Our long delayed Greetings in the Lord,
This has been a tough year and a half for Corinne and me. I am the chief scribe and am finding it difficult in hard times to keep up letter writing and get the translation project moving again. Putting up with the virus, or whatever it is, has made life interesting for us, just as it has for most earth dwellers. Corinne and I escaped the Covid until a month ago, when we tested positive and were quarantined for 2 weeks with only just light cases.

As for our health in general, it has been let’s say manageable. But I believe this latest episode will have some long-term effects on my dear wife. After suffering the slight TIA attack, mentioned on our July Progress, she spent 10 days in the hospital, where physical, occupational and speech therapists checked and helped her while she was being treated for a UTI. By the way, I just received today the hospital bill. Total Co-pay comes to $1,575.00.

It was decided that she qualifies for intense rehab to improve her speech and memory, and to strengthen those weak legs. So, they helped me arrange for her to stay as an in-patient at Healthcare & Rehab of Sanford. Our insurance is covering the time there for the first 20 days, and that free time period ends this very day. From now on the cost of days 21-100 will be $150 per day. We ask you all to pray with us that rehabilitation will be successful and we can bring her home soon. She will be allowed to return to the Homes ALF only when she can walk properly with a walker. This location is closer, only 1½ miles from here, whereas the hospital was 3½ miles. This will be a little easier on my recent $66 gas fill-up.

At this stage, there are no symptoms of the TIA, except for her speech and memory. Her speech has improved to where she can respond well in a simple conversation. As for memory, she is in and out of confusion. For example, she asked me today where I had slept. She said, “We need to talk and decide where we are going to live.” I explained that I am where we always were and she is in rehab for now until she works hard in therapy, and then we can take her back home. Anyhow, I find it hard to watch her dementia increase. It was increasing slowly before, but the current episode brought on a scary acceleration.

As for her long-term memory, I was encouraged yesterday when I pulled out our old packet of Navigators memory verses to review them with her to see how much she could recall; remember those, the Wheel, The Gospel, Promised Blessings, etc.? We don’t review them very often, but yesterday when I would give the reference and start with the first word she quoted, as well as I could, all 18 verses in that set.

Well, anyhow, we praise the Lord that therapy is available. We would like to see it speed up, though, as I’m sure she could handle it okay. She is not doing too badly for a missionary veteran in her nineties. Yes, by the way, this year she turned 93. Do any of you want to pleasantly surprise her with a greeting on email, that I can read to her? It is tom_palmer@ntm.org.

You can gather from this letter what things to pray for. Health-wise, she has plenty of therapy to do, and I also need prayer as I “stay by the stuff” at home and visit her daily and encourage her. We do thank the Lord for His care, and we are thankful for even the problems we have faced because they draw us closer to God, and we experience His faithfulness, letting trials do their “perfect work,” as James exhorts us.

My left knee, still running on the original equipment, is painful, and my right knee, operating on the replaced version, is bothered by Restless Leg Syndrome. I may ask a specialist for a different medicine to control it better. My latent asthma is still held in check. Even though I had a colonoscopy last year, and no sign of cancer was found, they want to do another one this year. A CT scan I had done yesterday revealed what they called a small nodule on the bottom of one lung. They will watch this, for sure, and keep it from growing.

As for Corinne, last Tuesday the 13th marked one year since she fell and broke her hip. She has needed constant therapy and perhaps has not received enough. To complicate things further, during this May she developed a sore on the shin of her right leg that would not heal. We had it cut off and it was declared cancerous and took several more weeks to heal. Much of her time was spent with her legs elevated, and my time, cleaning and dressing it twice a day – momentum lost.

For some friends who have asked about our income, our ministry and retirement plans, here is a summary.  Our average monthly income is between $2,800 and $3,000, including Social Security benefits. One half of it covers the monthly charges of our two rooms and meals here in The Homes for Ethnos360. And we have the rest to live on.

But we have been blessed some months with special, unexpected gifts above the regular, from folk whose hearts were moved by God to help us in time of need, even in our retirement. They mean so much to us! Those who do that and also pray for us, are with us as part of God’s team to reach and encourage the local churches in the Hamtai area, and, Lord enabling, give them more of the Scriptures in their own language.

We are occupying 2 rooms offered to us by the Homes. The second room provides office space for doing our work. We said we would keep using them both as long as the Lord provides enough to cover the second room, at $530. A few of our supporters being in the same age bracket as we are, have gone on to their Reward. Others are not able to continue for the same reason. So we are asking the Lord for another $500 monthly support. If He does not supply, then we know it is His will that we minimize our belongings again and consolidate into one room.

As for our ministry, we are in official retirement status, but we are only semi-retired. I still want to keep in touch with the Hamtai churches in PNG, and provide for them part of the Old Testament and some Bible lessons in their own language. Our progress in the Hamtai Old Testament has slowed down for now. My priority is to help get my wife healthy again, assisting her in her struggles to live with impaired hearing and vision both.

She keeps apologizing for being a burden and not a help in ministry. I give her two replies. First, she has looked after me faithfully physically for 66 years now, so, in a way, I’m taking my turn now. Secondly, what would I be, where would I be without her steady help and encouragement by my side, and she has raised 4 children who love and serve our God!

Also, Jim Jora, our Hamtai brother who has been helping me check and edit the rough copy of Old Testament portions is inactive right now. He has committed adultery and the Hamtai church leaders have disciplined him. He has confessed and received God’s merciful forgiveness and is making it right all around. However, the leaders have relieved him of translation and teaching until he proves himself faithful and able to resume having a spiritual ministry among the churches. Meanwhile, I have plenty of editing and checking to do in the raw material Malcolm wrote out some years ago. I may need to get the material back to Malcolm for the final checking and editing.

Corinne sends her love and wanted me to express thanks to you for praying for her. I will visit her again now and read this letter to her before I mail it.

Wishing you our Lord’s blessings,
Tom and Corinne Palmer
Home: 88 Mission Blvd; Sanford, FL 32771