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What Can We Become Through It?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
May 9, 2024 3:30 am

What Can We Become Through It?

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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May 9, 2024 3:30 am

From a major milestone to "the secret of triumph" to precision pastoring, we cover quite a bit of ground in this Hope for the Caregiver episode.

www.hopeforthecaregiver.com

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Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver here on American Family Radio.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. More than 65 million Americans right now are struggling with this challenge of caring for somebody with a chronic impairment. Are you one of them? If so, you're in the right place. If not, give it time. Because if you love somebody, you're most likely going to be a caregiver.

If you live long enough, you're going to need one. How do you help a caregiver? Well, that's what this program is all about. I'm glad you asked. We're going to talk about that today with all kinds of things we're going to get into. If you want to know more information about what we do, hopeforthecaregiver.com. Also, follow us along on all of our social media platforms. We've got the YouTube channel. We've got our Facebook group, Hope for the Caregiver Facebook fan page, Hope for the Caregiver. The group is a private group. You have to request permission to join it.

I moderated all the goings on in there so that it doesn't go off the rail, but it's where we can dig into a little bit more substantive things. People can ask questions if you want to follow on X. It's Hope for the number four caregiver, just Peter Rosenberger and LinkedIn.

What do us? We got Instagram, Hope for the Caregiver. We got it all out there. So if you'll go out to hopeforthecaregiver.com, you'll see how you can access all of those things. And I hope you'll take advantage of them. And of course, the podcast that we offer, Hope for the Caregiver.

And you can see all that again at the website. This program airs on American Family Radio. And then I will air this program and other things on the podcast where we can unpack like long form interviews and things such as that. And I am thrilled to say this week we hit kind of a big milestone, at least a big milestone for me. We have now surpassed 250,000 downloads of the podcast. And for me, that's a big deal. I mean, I know it's not Joe Rogan or anything, but for me, that's a big deal. I'm really quite moved. And we have listeners in over 100 countries who download this program.

And I'm overwhelmed and very grateful. I remember pitching this program for the first time to a radio station and they looked at me like, what, what are you talking about? This isn't going to, we don't see this as being viable.

We don't see this as doing anything. And I've had people refer to this program and the content, what we do here as a niche market. It's kind of weird when you think of a subject that is affecting one fifth of the United States population as a niche market.

And that quite frankly underscores why I do the program because most people don't even consider the caregiver. They don't think about this until they're in the throes of it. And then there's a period of freak out and people trying to somehow get out in front of this thing. And it's a, it's an arduous task.

And if you try to do this alone, you will fail. I mean, it's just, there's no other way around it. So this program is designed to go into that niche market of 65 million Americans and an audience worldwide and point my fellow caregivers to safety. Offer my lifetime of experience as a lifeline to fellow caregivers. So thank you, thank you, thank you. And thank you, especially to American Family Radio because unlike the first radio station that I talked to, they didn't balk. They saw that this had value. They saw that this met their parameters of the audience they want to reach and be able to communicate the gospel to a group of people who were needing it. I remember doing the first interview in American Family Association magazine and it just kind of blossomed from there. So I want to take a moment here also to thank Jim Stanley for taking a chance on me at American Family Radio and all the people that have been involved, Jonathan Coker and just so many others and my esteemed producer, Pat Montague, who is just a wonderful help in making all this possible.

So onward and upward. What do you say we take it to 500,000 downloads and let's grow this audience more. Let's tell people about this radio program and let them know because I didn't have this.

Okay. This didn't exist for caregivers until I started doing it. I was the first to my knowledge that had a radio program like this. And quite frankly, I think I'm still the only one that addresses the heart of caregivers more than the caregiving task. If you'll notice, we don't share a lot of tips on this program. We don't try to tell you how to do this or negotiate with insurance companies or things such as that because it's not really critical to the caregiver's journey. The first thing that's critical is making sure that caregiver steps back from the cliff.

