To our Friends, Family and Supporters,

I want to get his update out today with news of our latest happenings. We have survived the outer ring of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Ian fairly well. It came north, slowly but surely up the West Coast, headed for Tampa area. But later it changed course and after inflicting tremendous damage at the landfall point and so on, it headed inland, straight toward Sanford. By that time it was lighter, but still there was howling winds and heavy rain. Sanford got 14 inches. We were told what to do in possible tornedo warnings.

Clean-up efforts on the grounds after hurricane Ian

Sanford/Lake Mary area lost some trees, even big trees, and those blocked some streets. The Homes, where we live had no power loss. However, some areas of Sanford are still without power and that includes some local friends. Our church we attend also lost power, so church meetings on October 2 were canceled. Traffic signals at several main intersections went out and became 4-way stops for a while. Some of our mission staff homes are flooded still.

Corinne is still in the Health Care & Rehab of Sanford. During the hurricane, we were encouraged to stay put here for 2 or 3 days. But I was not going over there anyway because the Rehab center was packed with people on cots in every corner of the building. They were putting up 90 people who were “refugees” from Tampa, residents of similar rehab centers down there. Their transfer was planned when Ian was headed directly for Tampa. They unknowingly moved up here into the new route that the storm was going to take. Our nurse said it was organized chaos for 3 days. Anyhow, I stayed out of their way, ate supper here and talked with Corinne by phone.

She is doing Okay – with good meals and personal care in every way, even with the crowd there. One of the nurses, knowing that I would not be coming to see Corinne, kindly called and assured me that Corinne was is doing fine. That care has been good now for 13 weeks. However, the actual therapy that was needed for her legs was not started right away. She was brought over there from the hospital on July 8th. Her therapy was interrupted and slowed down at the wrong time for us to expect progress on her rehab. She developed a fever with a bladder infection and so was bedridden for a week or so, and then the sweep of positive Covid cases soon found the Rehab, and she got it, even though she has been vaccinated all 3 times. And I may have brought it back here from Corinne to the Homes as it spread through Seminole County. Anyhow, I could not visit her for over 2 weeks because I also tested positive.

When I did resume my daily visits with her I saw that she had regressed and needed special help to strengthen her weakened legs. For her memory and speech, she did get help from the appropriate therapists. But she was not gaining the strength to walk more than a few feet. Insurance would only cover 40 minutes a day, and eventually, it was possible for them to use that whole period.

I was not allowed to assist her, so I asked to be given training as they worked with her so that I could help her do more walking. I would be doing that full-time at home if she were to qualify for coming back to the Homes. Then insurance ran out and they had to stop therapy, which means that I still don’t even have permission to help her out of bed and to the bathroom. I will appeal again to train me as they require and let me help her out of bed and to the bathroom, etc. They still only get up to wash up and sit in the wheelchair most of the day.

We had to cancel dental appointments for her and me because of the storm, so now we are on the waiting list for an opening. It will serve also as a trial run to see how she manages moving about after 13 weeks in bed. I am eager to see how we would go aiding her and helping her improve in rising, standing, walking with a walker, getting in and out of the car, etc. She can return to our room in the Latham Center only if she can walk well and manage personal care and hygiene.

The Lord continues to prepare both Corinne and me with a willingness regarding any of the options available to her. One is, to return here to our room in the Homes now and see how she gets on. We would have therapists come thrice weekly to give good therapy, but she would be in my full-time care; or just remain in Rehab until she can meet the conditions stated above to come home to our room in the Homes; or be transported from here to her unconditionally promised Eternal Home. Sometime it may be possible for both of us to leave the Homes and live with Daughter Judy and Jim Burdett.

Charges for keeping her there in the Rehab center would be beyond our budget. However, we are told that she was accepted into Medicaid. So, that makes it feasible and the Rehab center staff will let us know how much copay we will need to pay. I am beginning the process of consolidating and “right-sizing” our stuff for living in 1 of our 2 rooms. We decided we had better do that in order to save money for hospital and rehab bills. And I think she could manage better in one room. We need prayer for direction.

The song really describes it all when it says, “…For who am I that I should choose my way? The Lord shall choose for me; ‘Tis better far I know. So let Him bid me go or stay.” I also had to postpone my appointment last week to hear the results of the CT-scan they took of my chest last week to focus on the apparent nodule on the bottom of the left lobe. Please pray as I see both my pulmonologist and my oncologist on October 10th. I will learn what the next step is for us.

Please continue to pray for my Hamtai co-translator, Jim, who lives in Lae City on the PNG north coast. His local church in that area, in which he was the main leader, disciplined him beyond fairness, in my opinion. Other leaders in their fellowship of churches have removed him from ministry, which includes teaching as well as working with us on translation. However, they have, for over a year now, not allowed him to attend any meetings in that church or anywhere else, even though he has repented of his acts of adultery and has made it right with those he involved.

I do hope that they will meet with him in their Elders’ Workshop meetings in 2 weeks and see where he stands now with the Lord and his fellow believers. Fellow missionary Bill, will be at that 4-day workshop and will no doubt have advice and encouragement for them all. Jim needs to regain his integrity in public Bible teaching, but I think he could prove his repentance and faithfulness in action, in the translation ministry if he were allowed to do so. I Pray that they will follow Paul’s instruction to “forgive such a man” and that they will see the need to resume Bible translation work in his and their language.

Rejoice with us! Bill told us that the group called “Faith Comes by Hearing” offered to do a recording of the entire Hamtai New Testament, a team was formed and they got it done, it seemed, in record time. I don’t know how it was funded. Pray that it can be distributed well among the Hamtai churches. I don’t know what they have in mind for doing that. I’m enjoying listening to it and trying to discern who the various good readers are. I should recognize some of their voices. Oh, to be there and watch some folk who have difficulty reading as they listen happily to God’s Word from a device like the God Pod, for example! I hope someone is looking into making such devices available. Maybe they will make it possible to hear it on their mobile phones.

Many of you hear from our daughter, Judy and Jim, and know that they are in PNG for a couple of months to pack up and finalize their long years of ministry in the Dom. Please pray for them and for the Dom local churches as Jim tells them, “I commend you to God and to the word of His grace,” as Paul told the Ephesian elders.

Please excuse the length of this letter, proof-read once.  More frequent updates from now on. Be sure and check our website for pictures.

Staying close to the Shepherd,

Tom and Corinne Palmer