Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas


Dear Beloved Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas from all of us at Jericho! I pray that you will sense His presence and love in a unique way this Christmas! He is so Awesome! The hopes and fears of all the years are met in Him!

This is how He met the hopes of one of our little girls this Christmas (see photo above). Leslie is 12 years old and like all the children in Honduras, she was hoping to receive a new outfit (dress in her case) to wear on Christmas eve. This is tradition here……and even the poorest families make the greatest effort to buy a new outfit for each of their children so that they can wear it for the first time on Christmas eve. Leslie’s Mom is trapped in the vicious cycle of alcohol, drugs, and prostitution and she does not know her Dad, so there was not much hope in receiving a new dress from them. Leslie is now part of the Jericho Family and lives at the Villa. We have tried to teach our children to go to their Heavenly Father for their needs so when Leslie asked one of our staff members about her need for a new dress for Christmas, she told her to pray about it. Her response was, “Really Miss, do you think that the dress will just fall from heaven tomorrow morning?” You can imagine Leslie’s surprise the next morning when another staff member, who knew nothing about this request, showed up with three dresses for Leslie, Vanessa, and Genesis. Perhaps in the larger scheme of things, having a princess dress to wear on Christmas eve isn’t that important, but Jesus is teaching these little ones about trusting Him. Nothing escapes Him. He truly is a Loving Father.

Which brings me to our Christmas outreach this year. The children did a special drama for their families (many of whom are in involved in prostitution, drugs etc.) and then handed out apples and grapes (a big treat here). It was wonderful to see how God is using the children to reach their relatives. In the photos: Ana and Juan Carlos take part in the makeshift Christmas pageant (above) / Leslie and her brother Ariel talk with their Mom who initially would not come to the scene since she was hung-over (below). God’s love through her children won out, and she ended up listening to the Christmas story and receiving the presents that her children had lovingly made for her. I continue to be truly thankful for your love and support which enables us to be here to reach out to those whose hopes and fears can only be met in Him. Have a blessed Christmas and remember that He loves you tremendously and wants you to trust Him fully.

With much love in our dear Savior,
Betsy

P.S.. I forgot to tell you that the itching totally disappeared when I went to NYC. Thank you for praying!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Believe







Believe... that’s what we saw on all the Macy’s bags while we hiked up and down the NYC streets. Elvia right away asked me what it meant. We quickly discovered that it was about believing in Santa Claus based on the movie “Miracle on 34th Street” which was part of their marketing strategy. We wanted to buy something (which we didn’t, due to missionary economics) just to get the bag because for us it meant something else….the whole journey to New York City had been one of believing God for healing against all odds. God had come through in shining colors and Elvia and I were in NYC from Dec. 3-11 at the Lord’s urging to share about His power to heal.

The days were quickly filled with visits from beloved friends and family(too many to mention here) from near (NYC and Fairhaven, NJ) and far (Houston, Philly, and New Haven, CT). And of course, we visited the hospital. It was such a blessing to be able to witness to His handiwork just by showing up! Here are just some of the gifts God bestowed upon us.

Visiting Dr. Ruben Niesvizky who did not use the word “miracle” but said that this definitely was a lesson to the medical community. His secretary, Patty, was very excited and thanked God with us for this miracle healing.


My dear friend Helen Davis came from Philly for the day and we went skating at the ice rink at the Rockefeller Center. She and I love skating and I was thrilled to be out on the ice, even if I was a bit slower……and fell down at the start!

Miriam, Elvia’s sister, flew in from Houston to spend a day with us. She works for Continental airlines and had helped us in various ways during my illness, including taking care of me in her home on one occasion!

My cousin Kevin and his wife Robin and their pastor were such a blessing to us during the time we were on this healing adventure. We can laugh now about that night Kevin showed up when I was in the emergency room hanging onto life by a thread and trying to evangelize him at the same time! They took us out to a great restaurant and then we took the ferry to stay with them in Fair haven, NJ the second to last night of our visit.

God graciously allowed us to have lunch with Maria Elia. I shared a room with her Mother when I was hospitalized and you may remember the story of how God allowed me to pray with her during the final hours of her Mom’s life. What a blessing it was to get to know her a little better and to encourage her in her walk with Jesus.

There were so many more blessings, including the kind hospitality of my friend Tim and his wife Andrea and their son Matt who once again graciously allowed us to stay in their apartment in the city. Our first night back, Tim was at the hotel for a meeting so he came to see us and he was so excited to see the changes that God had wrought that he practically jumped up and down. He had definitely seen me at my worst so he rejoiced with us over this miracle of healing.

My sister Mindy’s friend Tanya and her husband sent us tickets to the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. You can imagine our surprise when the usher led us to the third row. Only in church do I ever get that close to the front! We especially enjoyed the manger scene at the end with live camels and donkeys and the singing of “Joy to the World”!

The three months spent there initially were so intense. I didn’t realize until much later that I didn’t laugh much during those days. It was so good of God to allow us to create new memories in NYC that were full of laughter and joy. People felt much freer to tell me how scary I looked now that I am through that phase of healing which made for great laughter!