Once that happens and our heads get a little clearer, then we can start figuring out all the logistics and there are plenty of resources out there to help with that. And I'm glad to share some of those things here. But what I'm more interested in is how are you doing? How are you holding up? Are you gripped by fear and despair and guilt and resentment?

Or are you able to be more at peace with yourself, your loved one, friends and family, with God? And that's the goal for me on this program. So I am most grateful and I would appreciate you sharing this with others. You know, I had my guest that was on last week, Cindy Brinker-Simmons, she was emailing me over the weekend and she was speaking at a conference in, I don't know, I think Virginia or West Virginia, I'm not totally sure. And she said, you know, she said, and mentioned that she'd just been on my program. And somebody came up to her and said, oh, I listen to that program every week on American Family Radio.

And I was really quite moved by that. And so I thank you all for allowing me to spend some time with you, for trusting me with your pain and with your challenges, your stress and your heartache, because all of that's part of being a caregiver. But I remain convinced that hope for the caregiver is the conviction that we as caregivers can live a calmer, healthier, and a more joyful life while serving as a caregiver.

And I'm going to add one more to that. You know, I've said that for years from the get-go, but we can be more productive. Our productivity is not a casualty of caregiving. It may require a little bit of extra creativity. We may have to think through it and come at the problem a little different than most, but that doesn't prohibit us from living a productive life. And that's what this program is all about. If I can do it, you can do it. Okay?

If I can do it, you can do it. I go back to scripture, which says, you know, God knows where we are. Look at Jeremiah 29. Don't go to Jeremiah 29, 11 first. Go up the first couple of chapters for that. And he knew where those people were.

He'd sent them into exile in Babylon. He said, you're going to stay put. I know where you are and I know what's going to happen with you.

But meantime, you've got to be productive. Well, God knows where you are. He knows you're a caregiver. He knows I'm a caregiver and we're not absolved from being productive and being good stewards and being industrious and creative and thriving in this based on what he provides.

He gives us the resources to do this. And if any man lacks wisdom, let him ask. And so that's what we as caregivers do. We don't know sometimes. We get confused. We get bewildered. We get overwhelmed.

I get that. And that's what this program is all about, is to help you back away from that just a bit. Collect your thoughts, catch your breath, and then let's look at this for what it is. You may not be able to achieve all that you want to achieve, but that doesn't mean you can't achieve.

And that doesn't mean that you're limited, but because of someone else's chronic impairment. All that does is foster resentment when you start thinking that way. What can we become through this? What can we become through this? Okay.

Don't ever forget, Paul wrote the letter to the Philippians while in jail. Okay. What can we become through this?

And that is what drives me for all of this. And so I thank you for helping us reach 250,000 downloads and let's press on. There are more caregivers that I want to speak to, that I want to reach. Let's do it together.

Okay. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope For The Caregiver. Hopeforthecaregiver.com.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope For The Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Do you know the secret of triumph?

Do you know the secret of triumph? This is from my Substack page. If you go out to caregiver.substack.com, you can subscribe to that. You can do a free subscription. You can do a paid subscription. There's all kinds of stuff out there if you want to do that. I put a whole library out there of articles, some podcasts, some recordings, all kinds of things, and it's all in fluent caregiver.

And if you want to take a look at that, you go out there. But this is something I posted. It's also from my book, A Minute For Caregivers, When Every Day Feels Like Monday. Every Monday I post one.

And the secret of triumph is what this is called. A car accident. Some of you've heard me tell this story. A car accident many years ago left a former coworker with significant bone loss in her leg that led to a terrible walking gait. And she did this for 25 years.

Okay. This was a long time ago. The car wreck, I think it was probably 50 years ago because this has been a long time. However, one day, I mean, and she did, she had a very, very pronounced limp because she had just this, I think it was two and a half, three inches of bone loss. So it was a very pronounced limp. And one day she came to the office and she looked like a different person.

She was standing straight and walking with no limp because she had an orthotic shoe with a lift. Everybody was just stunned. What had happened to her?

