(From William Pratney, Winkie’s son) Four days ago (Monday) we had a memorial service for my mother’s mother’s passing. She died at age 90, and had been married to my grandfather for 70 years. At age 94, he is still alive and still lives in his own home. It was good seeing friends and relatives come out. It’s amazing what people remember us for when we’re gone. The service was an honest, happy remembrance of what this woman was like. Praise God she’s with Jesus now! Even the pastor of the church that hosted the service (Martin Steel, Harbourside, Takapuna – www.harboursidechurch.org) commented on how often he had been personally prayed for by Eileen Rees-Thomas. She often prayed, often encouraged, always loved. She will be remembered.About a month ago, now I was in Adelaide Australia, speaking at Christian Life Center (church), an Italian/English speaking church. I was able to input to their youth some and they gave me the English speaking Wednesday night, Friday night, and Sunday morning services. We also met specially on Saturday morning for a few hours and were able to do a type of round-table question/answer time. The subjects I spoke on during my time there included the armor of God, the Word of God, spiritual warfare, discipleship, and the Holy Ghost. On Sunday morning I used a modified version of a sermon my father gave me on 2 Kings 6:24-7:1-24. I was also able to do a little sight-seeing while I was down there, including looking around downtown. I was also able to pick up some new clothes. Less than a week after that, I headed out to Fiji, to meet up with Mom, Dad, and the Armishaws, some friends of ours that had planned the vacation many months ago, to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.
We were invited, along with many others to celebrate it. They had been doing well in business, and, out of their generosity basically covered our costs to go as a family. All we had to do was chip in for food and utilities at the shared vacation home a little. We also helped them to get a hot-stone massage – a real treat, I’m sure, for any that care to indulge in some of the luxuries this island has to offer.
We weren’t completely sure, up until near the time, whether or not Winkie would be able to go or not. But he found no disapproval from the doctors, and the flight was short enough (about 3hrs 30 min) to not be significantly detrimental to his health (anything over 5 hours is probably not a good idea at this time). But he took his meds and other than being a bit slow and having the continuing memory and pronoun recall difficulties he seemed to do fine. While we were there, we also recognized/celebrated Winkie and Fae’s wedding anniversary. They have been married for 42 years.
I am continuing to try to encourage my dad to rest, exercise and recover. His sleep (or lack thereof) pattern means he is usually up long before the birds care to sing, and his continuing cough often wakes me up before the the sun dares shine his face. Coupling that with night-owl tendencies and you have a mandatory late-morning or afternoon nap. It’s not easy on Mom and I (who like to sleep in), but my concern is really for him. Please pray that God would give him adequate sleep and rest. According to the doctors, it is one of the primary tools to aid in his recovery.
He and Mom play tennis on occasion (she told me her knee has been getting better), and he was able to play a number of times while in Fiji. I’m thankful for any exercise he can get.
Thanks again for your prayers. Right now, one of the problems we face as a family is simply support for the next few months as he recovers. I am looking at getting a part-time job, and yet still have in mind the bach renovations, clearing the garage (selling stuff), and my ultimate conclusions church history study. Thanks to the kind, thoughtful and generous donations that have come in for us, we have been sustained until now.
However, one of the major medical areas of financial concern at the moment is Winkie’s much needed dental work. He finally has a chance to take care of some things that in the past have largely only received temporary solutions, or not been integrated with any overall dental plan. His sessions will be spread out over the next few months, as he recovers from his stroke. We take him in for 2 CT scans today (1 for upper, 1 for lower jaw). Upon the results of those tests, he is supposed to have 3 teeth removed, titanium screws inserted in their places, and new, artificial replacements for all of them. Apparently, there is actually a whole lot more work that really should be done, but these three are like bare-minimum. This all goes back to last autumn in the States, when he accidentally knocked one of his front teeth out while playing table tennis with a Brazilian girl. Got to watch out for those Brazilian girls! ( :
But this is one area of financial concern for him at this time.
We are hoping to create a good system, whereby people will be able to obtain Winkie’s materials (many more than are currently readily available). Theoretically, a steady stream of income for his ministry could be provided in this way, and he would be more financially free stay at home, rather than worrying about going from meeting to meeting (much as he loves this), and thus paycheck to paycheck (as it were), traveling.
There are at least 5 books that he would like to see finished before he dies. These books are: Nature and Character of God Part 2, Nature and Character of God Part 3, Honest Questions (100 common questions Winkie has received over the course of his 40+ years in the ministry and his answers to those questions), Quantum Guidance, Fractal Prophets and Chaos Maths (1 book), and Youth Aflame 2.0 (a more modern, updated version of his best-selling book). There’s also a sci-fi book he’s been working on for over 15 years (The Coming of the Dreamer), but hasn’t wanted to release it (in times past) until 3-D movie technology is advanced enough to adequately portrait what he wants to do with it on film.
Tonight we go to the Garratt’s for dinner, on the North Shore. They’ve been such wonderful friends and helpers to us during this time. Comments were made at my grandmother’s memorial service on how they have been a real help to my grandfather (who is blind, lives at home alone and is basically unable to cook for himself now). Thanks Garratts! It was good, also to catch up with relatives at the memorial service. Some I had never met before. It’s interesting to see how much genes play a part in our interests and natural inclinations in life!
One more thing: Winkie said he would do the next blog update. So you’ll finally be hearing from the man himself.
Until next time,