Dear Friends of Zion:
Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! Hanukkah begins at sundown on Christmas Eve this year and continues for eight days, thus ending on New Year’s Day. Linda and I thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support throughout this past year, which has made our work possible.
The month of November was full of surprises. On October 16, going to the monthly Directors’ Meeting at the Trinitarian Bible Society of Brazil, I carried two heavy bags full of Bibles and other materials for two blocks from my car to the society headquarters. I began to feel some pain in my right hip the next day, but having flu at the same time, I thought they were related. Forward a month to Thursday November 17, I spent 12 hours seated with an editorial assistant working on a book that is being prepared on the history of the Portuguese Bible translated by Almeida. Then I stayed up until 1:00 AM reading a 70-page book with information I needed for the November Directors’ Meeting the next day. By Friday noon, I could barely walk. As the day progressed, the pain in my hip increased to such as I had never imagined in my life! On Sunday night the 20th, at the recommendation of three doctors, I was hospitalized. Exams, given with anesthesia because of the unbearable pain, were diagnosed as bursitis. On November 28, I was given an infiltration of cortisone directly into the area of pain and expected to leave the hospital the same day. After nine hours in the surgical center, the only solution found to control the pain was an epidural. I was finally released from the hospital on Friday, Dec. 2, with feet and legs terribly swollen and pain killers for medication!
On Monday, December 5, I was admitted to another hospital, where new exams were made from head to toe and re-diagnosed. Clinically, the doctors say I am in very good shape for my age, but my spine is a mess from Lombar 1 through Lombar 5, the result of years of carrying heavy briefcases all over downtown São Paulo and boxes of Bibles in my car wherever I go. The horrible pain in my hip and the swelling of my feet and legs are all related to my spine. Tomorrow, Friday, December 16, the day of the December Directors’ meeting at the Trinitarian Bible Society, surgery will be performed to replace the destroyed bones with titanic disks. The Lord has blessed with wonderful doctors and medical teams in a well-equipped hospital. Please pray for me as I recuperate.
The positive side to all this is that we met a Jewish doctor and his Catholic wife and were able to give them a wonderful witness. Also, a nurse in the first hospital accepted Jesus as her Savior, spontaneously praying with tears of repentance and thanksgiving, recognizing God’s love and His power to forgive any sin she has ever committed! Every person that enters the hospital room receives a tract and Gospel witness without exception. Praise be to God for the many people He has brought into our lives through this trial.
Looking forward to a great New Year to serve the Lord!
Yours for the Messiah,
Tom and Linda Gilmer
- Professions of faith: 2.
- Several groups inspired to prepare resolutions to encourage the President and State Department of Brazil to replace representatives of UNESCO that denied Jews ever had a temple in Jerusalem. One journal of 4 million subscribers picked up on the story.
- Special offering for Guacuri church, $500.
- Salvation of Jews and Gentiles.
- Ongoing projects (church planting, Bible study helps, media outlets, and warehouse of Bibles)
- Guacuri church: $9,400 still needed. Read more in Ralph’s prayer letter.
- Tom’s recovery from spinal surgery.