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  • Writer's pictureGarth Steele

I Am Blessed

Health Update


I had an appointment with the ALS clinic this week. They say that my lung capacity has dropped from 16% in November to 7% this month.  This means that my diaphragm and other lung muscles are weakening and I can't suck in enough air to breathe on my own. Thankfully, my lungs can expand to hold over three litres of air so my breathing machines can keep me alive. They were also concerned about my oxygen levels so I tested them over two nights and the levels are 96% or higher, which is normal and healthy! Other than that, everything else is pretty much the same as in my November blog. 


Things That Bring Me Joy


I have really been experimenting with the "eye gaze" computer over the past months. I can now use it to send and receive emails and text messages; play games like Wordle and Solitaire; search the internet on Google; and read the Bible on Bible Gateway. I've also learned how to use Excel, so I can manage the accounting for our two corporations. So I am still an accountant and love doing our books and taxes!


In my last blog I talked about Proverbs 17: 6 that talks about grandchildren being our crowns. Based on that, Hannah and Deagan got me a blanket with the pictures of my grandchildren on it. 

Clockwise from the top right my grandchildren are Skylar, Elijah, Roman, Mason, Able, and Betty. I wear the blanket all day. I'm always cold because I'm not moving. 


I'm also thrilled that our church got a new location in Manotick at 1165 Beaverwood Road, right next to the Legion and across from Babbos restaurant. We used to rent from Agape Chinese Alliance Church but because they used the sanctuary in the morning, we met at 4:00 in the afternoon. Now we meet at 10:00 a.m. which means we are attracting more people. Praise God for that!  


I Am Blessed 


Yes, I have ALS, which is a debilitating disease with no earthly cure. But even in these tough times I feel blessed and loved.  I have so many people praying for me. They pray for peace and joy to exist in my heart and within the heart of my dear wife Cathy and within my children and my broader family. They pray for a healing miracle too! I am so grateful for that.  

And 90% of my Personal Support Workers (PSW's) are faith-believing Christians!! One PSW who works with me four mornings a week is a strong Catholic and  prays over my feeding time. I have another Catholic lady from Brazil who prays for me while at her church. Each week I go to church accompanied by a young lady who is growing in her faith and is enjoying church attendance more each week. Four afternoons and evenings each week I have a male PSW who is from Jamaica and is a pastor at a Pentecostal church! Three mornings each week I get a shower from a gentleman from Haiti who attends a three hour church service each week at a Baptist church.  Several hours each week Cathy gets "respite" hours and a lady from Nigeria comes to be with me and sings like crazy when I play modern Christian worship songs from YouTube. Each afternoon and evening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday I have a young woman from Uganda who leads a prayer time with me twice each day for several minutes. She is the most mature prayer warrior I have ever prayed with. It is amazing how God has blessed me with the PSWs!


But the most blessed I have been is by my loving wife, Cathy. She has been an amazing support for me over the last three years! It all started by unclipping my ski helmet and unbuckling my ski pants in January of 2021 and now it is a lot more work, including: getting me in to bed at night; waking up multiple times during the night to fix my pain issues; getting me out of bed in the morning; managing my breathing equipment and other devices; managing the PSW schedule; renewing and picking up my medications; getting up early and pushing hard to get me to church or to an appointment; and on and on it goes!


Ever since the middle of December I've been going to church in a wheelchair accessible van that is lent to us by a neighbour down the street. We had no idea that van existed but Cathy found it on the Facebook neighbour's group.  What a blessing these wonderful neighbours have been! And my brothers, Shaun, Bart and Kyle will take turns driving me in the van to church. 


I am truly blessed by my support team. God must have arranged all of that - and I continue to trust in the Lord my God and his son Jesus. As it says in Jeremiah 17: 7-8:


Blessed is the person who trusts the Lord.

The Lord will be his confidence.

He will be like a tree that is planted by water.

It will send its roots down to a stream.

It will not be afraid in the heat of summer.

Its leaves will turn green.

It will not be anxious during droughts.

It will not stop producing fruit. 


I continue to try to be full of joy and peace despite the drought I am going through. Please continue to pray that I will not stop producing good fruit!


Easter Is Coming!


Speaking of the Lord, Easter is on its way and we are called to remember the Lord's son, Jesus, and the sacrifice He made for all of us on Good Friday. Jesus was so in touch with His father in heaven that He did everything His father wanted Him to do. He lived as a human for around 30 years and then was crucified on a wooden cross and died there to take all of our sins with Him so that anyone who believes in Jesus could live for eternity in Heaven with fellow believers. God the Father sent Jesus to earth to eliminate the curse that was brought upon humankind through the mistakes that Adam and Eve made a long time ago because of the betrayal by Satan. We are so blessed to have Jesus make that sacrifice for us! I hope that you will really consider this as we celebrate Easter. It's not just about a long weekend and a big dinner with family and an Easter egg hunt for the kids. Easter is much, much more than that. I pray that you will see the light of Jesus this Easter!


Garth.

May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in him. Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

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Pamela Maxwell
Pamela Maxwell
Apr 05

Hello Garth, I just read your blog and was blown away and totally inspired by your spirit, faith, courage, gratitude and resilience. You brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy that you are surrounded by people that support and love you. Pleased that your PSWs are so Christian bringing prayers with them to work. Also that you are enjoying music!! Your grandchiltren picture blanket looks wonderful!! You are truly blessed with Cathy’s love and support through this, as you have already mentioned. I am happy to hear she is receiving respite. I will continue praying for you!! Pam

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rltrerice
Mar 26

Thank you for the inspirational update Garth! Your positivity and faith in this trial is truly amazing and uplifting. You really remind me how trivial are some of the things I let annoy me! It is also so good to see how the Lord is ensuring you are cared for despite these difficult times. I am not sure if you have been watching The Chosen series, but if you haven't, there is a scene there between Jesus and James called "why haven't you healed me" that I hope you can see. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZDvcEkjthA

It is one of my favourite scenes!

This morning I read how Jesus prayed to our Father "If you are willing, take this cup from me..." It seems…

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aclermont07
Mar 22

Garth, please know you're in my thoughts and prayers.

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Mallory Burnside-Holmes
Mallory Burnside-Holmes
Mar 21

Love to hear your voice Garth. Thanks so much for continuing to share your ideas, observations, and blessings with us as you have always done! PS. I got the Wordle in 3 today ;)

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Pam Campbell
Pam Campbell
Mar 21

You continue to be a blessing to your community (family, friends, faith, village) Garth! I loved your gratitude share regarding your PSW team members. Your latest post has exemplified 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 for me today!

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