I mean, it was a dramatic change. This went on for several weeks. And until about, I don't know, about three weeks later, she limped back in the office, back to the way she was walking before. And I asked her, I said, what happened? And she responded, it was too painful to change. The muscles and tendons and everything adapted to her injuries and her limp. And to retrain her body proved intensely uncomfortable.

And she just reverted back to the familiar. And I've seen a portion of this with Gracie in this last surgery. Her back now has the proper curvature. She was bent over almost 45 degrees. And when they straighten her back up, well, all the muscles and tendons in her hips and everything else that have accommodated this and have contracted and adapted to the way she had to walk because her back was so messed up, are now screaming at her.

And it's been very painful for her to have to kind of retrain her body. She was bent over significantly for 15 years. And she started leaning forward when they had a back surgery on her back in 2002.

And that's the way they did it. They kind of pitched her forward a little bit. And from that moment on, it just incrementally, she kept going further and further over until she was bent over at 45 degrees. It was very painful for her neck and everything. I mean, everything was painful, but now that she's fixed, now we've got to stretch her back out.

And it is a lot of work. And I feel great compassion for this woman who went through this. It was very difficult for her to make that adjustment.

And I really am getting a better picture of how difficult that was for her as I observe what's going on with Gracie. Change is very difficult when we've grown accustomed to certain things. And her story mirrors so many of ours, maybe not the same way orthopedically, but sometimes we're crippled by things that even with adaptive help, retraining our hearts and our souls is so painful that we give up. I mean, building back relationships, learning how to function after years of abuse and trauma, emotional trauma, and so forth, and toxic relationships, there are so many different scenarios where people are horrifically injured. And there is great effort and adaptive measures taken to help them stand up straighter and to be able to deal with this. But it's incredibly, incredibly painful.

And the change is possible, but it requires us to dig deep. Supportive friends, families, and trained professionals are critical, particularly during those early stages where we got to cheer people on. So if you see somebody who is going through this and they're making some changes, maybe they just came out of a very abusive marriage. Maybe they have had to come to grips with being abused as a child, or maybe they have been in a relationship with somebody who was an alcoholic or an addict or whatever.

They don't know how to quote unquote be normal. And it's important that we cheer them on as they do so, that we are there to help them dig deep and cheer them on, just like we want people to do for us. I remember the first day Gracie walked on two prosthetic legs. It was quite a day. We were in the hospital. It was about a week after her surgery, maybe a little longer. She'd been walking on her right leg for four years at that point. But this will be the first time since her car wreck that she had walked on two straight legs at the same height, because she lost bone mass in her legs, different on both sides. So she had a very pronounced limp herself. And when she gave up her legs, she walked down for the first time straight.

Now I will tell you this. She did ask her prosthetist to make her taller. She always felt like she was a little too short. So she has to be taller. And she asked for the best shoe size. She wanted to know which shoe size, foot size was the best to get the most sale items for shoes.

And so he accommodated that as well. So she doesn't have any trouble getting shoes. I buy all of her shoes, by the way. I know y'all may laugh at this, but I do. And I will go into a shoe store.

I did this in Nashville, DSW. I'd go out there and I would take one of her legs and I would walk in. I usually keep it in a sack or something in my jacket or something. And I would go down and out and I would look for shoes that I thought she might be interested in. And shopping is very hard for Gracie. It's just not something she does easily to get out and try things on.

And it's just very uncomfortable. So I just do it for her. So I'm pulling out this prosthetic leg at a shoe store and I got a bit, the clerk was a little bit startled at first. And I will go through and then I'll video conference Gracie from the shoe store and say, hey, do you like these? Do you like these?

Do you like these? And so I walk out of there with several pairs of shoes and a leg. So yeah, I get stares, but what do I care? Do you really have any trouble believing that I do that? I mean, honestly, y'all know me, but does that surprise anybody that's listened to this program from any length of time that I would take my wife's leg into the shoe store?

