Greetings once again from the UK. I’m afraid in the providence of God I have once more been reminded of my mortality and the frailty of the flesh: despite all my best efforts, being crammed into a tiny space against the bulkhead in an ancient “Super-80” in the back of the plane for three hours with the fellow next to you whose elbow is embedded in your ribs coughing consistently for three hours from Phoenix to Chicago, joined with the loss of an entire night’s sleep (i.e., jet-lag) was more than sufficient to give me one of the worst upper respiratory infections of my adult life. I was scheduled to speak yesterday (Saturday) on Jehovah’s Witnesses (twice), Mormonism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, and atheism, going from 10am till 8pm at night. I woke up in great distress, and the coughing through the night resulted in my abdominal muscles producing simply excruciating pain with every cough. I made it through the morning sessions, covered Mormonism pretty well, and did a brief presentation on Rome. I stopped only when I was completely convinced that within two minutes my eyes would roll back in my head and I would pass out in front of everyone. I made it till about 3:45 in the afternoon, and as badly as I feel about all the work my fine brothers and sisters here in the UK put into arranging the day of special studies, I can honestly say I put out the maximum effort I possibly could: there was simply nothing left.
I was to preach at the Edmonton Baptist Chapel this morning, but simply could not. We are having to re-arrange the schedule for my trip to Scotland as well, sadly, as I can tell from how I feel that trying to travel there tomorrow early in the AM, followed by preaching that night, would push me backwards. I will be resting instead, and we will head to Scotland on Tuesday.
I feel simply horrible about becoming so ill and becoming such a burden upon my hosts here, but as they have reminded me many times, we are in the hands of God, and He has his purposes. One thing is for certain: I will have to come back to “make up” for what I’ve missed, that is for sure. My hosts have simply been angels, and though it is never “fun” to be sick at any time, let alone when away from home, and especially in a foreign country, they have made me as comfortable as anyone possibly could, and for that I am truly thankful.