Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Jules Update #3

Dan and Jules June 2009

Dan and Jules during Dan's June 2009 visit.

Pastor Steve Buerer of Schuylkill Valley Bible Chapel, Schuylkill, Penn. drove over 7 hours one way to visit Jules this week for a couple of days.  He sent this update to us:

I arrived in Malden, MA in the early afternoon on Monday but Jules and Martha were not home. I finally made contact with them and learned that Jules had been taken to the emergency room that morning.  I found him lying in the hallway of the emergency room in severe pain.  For the past four days he has not been able to keep any food and has basically stopped eating.  I believe that his situation is very serious.

They did a CAT scan of his abdomen and didn't find anything unusual.  He was sent home with a prescription for pain and one for antibiotics.  I finally got them back to their apartment at 8:30 PM.  Jules was exhausted by then so I went to my motel.  I'll go back this morning for a couple of hours and then leave for home around noon.

Jules desperately needs prayer and encouragement.  We read scripture and prayed together, talked about old times, and laughed about some of our adventures (remember Jules and the donkey lady on the bridge?).

Both Jules and Martha are scared and alone.  They have no Christian friends in the area and no church to minister to them. Please encourage the RMI family, especially the Sister Churches, to reach out to them with prayer, phone calls, letters, and visits when possible.  This is a man who faithfully ministered to all of us for so many years. Now it's our turn to minister to him.

God Bless,


We appreciate Pastor Steve's thoughtfulness, helpfulness and ministry to Jules!!  I talked with Pastor Steve and Jules after receiving Pastor Steve's email.

Jules needs 3 things:

1.  Above all he needs your prayers.  He faces so much right now and feels very alone.  Pray that he will feel God's presence and comfort.  Pray for the doctors that are treating him, that they will be able to help help deal with the many issues that he has (the chemo, pain, diarrhea, not eating, the cancer, his back, etc.).  Pray that he will find fellow believers to visit and uplift him.  Pray as he decides about when to return to Haiti.  Pray about their financial situation.  Pray for Martha's visa issue.  They need an extension on it so she can stay with him.  Pray that Martha can keep her job in Haiti.

2.  He desperately needs your encouragement.  As Pastor Steve said, "This is a man who faithfully ministered to all of us for so many years. Now it's our turn to minister to him."  Cards are nice, but even more meaningful would be personal letters to him.  First tell him who you are, when you went to Haiti (or met him) and what sister church you visited so he has a reference point.  Express your appreciation to him for what he has done for you and what he means to you.  Share scripture with him.  Recall fun incidents and times you had together.  Pray with him through the letter.  He knows he is gravely ill, but don't pepper him with questions about his illness.  Please don't share "cures" or special diets with him.  It just wouldn't be helpful to him in his current circumstances.

His address is:

Jules Gedna
150 Sammett St
Malden MA 02148

You can also call him.  Remember that he tires quickly, so keep it to a minimum.  The guidelines listed above are the same for a phone call.  He really doesn't want to talk about his illness.  He would enjoy both - phone calls and letters.

His phone is:  321-217-4165

If you are thinking of going to visit him, be prepared to be helpful (driving them wherever they need to go, picking up food or medicine, etc.), to be upbeat and encouraging and to stay at a local hotel.  The townhouse where they are staying is very small!  Be sensitive to his level of fatigue.  He's so polite, he won't come out and say that he needs to rest.  Please call me before you go so I can give you additional advice and counsel.

Pastor Steve was able to make contact with former MEBSH President Chavannes Juene who has relatives in the Boston area.  His wife, Madame Chavannes, has arranged for a Haitian pastor to visit and they are working to help Haitian believers contact Jules and Martha (the folks where he is staying are Christians).  Jules June 2009He does have Haitian friends come by from time to time.  We are thankful that this source of encouragement is in process so their local Haitian network can help uphold them!  They need it so much. 

3.  They need financial help.  Even though the hospital is covering his medical treatments, there are many, many expenses that they are incurring that they need help with.

For financial gifts:  Make your check out to RMI and include a note designating it for the RMI emergency fund, for Jules Gedna.  Do not send him checks directly as it is very difficult for him to get them cashed.   RMI is waiving any administration fees for this account at this time.  All funds will go toward his expenses and will be forwarded to the family. 

Feel free to share this with team members - anyone who may know Jules.  We need to flood him with appreciation letters!  Let him know that he is loved and cared for.

Thank you for your participation with Jules.  We are thankful that he has all of you as friends.