No, it doesn't surprise anybody. And you're laughing at me right now. And I know you are.

I can hear you through the airwaves. But anyway, Gracie was there at the hospital. She's got her new prosthetic legs. Now the first time she walked as an amputee, just as a single amputee four years earlier, I had to loan her my tennis shoes because she had come into the hospital wearing like sandals or something.

I don't remember if it was a shoe that wouldn't work for a prosthesis, you know, for an artificial foot. And her prosthetist, Jim, just looked at us and raised his eyebrows like, really y'all? And we should have known better. So this time we were prepared. We had the proper shoes, put them on. And then she took 10 painful steps across the room to Jim. And he was sitting there looking at her, watching her walk, making sure she's level and you know, all those things. And they were very painful steps. You know how some moments become kind of like flashbulb moments for us that we never forget for the rest of our lives kind of thing.

You could just kind of picture where you were and what was going on and all that kind of stuff. Well, that was that moment because this is the first time I'd seen Gracie walk with two straight feet. You got to remember, I didn't meet her before the wreck. So those feet of hers that were misshapen were now perfectly shaped with her prosthesis. And she's holding onto her walker, the cord for the, she had a subclavicle mainline, we used to call them in her chest instead of an IV in her arm. And that was draped over her shoulder. And I was holding the pole away from her.

So she did not get her walker and everything tangled up with their IV pole. And she was so focused on Jim, just taking these tiny steps. And the sweat was just pouring off of her forehead and down her face. And you could just see the strain of all of her muscles as she gripped that walker. And she took step after step, just tiny steps, but she did 10 steps. And it was quite a moment. I cheered her on, Jim cheered her on. When she got to Jim, he's a big, big fella, a great guy.

And she just threw her arms around him and thanked him. And it was quite a moment. And 10 steps doesn't sound like much, but 10 steps on two prosthetic legs, that's quite an ordeal. I don't know how many Peter took on the water, but even if he took just three, that's still, he walked on water. It's quite a memorable moment. And Gracie often says, just like Peter, it doesn't matter what you're standing on.

As long as you're looking at Jesus, that's something to remember. Gracie took 10 steps that day. And the next day she took more and then more and then more. And she said setbacks over the years.

And you know what? She deserves to be cheered on just like that lady, that coworker for many, many years back. And I don't know that she ever went back to the lift. I left and she left. I lost touch.

It's been decades and decades. I hope she was able to, but what about you? What is helping you deal with the injuries and the wounds that you've had? What's helping you stand a little straighter? Is it uncomfortable?

I imagine it would be. It takes a lot of getting used to, to retrain your heart and your mind. You know, Paul talks about that in scripture, where he says, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. You know, it's not easy to renew her mind.

And this is what I'm passionate about for this program is to help us as caregivers renew our minds so that we think about this different. It's going to take some time. And I hope you'll give yourself the grace and space you need on this. But I want to cheer you on as you're taking your 10 steps. Maybe you just held your tongue today.

Maybe you bit your tongue and learned to like the taste of blood and didn't retort back. That may seem like a small set of steps, but it's not. Tomorrow you could take more.

Maybe you chose to thank God in the midst of your distress today. That may seem like a small thing, but it's not. Gracie took 10 steps. The next day she took more. And Victor Hugo said, perseverance. That's the secret of all triumphs. Perseverance.

And how many times in scripture are we encouraged and exhorted to persevere, to endure, to stay strong, to stay the course? So as Victor Hugo said, perseverance. Secret of all triumphs.

Of all triumphs. And that perseverance is what fosters hope for the caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is Hope for the Caregiver.

We'll be right back. Welcome back to Hope for the Caregiver. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the program for you as a family caregiver. Healthy caregivers make better caregivers. And this program is all about equipping you to stay strong and healthy as you take care of someone who is not.

