prayer request

For those of you who have read my book you’ll recognize this paragraph from my “thanks and acknowledgments”:

Following this I began attending a most unusual church, NewSong. It was the first “GenX” church, and considered now one of the beginnings of the Emerging Church movement. Dieter Zander was the head pastor and worship leader. His leadership brought some of the most dynamic and passionate young men and women together, inspiring many to seek new creativity and excitement about God. From him I learned that the old patterns of church weren’t set in stone, but there were ways in which God could reach me and those like me in new, fresh, life-changing ways. At NewSong I got involved with a small group that to this day exemplifies Christian community in my mind. The earnest and dedicated pursuit of God that brought sharing in all parts of our lives made me realize there really was something to church that extended way past sermons and singing. Thanks to Dieter and those in the Claremont Care Group I knew there was something profound God was doing in the church, if we just stepped aside and let him do it. They taught me to enjoy dancing.

Dieter Zander went on to work at Willow Creek for a while, and then returned to the West coast where he began a ministry in San Francisco, reaching out to people who had no connection with the church, and often an antipathy towards it.

A few days ago I got this message in an e-mail:

During the night Val discovered that Dieter had had a stroke. He could look at her but not speak. She got an ambulance and they took him to the nearest hospital, Marin General.

Because it was impossible to determine the time of the stroke the doctors said they could not use the more benign approach of a chemical injection that dissolves blood clots. So they had to enter the brain surgically. Judy’s and my guess, based on the timing of various phone calls is that the operation ran about three hours, this morning early.

Val had tough decisions to make and releases to sign. At present, surgery having just ended, they are trying to stabilize him and get him to where he can breathe on his own. They are using blood thinners, too. No longterm prognosis has yet been given.

An update the next day said this:

Good News – Dieter had a restful night and has made it through the first 24 hrs. Dieter had a CAT scan today and there is no bleeding in his brain.

Concerns – There is substantial swelling in the brain. Dieter has a mild case of pneumonia and He is not able to breath on his own

Please pray:

1. God would cure the pneumonia

2. Dieter would be able to breath on his own tomorrow

3. The swelling in the brain would go down

4. Complete healing

5. The shivering Dieter is currently experiencing needs to stop . The hospital staff communicated this is causing his body to use energy that he can not afford to lose

Val asked if he would include in this e-mail how much she appreciates knowing that people are praying for Dieter and further requested prayer for the boys as well. Dieter and Val’s sons are Kyle – 19, Conrad who will turn 18 in 3 weeks, and Christopher who is 15.

Today I am told Val, Dieter’s wife, is having to make some very crucial and difficult medical decisions. So prayers are very much appreciated.

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