Thank you so much for your prayers on behalf of my wife, Jeanie. We are grateful for the many expressions of love that have been a source of strength and encouragement.
Let me bring you up to date. After a wonderful ten-day trip to Jerusalem and Cairo in April, we returned home in good spirits and in good health. However, the next day Jeanie came down with a severe intestinal infection which eventuated in dehydration. Within forty-eight hours, her body was very weak. At midnight one night, she woke up and told me that she felt like she was having a heart attack.
Fortunately, she was quickly taken by ambulance to the hospital where emergency room physicians determined that she had not suffered a heart attack or a stroke. Through a series of tests, they discovered two issues. The precipitating cause of the heart incident was an electrolyte imbalance that resulted from the dehydration. The second matter is more complex. She has a mass in the pulmonary artery between the heart and the lung. This will require additional testing and surgery.
I am glad to report now that Jeanie is gradually regaining her strength as her equilibrium is being re-established. The episodes with the stress on the heart and the shortness of breath have ceased.
With respect to the matter of a mass in the pulmonary artery between her heart and the lung: the CT scan confirmed that there is a benign tumor in the artery. The scan also confirmed that it is fixed to the wall of the artery. The good news is that it is stationery and cannot move into the heart or the lung. The concern is that it is a mass that, if left untended, could grow and eventually cause an obstruction to the heart.
We will be meeting with a thoracic surgeon for further analysis and testing and then determine the course of action for the treatment and removal of this mass. We would appreciate your continued prayers for Jeanie’s safety and health.
I have cancelled travel for the next few weeks so that I can be available to care for Jeanie and to be available for medical consultations. I am grateful to God for colleagues who are sharing the load.
Let me just share one additional prayer request with you. One month from now (8-13 June) our Lausanne international leadership will convene in Buenos Aires. The participants include the Lausanne international leadership community, the senior leadership for the Third Lausanne Congress in Cape Town in 2010, and a group of church leaders from across Latin America who we have asked to provide wisdom in the Congress planning from the Latin American perspective. I ask for your prayers that God’s hand of blessing will be evident upon all that is done there for the advance of the Gospel, for the strengthening of the church, and for the glory of God.
Thank you, once again, for your friendship and for your prayers. May God continue to wonderfully bless you.
S Douglas (Doug) Birdsall, Honorary Chairman of The Lausanne Movement, served as Executive Chairman from 2004 to 2013. He led the Movement through a process of global revitalization, culminating in the convening of Cape Town 2010: The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization. He is a graduate of Wheaton College, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Harvard University, and the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, UK.