I continue to be so thankful to God for this amazing miracle that all of you participated in. Thank you so much for standing in the gap for me. Please continue to pray that I will be a faithful witness to the amazing power of God available to those who Believe.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” -Hebrews 11:6

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.’ ” -Romans 10:10-11

With so much love in Jesus,
Betsy

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What We Are Most Thankful For

Dear Beloved in Christ,

Happy Thanksgiving! All kinds of memories come flooding back as I think of thanksgivings in the past….apple cider and pumpkin pie, my Uncle Norman’s corny jokes that he and my Dad got such a kick out of, playing touch football with my cousins, washing tons of dishes, turkey sandwiches with gobs of mayonnaise, more dishes, the smell of burning leaves, holding my grandma’s hand to pray and playing with her veins that protruded from her thin skin. I don’t remember when the tradition of sharing what we were most thankful for started……but we do that each year now here in Honduras. I wanted to share with you that for which I am most thankful…………having passed through the valley of the shadow of death, not alone, but with my dearest Friend who never ever let me down. He used His body (the Body of Christ) here on earth to show me His love in a way that I have never before experienced and He manifested His healing power which has totally stretched my faith. I am so thankful for Him and for all of you.

Next week Elvia and I are flying to New York City to visit the doctors and caretakers who were such a blessing to us. I want to witness to them of God’s amazing power. I think there is at least one doctor who will be quite amazed by the fact that I am even alive! Please pray that we will be faithful witnesses to Jesus and His miraculous ways.

On the last blog I made a boo boo in reporting the lab results. I reported the same results from the previous lab tests instead of the current one. Since that time, I had more blood work done and each time the results are better. Total bilirubin is down from 9 to 4.5 and the most recent lab results show 2.6 as the total. Normal is below 1.1 so this is exciting news. I can do more now, without getting exhausted, and I continue to sleep through the night which is a huge blessing. The whites of my eyes are actually white these days instead of that lovely shade of mustard that I had been sporting around. And the belly….well, it’s still got a bit of a bump to it but it is definitely concealable.

May the Lord bless you and yours richly as you stop to thank Him for His goodness and mercy.

In His amazing love,
Betsy


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Blessed Thanksgiving


Dear Beloved Family and Friends,

This is just a quick (ok, not really so quick) note to let you all know how God is answering your prayers!

Last week I was able to attend a half-day conference at Pastor Francis’ church. He asked me to share my testimony of God’s healing power to encourage his leaders. I had a marvelous time there receiving so much more than I gave. The Holy Spirit touched people visibly as we thanked Him for His miraculous power. This Sunday I will share again at our church during the sermon time. Please pray for God to anoint this message so that those who hear it will be encouraged to trust Jesus in times of suffering. We are praying that many will come to Christ as a result of this wonder that He has performed.

I wanted to let you know that the lab results were good. The total bilirubin is down from 20 to 9 in just one month. Normal is under 1 so there is a way to go but daily I can see that the whites of my eyes are really more white than that lovely shade of mustard that I has been present for so long.

I cannot thank God enough for hearing our prayers for rest. For the past seven nights, I have slept well and it has been such a blessing to let go of worrying about whether sleep will come or not. Thank you so so much for praying for this! Please pray for God to eradicate the all over itching and the burning and pain in my feet.

We had an amazing week out at the Villa with a small team (Terry, Bill, Kathie, and Meredith) from St. Luke’s Hilton Head Island. We laughed so much as we shared life together….truly that was medicine for all of our souls. They played with the children, planted banana trees, baked yummy things, helped prepare meals, knitted prayer shawls, but most importantly just blessed us with their love and laughter. Thank you, dear Jesus, for the body of Christ.

We will celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow out at the Villa since Hae Young is going to Korea on Monday for two months to visit family and friends and we wanted her to be a part of the celebration. We have so much to be thankful for…..in the midst of so much instability, we have a Rock to stand upon who is More than enough!

I am thankful for each of you….please know that. You came through with God’s love for me when I needed it most and I will never forget that…ever. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

He loves you and we do too!
Betsy and the JM gang

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ariel Found ... Ariel Found

Dear Praying Friends and Family,

Answered prayer brings such joy and tonight I want to share with you the answers to the prayers of two of our little girls, Leslie (12, top) and Susana (7, bottom).

They were kneeling beside the bed and their eyes were squinted in deep concentration as they prayed. For about a month each night they had been praying a similar prayer: “Please Jesus, save and protect my brother Ariel who lives on the streets.” Both girls started life with an absentee father and a mother trapped in prostitution. As Providence would have it, both girls ended up in the Jericho Family. And last but not least, both had a brother named Ariel lost in all the ways one can be lost. As I heard them pray, I never imagined how seriously God was taking in their heartfelt prayers.

Last Saturday Elvia and Candy (a Jericho teacher) and Candy’s husband went to visit the neighborhood where we have been reaching out for the past several months. As Candy and her husband sang and shared with the women and children, Elvia became aware of a young boy (9 yrs) who had a high fever and was obviously very dehydrated. She said a quick prayer and scooped him up ignoring the visible head lice and pants covered in dirt and feces and transported him in the busito to the local teaching hospital. She knew that he was Leslie’s younger brother Ariel, because he had come to Jericho before to visit Leslie. Two days, two long nights, and many bags of IV fluid later, he was finally diagnosed as having encephalitis. God had used Elvia’s compassion and quick action to save his life.

