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Rogers Update 3/27/2023
March 27, 2023
Dear Friends,
How many of you have read missionary newsletters that begin with ‘I want to share with you that God answered your prayers for us!’ or something similar to that.  Most of the time the missionary asked in a previous letter for everyone to pray that a certain something would happen, (and usually, that something seems to be the logical action that God should take).  Then the missionary will share how God did what everyone was asking Him to do.  (Of course, all of these requests have the phrase attached ‘If it is God’s will’.)  All of us are grateful when God does what we have asked Him to do.
But what if He doesn’t?  Does that mean God didn’t answer the requested prayer?  We are not allowed to think such a thought!  So, did God answer the prayer or not?  Of course, the immediate correct theological answer is yes, God answered, but not the way that we thought best.  He answered the way God thought best.  That declarative statement often comes with an internal disappointment that is not shared.  The truth is we are just human, but we are also New Creations in Christ, and God challenges us to think like He does!
The beauty and joy of knowing the true God is the fact that our Lord is trustworthy and does right in our lives.  The more we get to know Him, the more our confidence grows in this area.  I am still developing in my spiritual life (no surprise there), but this truth helps me sleep at night.
Why am I sharing all this with you?  In January I sent out a newsletter that asked you to pray for my health.  (You have received several of these from me through the years!)  I explained that during the last week of December, I was on my way to a ministry assignment in California when I started having terrible pain in my head, neck, and arm.  The whole left side of my body was going numb.  I found a hospital in eastern Texas and went to the emergency room.  Their first reaction was I might be having a stroke.  They later concluded after many tests that my spinal column, especially in my neck, had severe arthritis problems, and I had a severe infection in my body in several places.  Both of these helped trigger the reaction I was experiencing.  They recommended that I cancel the trip, return home, and rest.  After prayer and consultation with the BEM leadership, I did exactly that.
After I arrived home, I went to my family doctor.  Doc gave me a second set of anti-biotics (Texas emergency room gave the first set) and worked at getting me scheduled with some specialist as well as arranging for me to have X-rays and CT scans.
In the January Newsletter, I also asked that you be in prayer for a trip scheduled in February.  The plan was for me to minister in several churches in Florida.  That did not happen.  Once again, I found myself in the emergency room, but this time at the local hospital here in Knoxville, Tennessee.  I once again was in severe pain.  This time the pain was on the right side of my body.  They ran the usual tests and concluded that I was having the same problems as before.  They told me it could come in waves and switch sides.  The result of all this is I was unable to go to Florida.  This was my second canceled trip in a row!  I don’t think I have ever experienced that before.  I have shifted trips around as well shorten or lengthen them, and I have cancelled a trip before; but to actually cancel two trips next to each other was new.  So, did God answer your prayers for me?  The answer, of course, is yes!  The answer is yes even if I don’t understand, even if God never clarifies to me in this life what He is doing by canceling those trips.
In March I was finally able to get into the office of a surgical back & neck specialist.  I am pleased to say that I think this one knows what he is doing and how to help me recover.  He put me on some powerful muscle relaxers and is scheduling me for physical therapy.  All of this is to prevent the need for surgery.  Important!  I am scheduled to be in Alaska in April.  The churches there have reworked my trip so I will only be there for one week instead of three.  They consolidated the church meetings into one Sunday follow by my speaking at the Alaska Foundations Baptist Fellowship during the week.  (This Fellowship is a collection of churches and pastors from across Alaska.  I am the “keynote” speaker, and I look forward to this opportunity very much.)
So once again I am asking that you pray for me – especially April 21st through 27th – that it will be a God honoring time of ministry and that travel will go well.  All of this is of course subject to the wisdom of God!  Please, continue to pray that my body will heal and not be an obstacle to these ministry plans.  Okay, I will add and mean it, please pray that the Lord of Glory do what He thinks best in my life and health!  After all, He is smarter than me! 
Finally in closing, don’t forget to pray for Beabea as she puts up with and takes care of me through all of these adventures!!
Saved, Sealed, and Delivered!  Saved from sin / Sealed to God / Delivered from death (both spiritual & physical)!  Praise Jesus!
John (and Beabea) Rogers