Hopeforthecaregiver.com. Some years back, I mean, this has been a while, my pastors in Nashville, two of them sat down. I don't remember where I was. I was in their office and they said they knew the strain that Gracie and I had on us. And they asked me, are we serving you well? And their question really caught me off guard because I mean, think about it.

I mean, that's not something you get asked a lot. I mean, particularly when you go, this was a very large church in Nashville. I was only one of several thousand members and their humility was quite moving. They were sincere. I thought about their question and I responded with this. And I think I surprised them as much as they surprised me. I said, I'm in the congregation and I listen to every one of your servants and you know my challenges.

And they did. They've been in the hospital with Gracie and I many times, been at the house. And I said, if you're preaching and teaching, don't effectively help me better understand the gospel and how it applies to my life as a caregiver, then what's the point of the message? I wasn't accusing. I was just simply making a point that if it's not connecting me to the gospel with all of my challenges, then why are we doing it? If I can understand and appropriate and apply what they're teaching in our brutal life circumstances, then the implication is that others can as well. Bottom line is if it's going to sustain Gracie and me and our stuff, the chances are it's going to be applicable across the board to most others.

Okay. And as I explained to them, my journey as a caregiver is all encompassing and spans a lifetime. I mean, when you do this for as long as Gracie and I have, I mean, this is it.

This is our life. And I told them, I know how to care give, but do I know how to live? Do I understand the principles and precepts of scripture as they apply to me as someone who watches someone suffer daily?

You know, what do I do with fear, guilt, despair, and a host of other issues that we as caregivers feel? And these are things we talked about there in their office and they nodded at me with understanding. And I added this, look, your clear, concise, and precise teaching of scripture is what equips me to endure. This is how you are caring for me. And I really meant it. Those pastors who I count as dear friends still invest in my life, even though I moved across the country.

I mean, this was in Nashville, I'm in Montana now, and with great clarity and sincerity, they spoke to the heart issue I bear and that all caregivers carry. Think about it. I've searched through all of scripture. There is not one place where you see a guy taking care of his wife for four decades who said 86 surgeries and both her legs amputated. You know, it's just not there. I look, there's not one place where a guy goes into a shoe store, carrying a leg, yeah, buying shoes for his wife who's missing both feet. I look, there's not, it's just not there. But think about all the scriptures that are there to talk about fear and guilt and stress and anxiety and heart break, heartache, all of those passages that speak to those things.

That's what I need. And if I may be so bold, that's what all of us as caregivers need is that aggressive assurance that speaks to the core issue that helps us stiffen our spine a little bit more to be able to endure the things that we carry, to understand that God hasn't forgotten us, to understand what the gospel means as we watch somebody suffer or struggle every single day. That conversation with those pastors remains one of those seminal moments in my understanding of effective pastoral care for hurting congregants. Many of you all have not received effective pastoral care.

And to the best of my abilities, I'm trying to step into that gap until you're able to connect with the pastor there in your home church or wherever you are who could effectively shepherd you. These pastors asked me, you know, are we serving you well? That can open the door to criticism in some cases. You know, they could have been talking to somebody and they said, you know, hey, you know, you guys are really dropping the ball. That was not the case with these guys.

And I very much appreciate their humility. But what they did was open the door to a conversation to what I call precision pastoring, precision pastoring, not just painting with a roller, but really getting out the tiny brushes. I, like you, I've heard a lot of pulpits preach a message of, hey, you're going to get your breakthrough or your challenges are a setup to a step up. You know, you ever heard of those? Those things really bore me. They do more than bore me.

At this point, they just irks them and I'm tired of them. They're motivational messages with a Jesus flare. Does that help you? I'm asking you, fellow caregiver, does that help you to hear a motivational message with a Jesus flare? I mean, do you want somebody to just give you things that you could get from a Hallmark card or, you know, at best a Christian greeting card?