Elvia stayed with him (Marlyn helped too) and while they were with him in the emergency room, another boy named Ariel (14 yrs) was admitted due to wounds from a drug related fight. Marlyn was the first to notice the resemblance to Susana and her brother Juan Carlos, though it wasn’t easy since he had been stabbed in the side and had sustained blows to the head that grotesquely deformed both sides of his face. Miraculously he had no broken bones and the stab wound had not touched any vital organs. Elvia related that his appearance was repulsive and while she wanted to ignore him, the Holy Spirit began to speak to her of how much He loved this lost child. She began to feel God’s divine love for him and went to speak to him of Christ’s love. As she spoke tenderly to him, he began to sob and asked Jesus to forgive him. The Holy Spirit had totally prepared his heart and he willingly asked Jesus to come into his life. Elvia discovered that his parents had “given” him to his uncle and aunt when he was quite small and so he didn’t really know his siblings. But he knew their names ... Susana, Juan Carlos, and Miguelito and that they were a part of something called Jericho Ministries. You could have knocked Elvia and Marlyn over with a feather when he shared that bit of information! What were the odds of the brothers Ariel arriving at the same hospital at the same time, both in such tremendous need? We all knew that the only explanation was God’s answer to the prayers of two little girls who at a young age are learning to believe God for the impossible. Thank you, dear Father God, for Your salvation and protection.

Susana’s brother was released from the hospital and before he left he expressed what seemed to be a sincere desire to leave the streets to go back to live with his Aunt and Uncle. Please pray for him. Leslie’s brother (above) is still in the hospital receiving treatment for his encephalitis and JM staff members are taking turns staying with him. We are praying now about his mother’s request for us to have him live at the Villa.

Again I want to thank you for praying for me during this time of waiting upon the Lord for full restoration. I had blood drawn early this morning to check the liver enzymes so I will write soon to let you know those results. I can’t sleep much at night so often I try to work when everyone else is fast asleep. We are seeing God move in a major way out at the Villa, so I’ll share that report in the next blog along with the lab results.

With love and thanksgiving for each of your lives,
Betsy

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Our Heritage


Dear Partners in Prayer,

So many people have asked about the children so I wanted to spend a little space on them. It will probably remind you of those Christmas letters we all write and send to each other about our children!

Noé: He (left, in photo above) turned 17 in August and his main passion in life is praise music; whether it’s playing it on his acoustic guitar, listening to it on his iPod or belting it out in the car, he is perpetually singing God’s praises. I don’t know if his sweet nature is a direct result of this time invested in praising Jesus, but I thank God for Noe’s even disposition and steadiness. He’s been a great help to me in this time of recuperation. He assists with cooking (you have to try his amazing omelets), laundry, and keeping the younger ones in order. Who would have ever thought that this little munchkin (photo at left) would turn out to be such a psalmist for the Lord!

Juan Carlos (a.k.a. Juanca): Now officially a teenager (13 yrs) Juanca has sprouted up so fast that I can barely keep him in shoes and clothes. His favorite thing is to hang out with Noé and so (not surprisingly) he too has a penchant for playing God’s praises. Juanca’s sudden growth has caused a gawky gangliness that tends to make him a bit clumsy. I have tried to reassure him (and myself at the same time) that once the rest of his body catches up with his arms, he should be OK. During his September break, Juanca, Noé, and their friend Eduardo went to the Villa and spent several days chopping grass with a machete and moving earth from one place to another. I was blessed by Juanca’s diligence. (In picture at top, from left are Noé, Juanca, Kevin, and Eduardo with Korean team member Gee who donated a bass guitar this summer to the Jericho band.)

Susana banana: Susana is 7yrs old and she is my little shadow (on the right). She is at that stage of life where she thinks her Mom can do no wrong so I try to take advantage of that to teach her as much about Jesus’ love as possible. She reads to me every night from her Bible Story book which is in English. Do not ask me how she does that…..I do not know. Somehow she innately knows how to pronounce the words even though she hasn’t been taught to read in English. It’s definitely a gift. She has a strong character and loves to tell others what to do (smile!) so we are working on that little issue with her. She’s definitely got leadership in her future. She says she wants to be a missionary doctor when she grows up!

Miguelito: The Mig (above, left) turned 6 this week and he is a very funny child and makes us laugh often. Because of emotional wounding as a toddler, he has a hard time communicating but he doesn’t let that steal his joy. The doctor has assured us that he should outgrow his communication difficulties so in the meantime we enjoy the new words he makes up. This year he moved out to the Villa with Hae Young since she is his Uhm-ma (Korean for Mom). We miss Mig and Hae Young but they come back on the weekendswith Leslie, Vanessa, and Genesis, the three young girls she is caring for at the rehab center. We’re 10 on the weekends, filling up the dining room table not to mention the whole house, which is how I like it best. (See last photo of Genesis, Vanessa, and Leslie playing “red light, green light” with me.)

Marlyn: ( better known to us as Marlynchka or just Lynchka) Marlyn is finishing her last year of University and will graduate with a teaching degree in July 2009. She is specializing in TESOL: Teaching English as a Second Language. A gifted teacher, Marlyn spends her days at Jericho House where she is part of the teaching staff. In the afternoons she goes off to college and then at night she studies and helps take care of the family, including her recuperating Mama Bets. Marlyn is still praying about going to India after she graduates to share the love of Jesus. Once I read that we should send our very best to the mission field. That’s what we will be doing when Lynchka goes.

