Written on February 18th (my visit update will be next!):
Thank you for your prayers through my adventure with cancer.
Tomorrow is a big day: I am heading to Milan’s National Cancer Center for a private consultation with a renowned doctor there.
This is just one of many blessings we are experiencing:
- Serenella, a sister in our church lined up the visit for me.
- Claudio, a brother in our church, and Serenella are coming with me. They are both detail-oriented people…they just want to make sure that I get as much out of it as possible!
- The brothers and sisters of the Centro Evangelico Battista insisted on paying for our trip and even for the appointment! (I had asked God for help with that!)
- Another sister of our church is coming this evening to watch the kids so that
- Melodee and I can have some time alone before the big trip.
- I got my CAT scan results yesterday, so I have the most up-to-date documentation. (The results were not conclusive, they suggest doing an MRI as soon as possible.)
As you can imagine, we have our ups and downs emotionally since we received news of more cancer. But, hey, so did Job, right? A few days ago the Lord gave me one short verse that has really carried me through these days: And the Lord said to Moses, “Is the Lord’s hand shortened?” (Numbers 11:23, ESV) I thank God that his hand is not shortened, whether it be for quail or for cancer.
The encouragement has been overwhelming for us.
In my last e-mail I mentioned Daniele, a friend in northern Italy with a brain tumor.
When he and his wife Petra found out the news that I had another malignant ulcer, they asked us if they could call us to encourage us. That Friday they called us to share with us the peace that they have and how even cancer patients can minister to others. Daniele had enough strength to say two words: yes and amen. Petra asked him if he agreed with her that God was using him through this sickness. He said, “si.” At the end when I prayed for them he said, “Amen.”
Those two words communicated more than many speeches we have heard before! That Sunday, just two days later, Daniele went to be with the Lord.
We feel so blessed that he would decided to spend almost an hour of one of his last days on earth to minister to us. Pray for Petra and Manuel as they grieve the loss of Daniele.
Finally, I have an invitation for you.
Our brothers and sisters have started a 24-hour prayer chain for me, and two other people in our church. Roque is a pastor from Venezuela with Leukemia and Cenni, who attends with her husband and two children, has a brain tumor. The last time they did a prayer chain for me I was cancer-free for almost two years!
The biggest challenge is to get people to sign-up for the slot between 1 and 5 AM. I got to thinking: in America, EST that would be 7 to 11 PM, not to mention the rest of the time zones, where it would be even earlier! If you are reading this, chances are you already pray for me…would you be interested in joining the prayer chain? I will personally write your name in the slot. Or another slot, if those don’t work for you. Please let me know if you would like to join this prayer adventure! You would be praying along with people from our church and from around the world.
God is good…all the time. It really is true that with the trials come greater blessings. I pray that this lesson not be wasted on us.