Sunday, May 20 was Graduate Recognition Sunday at Tucson Baptist Temple. It is always great to acknowledge the hard work and successful completion of each TBT member. I would like to take this opportunity to recap Sunday morning’s graduates. We had five “groups” that we recognized:
1. Although Timothy Ford did not go to school for over three years, we felt it important to acknowledge Tim’s passing of his GED. In spite of struggling and even having to retake part of the GED, he never quit! Pastor Woody was always encouraging him to not give-up. I appreciate Timothy’s faithful attendance and participation here at TBT.
2. Jonathan Armstrong graduated from Pusch Ridge Christian Academy and is planning to attend West Coast Baptist College. Carissa Frisinger graduated from Santa Rita HS and will attend the U of A in the fall. Shelby Jones graduated from her homeschool studies and will attend West Coast Baptist College in August. Alex McCarthy graduated from her homeschool studies and her future plans are incomplete at this time.
3. Flora Flores (mother and grandmother) graduated with an Associates Degree from Pima Community College in Early Childhood and General Studies. Paige Spalding (unable to attend) received her Associates Degree in Baking and Pastry (still has not baked anything for her pastor) with a 4.0 from the Art Institute of Tucson.
4. Brian Beitel (son of bus director, Kelly Beitel) graduated from NAU with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Christina Knagge (single mom) graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from NAU. Emily Morrison (mother and expecting) graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Liberty University. April Stephens (wife and mother) graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies (Accounting and Business) from Liberty University Online. Lindsey Syers graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from NAU.
5. Dennis Dwyer graduated with a Master of Divinity from Phoenix Seminary. You can read my earlier post on the graduation ceremony for Dennis.
Congrats to all for their hard work and successful accomplishment. The high school grads received a Bible and each college graduate received a gift certificate. I’ve written to each one of them to “Do Right in this next chapter of their life!”
One of the potential dangers of traveling to Uganda was contracting malaria. All of our team knew this prior to going and we took precautions to avoid getting sick – mosquito nets, medicine, deet spray, etc. On the very last night that our team was in Uganda, Jonathan decided to sleep outside on the screened porch with a couple of the other team members. He was even advised to sleep with a mosquito net but he decided not to heed the advice of his older brother.
Thus, shortly after departure, Jonathan began to have the shakes, body aches, and a fever. He was given a pretty strong pill to help with his fever and body aches and all assumed that he was just tired and worn out since he had struggled with his asthma. Fast forward a couple days and Jonathan could hardly move as he ached all over and had a fever of 103.2.
Off we went to UMC (hospital) to have him checked out. UMC was no help at all. Jonathan was the first patient for the doctor we were given who had ever had the symptoms of malaria and it took UMC five hours and fifteen minutes to determine that “you are a good family, just keep what you are doing and let Jonathan take the medicine you brought back with you from Uganda. Besides, we don’t even have any malaria medicine here at the hospital.“
I just can’t wait to see the bill that we will receive that told us that we were a good family and to keep doing what we were doing.
However, we were able to correspond numerous times with a malaria expert! One of our own missionaries saw that Jonathan and Dave had malaria and contacted us from… Burkina Faso in West Africa. He has had malaria over 30 times and all of his family have had it at one time or another. He was able to confirm Jonathan’s malaria and a treatment for him. Our hat is off to Keith Shumaker, missionary to Burkina Faso! Thank you for all of your advice and input and help with Jonathan.
Although Jonathan tires easily, he is now back on the upswing. He has been very miserable over the past ten days or so. He has, however, continued to be involved and even played his trumpet on Easter Sunday.
I also would like to take a moment and thank all of the students at West Coast Baptist College who had a special prayer meeting to pray for Jonathan. You guys are awesome!