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,

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,

[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 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,