Is that what you're looking for as a caregiver? I don't think you are. Not from the emails and texts and notes I receive. This audience is filled with people who are looking for substantive, red meat of the gospel to hang on to, to tell me God hasn't forgotten about me, and tell me why, and tell me how do I anchor myself in that, and how do I press on? What does this mean? These are things that these are things that I cry out for and I got to hear it. That's why I love this hymn, Wonderful Words of Life. Let me step over here to the caregiver keyboard. Isn't that a great hymn?

Wonderful Words of Life. I know I'm playing some non-sanctioned chords in there. That same pastor that asked me that one time I was playing, and he was going by and he was lighting some candles at the front of the church, and I was playing kind of the pre-prelude. I was the not ready for primetime players, and I threw in a chord, a couple of those kind of chords that I just played there, and I looked at him and kind of sideways said, you know, I get brought up on charges for some of those chords in the church, and he started laughing. He's trying to light the candle.

He started laughing. In fact, I'm exploring starting next month taking piano lessons from a guy online. I'm going to be doing this. I have to commit to a certain amount of time of practice, and I'm trying to work out that with my time to teach me how to play better chords, because I just want to push myself, and I can do it online. He's out of Berkeley College up in Massachusetts, and so I want to be able to play better.

I want to push myself. Anyway, so thank you for indulging me with some of those kind of chords. I love playing them, but I got to hear this stuff. I got to hear it. I got to hear it every single day.

I need to be reminded of this. The pressures on me are just that much, so why would I want to eat a steady diet of cotton candy, okay? I mean, think it through. What about you? What do you want? I mean, you can only hear that, hey, you're going to get a breakthrough stuff for so long, and then you're just like, really?

Is that really the best you got, you know? It's like you're dangling this carrot out in front of you all the time, and I thought, that's just no way to live, and that's no way to believe. Jesus told Peter to feed my sheep, not entertain or inspire them. We've got friends that live down the mountain here, and they have a ranch filled with cattle, sheep, and goats, and we're just coming off of lambing season, and I love to watch the lambs and the baby goats just hop around and prance and dance, and their mothers are watching very carefully, and they're making sure they're safe. You'd hear them just bellowing, and it's pretty funny, but during this vulnerable time, they are protected in an oversized pen there by the ranch house, and at the pen's center lies this large circular feeder where the ewes gather around and they are attacking that food. I mean, they are just going after it, and the lambs, of course, when they go to nurse, they're attacking their moms. Everybody's hungry there, but they've got great hay to put there. I know it's great hay.

We get it up here. They bring us a load in the fall for the horses up here, and those new mothers need a lot of sustenance to meet the extreme needs of nursing and protecting their babies, and particularly when the weather's cold, and the sheep are at their most vulnerable when giving birth, and so the ranchers feed and protect them, and in warmer weather, they put them out to pasture. They're out there just having a great old time, and you don't look at them attacking the ground like they do that circular feeder of hay because they can live a little bit more independently out there.

They're not quite under the duress. Numerous accounts share how Jesus referred to him as the shepherd, and we're the sheep. Don't you think Peter got that when he said, feed my sheep? He understood how sheep are raised and what goes on with that.

Don't you think he got that? Our rancher friends provide us an up-close view of precision shepherding, and their ranch's survival depends upon the sheep getting quality food, making sure the water doesn't freeze, which happens sometimes when the power goes out. They have to go out there and bust it up, and during the brutal winters and the harsh times, those ranchers are intensely caring for them. How long do you think their ranch would survive if they gave them substandard food, or just a bunch of sweet things, or if they didn't bust up the water that froze, or if they didn't have proper pens to protect them from the predators?

How long do you think their ranch would survive? Why should our churches be any different? My pastors helped me understand the dangers that are out there when you're dealing with these kinds of things. They've helped me understand the gospel in this.

They do not motivate me. They shepherd me. Man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that comes from the mouth of God. They preach the whole counsel of God provided in scriptures. They help me better understand God's sovereignty, provision, and faithfulness, strengthening my faith to trust Him with the daily grind that is my life as a caregiver, and they actively engage, protect, and fed, nourish me with a profound understanding of the gospel that provides the sustenance that's carried me through the most challenging of times.

