Steve and Marie Goode had to leave this morning to return home to Bangkok, and we had tearful goodbyes as they hugged us all and left to continue to do what God has called them to do.
I said to Marie, ” You were here when she needed you the most; and when we needed you the most. You have fulfilled your assignment; now go in peace.”
The old English word ‘godsend’ now has several new layers of meaning for me, each time I think of Steve and Marie; and of all the others who have stepped up in this situation, in so many ways and from near and far. These past weeks Cynthia’s room has been one of the most wonder-full and awe-full (original sense of the word) places on earth: full of joy and laughter, at any sign she hears and recognizes who is there; praise, as we sing with her; prayer, as different ones pray as they are led; deep fellowship, as friends who haven’t seen each other in many years meet again; new meetings, as people hook up (“How did you meet Cynthia?”), especially with her dear sister Alice; tears and intense pain, as we see her ravaged by this dread disease; and above all else, love. The terrible and sometimes incomprehensible love of God . . . it remains love, but incredibly more intense and fiercely jealous than we can imagine. I have so often prayed Ephesians 3.14-21 for our UofN students and staff, and for myself above all; but I never imagined that this is one of the ways my prayers would be answered.
Overnight there had been a deterioration in Cynthia’s condition and we arrived early this morning to find that the nurses had provided her with some oxygen being directed into her mouth from a small tube. This was to help her with her breathing which had become much more laboured. Her time here is short . . . .
Thank you for all your prayers,
Tom, with help from Elaine Leakey, for Philip, Amy and Alice