Monday, July 28, 2008

Please pray for Susan

Last Friday Susan had a biopsy of her thyroid glands.. we knew that 95% of the time these nodules on the thyroid are benign so we tried to not get too stressed.  Today we went back to the Dr. for the results and were told she has papillary thyroid cancer.  I must confess when you have four little precious children and haven't even hit 40 hearing you have the *C* word can be quite scary.  

The good news in all this ~ there are four types of thyroid cancer and papillary is the easiest to treat and has an excellent chance of a full recovery.  So we got back from the Doctor and have tried to sort through the dozens of decisions that have to be made by.. tomorrow.  1. Where to have the surgery ~ Russia or America?  2. If we choose the States does Susan go alone or do we drag the whole family along for the ride?  3. What hospital/Dr. do we choose?  What did we do before Google?! :)   Right now we are leaning toward Dr. Anders Rosendahl of the Thyroid Cancer Clinic in Austin, Texas.  If anyone out there has any information or personal experience with Dr. Rosendahl we'd greatly appreciate you contacting us.  We also are thinking about the possibility of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.. if anyone has some personal experience there please pass on any good Dr. referrals.  

So please pray for our family to have wisdom and peace as we make so many decisions.   One thing that was a huge encouragement to me the day before the biopsy was getting this in my e-mail 'What is needed then is to see God is everything, and to receive everything directly from HIS hands, with no intervention of second causes... to the children of God everything comes directly from their Father's hand, no matter who or what may have been the apparent agents.'  Hannah Whitall Smith.   I'm having trouble getting a link to work, but you can read the entire article at  scroll down to 'when bad things happen'.

Thank you for your love and prayers for our family during this difficult time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Camp Update

Well I had every intention of writing out a big report about camp as soon as they got back.. but it never happened because James was so busy running around getting ready for the 2nd English camp that we never really got a chance to talk.  He did report that 5 youth repented;  I will try to post their stories later.   James and several others commented it was the best camp ever and said kids were staying up late at night talking about the Bible and wanting to know more.  

One huge miracle that happened was the weather.  The next to the last day of camp we had torrential thunderstorms here in our city (60km away from the camp). We're talking 12 straight hours... it ruined my beloved spinach in the garden (you have no idea how much I love spinach ~ they don't sell it here fresh).  Anyway I finally called James late that night thinking he would be huddled in his soaked tent.. he cheerfully answered the phone and reported that it had lightly rained for 10 minutes early that morning.  No thunder or lightning or strong winds or anything ~ Wahoo!

So here's some random pictures.  The English camp ends tomorrow ~ please pray for continued safety and God's grace and presence.  I'll make sure and post plenty more pictures and stories. 
Riding out to camp on the bus
The american style potato salad was a huge hit
Megan doing a skit
Most of these young men were part of a soccer team.. James said they were so great to get to know and share with them about the Bible
God provided a great song leader/guitar player

I liked this picture of James.. he was passing out invitations to the English camp ~ he is so good at just going up and talking with people.  Many times he'll go to the local basketball court and play ball for awhile and then sit around for hours talking.  Guess it's that easy going Texan charm :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Please pray for Aunt Loy - UPDATED!

James' Aunt Loy has been waiting on the heart transplant list... she got *the* call late tonight!  (She lives in Kerrville, and the surgery will be in San Antonio).  Please be praying for her.  She is such an amazing, wonderful person and our thoughts and prayers will be with her today.

Thank you for praying!!  We are rejoicing and praising God for a wonderful surgery, recovery and late last night she's back home ~ amazing! 

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Camp Update

Yesterday we got to travel out to the camp and see Daddy and wish him a Happy Birthday!!  Everyone had a GREAT day! 
When we got there Johanna wrapped her arms around James and just squeezed him for 10 minutes.. 'I WUV oo Daddy!'  He's been missed! :)
The kids loved playing in the lake
The kids thought it was so great to eat ramen noodles... Rachel said 'This is like the best stuff I've EVER eaten in my whole entire life!!'  Why do I try so hard making everything from scratch when such happiness can be found in instant noodles??  Johanna ate and then curled up with her blanket right there on the table for her afternoon nap ~ gotta love that ability to sleep whenever/however.
Keep praying for our friends Megan, Tabitha & Micah.  They are AMAZING and do such a fantastic job helping, serving and talking with the Russian young people.  Pray for wisdom and physical strength and health for them.. it is not easy living out in the boonies for 10 days.
The view from the meeting area.. just gorgeous.
I'm always impressed to see how they build the kitchen, eating tables, benches ~ very creative
That evening enjoying mushroom soup they had picked themselves in the woods.
Getting ready for capture the flag
The victorious red team!

Please continue to pray the rain away.  The forecast is scattered showers the next 8 days - yikes!  James said the camp is going very well.  Many new young men who have never come to camp before are really enjoying camp life.  None of them have ever read a Bible and say they don't believe God even exists;  and yet James said they have been listening very intensely during each morning and evening Bible session.  Please pray for God to work in these lives.  I know God is faithful and HE is at work this week. Can't wait to give you another update this weekend when they return.  

Friday, July 04, 2008

Thanks for praying!

Well camp started this morning!  HOORAY!  Thank you so much for praying for the weather ~ it's been amazing... after predicting rain every single day this past week it ended up only raining for about an hour Wednesday and Thursday it was actually HOT with sunshine!  They were able to get things set up and the ground somewhat dried up ~ what a huge praise.

The camp bus left this morning and I haven't talked with James to see how many youth actually ended up coming.  We were quite disappointed at how many signed up to come but then at the last minute the parents wouldn't allow them.   James ended up going to visit several families to answer their questions... here is a typical conversation.

Parent: my friend said that her daughter Julia went to camp last year and when she came back she stopped drinking, yelling at her brother, and read the Bible instead of going out drinking with her friends.  I do not want my child to become some religious fanatic.

James: Oh so you would rather your daughter becomes an alcoholic and runs around on the street all night..

Parent: Yes, exactly, it's normal to become an alcoholic and party all night.. it's just not normal for a teenager to read a Bible.

**hitting head against a brick wall**

So that's been the last week in a nutshell.  Most nights James went to bed around 3am and was up at 6am.. pray for strength and wisdom.  Pray for our three friends from Florda ~ Micah, Megan and Tabitha to be protected and see God at work in people's lives.  Pray for us on the homefront.  

And last of all Happy Independence Day!!  I am so very thankful for the men & women who have sacrificed so much to give us the freedom we all enjoy.  Thanks for your prayers and willingness to be involved in what God is doing over here in our small corner of the world.

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