Maricela (18yrs) and Lety (13yrs): Unfortunately I don’t have any recent photos of Mari and Lety but missionary Suzy McCall (whom they live with) assures me that after some troubled waters, they are both now doing well. Lety (my fellow lover of ballet) came and spent some time with me when I returned from New York. She is a great little nurse. She was on summer break but is now back at International School where she is completing 6th grade. Mari is the receptionist at LAMB Institute ( a missionary training school that Suzy founded) and she is finishing High School with a bilingual online program in the evenings. Both girls are just a joy to be with!

I’m doing a Beth Moore study this month called “Stepping Up” and it has been such a balm to my soul. It’s a study of the Psalms of Ascent and this week’s Psalm was 127. Verse three states,” Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord, children a reward.” Whether spiritual, adopted, or biological, children are certainly a wonderful reward! I praise God that while I was away from home receiving medical treatment, He took amazing care of my children through the Body of Christ. Your prayers for them made a huge difference!

Thank you so much for praying for me and for mine.

With love in Jesus,
Betsy

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Palabras

Dear beloved friends,
It’s been a wild week, full of surprises and blessings so I wanted to share them with you!

On Monday of this week Elvia came early in the morning with small vials from the lab and drew blood so that we could find out how the liver enzymes were as well as the complete blood count. She returned late in the afternoon with the amazing news that the bilirubin level had dropped from 20 to 9 in just three weeks. The normal is < 1 but this is definitely a sign that things are headed in the right direction. I was also quite excited because the protein and albumin levels were totally normal which means that the danger of water seeping into the tissues (edema) is no longer an issue which translates into I can more or less dispense with the low salt diet! I ate rice and beans and tortilla chips to celebrate!

Speaking of celebrating, Tuesday was my 51st Birthday and God just spoiled me all day long. The staff had a luncheon for me that a friend of mine named Ellie cooked and the low salt dishes and cake she made were amazing. She explained that God had given her the recipes because she had never made low salt meals before and so she asked God to help her! I teased her about making a book entitled “Recipes from Heaven”! Members of the staff showered me with some of my favorite things: a bar of dark chocolate with almonds, a magazine called Casa y Campo from Spain, a white blouse, practical undergarments to fit my ever decreasing middle, bright cut flowers (Gerbera Daisies), homemade cards and then they shared Palabras (encouraging words). That was the best part because as each person spoke, it became clear that there was an overwhelming theme…..we were all just grateful that God had allowed me to live to see 51 and beyond. They all shared how Jesus had used this health adventure to change their initial unbelief and shock into a strong conviction that God would do what He had promised: heal me completely. We all concurred that this was preparation for all of us for the next phase of the ministry. By the time everyone had shared we were singing praise songs to thank God for His amazing grace!

In the evening, we had more cake at church after the Tuesday service and some of the church members prayed over me confirming once again what God had already been writing on my heart; that the fire I had gone through had brought me to a new level of faith that God would use to heal others.

And Wednesday, well Wednesday brought some amazing gifts as well. Elvia, Hae Young and I had been praying about trying to get custody of Indira’s older two girls (Ana 13 yrs and Lisle 11 yrs pictured on either side of their brother) because Indira once again was struggling with drugs and alcohol which caused her to be abusive to her daughters. Indira’s husband wanted us to take the girls because he knew he could not work and protect them at the same time. It was decided that one of the grandmother’s would take their two boys if we could take the girls. God opened all the doors when Elvia took the girls to testify. The judge gave complete custody of Ana and Lisle to me and the ministry. They will live with Elvia’s family during the week and then with our family on the weekends. It seems that God is having us focus on the next generation to help them have a future in Jesus.


Hee ju Lee, one of our Korean Food for the Hungry volunteers is returning to Korea tomorrow as her two year commitment is now finished. Hee ju is a gem and we will miss her dearly. Her quiet and gentle ways were a nice complement to some of the more boisterous members of our staff. She worked with the High School Students and managed our web page until there was a desperate need for staff at the Villa. She rose to the occasion and even ran the program out there at times when Hae Young was with me in New York. She loved working in the garden and seeing things grow. I have a picture of her written in my memory bank of her squatting down to remove weeds from around the vegetables, wearing her wide brimmed hat and a colorful apron. Above, we are pictured at Heeju’s leave taking.

Friday was tranquil day at the office. I spent the afternoon putting the finishing touches on the 2009 calendar and contacting the printer to make sure they could have it ready by mid-November so that we can send them Northward. Hee ju tinted the photos and the rest I did in the wee hours of the morning when I could not sleep.

Thank you for being on this journey with us through prayer. We continue to praise God for His amazing handiwork in our lives and in yours! Next blog will be an update on the children.

Love to you all in Jesus,
Betsy

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Walking by Faith in His Healing



We had our big celebration at church to thank God for His healing touch. It was an amazing service. People who had been praying and believing God for a miracle all gathered for a night of praising and testimony. The banners were flung out, the children were all decked out in their best uniforms, and the Jericho staff wore matching outfits. Even the musicians were dressed alike. We belted out praise songs and danced (OK for me it was more like swaying) and celebrated God’s Faithfulness. I’m sure is seemed a bit odd to some of the folks when I got up to give thanks for God’s complete healing when I still looked about seven months pregnant! But our Pastor had paved the way by emphasizing that we walk by faith, not by sight. When God has spoken into a given situation, you can risk being thought foolish simply because you know God is going to come through. You may not know how or when, but there is an assurance that He will keep His Word. Noah, for example, took God at His word and built the ark even though there were no rain clouds in sight for weeks. So you can imagine the joy when (starting just two weeks ago) there was a noticeable change in the size of my abdomen. The bulge is now ½ the size it was before and continues to get smaller, thanks be to God on High!

