Arizona Mission Offering at Work: Helping a ministry family in a time of crisis
By Yvonne Tomlinson | Aug 1, 2022
Editor’s Note: Yvonne Tomlinson is a freelance writer and serves at First Baptist Church of Alpine, where her husband, Franz, is pastor.
“There’s nothing we can do. Your husband is going to die. You should call your family together to say goodbye.” The doctor shrugged and strode away as we grappled with the dire news.
My husband, Franz, had COVID-19 pneumonia, and our rural hospital had no resources. We had already waited eight days for a possible air evacuation to a city hospital, but no beds were available anywhere in the state. What did the Lord have in store for us?
“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” (Psalm 118:17, KJV) This verse was the last Scripture my husband had quoted to me before lapsing into unconsciousness. These words became our mainstay through the ordeal, and our testimony as Franz slowly recovered.
After 12 harrowing days, Franz was air evacuated to a hospital in Mesa. He spent 19 days on a ventilator in the ICU, and finally regained consciousness on December 29, 2021, exactly one month after being admitted to the first hospital. It took another month for him to recover enough to be sent home.
I lost track of the number of miles I drove during those two months. The daily 60-mile round trip visits to the local hospital were followed by 500-mile round trip weekly visits to the Mesa hospital.
Once Franz came home, we had 150-mile visits to a speech therapist and twice-weekly 60-mile trips to the physical therapist. Through it all, the Lord was faithful and met our every need.
A dictionary defines a crisis as “a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life.” When such an upheaval occurs, it is such a blessing when family, friends, and even strangers step in to offer support.
With expenses mounting, the Ministers in Crisis Fund, which is supported by the Arizona Mission Offering, was an answer to prayer. Because of the generous giving of Arizona Southern Baptists, many of our travel expenses were met, which was a spiritual, mental, emotional and financial relief. But even more than the financial benefit was the blessing of the prayer support that accompanied the gift.
The Lord has been true to His word, again. We thank God that Franz has not died, but lives, and declares the works of the Lord to everyone he meets. And we thank Arizona Southern Baptists who faithfully support the Arizona Mission Offering, and through it, the Ministers in Crisis Fund. Our family is one of many ministerial families who have been helped in a time of crisis. Thank You, Lord.