For the past 5+ years I (Ps Raymond Burkholder) experienced pain in both my knees as I traveled globally for the cause of making disciples among many Nations for MTM. Then approximately 1-1/2 years back I finally went to see an orthopedic surgeon in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He thoroughly investigated both my knees (with many x-rays) and informed me that I have Osteo-arthritis (also sometimes called degenerate Bone disease) in both knees with little to no cartilage remaining. He informed me that I will need surgery sometime soon to replace both my knees and that the Orthopedic department at RAM hospital at Chiang Mai, Thailand is well equipped to perform this surgery.
In the time following that visit my pain levels continued to increase, and walking became increasingly more difficult and especially on uneven surfaces and going steps. In early 2020 we had a ministry trip planned to America with a very busy ministry schedule planned. Upon arrival in America the end of February within weeks COVID-19 hit and our full ministry schedule was eventually cancelled. We recognized that the MTM ministry work will be on hold for a long while. The pain & degeneration continued to increase here in America and in a noticeably short period of time my walking was majorly compromised.
Finally, in the beginning of July 2020 I went to see an orthopedic doctor here in America after it became clear it will be a very long time before we can return to Asia due to the pandemic. He also thoroughly investigated my knees with multitudes of x-rays and also confirmed my knees condition, but he used much stronger language. He said Mr. Burkholder your knees are shot!!! But he said you are very healthy otherwise and he suggested to do bilateral surgery which means doing both knees in the same surgery. But he informed me I will need to wait for 12 weeks before surgery can be performed.
In that 12 week waiting period both Naomi & I took up e-bicycling (e-bikes are battery powered assist bicycles). For Naomi it was post-surgery therapy and for me (Raymond) it was pre-surgery therapy. Over the course of the summer we rode our e-bicycles hundreds of miles.
Finally, October 21st, 2020 I was admitted at a local hospital (Ephrata WellSpan Hospitial) here in America for bilateral knee surgery. As they wheeled me into the Operating room, I was crying out to God I Corinthians 6 which tells us our bodies are not our own, v-19…
1. Our bodies belong to the Lord; v-13
2. Our bodies are the members of Christ v-15 (therefore my knees are Christ’s members).
3. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost; v-19
v-20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your Spirit which are God’s.
Actually my prayer was scriptural and in plain words, Lord help yourself to your own purchased prize possession for a successful surgery and a speedy successful full recovery! AND BLESSED BE GOD. HE HAS HONORED THAT REQUEST AND TODAY I AM GIVING HIM ALL THE GLORY!!!
Also a very special ‘Thank You’ to all of you who prayed for me before and after this surgery. Please continue to pray for a complete recovery.
Love & Blessings,
Ps. Raymond Burkholder,
See video below of my present walking and mobility.