Pray for Peter

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18

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Donation Support Update

There are 15 days left for the fundraiser on Tilt.com, and we wanted to update you that the Lord has blessed us with a total of about $20,000 that people have donated so far (from Tilt and otherwise). We are so grateful to those of you who have contributed, and are encouraged by the quick response we’ve received to the needs we mentioned in our post a few weeks ago. As mentioned above, there’s still time left on the Tilt site if you are considering giving to help us reach our goal of $50,000 (for more information on how to give and what the funds will be used towards, please see this post).

For the family,

Caleb

A Good Friday Update

A Good Friday update for Peter’s prayer warriors: A number of people have contacted us recently to ask how Peter is doing and to encourage us to send out another update. Life stays pretty full juggling the pastorate, Peter’s home health care and other responsibilities, but we still want to testify to God’s faithfulness, as we anticipate celebrating this Sunday that He is risen indeed:

Peter’s recovery has slowed markedly, but he has days when he is super alert, watches us closely and responds to therapy we attempt with them. His left hand remains trembly and imprecise, but continues to be his chief means of communication. If you hold an apple or banana before him, and ask him to take the apple, he will usually reach out and accomplish this, even though it may take him a while. We have tried moving from objects like these to letters and words, but still his responses to those kinds of requests are pretty sketchy. He is also very free to smile and hug friends who lean down to talk with him–he always seems to appreciate that.

For those of you who pray for us, we are asking the Lord to move us to a new home, which includes some sort of “mother-in-law” quarters. Our plan would be to rent out the extra room to a couple of college guys, bartering “rent” in exchange for a number of hours of Peter’s care load. The last few months have been quite taxing to Doug, as he assumes the heavy part of Peter’s care when others are not present in our home. So he works as a pastor all day most days, and then comes home at 5, when our caregivers usually get off, leaving Doug the lion’s share of care from 5 pm-10 pm, when the night nurse arrives. It can make for draining days.

All this to say, that when we are drained, the Lord is very punctual in sending us encouragement, often in the form of someone letting us know of their prayers, and often in the form of someone offering to stay with Pete so we can go out, and often in the form of eternal perspective we get through the Word of God.

Peter’s life dramatically differs than what we expected for our son, but we know his ultimate desire when he could speak was to be useful to the Lord. We do believe, though for the Lord’s sake, Peter has been killed all the day long, and his young life regarded as a sheep to be slaughtered, (Romans 8:36ff) that the Lord makes his life an offering of useful service to Himself. Peter’s journey with brain injury requires just as much or more emotional work as physical work, and daily we fight for joy. And we do it with these Romans 8 truths of the crucifixion and the Resurrection.

“Days of darkness still come o’er me, “Sorrow’s path I often tread, “But the Savior still is with me, “By His hand I’m safely led.” Trusting in the Wondrous Story, Selah Helms

03.11.13 – UPDATE

To Peter’s Prayer Team:

Some of you have been asking for an update on Peter. It has taken a while to get one out as Doug and I were really behind on things when we returned home from Cincinnati, so thanks for your patience.

Peter is doing very well without the trach, though the doctors told us not to get rid of our trach supplies for two months, just to make sure that he can manage long term without it. We will return to Cincinnati at the beginning of May so that the doctor can scope his repair to check the status of its healing.

He does seem more comfortable without the trach. He sleeps better at night, and he seems much more relaxed in general. It makes me sad to think how uncomfortable he was for so long with that thing in the wrong position.

Also, the intensity level of his daily care has lightened significantly. It is less taxing to care for him without having to suction him every few minutes. Even though someone still has to be with him, the house is more peaceful.

Some have asked whether this means that Peter can now be admitted to formal rehab. The answer is a little complicated. The barrier that the trach presented to his getting rehabilitation is now removed, and we are so grateful. But in order for Peter to receive the most benefit from a program of rehabilitation, he would need to be able to improve daily on repeated skills. Because he is still so inconsistent on his daily responses, rehab would not profit him as much until he can build daily on learning new skills. We continue to hope that Peter will come to the point of readiness on his level of consciousness to receive inpatient rehab treatment.

In the meantime, we are receiving in-home speech therapy–building on the limited oral skills he has right now, like receiving small bites of pudding-consistency food and swallowing–as well as in-home physical therapy and some occupational therapy. More on this later.

When we cross paths with those of you near and far who ask about Peter, you cannot imagine how greatly you encourage our hearts to persevere. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us.

Selah

10.01.12 – UPDATE

It has been a long time since we have written an update on Peter, but we continue to be thankful to you who remind us you still pray for Peter and for us. Here are some of the current issues he and our family face:

He has an appointment with the specialist in Cincinnati (we have referred to him in previous posts). If Peter is approved for treatment, we will go to the Children’s Hospital there in mid-January to have his airway scoped and hopefully repaired with the eventual goal of taking out the trach. It’s all a waiting game til this appointment.

His left arm continues to “come back to life.” He will give his dad a goodnight hug (Doug spends the hour from 9-10 pm every night with Pete, praying with him, encouraging him and interacting with him). He can grab a swinging ball, give you a fist bump, rub Winston’s head and sometimes wave goodbye.

While these are all still minimal responses, any degree of feedback he gives us makes it easier for us to feel connected with him when we care for him. He still has many days where mentally we can see he is far away from us. Those days are still hard, even though we know to expect them.

Andrew, Peter’s oldest brother, is getting married just before Thanksgiving. This has kept our family in a bustle of activity over the past several months, but Peter has seemed grateful to be adding AmyRose into the family. She’s a cheerful gal, and he always perks up when she enters the room. For those of you who may not know, AmyRose joined our church and became friends with Beth and Peter when she came to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to earn her masters in music. Andrew met her when he flew down to help with Peter immediately following his accident.

Currently, the Lord has covered Peter’s physical needs abundantly with several caring and competent helpers, and we are very grateful. It has enabled us to prepare for the wedding without too much stress and to attend to several other things in our lives that have been neglected for many months. Thank you to the many who continue to devote their time and prayers toward Peter’s care.

Finally, Selah has completed the book on our journey with Peter, tentatively giving it the title Peter’s Sermon. It is in process of being edited, and she hopes to begin talking to publishers after the first of the year. We will let everyone know how it progresses, for those who are interested in a copy.

Please join us in prayer for these things.
Selah

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