(From William Pratney, Winkie’s son) We just got back from Dale and David Garratt’s double 70th birthday celebration, and it was great. What a privilege! Winkie has made some progress since last week, as commented on by both his speech therapist and our herbalist friend Noel Maxwell. A lot more of his long-term memory has come back (I thought all, but just in talking with him tonight realized that he still has a ways to go), and he is making regular improvement on his use of pronouns. Winkie saw a lot of people he has known for 30 years or more at the party, and they seemed to be very happy to see him. We were so blessed to be able to witness the celebration. John Dawson (among others) shared a word or two, and Dad was able to connect with him. I made some new connections, and was able to catch up with others that I hadn’t seen for a while. Mom had a great time. She was looking good. People commented that Winkie was looking good, too.One thing that we don’t understand, is a nasty cough that Winkie has been fighting. It seems to be getting worse, so that is definitely an area for prayer. But we plan to take him to the doctor again this coming week, and hopefully can see it resolved soon. Normally we would just use herbs on something like this, but the ones that we use and have access to usually contain natural blood thinners, which we can’t give him. So I’m not sure what the best way is, to fight this. I suppose the doctor will probably prescribe some sort of antibiotic. It’s scary for me, some nights, waking up to the sound of a hacking cough. You never like to see the ones you love in pain or sick. And this thing sounds bad. But not to alarm anyone, I just thought I’d mention it as an area for prayer. We need wisdom in helping him with this.We saw some other ministry friends of ours over the last few days, some visiting, others we went to see. Julian Batchelor, a friend from days gone by came out and visited us. It was great to see him again. We also met up with Steve Goode, a tennis playing minister friend of ours who’s known Dad for over 30 years. Dad remarked (and it shows how much of his long-term memory has come back) on Steve’s ability to play tennis with either hand. I’ve played with Steve, and I didn’t remember that fact! So praise God! Winkie is definitely remembering people and associations – he’s even growing more proficiently conversational.
The Revival Bible is still a pertinent area of prayer right now. I know it weighs heavily on Winkie’s mind. He should be resting, but 2 nights ago I heard him get up, and we talked till about 3:30AM about issues surrounding it’s production. I can’t disclose much, but just to say that if you think to, please pray that God’s grace would be on and surrounding this project. It’s so close to completion, but there are a couple of building blocks that need to be inserted before the roof can go on (to use a building metaphor).
Speaking of building, I have been working hard to try to help organize the renovation of our downstairs batch (beach flat). We have people from His Way helping us on it, and a friend from Australia plans to come out and help us more on it in March. It will serve as a place for me to stay while I am here in New Zealand, as well as a place for special guests, ministers and friends to stay while I am gone. Mom and Dad are kicking me out from upstairs, as it’s a small, two-bedroom place, and my room is just next door to theirs.
Soon I must prepare for a trip to Adelaide, Australia, at the invitation of a dear friend of ours where I will be speaking a number of times. Please pray that God would help me to prepare for it in every way necessary. I really want to be personally ready, and be able to share those things that God wants to use to help these precious people. I haven’t preached since 2007, and apart from the loving persistence of Dennis Slape (www.life-church.com.au/about/leadership-team) most likely would not be until my return to the States (planned mid-August).
Please continue to pray for our partners in the ministry–Ministry of Helps–as they continue to help us from the States. Making Winkie’s printed, audio and video materials readily available is a huge task, and we need God’s wisdom for the right way to make that happen.
Thank you to all praying for your godly prayers of faith!
God bless you,