And you know what? Even though I live across the country from now, they still do, and that's precision pastoring for the family caregiver. I hope you can find pastors like that, and I hope that the meager efforts that I'm doing here on this program will help sustain you until you can.

This is Peter Rosenberg, and we'll be right back. I want to tell you a story about a guy that I met a long time ago, back in 2005 in Ghana. His name was Augustus, and Augustus was a cartographer for the country of Ghana. He made maps for them. He came into the clinic that we partner with, the National Prosthetic and Orthotics Center there in Accra.

We've been doing this since 2005. This was our second visit. And Augustus came in, and he had a nice shirt and tie on coming from his office. He limped significantly. He had a prosthetic leg, but the foot was messed up, and that's why he was limping so bad. He was walking on a prosthetic foot that the front half of it was broken. It was the type of foot, it's called a satch foot, solid ankle cushioned heel satch, and that was a standard foot. Gracie started off with a satch foot when she first became an amputee, and he had one of these that he had gotten somewhere, but the foot was broken. And so every time he took a step, as you can imagine, the prosthetic foot was cut in half, so he didn't have any kind of way to push off and walk normally.

And he'd been doing this for a long time. He had tape around it and everything else trying to keep it together. And we made him a new socket. We went ahead and made a whole new leg for him, and we put this new foot on it. Now, when you make the socket, when you make the leg, and this is again the vision that Gracie had when she lost both of her legs. And I've told you all, when I walk in the hospital room, and this is a week after the surgery, she's like, I know what I'm doing!

You know, and I'm like, okay, thank you, baby, for that little heads up. And so she wanted to provide prosthetic limbs. So Augustus came in and we fitted him. And it takes a while.

You have to make a mold. There's a lot involved. So he had to come back about a week later. Well, no, actually I think we were able to do it while we were there for that trip. So he came back like three days later. It was a below the knee leg. And Gracie's prosthetist, Jim, was with me on this. It was just the two of us. And we said, we're going to get this leg done in time.

And so we got it done. So he comes back in from work. I think it was a Friday afternoon because he'd finished his work. And he's sitting there looking at us, very pleasant, very nice, but just, you know, he's not very emotional about anything.

He's just kind of a very pleasant and nice, a businessman there in Ghana. And then he gets up and he stands on this new leg with this new foot that we put on it. And he took the first step off his left leg, which was good, his remaining leg. And then he reached out and hit the heel of this new right foot.

And it went down and it supported him and it pushed him off properly so that his walking gait was perfect. I have never seen anybody smile that big in my life. And his face just lit up. I mean, it was, oh, happy day. It was such a great moment.

He was stunned as he looked at us with just amazement. And Jim was laughing. I was laughing. The team was laughing. We were all just clapping and laughing as he's walking all over the place, just as normal as you can hope to be.

I mean, it was, it was an amazing moment. And that's only one of many, many stories that I can tell you of limbs that we've put on people. All because Gracie was willing to trust God with her horrific loss of both legs.

And it's an extraordinary work that continues to this day. And if you go out to Hope for the Caregiver, you can sign up for our e-letter and we send out one of these a month with all kinds of stuff. It's got an article from me, something from Gracie, some music or, or this, and it's got a patient every month that we feature. This month, I believe it's a man named Fred who just got a leg in April. He's 72 years old and he has diabetes, which is still the number one cause of limb loss worldwide.

But there are so many patients. In addition, we recycle prosthetic limbs. And they go to a prison down in Arizona run by CoreCivic where inmates volunteer to help us disassemble the limbs so that we could take the components and send them over to Africa. So for example, we built Augustus a new leg, but that, that leg will last him at least seven years, the socket, the prosthesis. If something happens to the foot, like what happened to his old one, we can simply replace the foot because we have an inventory of recycled feet.

