Yesterday we received a tip from a BJU staff member. Apparently, sometime during last evening’s Bible Conference service Dr. Bob III promised a video update from Stephen Jones, the University’s President-in-abstentia (he has not been seen publicly on campus in 200 days exactly; a mysterious illness is to blame).
Dr. Bob’s announcement came, notably, on the same day that the Greenville News published an article detailing the trials and tribulations the school has endured during the President’s extended absence, and offering vague, ominous clues as to how long he might still be incapacitated.
No video was forthcoming today, but BJU did post a message from Stephen Jones on its website. There is absolutely nothing of note in the nine-paragraph update for those who have been following the story. We must admit that the Misters Jones were a bit of a tease here. Nevertheless we have pasted the update below. After all, BJU is known for suddenly wiping news stories from its site.
UPDATE FROM BJU PRESIDENT, DR. STEPHEN JONES:
Dr. Stephen Jones continues on medical leave. The following is his Mar. 22, 2012, update.
While this semester has not been what I had hoped for humanly (which was a return to full responsibilities), it has been a story of God’s faithfulness and miraculous working. On behalf of Erin and our children, let me thank the thousands of you who have told us you are praying. Please be encouraged that God is doing wonderful things, though He has not yet seen fit to restore my health.
Beginning in late January and stretching through last week, I have had a whirlwind of medical appointments. Each appointment held promise, so I held off writing an update until I had something to report.
Our path first led back to the Christian hearing and balance specialist in Jacksonville, Fla., who diagnosed my inner-ear issue last February. The Lord led us to him initially through a friend who “happened” to have a conversation with him after church one Sunday and found out he ran one of the few specialty clinics in the field. The Lord has grown that relationship over this year, allowing Erin and me to introduce the doctor and his wife to the mission of Bob Jones University (beyond what they already knew through his sister, who homeschools using the BJU Press curriculum).
God opened another miraculous door while we were in Jacksonville, allowing for first-rate testing for alternate causes, such as anything viral, cancerous, etc. Thankfully, all of those tests came back negative.
Immediately after returning from Jacksonville, I learned that our Pre-Med Forum students had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Raymond Damadian, the man who invented the MRI. Dr. Damadian is a believer, and two of the Pre-Med Forum students mentioned my situation to him. He immediately offered to scan me at his facility, since he’s seen hundreds of people suffering with my symptoms and believed he knew what was wrong.
Ten days later, the MRI revealed two herniated discs in my neck and a small malformation in my cerebellum. Dr. Damadian and another doctor he works with believe that those things combine to restrict the flow of spinal fluid from my brain, where it’s manufactured, to my spinal column, and back again. He believes that the resulting pressure on my brain could account for my symptoms. I’m working with the doctors to address these issues and have already begun treatment.
While I have been away from the office I have stayed connected. A week doesn’t go by that I am not interacting with my team and directing the strategy of the University. Students are testifying to a strong spiritual year. We’ve clarified the value of a BJU education—Build Faith. Challenge Potential. Follow Christ. And, we’ll be ready for intercollegiate athletics at the start of the fall semester. The Lord has blessed me with a strong team that He has worked through to move the organization forward, and I have every confidence in their dedication and leadership.
Through all of this, God has made Himself very real to our whole family, and we’ve had the joy of sharing specific miracles and answers to prayer with our children. Thank you again for your love and prayers. It’s impossible to tell you just how much they mean—and just how much I miss being among you. My prayer is that the Lord will begin making that possible soon, as He wills. Until then, let me share verses that have been very special to me these last weeks:
Psalm 31:6b-7 I trust in the LORD. I will be glad and rejoice in Thy mercy: for Thou hast considered my trouble; Thou hast known my soul in adversities;