Thursday, April 15, 2010
This spring finds me in the good old USA. My heart however is on Honduran soil. Most of you know by now that I returned to the U.S. in October for my oldest son’s wedding. Zach joined the Air Force, married Lora Leigh Tillman, and is now stationed in Warner Robins, Ga. I couldn’t have picked a more perfect young lady for him myself.
After a routine mammogram and subsequent biopsy in October, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This completely caught me off guard and I felt as though the breath had been knocked out of me. To further complicate matters, my insurance had expired. The provider I had was extremely expensive and the coverage was poor. I had been searching for a better policy and was caught in a horrible situation. I literally thought that I was going to die because of this predicament I found myself in.
When this storm touched my life, God just happened to have me in the book of Job. It seemed that with every up and down movement of this emotional roller coaster I was on, I could relate to Job and his life ministered to me. I learned that it’s ok to cry. Crying does not mean that you are doubting God. Like Job, he mourned the loss of his children, his wealth, and his health. We do need to grieve for our losses. Job then stopped looking at his pain, and turned his thoughts to God. In like manner, I did the same. I stopped looking at my circumstances and turned my heart and eyes to my God who loves me, who promises never to leave me, and who knows the number of my days. I know we all know these things but sometimes when faced with a crisis, we get tunnel vision. This shift in my thinking as it was in Job’s was a catalyst for growth, strength, and renewal.
God called me for a season to “be still”. Most of you who know me know that this is something I just am not capable of. Through this path of suffering and this time of being still, my hunger for God and His word has been rekindled. His word became strength to my body and meditating on His word defeated every lie the enemy tried to tell me. I began to stand on His word and on His promises. I also began to spend more time in His presence. In the rush and hurried lives we live, we are robbed of the very things that we need most…prayer and God’s word. We must return to our first love and make sure He is just that….first. Being taken aside during this time, I have had to relinquish everything and it was not easy, but it was so worthwhile. Relinquishing all is not a one time thing, it is a daily dying to self.
During this time in the U.S., I have been taken aback by the number of people who are hurting and suffering. God has continually brought people across my path who are in more terrible and trying situations than I. I am remembering to count my blessings and even in my weakness, God has begun to speak life and minister to others through me. God is not waiting for us to reach some level of spirituality. No matter where we are or what we are going through, He wants to use us, to touch a hurting world. We must continually look outward and be His hands and feet right where He has us.
Also in this journey, I have been forever touched by the number of women who came seemingly from out of the shadows to minister to me. Women who shared their testimonies in tears and through their courage and strength helped me, though I was astounded by their numbers. I never knew that cancer touched so many lives of the women around me.
Though this has been a hard detour in my life, I can say I am thankful for it. I actually feel as if I am starting anew and I am stronger and better than before though I thought at first my heart would burst being away from my home and the very people God had sent me to. I am at this point halfway through with radiation treatments. My final treatment will be on May 6. I am hoping and praying that I will be back on my way to Honduras at this time.
Job was a man who was blameless and full of integrity. His suffering, like mine, only proved to make us stronger. In the end, God blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. I am confident He will do the same for me.
*I am still serving with Hospital Loma de Luz in the area of Administration. It is an honor to be a part of a ministry that is bringing health and healing (both medically and spiritually) to a very needy part of the world. For information on Hospital Loma de Luz, please visit our website at www.crstone.org.
*We are holding weekly children’s outreaches in two villages.
*We are working in the dump twice per week. Not only are we feeding children, but we are bringing them the gospel and allowing the Holy Spirit to just minister to them with His love. We are beginning to see lives transformed (see the praise report!)
*Joshua got his GED. He is really excited.
*Phillip is in college in MS. For the Fall Semester of 2009 he made 4.0-President’s List Scholar.
*I am personally thankful for family and friends that walked through this health journey with me.
*We are thankful for the medicines, school supplies, and backpacks that have been sent for the dump! Thank you Pass Road Baptist Church for the huge part you played in this!
*We praise God for the people and finances provided to repair our home and replace furnishings after the flood. Thank you especially to the team from Jacksonville, OR. You guys are amazing and we are thankful for the big job you did in such a short time.
*Praising God for the 15 children that accepted Christ during a routine, run of the mill children’s outreach day. Never grow tired in doing good!
*Praising God for the two young men that recently accepted Christ in the dump. We literally could see these hardened young faces go from stone to beaming as they accepted our Lord with tears streaming down their faces.
*Thanking God for the Honduran young men and women who have joined with us in our village outreaches and dump ministries.
*Thanking God for providing a family to live in our house, as well as continue the hospital work and ministries while we have been away.
*Continue to pray for revival in Honduras.
*Please pray for the safety of all missionaries associated with Hospital Loma de Luz.
*Please pray for the personnel needed at Hospital Loma de Luz: Teachers, Surgeon, RN’s, and Bookkeeping help.
*Please pray for our hospital’s finances.
*Please pray for our family’s financial support. This cancer diagnosis has been financially crippling.
*Please pray for direction for Joshua as to what to do at this stage of his life.