What an eventful several days! We saw the Lord’s Hands in EVERY AREA of our lives through this very difficult surgery. God is love -no doubt about that in a fallen, sin-cursed world!

Surgery was a SUCCESS. My neck, shoulders, and arm feel great. I’m as good as new in those areas. How great is the LOVE of the Father that we should be called children of God!

Only thing now is to get physically better because the surgery was MUCH HARDER than the surgeon anticipated. It took almost twice as long as most of these surgeries because this was NOT a new injury but was embedded for a long time per the surgeon. SO…don’t wait to go to the doctor is one lesson I’ve learned.

I’m going to lay low for the next 2 weeks and rest and recuperate. I am still not out of the woods yet and really appreciate your prayers for me to continue as there are still several concerns. Please pray especially for my wife as she is really getting worn down by taking care of me. I can do very little on my own with limited neck mobility so it’s like taking care of a big baby (in more ways than one!). She is taking great care of me and loves me so much! As you can imagine, I am a load to take care of…very high maintenance and now that I’m hurting, I’m not the nicest person to be around (tad bit grumpy!).

Also, we’ve incurred some medical bills that were not anticipated because of the physical therapy BEFORE surgery, co-pays to specialists and hospitals, medicines, MRI co-pay, etc. Now that we have a lower income, these hits are a little harder for us but God provides. He always does.

I’m very glad I had surgery though the recovery is the most painful part! I’m in MUCH pain in my inner throat with all of the muscles that had to be moved around and re-adjusted to get to my neck. They make the incision in front and at the bottom of the throat. Then, they move your throat around inside. VERY painful indeed especially since they had to keep working on me for longer than expected. I feel it yet I know God is good. He loves me very much and I’m so grateful to be pain-free in my arms, back, chest, and neck (other than surgery)!

I knew that after surgery I would either open my eyes on earth where I am loved by you, my TIL family in the Spirit, and my blood family OR I would open my eyes in heaven where I am loved by my Heavenly Father. I’m glad He allowed me to continue to minister to hurting souls a little longer and to care for my family!

I evangelized everyone I could in the hospital and kept my eyes on Jesus as much as I could (hard to do when in pain and I did not succeed fully). I wanted people to know that God is good no matter what happens. I would either wake up in a good place (B’ham) or a great place (heaven).

-Mark (feeling better and very thankful to Christ and Dr. Faulkner and my wife and my family and my TIL family and all the brothers and sisters in Christ who prayed for me! this too shall pass)

P.S. Sadly, there is no way that I’ll be able to attend my own ordination service this Tuesday night at Vestavia Alliance Church. If you were planning to go, I thank you and apologize to you that I will be unable to be there.

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