I just got off the phone with Merrill and also Susan (Howard’s wife). Merrill had just arrived. It was disheartening to hear Merrill say that Howard was worse than he had imagined. Merrill said Howard basically continues as an invalid, unable to walk, exercise, see, or think right. Susan said he thinks he’s in Mexico (he’s in Salmon Arm BC Canada). But Susan did say that he’s opening his eyes a little more which may indicate that the cerebral inflammation is going down some. Regardless, she said that she has heard of few other people who have had a similar case of viral encephalitis and it can take a year to recover (Merrill said in some cases 4 years). Susan said that barring a miracle, she would expect it may take another year from now.

So this puts Susan in a real tough spot as they are all trying to function in Merrill’s condo in BC. Howard’s bed is down stairs in the living room now which eliminates stairs, but with the winter now setting in and very little support network locally, Susan REALLY wants to take Howard back home to Mexico where they have a larger house and plenty of support on all sides for his recovery, not to mention being able to go outside in their yard. So the biggest pressing need is how to get Howard (he’s a huge man) back to Mexico.

The reason they were in Canada was to renew Canadian status. Susan has applied to the government to give an extension to their deadline so that Howard could first heal up and then they could come back to Canada to renew their Canadian status (this status, if lost, would affect their Canadian benefits which they have paid into all these years as ’employees of a Canadian agency’). So the prayer requests are: 1. to get government approval to return and 2. to find a way to get him back down there.

One thought that came up in the conversation was if there was someone with a motorhome that would drive Howard and Susan back to Mexico that could be a wonderful way to transport him as he can’t be climbing stairs to get into an airplane and it’s extremely hard to get him in and out of a wheelchair.

Robin and I are about to be heading down to Mexico. We (Lord willing) depart November 14th from here in Canada. We will be right next door to Susan and Howard’s house so we would also be close by them if they could return.

We all appreciate your prayers and thoughts regarding Howard’s trial which is also Susan’s trial. Please pray for her too, I can’t imagine how exhausting this is for her. Thank you.