Dear praying friends,
A seriously troubling time began on March 22. Don was taken to Emergency at Karen Hospital in Nairobi with chest pains (angina). Thursday morning (23rd) they* did an angiogram. A lengthy inter-continental consultation followed - between Chennai, India, Johannesburg South Africa, and Nairobi. Their tentative recommendation was double by-pass surgery as soon as possible. We began weighing hospital performance records, costs, and putting affairs in order for Don to travel to Chennai for the surgery. Julisa would travel with him.
We delayed, waiting for a ﬁnal opinion from a University of Pennsylvania cardiologist. Vance had made contact via fraternal relationships between Princeton U. and U.Penn, asking for help for his Dad. Amazing technology! Through the internet we were able to send the complete medical record and the DVD of his functioning heart during the angiogram. After his review, he recommended an alternative - wonderful! Pills instead of knives. . . . a shift in medications, light exercise regularly, dietary control (which we were already following), and no surgery now. If symptoms persist, surgery could be re-considered. Meanwhile, adequate rest of course, and avoidance of stress. Much easier prescribed than done, given that we are in a sometimes ﬁerce and taxing spiritual battle!
We are re-arranging our schedule to be away from Daystar’s campus (and our home) for several days at a time - to permit the required rest and reduced stress. That is also giving more undisturbed time to prepare “Daystar Rising” (Faye’s major project) and the 2nd edition of “Creating Understanding” (Don’s book, foundational for all students at Daystar).
The support and love shown to us by faculty and students has been incredible! When the heart crisis came, they raised two-thirds of the expense! At that point, they were aiming to cover the travel cost to Chennai. When the trip was ruled out, the amount was applied to the expense at Karen Hospital. Many came to pray, to encourage us, and just be with us. We have been deeply touched.
Karen is a hospital where some of Daystar’s nursing students complete their practical training. Over and over again, hospital staff praised the Daystar trainees - “They are excellent, caring, special.” “ While I was still on the surgery table, a Medical Technician shared, There is something different in them.” How wonderful to tell him, “Of course. It is ‘Christ in them, the hope of glory.’”
After a later procedure, three nurses waited for me, to push me back to my room. They very excitedly explained, “We are Daystar students! We asked for permission to be the ones to push “our father” back to his room.” Before we prayed together, they shared most encouraging testimonies, ”We want to be a light for Jesus wherever we are - thank you for Daystar!” It’s worth the difﬁcult time to hear such strong purpose to glorify our Lord!
We gladly share with you their thankfulness for Daystar - you who have made it possible through these many years.
* The lead cardiologist Dr. Dan Gikonyo and his Pediatric Cardiologist wife studied 10 years at the University of Minnesota Medical School - after completing medical degrees and practicing here for some years. Son, Anthony, also a cardiologist has medical degrees from the U.S., England, and South Africa. They are deeply committed to Christ and wonderfully compassionate in their care.
DON and FAYE SMITH
Daystar US 8011 34th Ave., South C50 Bloomington, MN 55425