|To our friends who love the Lord,
Shall We Accept Only Good Things From the Hand of God and Never Anything Hard?
These famous words by Job in response to his wife’s question about him losing nearly everything he owned to calamity we’re probably meant to alleviate Job’s suffering but it showed a lack of understanding of who the Lord was from her perspective but quite the opposite from Job’s perspective. He saw the sovereigness of God as something absolute, not situational. These words were a great comfort to me and Cheryl as the Lord decided to bring a form of cancer into our lives so that we could say the same from Job’s perspective, but I will return to this subject later in the letter. I want to share some other thoughts first.
For the past five years, a group of young people, three families, moved into a language group where the gospel had never been presented in a way that they understood. It had never been heard in their native language and so these three families, after having spent four years of training to affectively accomplish this task, eventually moved into the Wantakia language group to start the process of learning the language and culture, developing an orthography, (alphabet) developing a literacy program, teaching them to read and write in their own language, translate scripture, developing Bible lessons and then on June 1 of this year, started teaching them the whole redemptive story of God’s gracious provision for man’s dilemma. And it culminated in the gospel presentation this week with many new believers coming into God’s family. A tremendous working of the Spirit of God through the word of God being presented in the clear and understandable teaching of God’s redemptive plan. Hallelujah!!!
Cancer (Part I)
The reason I have a Part I & II in this section is because I want to share a bit about the people who have really helped us out on this journey. The first is my wife, Cheryl. This is been a difficult year for her as she lost her brother around Christmas time, then her sister’s husband passed away and now she has another brother who is in hospice and ready to leave this world and meet the Lord. All of them are believers and we are so grateful for that.
Then, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the most treatable of the cancers but I had the worst form of it you could have. So, it has not been an easy year for her but the Lord is sustaining her and he is growing her in her resting in Him. She has been my angel, my protector and sacrificially giving of herself to help me. She hates seeing me not myself in every capacity. My estimation of her has increased so much you would not believe it. I have the utmost respect and love for this woman and just can’t imagine not being around her. I love you Cheryl.
Next, I want to talk about our children. They have been such a blessing to us and taking over all my responsibilities as a dad and taking care of us in ways that would make any parent proud. We could not be more grateful than we are. We love them very much.
Next, I want to talk about our local church. They have been such a blessing to us. They check up on us and twice now they have worked on a meal schedule to help us out by bringing meals over twice a week for long periods of time. They pray for us and call us and really love us. We miss not being able to go to church to fellowship with them. (Cheryl can but I cannot) We love them very much and appreciate them being such a blessing to us.
Finally, we want to thank all of you. Friends, co-workers, relatives, college students, missionaries, pastors and more people than we can count. All of you have been a great encouragement and blessing to Cheryl and me. Your prayers are being answered and we thank you very much. We love you all.
Cancer (Part II)
Just a short update. I am halfway through with my chemo. Six more treatments spread out every two weeks and at the end, I will have another CT scan, PET scan and bone marrow biopsy. At that time we will know for sure what state I am in. As of now, I am showing improvement and there is a small spot on my liver that the doctor is not too concerned about but says we just need to keep an eye on it. Thanks for your prayers. I can honestly say that I have never had a single doubt that the Lord is in this and that He will be honored through it all. Already people at the cancer center are starting to ask questions about what we believe. Keep the faith all. The Lord is good and cannot violate his nature and character. We love you all.
Grateful to be privileged with this responsibility,
Doug & Cheryl