蔡柏林、蔡何長樂代禱信2020年8月

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蔡柏林、蔡何長樂代禱信2020年8月

親愛的禱告夥伴:

        前一次的禱告信是2020年2月,在這段時間裡發生了很多事情。2020年1月24日長樂經過了脊椎手術(TLIF),她的三節腰骨L4,L5,S1打了六個釘子,手術預訂4-5個小時,但是6小時我已經焦急萬分。後來醫生才出來告訴我手術一切順利,她在斯坦福醫院住了六天,感謝神病房裡讓我晚上陪在她身邊,她的恢復非常緩慢,而且她必須平躺著。六天後轉入嚴重復健中心,在那裡又住了兩星期,每天至少三小時的復健運動,學習起床,扶著輪椅走路,不能彎腰,提重物和轉腰。感謝神開刀前的疼痛已經減少很多,但是兩腿無力,走路不穩,容易摔跤。一月也是Covid-19疫情在美國開始爆發,出院後就無法繼續復健,雖然有幾次護士來看,7個月後還是無法恢復正常,但願再半年能完全好。

        Covid-19影響了全世界,加州的疫情特別嚴重。雖然大家都注意戴口罩,常洗手並注意隔離,許多公司都改變上班方式,讓員工在家裡上班,又許多停業,沒人知道何時可以開放。神是否要我們緩慢下來,多依靠祂呢?我們也像多數人在家裡修理房子,種種花草,更種了絲瓜、西紅柿、四季豆等等。

        三月時,吉爾吉斯還沒有新冠肺炎確診案例,政府已經封鎖邊界,人民不能越過家居15公里範圍,所有學校都關了,只有必須的商店才可以營業,我們的幼兒園也必須暫停。沒有工作,許多同工經濟困難,我們決定照常發薪水,讓他們無後顧之憂,他們也因此特別感恩。大部分人生活窮困,必須工作才有飯吃,逼得政府開放,但是很快新冠疫情爆炸性的擴展,每天感染從一百多到五百多,醫院設備落後,無法容納病人,控制疫情。我們的城市起先沒有病例,但是後來許多朋友都傳染到,Kip and Ivy宣教士一家、Timurlan and Irina牧師師母、基金會的Elena和女兒Nastya及女婿Xenia等,大學校長John Clark更病得非常嚴重,飛到土耳其醫治。我們的同工Kanat和親戚也感染到。我們的幼兒園家長老師都要求我們開課,經過政府的許可,服從清潔的規範,我們戰戰兢兢的開課了,求神保守他們不要被感染到。我們的家也開放,讓一些宣教士用來Zoom教課和禱告,感謝神房子不是空在那裡,被好好的利用。他們也用來做慈善的捐助營地,分發食物給窮人。

        去年十一月我們和美國東岸三家夫婦(兩家在波斯頓,一家在新澤西)和一對吉爾吉斯夫婦一起在吉國首都比什凱克買下一塊地,準備興建一間幼兒園和培訓中心。我們時常在網上開會,策劃辦理申請建築許可文件,原定今年四月可以開工,沒想到疫情的影響,到現在才拿到許可文件,還有許多困難要度過,包括選擇工程團隊,監督工人,鄰居的不合作等等。鄰居要我們改圖,從三層改成兩層,不讓我們接水電、天然氣、下水道。要開始動工時,天氣已經要下雪了。看起來要到明年九月才能正式開學。我們安靜等候神的時間,不要緊張,不要照自己的意思,相信祂所預備的是最好的,請為我們的身心靈禱告,有耐心繼續這個事工。

柏林、長樂上

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Dear Prayer Partners and Friends,

