approached the head of the order of nuns who initially founded the hospital and still work there. It turned out that they had apartments within the hospital grounds and agreed that I could stay in one rent free. I was told this was definitely not something they normally did. However realizing that I was a missionary in a far away country with no Stateside home, they gave this furnished apartment to me on a week by week basis and I ended up living there free of charge for the five weeks Mat was in the hospital, giving me constant and easy access to my son. This was just one of many tender touches from the Lord over the past three months.



However when after five weeks I was told Mat was being discharged home, I again needed a quick miracle. Where to now? In sharing this need with a close friend, she got a check to look online for apartments. It just so happened there was a small cottage being advertised. She called the owner and the owner sounded quite nice. I then called the owner, arranged to see the place and we immediately made the agreement. This part of the U.S. is very expensive and to find something fully furnished, down to the smallest details of linens, dishes, kitchen equipment and with a cozy, homey atmosphere, a garden and patio, even a barbeque, and with good access to public transportation was nothing short of a miracle. The owner lowered the rent a little and was happy to give it to me with no references, no deposits and on a month by month basis. It was the kind of place I had imagined would be nice to live in should I have to stay on, something cozy and with a garden, a real little home where Mat could rest and heal. It was really amazing and another of those frequent tender touches of the Lord during these months.



These regular and frequent ‘touches’ came in many forms and were delivered in many ways-too many to recount here, but they were so clear and definite. It was obvious that everything experienced in this situation had been so planned and ordered and thus, the overwhelming ‘feeling’ I had was that I was enveloped in a cushion off love and care. Of course I had my ‘down’ times when everything seemed to go dark for a period and I was sometimes hit with a heavy sense of isolation being cut off from my former situation, the people and the land I loved and had been living in, having no idea when I might return or what the future held. But each time the Lord would come through and lift me, comfort me and give me renewed strength.



From the onset, literally, day by day there would be visible progress in Mat’s abilities. At first he couldn’t talk, then one day he was trying to mouth words and we scrambled to try and figure out what he was saying. One day he wrote a note to the nurse but only two words of it were discernable. Then another day went by and we could read more words, then we began to hear sounds from his mouth. Learning to use his vocal chords again took effort, and he had to relearn and then practice how to swallow properly, but it was so miraculous at how rapid these efforts significantly improved his condition. Then day by day he began to talk more and his words grew clearer by the day. It seemed also that day by day his left eye would open a bit more. Now, at this point, there is no visible difference in the appearance of his eyes. In the accident, Mat’s only serious injury was the skull fracture. Though he also had some facial fractures, these weren’t visible. All in all there is no visible evidence of the accident except for the outstanding scars on each side of his head, but now that his hair is growing out these will only be seen at a few small points near his ear and on one place to the side of his forehead.



Once Mat was out of the hospital and attending rehab, the main challenges he faced was with his eyesight and speech. With his speech, it was mainly a matter of his being able to recall the words he needed to express his thoughts. He knew what he wanted to say but couldn’t easily find the words and thus he would stumble in his speech. However this has since improved greatly and for anyone who didn’t know Mat previously, they wouldn’t realize his vocabulary was more limited than normal as he expresses himself very well. Regarding his sight, though initially he could see from both eyes, they were not working together. He was seeing double. But this too has continued to improve daily and now is nearly back to normal. We just went for a follow up to the ophthalmologist and he was amazed at the degree of improvement that had taken place in the past four weeks.



On the 16th of September, four weeks after Mat’s accident he was scheduled for surgery again, this time to replace the piece of skull on the left side of his head. This was another testing time, just the thought of him being unconscious again and going back into more surgery. Of course the doctors had to warn me of the risks which was unnerving to consider. Though Mat was making such wonderful progress he still seemed to me so fragile and vulnerable. However once again, the Lord came through and after just one and a half hours he was out of surgery, awake in ICU and talking to us. Four days later, he was discharged ‘home’ to our little cottage where he has since been gaining strength and recovering more day by day.



There have been so many miracles along this journey. The Lord has taken care of us in such a wonderful way. I am so grateful to Him and to all of you who have supported us in prayer and in tender love and of course those who helped support us materially and financially.



Now three months later, Mat is ready to resume his life and to go on to whatever the Lord has next for him. I’ll be here a bit longer helping with this adjustment time and seeing some of my other children. Thank you for your prayers during this time and for your continued prayers for Mat’s recovery and for him to find the Lord’s plan and path for him so that he can go on to fulfill his destiny.



With love and thanksgiving,

Marie (Mother of Matthew)
 
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Now three months later, Mat is ready to resume his life and to go on to whatever the Lord has next for him. I’ll be here a bit longer helping with this adjustment time and seeing some of my other children. Thank you for your prayers during this time and for your continued prayers for Mat’s recovery and for him to find the Lord’s plan and path for him so that he can go on to fulfill his destiny.
Thank you for this update Br. Bear

Praise the Lord for this wonderful progress to date. Thank you Jesus

I continue in prayer Mat and his family.

Julia

I am the LORD that healeth thee...Ex 15:26

Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise Him in the heights....Ps 148:1



 
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wow! what a wonderful, magnificent God


Wonderful, Magnificent God

(Don Moen)

Chorus:

Wonderful, magnificent God
I'm humbled by the life You gave
Beautiful redeemer You are
Worthy of my highest praise....


Amen Lord. You're such a wonderful and magnificent God we serve. We thank you for our Brother's complete recovery. And we give you praise. In Jesus name. Amen


God bless you Bro. Bear!!!
 
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Hey Matt, you are blessed beyond measure brother,

Thank you Father God for your mercy, thank you for your love and care and compassion, thank you for comforting this family and thank you for your amazing grace toward Matt. I praise you Lord for your wonderful ways, You are worthy of all praise and honor and worship and glory, let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

Lotsa love beam
 

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