LABORING IN PAIN AND FATIGUE

Trevor Johnson

With attention turning to the virus and many people losing jobs, we are hoping there is no drop-off in giving. Last month I tried to enter Indonesia to talk to donors about sponsoring a Living Quarters (about 10k needed) for older students, but immigration jailed me for a day and night and then deported me from the airport upon arrival and my potential donors backed out. I am blacklisted for the crime of helping the sick while on a church visa, and so Indonesia is closed to me at present until I can appeal.


I am still trying to get that Living Quarters built now. Older students are entering high school and even ready for college now who once wore leaves and spoke no Indonesian. These children raised in treehouses now even send me messages on my phone!


Pray for my health. I have stopped improving and I am stuck in a constant state of severe chronic pain and fatigue. Maybe this will be as good as it will ever get again for me? Maybe I will have to endure daily severe pain the rest of my life? I suppose this is where I should write something spiritually inspirational. But any overly cheerful response would be a lie..this really stinks. I do know that God will restore all of our bodies at the resurrection. But I don't like being "that sick guy" and severe pain is a dark cloud that presses down heavily upon the soul. One blessing of this illness is that if I cannot return to the jungle I will more readily weep with those who weep and may do better ministering to the suffering or hospice patients in the future. My heart is now more tender towards the hurting. And so thank you Lord for that. The world is full of suffering people but they make us uncomfortable and we often subtly ignore them because it hurts too bad to really engage them and share in their pain. I am now more aware of this and vow never to do this again but to embrace it and suffer with others even if I am really still not very good at verbalizing comfort and it is often awkward. Jesus suffered for us; I certainly can bear this for Him and for the sake of the Korowai people (who don't have the same medical recourses that I have access to and so suffer and die unaided so many times). But like aging Caleb in the Old Testament, I still believe there is at least one more mountain to conquer and a few more giants to kill first. Please Lord, give me one more mountain.


I also have a very heavy area of grief as well. My two older children are having adjustment problems, maybe due to our frequent moves. I am bewildered by their struggles and feel like a failure. I hear it is common for missionary kids; but my once happy boy is now brooding and reclusive and engaging him emotionally drains my already depleted energy. My symptom of dry heaving uncontrollably and blacking out or nearly so has returned and sometimes doubles me over.


Why not return to the USA then? Medical care is cheaper and often superior here in Penang. Yes, believe it or not. Especially for tropical diseases. In 2004 when I got malaria for the first time and suffered a flare-up in Missouri they said I had Hepatitis and kept insisting that I must be an IV drug user. The mosquitoes were the only things injecting me, but I was the first case of malaria they'd seen in 14 years at that hospital and it took a South Indian doctor properly diagnose me. I am glad for at least one foreigner taking an American job in that instance! Also, we have also procured longterm residential visas here in Malaysia. That is HUGE! This is also an unreached country. We can live on 1/4th of what we could in the US and send the rest to Papua for projects. The medical care is good, I already speak bahasa and we have received many sick Indonesians into our homes here. We can still be useful, even despite the pain here. At the end of 2020 we want to return to Papua, but I'll be surveying several other options among the remote and poor as well in case Indonesia remains closed, to include PNG and East Timor.

Trevor Johnson

Central Missionary Clearinghouse

PO Box 219228

Houston TX 77218-9228

( at www.cmcmissions.org there is also a link to “Click and Give” for online giving). Make checks to “Central Missionary Clearinghouse” noting Trevor’s name

 

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