Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Basketball and Blood Clots

When I was in seminary, I had several classes with a guy named Steve Brown. Steve was one of the many guys that I would see almost everyday, but just never really interacted with--probably due to laziness on my part, but definitely not due to a lack of coolness on his. Steve's a sharp guy. Witty and hilarious. Loves his family. And definitely loves Jesus.

When we arrived here in Hungary on Friday night, I immediately recognized him. We talked and caught up and I soon discovered that he is ministering and church planting in the Czech Republic. Steve and his wife, April, have 3 kids (soon to have four through a Czech adoption) and have been serving Christ among the Czech people for about 4 years now. Steve shared a little bit of his story yesterday.

A year ago, he blew out his knee playing basketball. They immediately left town to seek better treatment. During surgery, a blood clot developed and moved to his lung. The doctors were not hopeful. In fact, they put Steve on blood thinners to ease their conscience and told him to prepare his will. Before going to bed that night, Steve and April had the most difficult conversation of their marriage--about organ doaning, arrangements for their family, and all the rest. He told me it was one of the toughest nights he had ever had, not knowing if he would wake up the next morning. But he did. And he and April were convinced that God was not through with him.

Upon leaving for the hospital, he told his Czech people that he would return on such-and-such a date to continue ministering. About 6 months later, after three excruciating surgeries and weeks of rehabilitation, Steve and April returned to their city and to their people on the very day that they said they would, attesting to the amazing mercy and kindness of their all-powerful God. Steve and April haven't looked back. Almost a year since the accident, they are more resolved than ever to continue the work God has for them in the Czech Republic as they truly give of their lives in service to Christ and for the sake of the Gospel.