We're in Cochin

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July 4th 2009
Published: July 4th 2009
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Hi family, Ben here!
It's not yet 6am but I wanted to come down to the computer room to go through all the comments you have been leaving for us. They are so refreshing to read and I try to print them off every so often so we can pass them around and even show the Indian brothers and sisters. In case you don't know how it works with Travelblog, I have to accept each comment to get it online or else some mean/indecent/anti-Christian junk might get posted. The other day when we were going to visit Phil in the hospital, I didn't have time to accept any of the posts (obviously) but I could print them out. So Phil was super happy to get a stack of paper of nothing but encouraging words. But I've been able to go through them now and really appreciate everyone's heart to lift our spirits. We will definitely try to post some pictures before our trip is over so you all can see what we've seen but I apologize for not being a Time Magazine level photojournalist...I haven't even taken my camera out of my bag since Phil's incident.
Phil is doing much better but will need to keep taking his medicine to break up the clot and treat his deep vein thrombosis. He got to talk to Collin, Wendy, and Pat and express his love. We are looking into a small flight from Cochin to Chennai to make the traveling a lot easier on him. Our original schedule was a 13 hour train ride back to Chennai and our final day hanging out with disciples. But I think we'd just rather stay an extra day here with disciples and then catch a plane so Chennai is just a layover in the airport rather than a whole day of taxis and luggage. Before I got on here I looked up some flights and they are actually very inexpensive by US standards (under $100)
We met with Benny and Raji last night to go over our plans for the week. Phil will probably just stay in the hotel the whole time but since these are apartments with more space, we have arranged to have some meetings here so that Phil can still preach the word! Almost like Paul under house arrest but with A/C. Everything is on "play it by ear" status, though.
We didn't get to post that the same day of the stroke in Kottayam, Saji's brother in law passed away here in Cochin. He suffered from a heart condition for many years and was finally called home to God. He and his wife were pillars of the Cochin church and many people all over south India took the news pretty hard. So yesterday, tons of people were trying to get to Cochin for the funeral while also trying to arrange our travel plans. All of his family are still here, including Saji & Sheeba, so we are going to visit the family this morning just to offer our condolences and give a lot of hugs.
I think I wrote about the Indian doctor that helped us in the restaurant? Well it turns out that he was only staying there on vacation. He lives in Florida and did his training at Wayne State! That's in Detroit for all you non-Michiganders. We keep going over in our minds how awesome God's timing was. I had gotten on the elevator but held the doors for Mitch. Then we held the doors for Debbie but Mitch had to run back to get the key from Laurel. We held the doors some more for Mitch to get in and were 5 seconds away from going down 4 floors when we heard Laurel screaming. What if? What if it happened before breakfast when Phil was alone in the room? What if it happened after breakfast when Phil was going to stay behind while we all went out? On the train hours away from the nearest hospital? In his sleep? The more I think about it, I don't know whether to cry because he could have died, or cry because I am in a fearful awe of God. I just preached about fearing God a few days ago. Not that we should be "scared" of God but that fear is the natural result of seeing God more clearly. I think we all see God more clearly now.
Please continue to pray for Phil but also please pray for Saji's sister and the baby girl that lost her dad.
I love you all, Happy 4th of July, counting down the days to see my family,


4th July 2009

God Rock! Like Pop Rocks, but better!
I have nothing more to say. Only that God ia awesome! I have been following your progress ever since you left. Reading the past few days, I tear up over each entry. Overwhelmed with joy, releif, the workings of God, your hearts, the fact that I get to see my girl friend soon. I love you guys! Living proof that God is amazing, shine like stars! the dude.
4th July 2009

Ben, God's timing is perfect! God totally knows what he is doing! God is working in all of your hearts (folks on the mission team, brothers and sisters in the India churches, and the lost that surround). All of you will walk away from your India trip much closer to God, to each other, and the brothers and sisters in India. The challenges you are facing on your trip are 'REAL LIFE CHALLENGES' not just a hug, smile, or house visit. Continue to rely on God's strength (Psalms 46). Love, Christy
4th July 2009

HI G'pa
I miss you ! And I am glad feeling better. I wish you could come home. I thinking about you and praying for you all the time. I love you Bethany!
4th July 2009

Message for Phil
Just wanted to drop a note to say how much we are praying for Dad do get better. I know that no mater what, he will still be doing God's work...even if it is from his bed! Dad, you remind me of the energizer bunny. No mater what happens, you keep pressing forward. I am so proud of you and what you are still doing in the Kingdom. I hope and pray that the medicine will continue to do its job and help to bring you home sooner. Love ya, Charlie
4th July 2009

Phil's nehpew
Could you please pass on to Uncle Phil my best wishes. I read through your blogs and sounds like he is making great progress. Thank you Todd
6th July 2009

Trying Times
We never quite understand how God works and why things happen and when they happen - but - we can be rest assured that they happen for the good of those who love and serve the Lord. which hospital is phil at. I have family in Eranakulam North and also one of my friends wife is a doctor at Licy Hospital. Anxiously and prayerfully await news about Phil's recovery. He is G'pa or Chief to all our us in Michigan.

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