Today was a big day for Rachael. Today was her first day back to church! We rented a van from Wheel Chair vans for 120/day. Yes that is much but it was great to get her into church. Plus we got to try out a van and get a feel for what she might need if one comes comfortably our way. I just wished Hertz had wheelchair vans!
It was not an easy morning getting her ready but we knew the enemy would be at play in this. We all got through it and got Rachael into the van. She was calm and happy on the ride. Once we got to church, our friend Ian opened the door to a brand new day. We strolled passed the kids in Sunday school, waved Hanna to follow us through the first set of doors to the hallway just before entering the sanctuary. It was a very emotional time. We paused there in the hallway listening to Ray White singing "Oh No You Never Let Go.." we all burst out in unexpected and overwhelming tears. We quickly gave up on stemming the tears, proceeding through the 2nd door entering the back of the sanctuary. We rejoiced as the worship hit us with an embrace that is beyond comprehension.
Rachael listened intently to the sermon and at the end we responded to the call upfront from our shepherd and pastor, Bob Wulfing to anoint Rachael with oil as instructed in the scriptures and tearfully, he prayed for her. He was taken over by the emotion as well but the Lord gave him the words to speak.
Pastor Bob was here within moments of being called the night of the accident. He was here during the hellish mayhem. He was with us very early on at the Venice ICU. Today our beloved Pastor got to pray with one of his injured sheep in church after many months of keeping the hope that she would one day be able to return. Rachael responded with such tears of release and joy. She was in no pain, just crying for the many months of trials that she has so far overcome. It was a milestone for all of us.
Afterward there was great fellowship. People were gracious in not crowding Rachael too much, keeping the fun up and stimulus low. She had a blast. She blessed so many in church today, so many that have prayed for so long. One by one, folks passed by and greeted her.
After church we returned to the house, rested then went back this afternoon for Daniel's send off party at 4. There were scores of people there to wish him well. Rachael was present there too. Daniel was in the fellowship hall with about 80 or so people eating ice cream and drinking great coffee from Black Gold Roasters. After a while she became overstimulated by all the talk and we removed her to the sanctuary.
What a very special time it was! In the sanctuary Ray White came up and asked if it would be ok if he played quietly for Rachael that it might help her to calm down. At first my over protective flesh kicked in and I said "any stimulation is all the same to her" then after a brief word with the Lord I gave Rachael the option. She said she wanted Ray to play. It was fantastic. There were about 12 or so of us present. Rachael's little cousins, two of her uncles, two of her aunts (her Aunt Carol was the Martha of the day in the kitchen, THANKS CAROL!) Deb and Becca white, Barb Wulfing and a few others. It was a time of quiet fellowship and sweet music. Rachael calmed down almost immediately. Once she did, the smiles came out and her cousins all gathered round her. All of this just a natural, no pretense moment. Rachael's friend and ours, Jasmine, came buy just after returning from a missions trip to Panama and blessed us all with her presence. Ray ushered in a rare moment of sweet fellowship and calm. Thanks Ray!
So that was the day. A very big day. Rachael got to go back to church!
Sadly, her graduation was yesterday at Word Of Life but the 2 hour up and back ride would have been too much for her at this time and the support she requires can not be stretched for such a length of time. I know I speak for Rachael that she wants to thank her class for so much prayer and that it continues. Those prayers availed much.
Rachael is flipping us out as she is moving various body parts quite voluntarily and more frequently as her mind finds new pathways. She has raised her head off her pillow several times now when she stretches. She is pushing her legs out more to stretch and moving her arms more deliberately.
I am including a few precious pics of recent events.
[caption id="attachment_536" align="alignleft" width="900" caption="Rachael and Aunt Lisa share a laugh after church."][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_537" align="alignleft" width="900" caption="After the music that brought her peace, Ray posed for a shot with Rachael."][/caption]