Another area of evident change is my appetite. While in New York City, I could barely eat. Mealtime was torture as nothing tasted good to me and the food didn’t seem to fit well in my compressed stomach. Since being in Honduras, all that has changed. My appetite is huge now and Norma has made it her mission to make delicious low salt dishes for me daily. So while my abdomen decreases in size, my arms and legs are filling out so I’m starting to look less like a killdeer in a watermelon rind (translation: a big belly with spindly legs).

My main activity at this time (besides recuperation) has been to pray for the different aspects of the ministry, especially as challenges arise. The staff keeps me informed of what is going on and I have been so touched to see how Jesus has equipped the entire staff to step out in areas of gifting that they previously did not walk in. The outreaches to those trapped in prostitution continue but instead of going at night, we have been sharing the love of God in a barrio that is known for the prostitution that goes on there. The three Korean teams that came in August helped greatly in this as they did a medical brigade, Vacation Bible Schools, and a Beauty Day (facials, hair cuts, and makeovers) to bless the women and children.

From the minute I hit Honduran soil, everything in me wanted to go out to the Villa to see the progress of the work there and experience the anointing and peace of that place. The climb up the rocky road leading to the Villa loomed large and seemed unattainable at first. I began “training” with Elvia and/or my kids by walking the steepest areas of our neighborhood everyday.



Two weeks ago I walked up the mountain with Hae Young without any problems! We sat on the balcony and took in the sounds of the pines rustling and breathed in the peace and quiet of that beautiful place. The women’s homes are so close to being done and there are just a few glitches to work out at the rehab center at the Villa. Soon it will be filled with those so in need of freedom and forgiveness.

It has not been easy, this waiting upon Jesus to manifest His complete healing, but the verse that has encouraged my heart is found in Hebrews 10:35.

“Do not throw away your confident trust in the Lord. Remember the rewards it with bring you. Patient endurance is what you need now so that you can continue to do the will of God. Then you will receive all that God has promised.” (NLT)

Thank you all for your praying even when you didn’t exactly know what was going on. I am so blessed to belong to the family of God and to receive His grace and mercy and healing which is a direct result of your prayers. I pray Jesus will continue to reveal Himself to each of us as we seek His face.

With so much love in Jesus,
Betsy

Monday, August 4, 2008

At Home

Dear Beloved Family and Friends,

It's 5:30 am and the sunlight is beginning to filter through the window in my bedroom. I can see Susana scampering to the bathroom to put on her uniform. The boys are beginning to stir. Rosario, visiting from the North Coast, has been up since two am praying and she is still at it. Laura, one of our summer interns, is getting ready too. Only Hae Young is still fast asleep recuperating strength for the team from Korea she will be with. I am home and my heart is overwhelmed with gratitude.

Two weeks ago it almost seemed an impossible feat but God arranged everything perfectly. The flight from NYC to Houston was comfortable and right on time. In Houston, we met up with Elvia and our friends Abby and Shawn who drove us directly to the Benny Hinn service. We arrived just as it started at 3:00 p.m. Even though it was really cold inside the stadium, it was a blessing to witness so many come to Christ. He finally started to pray for healing at 7pm and Elvia, Hae Young and my dear friend Terry Brotze from college days all laid hands on me and prayed. We would have all been delighted if my symptoms had disappeared in that moment. Instead we all sensed that God has healed me but I still have to walk daily by faith to see the manifestation of this healing. And that is exactly what is happening. Everyday I am less yellow, less swollen, and less weak! But I am getting ahead of the story.

We spent Sunday at Seoul Baptist Church where they showered us with love and kindness and yummy Korean food. I was a bit nervous about the flight home the next day but everything went smoothly. The minute I touched Honduran soil I started weeping for joy! I wept all the way through immigration and when I stepped out of the baggage area, there was everyone from Jericho carrying banners and singing. I hugged each of those beautiful necks, shedding more tears of joy. God in His mercy let me return Home! The children were a sight for sore eyes!

In these days I have been experiencing Jesus' touch as I cry out to Him. It's so beautiful to watch Him work! For example, a friend of mine named Elli, sensed God tell her to come and lay hands on my abdomen. Since I could not take any strong diuretics without getting a terrible rash, my feet were swelling up again. Elli prayed and the effects of that prayer were even better than taking the diuretics. Please keep praying. I am so thankful for each of you and for the way you lift me up to the Father. Thank you for your patience. I know this letter was long in coming.

Trusting Him as never before,
Betsy

P.S. Noe was my scribe.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Going Home


Dear Faithful Family & Friends,

After much prayer, and having received confirmation from the scriptures and from several trusted friends who have prophetic gifts, God made it clear that I need to return home to Honduras at the end of this month. Hae Young was able to get us a flight on the 26th of July which is exactly three months to the day I arrived in New York. The airline allowed us to have a stopover in Houston, at no extra cost, so that I could rest between flights. After we made the reservations, we discovered that Benny Hinn will be holding a huge healing service the very day we arrive in Houston. We are very excited about attending the conference.

Elvia, Hae Young and I will spend Sunday with our dear friends who support us from the Korean church. God provided a whole mission team from the same church ( they were already scheduled to come down) to aid us in our final leg of the journey home which will be on Monday the 28th. We learned that the Tegucigalpa airport will reopen that very day after having been shut down due to a tragic airline crash.

