Former Charis Fellowship pastor, Dan Travis, is recovering at home following an accident in Israel, after which he found himself hospitalized. He shared the story, to God’s glory, on Facebook, which is reproduced here, in its entirety, with his permission. Dan and his wife, Joanne, live in central Ohio, from where he frequently leads trips to Israel. Until his retirement more than a year ago, he served as pastor of Grace Church in Palmyra, Pa.
November 21, 2018
To all who have been praying for me during my recent accident in Jerusalem.
Thank you for the overwhelming outpouring of support and prayers you have communicated to me. I am deeply moved and humbled by all the kindness shown to me and my family during this time. Since I was overseas when this whole thing began, please allow me to give a little history to bring you up to today and my condition.
On Wednesday I was conducting a tour of the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem. We had just finished lunch outside the church fo the Holy Sepulchre and were heading toward the City of David. I was busy lecturing everyone about safety because it had been raining and the 500+yr old pavement was slippery and wet. Then I stepped down onto a lower step that was very slippery and my feet went out from under me. I fell directly on my hip bone and it was broken. After I fell a number of others also fell in the same general area. At the time I didn’t know that, but subsequent x-rays would reveal that to be true.
They retrieved a golf cart to get me to the gate of the city and our bus driver then brought the bus which I climbed in to and made my way to the first seat in the front of the bus. He then took me to the hospital where we maneuvered out of the bus and into a wheelchair. I was sent to the emergency room and after x-rays it was reveled that I had in fact broken my hip.
They then transferred me by ambulance to another very good orthopedic hospital on Mt Scopus. Where I laid in the emergency room overnight because of a lack of beds available.The next morning they transferred me to a room and the doctor came to visit me. I had several questions like”
What is going to need to be done?
Can I go back to the states and do it at home?
What are you qualifications? etc.
After he came in I found that he done done his internship in orthopedic surgery at Cleveland Clinic. In fact he spoke perfect English and his first statement to me was Browns or Bengals? Do check him out I said Steelers. (I don’t really care) and he mumbled “figures.” We hit it off very well and he explained that I could not go back home in this condition and I need to have some form of a hip replacement immediately. He was doing partials on Thursdays (that day) and on Friday he would do a full hip replacement. On Friday morning they prepped me and I went through the operation with an epidural. I carried on conversation with him throughout parts of the surgery. Sometime in person I would be glad to explain the surreal experience of that time.
Post surgery, I went back to the room and finished out the day. The next morning I was helped out of bed and walked about 20′ then turned around and walked back to the room. After getting into bed I fell asleep for 4 hours. It had completely worn me out. I repeated the exercise two more time that day and was exhausted.
The doctor stopped in and told me the surgery was a great success,. I then asked him when I would be able to fly home. He told me in 6-8 weeks. Maybe 4 if everything went well. He said I would be in the hospital for at least another 4 days. Then I asked is there any way I can fly home on Tuesday or Wednesday. His response was that he did not know how that could be, but that would mostly depend on me and my determination to walk. The next morning the PT director came to work with me and we walked a long hallway then He decided to try some stairs. We had gone about 1/2 of the way up one flight and he asked if I wanted to go back down, to which I responded we started this flight, let’s finish it and then go back down.
I finished the day doing the same exercise two more times.During that day I talked with the doctor and told him I wanted to be released on Sunday and I was going to buy tickets to go home on Tuesday. He had heard what I was doing and agreed. I called my airline guys and explained the situation and some very generous people kindly paid the ticket for my flight.
On Sunday it was kind of the talk of the floor with the nursing staff. I talked with the PT guy and asked him what I should do, he responded with some kind compliment that he could not push me as hard as I had pushed my self, then suggested some things I should do.
I asked one of the nurses how ling it would be before I could drive. She said, “of course it is all relative, for some it takes six weeks, others take four weeks, but with you I predict two weeks.” They all joked about my height and size. That I was a big man. I told one of the nurses that I was the shortest man in my family. She said are you a family of giants. they even added an extension to my bed because it was too short for me. All in all with the medical staff o f the hospital I got along well and hopefully reflected Christ to them.
I was discharged on Sunday and went to the hotel helped by a couple of ladies from Net Tours who I work with in the holy Land. I spent the next day restlessly waiting for my flight to start. The hotel staff was kind and very helpful I am very grateful for their help. With the help of a walker I was all over the lobby and up to my room. After a grueling 23 hours and 15 minutes flight and layovers, I was finally able to hug my wife and my daughter who came down to help get me home.
So all that to say THANK YOU for you prayers concern, for those who have provided in our time of need. We really are part of a forever family in God’s care. May God Bless you all on this side and other side of the pond.
I do not want to repeat an experience like this for maybe a thousand years or so, but I learned alot about dependence on God, Family , Friends and those you don’t even know.
November 22, 2018
I cannot possibly respond wisely and thoughtfully to the outpouring of love I have experienced this past week from those who read about my time in the Hospital and getting home. So please allow me to give you a collective response and prayer request.
I very much appreciate and covet your prayers for a full recovery, but only if that is what God wills for my life. During this time I have come to realize that His will is far more important than my comfort. I and functional, by God’s grace, and will continue to improve, I pray, by God’s grace. My prayer every day during this time was two fold: “Father help me to change lives by meeting people where they and moving them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.” Some of you may recognize that statement. It is the purpose statement of East Side Grace Brethren Church where I had the honor of serving for part of my ministry years. I was involved in the development of that statement for our church and liked it so much I adopted it for my own life. I believe that more than anything it speaks to how we influence those around us in the mundane and daily attitudes and actions of my life. I think a good example of this happened when I was dealing with one of the food service people in the Hospital over the weekend.
I was trapped in the bed on Saturday morning and he brought my food to me and since there was a lot of stuff on my try table, he set my food on the tray table of the other bed. He then turned and walked out with my food on one side of the room and me trapped on the other side. I called to him to wait and he looked back at me and scowled and just continued walking. At lunch time the same thing. That continued through all the meals. On Sunday morning I asked the Physical Therapist, David, to help me with this . He spoke very good English so I explained I was not angry, just desiring to have the young man help a little more when he delivered my meals.
So David talked with him. He found that the young man spoke no English and the apparently frantic way in which I appealed to him to wait made him think I was angry and cursing at him. I asked David to give him my apologies for that impression and explain why I was frantic. Which he did. When he was done the young man accepted my apology and the last meal he delivered to me before being allowed to leave, he brought the tray in set it down and rolled it to me with a big smile on his face. I had won a friend.
The second part of my prayer came out of I Corinthians 10:31, “Lord whatever I do please allow me to do it for your glory alone.”
As I worked to get out, and get stronger, many of the hospital workers would comment that I was unbelievable in the way I approached the task of recovery. I was able to explain to them that it wasn’t me at all. It was God working in me to accomplish His good will. This comment caused more of a stir than the work I was doing, and I realized that many were watching me and I had to be diligent in how I conducted my self with these people.
One word, came out of the trip that was repeated over and over again to me by people. They would say “you are so kind.” Now you have to understand that that is a word that has not been used to describe me very often. I have been called determined, caring, motivated, driven and some that are not so positive, but I cannot recall a time when the word “kind” was used to describe me. It made me stop and think about how important that our demeanor must match our heart. I have always wanted to be kind to people, but in my weakness I learned that kindness was something that comes from humility. I was brought down on this trip. And it made me a kinder person. And that brought Glory to God.
So if you pray for me, pray that I might meet people where they are and mover them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus and that I might use this circumstance to bring glory to God in every way possible.
And third, that He would remind of that need in my life every day, no matter how it affects my recovery.