How do you do a ministry update if the most challenging thing you do is type? Answer: very carefully! The typing challenge is due to my recent eye surgery. Last week we sent out a private update to our email subscribers. The last blog post was just before the very unexpected surgery. And many good things have happened since then! So this post will address two things. First, a general update for everyone on the surgery. And second, getting everyone up to date on what has been happening (despite my inability to tell you about it!).
Ministry Update – The Surgery
You may know someone who has experienced a detached retina. I woke up one morning and my vision wasn’t quite normal. There was no way for me to know what had happened. But it wasn’t better the next morning. So I did a little self-administered test. I shut my left eye and moved my finger in font of my face. No problem. Then I repeated that process with my right eye being shut. That’s when I discovered a blind spot in the field of vision in my left eye.
A call to our eye doctor resulted in a very quick appointment. I think they had a good idea of the problem, but didn’t let me in on it. The official detachment diagnosis was made and I was sent immediately (Do not pass go!) to an urgent appointment with a retina specialist. About two hours later I was in that doctor’s office and the diagnosis was made again. I was then informed: We will do surgery first thing in the morning! Things like this tend to upset our calendars, appointments, and agendas! But blindness was the alternative and speed of treatment is a big key to success. So you go with it.
The procedure was a success and the follow-up visits have been positive. I am confident that is due to the prayers of many. But prayers need to continue and I’ll get to that. But the healing of the retina and fully restored vision takes a little time. And as noted above, one of the most challenging things I do right now is reading/typing. That isn’t possible with both eyes open. So you know how this post is being done! One-eyed study, writing, and typing tend to be slow and tedious. And that is why this is my first blog post since the surgery.
Ministry Update – All Things EquipUs
The Equipping Together effort has been very positive. The classes in the Barahona area have concluded and the responses have been incredibly positive. Our Samana group is now one week away from completing the course. They have also had very positive things to share about the class content as well as how it has been received by the class as a whole. And one thing I have done with great joy is ‘sit in’ on those classes via a Zoom link. We have been on-hand in every class to greet students, answer questions as needed, and encourage everyone involved.
Some of you saw our Facebook page (Keith Burnett Ministries) and the pictures of relief for pastors and their families. Some of that relief was due to the Covid situation and some of it was due to the recent hurricane. If memory serves correctly, one of those posts is on my personal page. And that points to an issue we have encountered with getting pictures and videos here where they are easier to see.
It seems that some social media platforms use new and/or different file formats. And almost all the pictures we have received from friends in the D.R. are in a format we cannot copy and paste into a blog post. I did discover they can be pasted into Facebook and that is why those pics and videos are on the Facebook pages. So that will let you know to check those pages as I slowly get back to posting things here.
Ministry Update – Belize
Most of you know things happen slowly in Belize – just because communication is challenging. Pastor Juan lives in a village that is off the power grid. We don’t usually plan our chats in terms of today or tomorrow. We think in terms of each week. There is generally one day each week when he is available and we can plan. With that reminder, we have reached the point where we should be able to announce the dates for our Belize class by next week. So please keep that effort in your prayers.
And speaking of prayers… Please pray for recovery. But as long as you are praying, let me add to the list. My current preaching work is something I promised to do several months ago (before Covid). I am working my way through the entire book of Revelation. Remember that comment about one-eyed study and reading? Well, my next thought is bigger than that!
For several years our pastors have been asking for us to do a course (or two) on Revelation. I have always resisted that as something too big to do in the limited time we have with them. That is being reconsidered. I don’t know the answer right now, but I do know that this study is having a huge impact on me and others. So don’t be surprised if some of that work shows up in blog posts. It’s worth sharing. And as long as I am wearing out one eye to do it, I may as well share it. Rewriting it for blog posts helps me refine the message and that will aid in putting a syllabus together – if that’s what we wind up doing.
I am always aware that this ministry is about what all of us can do together. And ‘Thank You’ is something I try to say as often as possible. It seems appropriate here as well. I’ll post as many updates from our current classes as file formats and vision will allow me to do. And just know I appreciate your prayers and support as we continue what the Lord has given us to do – even in the midst of Covid and eye surgery! Funny how His purposes transcend circumstances!
Soli Deo Gloria!
PS – I laughed when I downloaded the cover image. Even a ministry update needs a cover pic. Notice the writing over the patient’s eye. They really did that to me! As I recall, at least three different people visited me before surgery. Each asked which eye we were operating on. I was required to verbally respond to each of them. I think it was the surgeon who actually wrote on my forehead, over my left eye, that the left eye was the correct surgery site! So, I had an identification with this picture.