I continue to believe that God Himself will heal me completely, and so I am taking this leap of faith.

One of the things that touched me deeply during this difficult time is the outpouring of God’s love for me through the body of Christ (YOU!) He has lavished love upon me through your diligent prayers, fasting, encouraging emails, cards full of hope, Bible verses, timely special gifts, calls, precious visits, tireless caretakers, financial provision, and an incredible place to stay… the list of blessings goes on and on. I wish there were more than mere words to express my gratitude and love for you all.

Please keep us in your prayers during this time of transition and know that you will be continually in mine.

In the Shepherd’s Loving Arms,
Betsy

Thursday, July 3, 2008

NYC: Recuperation

Dear Beloved Family and Friends,

I am finally able to sit a bit longer and so I wanted to try and give you an update. I am so thankful for all the ways God has blessed us, from this wonderful place that we are staying to the ways that Jesus continues to assure me of His healing. My sister Mindy and Hae Young are still here with me and so faithfully care for me. I am on a super low sodium diet to help rid my body of the excess water, and Hae Young has been making homemade low sodium dishes (sushi, spring rolls, soups) that are just delicious! Mindy pushes me to do exercises and to get outside so that we can walk in the park. They roll me to Central Park in a wheelchair and then I walk around a beautiful pond filled with ducks and tiny remote sailboats. What a blessing to feel the sunshine and smell all of the wonderful flowers. I had no idea how lovely Central Park is!

We saw the doctor yesterday and he told me that he was a bit confused because my blood work showed that the chemo was not really doing much, but that I looked much better to him. I was at the verge of saying, “It’s because we are praying along with so many others,” but before I could even say it, He said, “OK, I know, I know……you are praying!” Next week I will take another round of chemo.

My favorite time of day is when we spend time in prayer and praise and intercession. We have seen so many answers to prayer and that has encouraged my heart. God continues to show me what a privilege it is to participate in His suffering because it is for His glory.

1 Peter 4:12,13: “Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.”

We are waiting with grand expectation for His glory to be revealed. It will be soon! Thank you all so much for your prayers and love! I am so aware of how all your prayers are holding me up. Thank you also for praying for Jericho and for my children. Each time I hear from home, there is good news of how God is working powerfully there. What a huge blessing to have such a God seeking team and family.

I love and give thanks for each and every one of you!

In His awesome care,
Betsy


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

NYC: Leaving the Hospital


Dearest Ones,

I want to let you know that I was released from the hospital on Thursday, which was a great relief. Being at the hospital felt like going down a black hole but God held my hand every step of the way and brought me out. God allowed me to have a beautiful experience the day before I left the hospital. The woman in the bed next door took a turn for the worst and her daughter was grieving deeply. Elvia, Hae Young and Mindy had been very kind to her paving the way for what happened next. As I heard the daughter grieving I felt overwhelmed with grief myself, I knew I had to share with her how Jesus had helped me when my mother died, so we called her in so I could talk to her and as I held her hands in my hands and spoke to her about our loving Jesus she decided to accept Him into her heart. It was such a sweet privilege.

Unfortunately while in the hospital the lower half of my body filled up with fluids so I’m a little bottom heavy, but day by day we are trusting Jesus to manifest His complete healing. This Friday I go back to the doctor to see if I can continue the chemo. I’m challenged to live by faith and not by sight. Please continue to pray for a miracle because God has promised it.

Thank you so much for all your emails, cards and words of encouragement. Everyday in the hospital I would read the cards and the emails, which were always a bright spot in my day. I love you all and thank you again for your prayers and support during this time. God recently gave me another verse that has encouraged my heart “ This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4)

Always in Him,
Betsy

(photo at top: Mindy, Vicky, Betsy, and Elvia leaving hospital)


Thursday, May 29, 2008

NYC: Update from the Hospital

 








Dear Beloved prayer warriors,

This is just quick update so you can be praying with wisdom. Last Saturday morning I had little crisis and they sent me to the hospital by ambulance. It's was quite an adventure as the NY paramedic department moved me through the crooks and crannies and back halls of the Hotel. At the hospital they found through the blood work that I had a severe infection and they hospitalized me to find the source of infection.

Once again I've seen God's perfect timing and hand in all of this. We've been praying for miracle and yesterday much of the lab work came back showing dramatic changes of the liver function. Praise God! He's working. Thank you so much for your prayers. They are helping me to keep focused on the promises of God. Everyday His word becomes more precious to our hearts.

Elvia and Haeyoung are taking amazing care of me. They are a godsend especially in the wee hours of the morning. My older sister Marty came for 2 weeks. She brought us lots of joy and laughter and tonight my sister Mindy is flying in from Iraq which I'm looking forward to.

Thank you for all who have written expressing desire to come or to send something. The biggest help at this time would be any support for Jericho. Thank you so much for the cards and e-mails. You have no idea how much it means to me to hear from you at this time.

With all my love in Christ,
Betsy

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

NYC: Believing God


Dear Beloved Prayer Warriors,

I am sorry that I haven't been able to write sooner. I had to start chemotherapy which has taken much strength and prayer to get through. I wanted to tell you what the doctor has shared with us, and then share what God has spoken to our hearts. Two weeks ago we met with Dr. Niesvizky and the meeting was rather perplexing. He had previously done a bone marrow biopsy which revealed that I have multiple myeloma which seems to be the source of my amyloid problem. He said things like, "Oh, you're so young for this," and "There's no cure for this." His whole demeanor spoke of sadness.

