Recent photo of my parents in my office

Recent photo of my parents in my office

September 10, 2007

Another Two Weeks!

Thanks be to God! I am surviving this battle with continued persistence, and assurance that I am not programmed to fall over and capitulate. I am learning to view even the rise of more difficulties and pain to reflect the ways that I am in that refinement stage rather than in a work of discouragement from God. If anything, it is the enemy who wants me to give up the call God has given me -- the call to pray for the healing of others, the call to minister in power the authority of the Holy Spirit, and to see many of the lost in our culture uplifted to the glories of heaven through worship.

Now -- is that easy?? I'm sure many of you out there have tried, and you know how ridiculous this can sound at times. There are days of pain, now more intense than I was experiencing during the last blog, in which I have problems sitting in any position without being distracted by pain. I have to wiggle in some way to focus. Getting into bed at times is a challenge, since my right leg can feel as though it's been caught in a charlie-horse.

But after times of deep prayer and quiet, I am transformed into a new period of trust and quiet. My parents are here from Brazil now for just over a month, and what a BLESSING! My mother cooks, cleans, does laundry, handles times with the children, freeing Margie to rest, take some recovery time, and to think about her own calling in ministry. My father runs errands, helps out with household tasks (long needed repairs and such), and in addition to that, takes me to medical appointments, stays in my office for long periods, simply abiding with me as a person of support. How are we going to survive without them? (With God's grace, I know, but it's also a serious question!)

As far as treatment goes, here is a quick update: we nixed the idea of chemotherapy, partly because we had such reservations about it personally, but also with the support of Dr. Hantel. In the next cycle of events, we had to determine whether to procede with Dr. Raizer's experimental treatment run from Northwestern that was also designed for this kind of cancer. Dr. Raizer at first was fairly insistent on using monthly CT Scans with dye for my case, and I had already reached the conclusion that this would not work, especially since my last treatment had led to another bout of hives/skin peeling. It took nearly two weeks to hear back from his office that he had agreed to accept MRIs in lieu of the CT dye. This leaves us yet in uncertainty about whether to follow this treatment or not. I am not at all sure that this is the means God would use for my restoration. Margie would just love to have a clear decision so we could make solid schedules!

In the middle of all this uncertainty, some friends from church offered us free appointments to see a Chinese acupuncturist who has a high reputation for treating cancers. I've been to see him twice, and will go again tomorrow. His office is very restful and full of peace, but he makes no claim to "cure" or solve the cancer problem. Rather, he wants to help strengthen the immune system in the midst of the battle.

In the meantime, applications for Redeemed Lives are coming in regularly, and I am bolstered by the fact that despite my potential for daily exhaustion, "The Lord is my Rock and my Salvation; in Him I trust. The Lord is the stronghold of my life; whom shall I fear?"

Finally, we are once again greatly blessed by the many of you who have been praying for us. Some of you, we know, have never even met us. What a glorious thing the communion of saints is! And furthermore, how can we know who it is that drops by anonymous gifts, puts cash into the offering plate in envelopes for us? It is a humbling situation in which to learn better how we ourselves ought to love others. We can't even write a thank-you note for those expressions of grace, except to render them to God himself, and pass on what we can. You are all evidence of the love of Christ to us, for which we give you thanks. You are carrying us through on this journey.

Bless you,