Change of Heart

Not all that many years ago I would not have titled my Weblog “Polio, Jesus and Me.” Call attention to the fact that I had had Polio? – Never! Mind you, my body did. It couldn’t run, jump or walk up stairs in a normal manner. I couldn’t even ride a bike. And my walking gait had a pronounced “galumph”. But I did everything I could to make people either forget that I was different (I also would not admit to being actually “disabled”), or at least get them to look at my polio-caused differences on the same level as color of eyes or hair. Descriptive, but no big deal.

So why the change of heart? Why do I now put “Polio” right up front in my title? Because I now understand, with actual gratitude, that polio had a profoundly positive affect on my life and in fact is the central factor that shaped me. It made my mind sharp, always having to search for alternative ways of doing and being. It forced me to think deeply theologically – did God play a cosmic joke on me, or was His plan to make something intensely beautiful from what appeared to be ugly. Something only He can do. Just look at what he made from a handful of nondescript clay. From that statement you know the conclusion I came to. I wrote a some of articles about these musings. Check a couple of them out and tell me what you think. One is “Faith Healer Experiences” (Yes, I even explored that). Another is “What I Learned About God When Things Crashed” And “Good-By to Irian.” On a lighter note, there is “God’s Secret Weapon“. Any come-back?


2 thoughts on “Change of Heart

  1. The Internet is an amazing thing. After years of procrastinating, I joined the 21st century and got high speed. Coincidently, this week I met a Civil Engineering student at the university and began boring him with my stories about a small village in Irian Jaya. Put two and two together and I find myself at your website.

    It’s been 20 years since I was a worthless visitor to that village. I had met a man on a small flight from Vanimo to Sentani. Finding out in our exchange that I had been an Engineer, he told me of a broken water driven electrical generator, a Bible translator insistent upon keeping her laptop powered and the crazy to believe airplane flight it would take to get there and oh by the way, could I fix the generator?

    The pilot from Wamena to Korupun had quite a sense of humor, pulling out a map as we headed towards a mountain side. We were carrying a villager, who had been taken to hospital after falling out of a tree but I was told there was nothing they could do for him. He was pale, almost white and being returned to family; supposedly his last days.

    The welcome upon landing was memorable but not near the lasting impression I have of that village’s love for you.

    My first day, a bad habit of eating in the markets of Papua caught me. I laid about for 2 days reading a book (?) about Stan Dale while Jesse the Australian nurse tried to convince me that my stomach wasn’t going to explode and that the water tank and generator still needed repair.

    That water tank was hot from the inside and the generator repair band-aid at best. I hope the “repairs” lasted at least until better could be had. I’ve often thought of you and Jesse, during times wasted thinking my life difficult. I’m a teacher now, in my old neighborhood. Poor and “rough” by our standards but I feel blessed to be here and even though the kids would never believe it, I love being their Math teacher.

    I also found on youtube that the Kimyale received a Bible in their own language. After 20 years, you’ve brought me another smile and I hope my letter brings one to you.

    Mark Jarvis

    1. OH MY!! Of all things!! This ranks up there with the surprise I experienced when some Kimyal young men – now university grads – found me here! THANK YOU for commenting and telling me your story! Yes, the Kimyal New Testament was dedicated March 16, 2010. Jessie and I were among the former Korupun missionaries privileged to attend. For my account of that wonderful time, go to and right click on the “June 2010” icon.

      I’m going to email Jessie and tell her she HAS to read this account from you. She’ll love it, too!

      Again, thanks so much!

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