Please pray for tonight’s Gospel Presentation!

 

Tonight, after several months of translating and studying the Ten Commandments with our youth through the Study “The Righteous Shall Live by Faith” we our on our last study. Last week was on the topic of The Law, and this week we conclude with Grace.

I cannot express how critical this study is to our youth in this moment.
I’m not even done translating it for tonight, but I needed to stop to ask you for your prayers!

We have several youth that are not believers. It is in moments like this that the devil often keeps them away.
Please pray for their salvation.

I make no claims to be an eloquent teacher, so please pray that the Holy Spirit will work through this weak vessel.

Would you take a moment to pray right now?

Tomorrow we are making history at the Centro Evangelico Battista!

 

Tomorrow is an important date for the life of the Centro Evangelico Battista: we are approving three men as the first deacons of our church.
Please pray that God will lead clearly!
Pray for their training.
Pray for their ministry.
Pray for a good working relationship with the body and with the pastors.

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Heading Out! Three quick prayer requests for my cancer-fighting adventures

 

Can you believe it? Tomorrow is the day I go to Milan!

Around 4 AM my Dad will take my Mom and me to Terontola, the closest train hub station. From there we will be taking a train to Florence, and from there another train to Milan Central Station, where we will take a taxi to the hospital.
By 9:30 AM we should be there!

Here are three ways you can pray:

  1. Traveling mercies. I can’t believe my Mom is willing to spend a whole week in the hospital with me! It is a long way from home!
  2. Melodee and the kids. Another blessing is that Melodee’s mom Anne surprised us a few days ago and let us know she was coming to help out while I am away! She arrived today! And just in time too…Melodee has had high fever now for a few days. (Also, please pray I don’t catch Melodee’s bug!)
  3. Surgery on Thursday and recovery for a week or so. Surgery has been confirmed for Thursday. Then recovery, biopsy of the tissue and evaluation of what I need to do next.

And about our Easter…
How was your Easter?
Ours was amazing! We had a full church, many unbelievers attended, the choir did a great job and my message went well! Praise God!

Thank you for all your encouraging notes, prayers, gifts! We couldn’t do it without you! We have received so much encouragement!…Another supporting church has asked to help out, other supporters have increased their support, an anonymous person gave me money for the trip Sunday and a new believer in our church has offered to pick me up when I am ready to come home!

Second Milan Visit

 

Thank you for your prayers!

If you were one of the OVER FIFTY PEOPLE who signed up for our prayer chain, I have some blessings to share with you.
  1. Cenni had most of the tumor removed from her brain last Thursday and she was already in church Sunday!  I will try to get you a picture of her for you as soon as possible!  She said that she has never felt so close to God as she does now.
  2. I gave the signup list to Donatella. She had tears in her eyes.  Tomorrow night she is going to read each one of your names in our prayer meeting.  Thank you for praying!
Speaking of tomorrow…
Tomorrow morning we are heading to Milan again for my follow-up visit.  (Thanks to my dear friend and mentor Steve Standridge for asking!!).
Here is where it gets interesting…by we I mean me, Claudio, Melodee…and Eva!The point of the visit is to evaluate the MRI and to schedule the surgery.  Imagine…five ours on a train with a six month old!  It will be great!!  I am so excited for Melodee to be there to meet the doctor and make decisions together.
Please pray for wisdom for:
  1. Scheduling the surgery
  2. Deciding to do the surgery privately through our insurance or through the national health care system.
Family portraitWe are so grateful to God for each one of you who read this, pray for us, give, to keep us going!  We truly feel like the richest people in the world!

 

PS.
We finally have some updated pictures on our website!!  Click here or go directly to our Downloads page.

The Best Bad News…

I am excited to share with you the best bad news that I could have hoped to receive. However, if you are bored with all this medical stuff…please don’t feel obligated to read on!

But first, let me just say that the response to the invitation to participate in our prayer chain was amazing! We had over fifty people sign up!
I may have not been 100% clear about how it works to be a part of it, so let me answer the most common questions I got:

  1. How many days do I need to pray for? The people in our church will be praying for me at least for six months to two years, or until we get clear news that I am in remission. Cancer is a chronic situation that does not go away in a day and does not always stay away. In my case, it is my third time. So you can decide how long you want to commit for: one day, one week, one month, one year, five years (when they would officially declare me cancer-free)…it’s totally up to you! We will not turn down any prayer we can get!
  2. How much time do I need to dedicate to it every day? Again, that is up to you. Most people take a break in what they are doing and pray for a few minutes and then go back to what they were doing. Some people will probably pray for a full hour, but I doubt they will just pray for me in that case.
  3. Which time is best if I am flexible? The time that you are most likely to do it. If you already have a regular daily time that you pray for us, you can just make it a part of that time.

And now, a quick note about my visit to the “Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori” in Milan.
****WARNING****
Graphic information that might not be suitable to queasy stomachs!

Milan's "Skyscraper!"

In front of Milan’s “Skyscraper” with Claudio

Claudio picked me up at 5:30 AM to take me an hour away to get the train that brought us to Milan.
We arrived in Milan a little after noon. My visit was at four. A whole day of travel for one hour, but it was worth it.

One of the best advice I got was from our friend Petra, that you probably remember from my last letters. She said to ask people that God give you peace in these situations.

I was uneasy most of the day, but the minute I shook hands with Dr. Riccio a calm took over.
For over an hour he asked questions, checked me, checked my CAT scan and answered our questions.
In my heart (and through my research and advice from friends in the medical profession), I was convinced that I did not want to do radiation treatment. Dr. Riccio is against radiation treatment in my case.
He gave me a clear theory of why I have cancer (after eliminating the hypotheses of chain smoker or alcoholic).
He gave me two options for my cure:
1. Continue picking at my tongue every time that a new tumor shows up.
2. Do a wider and deeper cleaning of the entire incision area to remove the offending area and then some dental work to remove the abrasion contact, which he considers the main offender. This was his suggestion. This will mean a least a week in the hospital in Milan, as soon as we can set a date.

If the cancer is not limited within the area that will be removed, he will probably suggest removing up to half of my tongue. But this is the worst case scenario.
So, as you can see, it really was some good bad news:

  • I found a doctor I am confident in (Claudio and Serenella felt that way about him too).
  • It seems the cancer has not spread beyond the tongue.
  • So far it seems I will be able to avoid permanent damage, whether by radiation, chemotherapy or a more drastic removal of tongue tissue!
  • Yesterday I went to the doctors here in Perugia to thank them for their many years of care and to let them know that I will be followed in Milan. They were as gracious about it as I could have asked for. Even the doctor I talked to seemed to think it was a good idea!

Of course, I continue to see God through this trial. I spent an entire day with two new believers, who used their gifts to serve. We were able to witness to three people on the train ride. The church has shown its love for me by their gifts and prayers…and that makes it all worth it!

Thank you for being part of the adventure!