There has been a couple of subsequent and important developments since this letter was first sent out. The meeting with the principal of the high school didn’t go as well as I prayed it would as it was determined that I am 47.5 hours short of qualifying for the FAML. And then the very next day the paraprofessional association I am with denied my appeal for extra sick days from our sick day pool.

This means a couple of things 1) I do not have the option to take the FAML which means they will probably expect me to resign. An option I don’t believe I am going to take. It would appear they will have to fire me. And 2) I now won’t have those extra 10 days of sick pay we had hoped for. This means I will now have been without income from the school job for the better part of a month.

The original letter now follows:

Dear Friends and Family of AM,

First let me assure you that this isn’t going to turn into a weekly thing. You may recall my letter Battle Alert last week which talked about the desire the Lord has placed in my heart (see–Psalm 37:4) to enter this spiritual battle and the work at Apprising Ministries on a fulltime basis. Donna and I want you to know that we do appreciate the response we received for prayer and even a little financial support.

This time however, I do not write out of desire but rather out of necessity. There were some who expressed that it would be wise for me to wait until there was more of a definite monetary base before taking such a bold step of faith. Without a doubt this is wise and pragmatic advice. However, I have no choice but to inform you that apparently God has other plans for me in this regard. Where once I might have had the option of remaining on my secular job, this is now going to have to change.

As briefly as I can, last time I mentioned the disease I have had all of my life called Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT). How it affects me primarily is that my ankles have zero strength which then causes them to bow out. Over time it has led to many, many ankle sprains until they are now rather rigid. What this has resulted in is marked deformity in my feet. The bones themselves are now somewhat bent in and instead of the feet bearing pressure where God originally designed it to go mine cannot. This is the source of the chronic pain I live with to some degree every day.

When all of the above is combined with the nerve endings also not functioning properly it has now been leading to the skin of my feet literally tearing apart at the soles. Since I am in pain anyway I often don’t notice it until the infection sets in, which is almost immediately due to the poor circulation. I am sorry to be so graphic but I felt it was necessary to give you a background concerning just why it is I have been experiencing such problems on my secular job. It will also help you see the challenge I face in doing anything right now.

Monday November 6 at one pm EST I have a meeting with the principal of the high school in regard to the amount of time I have had to miss, particularly in the month of October. I am out of sick days and personal time so much of this missed time has been unpaid leave. He has been very understanding about all of this but we both know that some arrangement must be made for them to cover my position. Now my doctor has me under strict orders to stay off my feet until I am seen by the specialists of the High Risk Foot Clinic November 14.

The concern my doctor has is that the CMT is such my ankles somehow need to be stabilized before more damage is done to them and also to prevent further tearing of, and infections in, my feet. Long story short, what this means is that I will now have no choice but to go on the FAML unpaid leave from the high school. During this time the specialists will be determining the options available for me. Since braces were tried before and the pull in by my feet too strong there is a strong likelihood of surgery.

Those details aren’t all that important but I do wish people to know I didn’t write about entering this work at AM on a fulltime basis on a whim. We have been praying about this for some time and of course I could anticipate something like this was eventually going to happen. My prayer was that the feet would hold out long enough for the Lord put the financial structure for AM in place for me. As I have said before, and contrary to my many critics, being pastor-teacher of Connecticut River Baptist Church, AM is only one part of the labor I have in Christ. However, at the same time it is clearly the most visible.

On top of all of this Donna’s mother is also failing fast as the osteoporosis and osteoarthritis take their toll on her health. As you might imagine this is very hard on Donna because she is witnessing both her mom and her husband struggling, though I wouldn’t compare my affliction to that of Donna’s mother. And so right now this is where I stand, or in my case sit, as I write this to you. Even if I wanted to continue my job at the high school I can’t, and as I also said last time I have felt led to devote myself to CRBC and its outreach AM anyway. It would seem that God has now made this a necessity.

I can tell you that despite all of this we continue to praise our Lord Jesus our wonderful Savior and Great Shepherd for His tender care and guidance. He has given me ample opportunity to have the privilege to live the truth of His Word:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.

6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)

As a matter of fact in my morning devotional reading today Charles Spurgeon was talking about a Civil War chaplain who had been seriously injured in the battle of Gettysburg. Afterward as he lay in severe pain on the ground he could hear a soldier crying out. The chaplain rolled himself over and over until he got next to the dying man and led him to Christ right on that bloody battlefield. I can tell you from experience that Spurgeon knows the truth when he asks: “Could he have had a surer relief for his pain? I think not.” And then the prince of preachers said: “So it is when you miss a friend, or have lost property, or are heavy in spirit, you shall find your surest comfort in serving God with all your might.”

And so our friends and family in Christ, we have been brought together on this spiritual battlefield for such a time as this. As always we covet your prayers because with the type of work I am called to do I wouldn’t last the day without the prayers of the saints. Take a quick look around the internet and you will get an idea of the type of heavy enemy fire I endure to take the bold stand for God’s Truth that I do. I deserve nothing as I am only standing in the strength Christ gives me and His bondslave I am only doing what I am supposed to do. If you have ever felt you wanted to help financially with the work I am doing for our Lord here at AM I think it appears obvious that this would be a good time.

In closing I remind you of Hebrews 12:1-2 – Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

And I leave you with the words of A.W. Tozer:

When by faith we have entered this lifelong spiritual course, the Holy Spirit whispers, “Do you truly want to be among the victors in this discipline?” When we breathe our “Yes! Yes!” He whispers of ways that will aid us and carry us to certain victory.

The Spirit tells us to throw off everything that would hinder us in the race. He tells us to be aware of the little sins and errors that could divert us from the will of God as we run. But here is the important thing: He tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus, because He alone is our pacesetter and victorious Example.

To that I add a hearty, Amen. To the end!

With gratitude in the Lord for you,

Ken Silva
Apprising Ministries

Connecticut River Baptist Church