Dear Supporters,

Thank you everyone for your prayers. There has been so much response to the quick update I sent from Zambia. I thought I should get this out, with more details. Dan had his surgery on Thursday May 9. It went well. The surgeon said that the old lens (implanted in 1986) is very loose. We aren't sure what that means. I guess/hope we find out. But to back up. Dan realized there was something going on with his eye on Monday afternoon, May 6.

Tuesday we got in to see an ophthalmologist in Lubumbashi. (Interesting that everyone in the Eye Clinic and Johannesburg Eye Hospital here knows of her.) She diagnosed a detached retina and said we needed to go to South Africa immediately. We left Lubumbashi driving to Kitwe. We were on the cell phone continually to determine if we could drive our car to South Africa or if it was inadvisable. It was unanimous from doctors in various parts of the world that it was inadvisable. Our faithful travel agent arranged tickets to fly out of Zambia to Johannesburg. We had our physician in White River working with the ophthalmologist Dan has been going to in Nelspruit since 1990 to set up the appointments for him in Johannesburg.

Wednesday we got up at 4:00 a.m. and got to the airport, flew to Johannesburg, got a rent-a-car (thank you travel agent) and got to the Eye Clinic in time to get Dan scheduled for surgery. One of many notes of thanks to the Lord. Another patient in the post op room with Dan was from Nelspruit and from the same ophthalmologist Dan had. He was also diagnosed in Nelspruit with the same condition, also on Tuesday. He was so pleased to be able to work it out to get up to Johannesburg for this surgery today. I had to bite my tongue to not top his story.

We are at a Baptist mission guest house now. We have an appointment on Tuesday, May 14, for a checkup. Then we hope he clears Dan to go down to Nelspruit. There are issues with eyes and changing altitude after surgery. We were looking at a huge logistical hurdle with the vehicle from South Africa we had left in Zambia while we were in Congo (It only had 30 days before it had to leave the country or get paper work renewed.). We got our friend Ramsis, who we worked with at Kafakumba, to drive it down. It arrived a short while ago. Right now it is shuffling other missionaries from the guest house here around.

Things to pray for:

  • Praise that we were able to get down here and get this operation.
  • Thank the Lord for doctors and their skill.
  • Continuing healing for Dan.
  • The old lens issue.
  • Safety as Rachel has to drive in Johannesburg.


Rachel Gabler