An Uphill Bible Witness Camp

Our family had just returned from the 7th Bible Witness Camp that was held in Le Grandeur Palm Resort in Johor Bahru Malaysia.  The topic was 'Divine Conquest of a Defiant Heart', on the entire book of Jonah. 

This is not our 1st Bible Witness (BW) Camp, but it has got to be the most memorable one.

It is difficult to remain silent, not giving thanks for the possibility of attending this BW camp. 

2 days before the camp, I brought AJ to the stadium. We jogged a short distance & did monkey bars. Then he saw the markings on the floor & asked me what they were for. They were markings of distance for standing broad jump & I thought, what a golden opportunity to teach the boy the technique of doing it (the athlete blood is still very much in me)! 

And so I did. I demonstrated thrice & he finally mastered it.  Little did i realise, i might have strained my brittle joints.

Some 10 months ago, i had continuous attacks of joint swelling on my feet, knees, fingers, wrists, elbows & hips. At times they were so severe that they had not only affected my mobility, without pain killer I could not even sleep. (You can read more about it here)

A series of uric acid & blood tests confirmed that I do not have Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis & Lupus.  It puzzled everyone & the Rheumatologist whom I have seen could only conclude that this autoimmune disease might be Reactive Arthritis. This could be caused by a severe gastrointestinal viral attack that I had more than a year ago & this attack had caused my immune system to go haywire. The body now recognises all sorts of strains to be foreign bodies & would start attacking them.        

Thankfully, it is likely a passing phase, according to the Rheumatologist, & that the body should be able to heal by itself.

For the last 1-2 months, i had no such attack.  Maybe because of that, I got a little too optimistic about my recovery (or like what my Pastor said in the BW camp, like Jonah, I was quietly impatient), so my attempt of demonstrating to my boy had hurt my left foot.     
That Monday night, my left foot swelled with unbearable pain. I popped 3 pain killer pills consecutively yet the pain did not subside. I could not sleep the whole night because of the pain.

The pain & swell did not subside on Tuesday either. I began to doubt the possibility of attending the BW camp on Wednesday.

Wednesday morning came, my right foot started to experience slight pain & swell.  Not a good sign. I hurt my left foot, then I had to use my right foot to move myself around (including hopping at times). Now I strained my right foot as well. Nonetheless, there was no choice but to go ahead with the camp.

2 Cor 12:7-10 (KJV)
        ... ... there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, ... ... For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

The Lord is good & has always been. Throughout the bus journey, I was able to sit on the coach while clearing the customs both to & fro.  In the resort, I was given a wheelchair to ease my mobility (& to let AJ had some fun pushing me around).

Because of this infirmity, I had the opportunity to talk to new comers whom I might not have spoken to if I was well.  Many also shared with me the various infirmities that they had.  Because of this 'common ground', we got to connect to each other better. We could pray for each other more effectively.

Truly, the Lord did not just speak to me through the messages preached by Pastor during the camp, but also the testimonies of some people who shared with me their infirmities.  I am also grateful for the BW team who had laboured late into the nights to prepare the materials & to co-ordinate the logistic matters to make this camp possible.

I had a fruitful camp & AJ had enjoyed it too. Praise be to the Lord!


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