When I got off the elevator, a large African American man with dreadlocks was holding on to a beautiful woman beside him. She burst into tears in his arms. The tension in the elevator immediately went up. When we got off on the same floor, I knew I had to say something to her. I knelt next to her and asked if there was something I could do for her. Could I pray for her? Both of them politely said "No." I thought perhaps I should be breaking down too, but what has made the difference has been God speaking clearly to my heart.

Day after day, Our Heavenly Father has assured me that he is going to heal me. His words have given strength to my heart and life to my bones. These are some of the promises from God's word: Psalm 27 vs.13-14, Genesis 22 vs.5, Psalm 41 vs.1-3, Isaiah 57 vs.18-19, Isaiah 58 vs.11, Isaiah 44 vs.25.

So life's journey has once again led me to a place where I have to believe God over the circumstances. I am choosing to believe God.

So the plan right now is to continue with the chemo treatments - two weeks on and then a week off. I go to the hospital twice a week for the treatments. I will continue the program until God supernaturally intervenes. It is difficult for me to talk on the phone right now, but cards, letters, e-mails and prayers are so encouraging. Please know that I covet your prayers and they are truly getting me through the crisis times. This is sent with so much love for each one of you.

Under His healing wings,
Betsy

[above; my brother, Rick, and I in Central Park]

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New York City

Dear Ones,

I wanted to keep you updated on how the Lord is working in and through this situation.

Last week all of Jericho fasted and prayed together to ask God to show us the next step in the healing process. I had been praying that God would heal me in the way that would bring the most glory to His Name. We all began to sense that while we needed to continue to believe that God could heal me in a moment, we also needed to move forward in the medical realm. I tried to get an appointment at Mayo clinic since it is close to family but there were no openings until the end of May. The answer to prayer came on the last day of the fast. A dear friend of mine from college wrote to say that he and his family wanted to help, that they had a place for me to stay close to New York Presbyterian Hospital ,and that he could get me in to see an amyloidosis specialist quickly. We all sensed that this was God's provision. It seemed right that Elvia would go with me to help with my care for the first month and then Hae Young would come the next, should that be necessary. I spent most of Friday afternoon trying to get things in order at the ministry and at home since I wasn't sure when I would return.

A peace totally enveloped me....such as I have never felt before. I knew you all had to be praying. The peace was so strong that when we realized the next day that we needed to be on a flight to Houston two hours before it was to leave, I was unusually tranquil as Hae Young and Rosario began putting all kinds of dirty clothes into my suitcase (our washer has been on the blink) while I rounded up other essential items. I even got on the plane in the sweats I had worn to bed the night before! Oh my goodness...what was I thinking!

Since there was a threat of closing the airport due to fog, we needed to get out as quickly as possible. We blessed God's Name for allowing us to get out on that last flight to Houston. We stayed at Elvia's sister's home in Houston where we washed clothes and visited with our beloved Korean brothers and sisters while getting needed rest for the trip to NYC on Monday.

My friends in New York wrote to let us know that the place they had for us to stay was actually the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan. I was just overwhelmed by God's grace and lavish provision for us through this amazingly generous family. They greeted us warmly and have made us feel so loved and cared for. (The hotel is directly in the middle of the photo.)

I had the first consult with the doctor today. As Elvia and I walked home from the doctor's appointment, we just marveled at God's goodness to us. Elvia had prayed that the doctor would be able to speak Spanish. I assured her that his last name (Dr. Niesvizky) didn't really indicate that he would be a Spanish speaker....it sounded more like he might speak Russian. But if you know Elvia, you know she is a woman of faith. We quickly found out that the doctor was actually born and raised in Mexico so his Spanish was much better than his English! We both liked him right away and he took all kinds of time with us, explaining things in both languages so that we would not miss anything. We were so thrilled to hear that within a week of more testing, he would be able to give me the plan of treatment. He explained that in most cases, amyloidosis is caused by an easily treatable bone cancer (that they wouldn't actually even treat if the organs had not become involved) and that by using chemo to stop the bone cancer, the affected organs can then heal themselves since they are not being bombarded by the proteins which do not break down. He answered many of my questions and was so patient and humble.

So I wanted to ask you for your prayers again, not only for complete healing, but also for His safe keeping of my children and of Jericho and that Elvia and I would be a blessing while we are here.

Thank you again for your prayers on my behalf and for bringing this need before the Father. I am just delighting in Him......He is so good and gracious and lavish in His love for us! Don't you just love Him and how He works?

With so much gratitude and love,
Betsy

Sunday, April 20, 2008

We need a miracle!

Dear Blessed Family and Friends,

I wanted to thank you so much for praying for me and Jericho during this time of difficulty. I got news of the biopsy results and I wanted to share what the doctors had to say with you all. They found a little something ... actually a lot of little somethings called amyloids. Sounded kind of like something from outer space to me so I went online and found that it is a rare protein that the body sometimes produces and it can't be broken down so it lodges in an organ and bothers the function of that organ. This is what Dr. Ken Holden (my beloved doctor who comes to lead medical brigades twice a year here) says about it:

"This amyloid protein deposition stuff can occur anywhere in the body, e.g. liver, kidney, heart, brain, etc., etc. and can be a primary disease (genetic, idiopathic, etc.), or a secondary disease (...to chronic inflammation, cancers, etc.). Apparently the experts can tell better now by the types of protein they find what is the most likely cause....and this is worthwhile since treating the primary cause (collagen vascular disease or leukemia, for example) is usually more successful than treating a primary amyloid disease cause as best I know. Most affected folks are older (mean age 65 yrs) and male....so once again you are unusual....but we all knew that already!"