And so we can easily replace that. It, that to me, that's still one of the most wonderful things about this is that inmates help us. I remember when we first started doing this and an inmate told me, he pulled me aside there in the workroom at the prison. And he said, I've never done anything positive with my hands until I started doing this program. And another inmate told me, he said, I never even thought of cripple people until I started doing this program.

Isn't that extraordinary? What God can do, what he puts together. And I appreciate you all. And there's so many of you all that have gotten involved. You've, you've sent us limbs. We, we have a, a mechanism online where you can go to and you can donate a limb, a used limb that belonged to somebody.

They don't know what to do. And maybe it was you outgrew it. If you're an amputee or you lost somebody who was an amputee, don't know what to do with the limb. I have funeral homes that send us limbs.

Children outgrow them all the time, and we're always needing more pediatric parts. So I'm asking you to help us do more of this by going out there and, and checking this out. And you can access that at Standing With Hope, just see where it says prosthetics and donate a used limb. You can get to the Standing With Hope site from hopeforthecaregiver.com or you could just go straight to standingwithhope.com.

It's an extraordinary work that was inspired by an extraordinary woman and an okay kind of guy helped her do it. That's me. But we've got more needs. I just got an email today that the vacuum pump that we use to make the sockets, which is critical to the work, is having some trouble. So we may need to replace that. I'll let you know if you, maybe you want to get involved and help sponsor a vacuum pump.

I know it doesn't sound like, you know, a lot when you say, wow, what did I do? Well, I spotted a vacuum pump, but let me tell you something, that vacuum pump can make a lot of legs. I just sent over rolls of carbon fiber, makes it a lot of legs. And it's the gift that keeps on walking. So here's the deal. If we put a leg on a person, that person is going to walk.

Okay. But if I teach and equip somebody to make legs for someone, well, then hundreds are going to walk. And they have. But let's go further. If we do all of that while pointing them to Christ, which we do, then we're equipping them to stand with hope.

And that's the whole point of it. And I have seen, oh, I'll have to tell you more stories about this down the road. I've seen stories that'll just make you stand up and clap. I'm hoping, I'm hoping, I'm hoping I could get back there this year. Gracie's prosthetist said he'd go with me.

Can't take Gracie right now just because of the logistics, but I'm hoping I can get back. I love going over there. I love spending time with patients and hearing their stories and just being able to talk with them. But I love the workers there at the clinic.

And I'd ask you to pray for them. Moses and Richard, primarily are the two main ones there in the prosthetic clinic. And Moses and Moses is the director for the whole center. And there's an orthotic section. There's a prosthetic section.

Richard is the chief technician. Moses is the chief prosthetist, but we have others as well. We partner with another prosthetic outfit in Ghana with our friend Joseph. And these are wonderful men who, who point their patients to Christ. And we help them do it and you help us help them. And so I'm very grateful.

It's a, it's a lot of fun. And if you see somebody walk for the first time, it'll change your life when you, when you've watched that, when you see them, they're just hopeless. I will tell you one story about a man named Jonathan. He was our first patient way back in 2005 before even Augustus came in and Jonathan came in again with a leg on. But he had found this leg somewhere and it didn't fit him. You can't, you shouldn't wear anybody else's prosthesis.

They're custom made to you. And he found it, but it was so big. He wrapped a bunch of cloth around his amputated limb in order to cram it in there, but he couldn't bend it because it was so filled with cloth.

It just, it was awful. And we got, it was like, we took it all off. It was like unraveling a mummy and we put a new leg on him and he literally went walking and leaping and praising God. He ran in the parking lot that afternoon.

He ran. It was extraordinary. So that's just one of many. And we would ask for you to continue to keep us in your prayers with it. If you want to get involved and help go out to standingwithhope.com slash giving. You can do that today. This is Peter Rosenberger. This is hope for the caregiver for the wounded and those who care for them. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-09 05:08:35 / 2024-05-09 05:26:04 / 17

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