After what seemed a long couple of days, since leaving the Osorio’s house in Mexico City at 8 pm on Monday evening, I finally got home here about 9.30 am this morning. I’m so grateful that I was able to be upgraded on both legs of the flight, Mexico – Toronto (4 1/2 hours), and Toronto – London (7 hours), I actually slept again on a plane, so maybe the 30 year history of not being able to sleep on planes is – just that – history! It was great, too, as I already mentioned, that I was able to keep my legs horizontal after all the wonderful skill and treatment of Dr Jois Osorio: he told me to rest them as much as possible at 6 pm Monday, a wee bit impossible when you’ve got big airports to get through. The lovely thing is, today, is that, having had a long journey home, I can actually WALK, which normally, for a couple of days after a trip, I can’t.
Aside from the delight of the upgrade, the other side of long haul flying, with connections, afflicted me once more, in that only one of my bags made it back to London! So, hoping it’s not lost for good, I’m waiting to hear from Air Canada as soon as possible!
There’s probably some of you thinking, ‘Why does someone who prays for healing need medical treatment?’. Hmm.. I’m not exempt from illness, pain, whatever: and, truth is, I’m hopeless at praying for myself. Sunday night, the pastors of the church in Ecatapec, Benny, and Danny Ortiz, all prayed for me: I know that had an effect. And I also know that God IS healing these knees of mine, as the Orthopaedic physiotherapist specialist in Belfast, said I shouldn’t even be able to stand on them. Left leg, no cartilage at all, ruptured ACL, meniscus scuppered… right leg, cartilage in pieces floating around at the back of my knee in pieces, and lovely roughed up bones to grate against each other! So, why be in pain while you’re waiting for God to move? – especially when there are spirit filled doctors who can assist with your needs, and make life somewhat easier in the waiting time?
If some of you are wondering why my knees are so bad, a quick explanation. 9 years ago, in Cali, Colombia, I was crossing a 6 lane road, at a red traffic light. I was half way across as a tax, doing about 70 mph (110 kph) clearly WASN’T going to stop, so I ran, and as I shot my right leg out in front of me, something ‘popped’, and I collapsed in a heap on the pavement (sidewalk for Americans!), zipped my mouth up so I didn’t scream, and then, typical male, thought I didn’t need treatment, I’d walk it off…. huh! As it got worse, 3 years ago, in Romania, with a bunch of friends, I turned a corner, my body and feet turned, but my left knee didn’t. People 20 feet away heard ripping and tearing, and once more, I zipped up my mouth so as not to scream in public!
End product? Both legs ‘diagnosed’ with osteoarthritis: the surgeon wants to replace both knees with titanium ones, but I don’t feel it’s my time yet, to become Lee Majors (was that his name?), the Six Million Dollar man!So the fact that for 9 years I’ve kept going, even with pretty high pain levels, fortunately I do have a high pain threshold, but after a long trip/flights, they do immobilise me for a couple of days. But not today…!
I’ve said this many times, too: would I exchange the pain of two crocked knees for not seeing God do what he’s just done in Mexico, and a few weeks ago, in Colombia, and in 2 weeks’ time in Australia? Not on your life!!! My desire is to keep on going and going and going until I drop…. if it happens to be somewhere foreign, and I kick the bucket, take me out into the Pacific, if it’s Colombia or Mexico, in a small boat, and push me over the side! Save a lot of expense!
So, what a marvellous, marvellous trip it was! Paty, Daniel Ortiz’s wife, put this on Facebook today: “Thanks for opening your heart! We thank God for your life, You are a tremendous blessing! We love you Paul!” There are so many invitations to go back, which blows me away: I’m still insecure enough, even after 30 years, not to expect that! I’ll never forget hearing Gerald Coates say: ‘My name is Gerald Coates. I’ve preached everywhere – once!’, and on another occasion, ‘My name is Gerald Coates. I’m told that in your preaching ‘life’, you preach everywhere twice, once on the way up, and once on the way down. It’s good to be back!’
So Mexico is looking food for a starter to 2014: perhaps the whole of February. If I’m there for a month, I might even get to preach at some of Benny’s other ‘network’ churches, in Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Acapulco! I’d only go for the ministry, you understand, I’m sure…. 🙂
Thank you for your prayers these past 2 weeks: they have been answered a myriad times, I’m such a fortunate bloke to be the one who gets to ‘go’, which is why I love, so much, taking other people with me.
Danny and Benny, God willing, will be in Colombia in November….
And now, to do what the doctor ordered properly, and rest these many-times-jabbed knees over the last few days: and hey, there’s a cricket test match on, England – Australia, what a lovely coincidence!!