Voices from the Field Walter & Florence Grob Get to know Walter & Florence

A Season of Receiving

Published on August 10, 2022

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Most of my missionary career in Cameroon has involved the giving and receiving of ministry services. However, the last three months I have mainly only been receiving services and blessings. Perhaps it would be good to explain this.

In mid-May, the North American Baptist Conference missionaries were privileged to meet together in Rome, Italy, for a retreat, with the theme Christ as Rest. For many of us coming from stressful ministry situations, this was a very helpful and refreshing time together.

On return to Cameroon, on the long eight-hour drive from Douala to Bamenda, within half an hour of reaching our compound, I sneezed three times as we plied the dusty road. An unusual, sharp headache came on the left side of my face. I felt nauseated and started sweating profusely. Reaching the mission compound, I got out of the vehicle and was startled that I could not balance or walk. Jeff Kilmartin and my wife, Florence, had to help me into the house. Within minutes, I was taken to the Nkwen Baptist Hospital on our compound. Not long thereafter, Florence and I were driven to Mbingo Baptist Hospital (about a 45-minute drive), referred there because of its greater healthcare testing capacity.

For six days I received very good medical care at Mbingo and had two CAT scans done. Florence served as my “carer,” seeing to my meals, etc. The medical staff determined I had some kind of stroke. Towards the end of my stay, I was able to get enough balance to start walking again. The numbness on the left side of my face began to lessen. The North American Baptist Conference mission leadership, wanting to know more precisely what happened to me, arranged for a medical evacuation flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, where I could be seen by a neurologist and have an MRI done. I received 14 days of care in the Johannesburg hospital, receiving physiotherapy and occupational therapy sessions daily. The neurologist determined from the MRI that I had the smallest of strokes. I returned to Cameroon. Then Florence and I flew to Canada to complete eight weeks of additional medical leave time. The rest period has given me opportunity to regain my stamina. My balance (the biggest problem from my stroke) has improved to the point where I am easily riding a bicycle again. The numbness on the left side of my face has pretty well disappeared.

Prayers and words of encouragement have been received from so many people all over the world during this season of illness. I have also been blessed by visits and gifts. And I wonder, why am I so blessed to receive such good care? Certainly, it has to do with being part of God’s family and His love being shared through His people. What a privilege! How thankful we are for such faithful support.

God-willing, we return to Cameroon on August 10. After receiving so much good in this season, we hope to take our turn giving again, too, in appreciation for God’s goodness to us. God bless.

Walter & Florence Grob