        Our last prayer letter was sent out at February of 2020. Since then many major things happened. Jan 24, 2020 Christa had a major spinal surgery. It is called Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Her spine at L4, L5 and S1 are fused together with two Titanium bars and 6 screws. The surgery was supposed to take 4 to 5 hours. But after 6 hours the doctor was still not out. I was very anxious and called in to find out the situation. After another hour the surgeon finally came out to let me know surgery was successful. It wasn’t until another two hours before I can see her in the recovery room. She stayed in Stanford hospital for 6 days. They allowed me to stay in the room with her overnight. Recovery was slow and she had to lie flat in bed. After Stanford hospital she was transferred to an Acute Rehab Center for another two weeks. In this center she had to do 3 hours of rehab every day from learning to get off from bed to the bathroom, walking with walker, no bending, no lifting and no twisting. Surgery did fix most of the pain in her back and leg. However, due to long time of not exercising her legs she needs to work hard to gain back her leg strength. As you all know January was when Covid19 pandemic started in the USA. Many nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists came to do home visits and then lock down period started. Without physical therapy her recovery was slow. Even as of now 7 months later she still has no leg strength and with balancing problem. Now she can walk on flat surface with a cane and mostly limited in the home. I am getting her to start driving for short distance to gain back her confidence. Hopefully in a year time she will be fully recovered.

        Covid19 affected everyone in the world. California lead the confirmed cases even though we all seem to be careful in wearing masks, washing hands and keeping distance. Most companies changed their ways of business. Some are letting workers work from home and some just close down the business. Nobody knows when the pandemic will be over. God must want us to slow down and come to depend on Him. As like most home owners we are working on home improvements and planting gardens. We planted tomatoes, luffa, beans, peas and many flowers.

        Initially Kyrgyzstan did not have confirmed cases until March. The government took it very seriously and locked down the borders. No one can travel 15 kms away from home. All the schools shut down and only necessary stores were allowed to operate. We had to close our kindergarten. For fear of the workers will face with hardship we still pay them salary and let them stay at home. They really appreciated our decision and we gained real loyalty. Due to majority of people are poor and they must work to earn a living the country started to open up after two months. Life is hard in Kyrgyzstan. New cases started to explode, from 100+ cases to 500+ cases per week. Hospitals are backward and have no way of controlling the pandemic. Tokmok people were not affected in the beginning. But we now know many friends contracted Covid19- Kip and Ivy family, Pastor Timurlan and Irina, Nastya (Elena’s daughter) and Xenia from Mercy Foundation. John Clark (President of IUCA) got so sick that he has to be flown to Turkey for emergency treatment. Our coworker Kanat and his relatives also got sick. Many church members are also sick. Our kindergarten was requested to open by teachers and parents. Government inspectors came to inspect and approved for us to open. With trepidation we opened the kindergarten and now have about half the capacity. We followed all the safety precaution guidelines to maintain the school. Please pray for God’s mercy and protection to our school. Our home was used by some missionaries to conduct some classes for college students and hold regular prayer meetings using Zoom. Praise the Lord that the house was not idle and fully used for good purpose. They were also doing some charitable work by bringing food to the poor and needy.

        Last November while I was there, we were able to purchase a piece of land in Bishkek planning to open another kindergarten and training center. This is with three other families from US (two couples from Boston, one couple from New Jersey) and a family in Kyrgyzstan. We conducted regular Zoom meetings to discuss the plan. It was to get the building permit in April 2020 and start construction for the rest of 2020. With the government shut down the plan was delayed. We hope to get the permit by middle of September but there are still many hurdles we are facing, such as selecting the builder, hiring a trusted manager, overcoming neighbor’s objection. He does not like our plan of building three story structure and wants us to redo our drawing. That will limit our usable space. He also threatens us by not allowing us to connect to his utility connections such as water, sewage, natural gas and electricity. When we are ready to build the cold weather will set in. This will delay the project of school opening to around Sept 2021. We will wait on the Lord and not to be anxious to push our will. Praise the Lord for everything He has entrusted in us. Please pray for our health and patience to continue the endeavor.

In Him,                        
John and Christa

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