We definitely need a miracle. Today at church our pastor spoke on Habakkuk chapter 3 and how Habakkuk asked God to renew His miracles in their day. And as the pastor preached, he even said, "Betsy needs a miracle" and he didn't even know of these results. So I wanted to ask you to join me in praying for a miracle. I know that God can use the medical system to heal me, but we are really praying that He will do something totally supernatural. I am standing against these amyloids in the Name of Jesus and praying that God will restore my liver so that it can do the tasks it was made to do so that I can be restored to do the tasks that God made me to do. This week the whole ministry will be fasting and praying for God to make His perfect will known in all of this.

Thank you a million times over for praying to Our Mighty God who can do above and beyond what we can dream or imagine!

With mucho amor,
Your Betsy

Monday, March 10, 2008

God’s Work Done God’s Way


Dear Ones,

Thanks so much for your prayers in these days. I am sorry I haven't written. Between the women's conference and the Canadian team's arrival, I haven't had anything except very brief access to the internet. Many of you have asked about the liver situation so I did want to let you know what's going on.

I had another ultrasound done this week when I escaped from the Villa because when the first one was done, they didn't tell me that I had to be fasting and of course that was the one day I decided to eat a tamale at lunchtime! That obscured the gall bladder and bile duct so Elvia felt I needed another ultrasound. One of my spiritual daughters (Varinia) was able to get me a free ultrasound in the public hospital. It came out the same...enlarged liver with a small benign looking spot. Dr. Ken in Charleston feels that this must be some type of hepatitis since hepatitis is endemic here. He told me to slow down from 80 mph to 60 mph and so far I have been able to be with the team of eight men from Canada without too much fatigue.

Which brings me to this very wild time that we are having with the Canadian farmers. We have seen God's hand in a big way. I still get so amazed by His ways. They are so NOT mine. The men came on Monday the 3rd and they are a mix of ages and nationalities and beliefs.....four are Dutch, two are French, one is Honduran, and one Anglo. They have been working nonstop, putting in islands in the kitchen, hanging fixtures, stuccoing walls.......all the things that the builder left undone.....these men have been attacking with gusto. One of the men noticed the drainage problem in the back and from day one, he started trying to rent a back hoe to dig the trench we need in the back. He wanted to move dirt and rock so that they could put a nice garden in and help us resolve the drainage problems. We tried all week long to get that blessed hoe to no avail. We had prayed and prayed and God had seemingly closed the doors. Bert, the one farmer who had grabbed onto this back hoe idea and was not going to easily let go, finally took a shovel and started working by hand. That was on Saturday.

Hae Young's Korean Bible study called us to ask if they could come out on Sunday to have a service with us and bring lunch. That sounded great to us! So you just have to stop a minute to picture that service in our Villa living room. Koreans on one side with their hymnbooks, Hondurans in the middle making lots of noise (I'm in that group), the Canadian/Dutch/ French contingent on the other side sitting quietly. It was a little bit of heaven this side of earth. The Korean pastor spoke first in Spanish and then repeated everything is English. And we sang "How Great Thou Art" in all three languages. So beautiful.

But to continue the story, one of the Korean men who came, who is not a Christian, invited two Honduran men to come with him to our service. One of the men I recognized from the newspapers. He was the former head of the national police. I couldn't remember why he'd been in the papers....it seemed for something infamous. Perhaps it was better that I couldn't remember. The other man, Don Alberto, had come in a Land Rover. I went to talk to them after the service to see if they had enjoyed it, and Don Alberto told me that he owned a company that made gravel and that he rented out farm equipment! He told me that when he came up the road to the Villa, he began to have a desire to help us. He told me he could lend us his backhoe and jack hammer and that all we would have to do is pay for the diesel. So God delivered Mr. Backhoe to our door! Both Don Alberto and Gen. Pacheco began to ask me how I had come to be working in such a ministry. It was the perfect opportunity to share my testimony. I felt compelled to share the Gospel with them, especially because Don Alberto kept asking about salvation and what was required for it. It was an amazing opportunity to sow seeds. Later, Don Alberto asked me and several of the men, including Bert, to go and visit his gravel operation and we were able to nail down a plan for using the machines. Before we left Don Alberto, I sensed the Holy Spirit nudging me to press in a bit more on the spiritual front. I asked Don Alberto if we could pray for him and he was open. The leader of the Canadian team, Bob Dekraker, and I prayed for Don Alberto in his office and he seemed quite touched. We asked the Lord to unbind him from anything that would keep him from coming into the Kingdom.

Honestly, this all seems rather messy to me. If it were up to me, we would just have gotten that backhoe the first day from a nice Christian man and we could have avoided all the worry and bother. But I am so glad that it's not up to me because we would have missed seeing the glorious way that God works, not only to get something done on the temporal level, but on the Kingdom level as well. I think that is a theme with us......you probably have discerned it too. God's work, done God's way.......there is never a lack of provision nor glory.

So on we go together in this adventure for His Glory. Thank you so much for praying.

I love you all!