5-24: we are in Michigan visiting supporters. We so appreciate everyone praying for us as we travel. We praise God for safety! We received the note 5-23 yesterday on Elias. Thank you for praying for him and his family.
5-23 update from Elias’ dad, Richard
Finally, we can go back to Mindanao! We have been here in Cebu for three weeks and have experienced a lot of things. Most of all God’s faithfulness and goodness toward us, the love of the church, and the fellowship of the saints. Through all these times we have been richly blessed in so many ways. One big thing was at the end, when we received the final bill that the main surgeon did not charge a single peso for professional fees! So we were able to pay everything and even had a little bit left.
Lord willing, we will be heading back tomorrow. Most of our time there will be spent by getting organized and things ready to leave for Germany. We decided to go back home for further diagnosis and treatment for Elias. We plan on leaving for Germany around June 10th. Before that, we will be spending about a week in Manila that leaves us with less than two weeks here at home which is quite shocking to think about, but we need to keep moving and continue addressing the residual tumor in Elias’ brain.
Please keep praying for Elias. He is still very weak, though improving. He needs help with walking and is tired very quickly. Please pray that we spend the remaining time wisely, discerning the urgent from the important! We really want Elias to be as strong as possible for the big trip back to Germany and all the things awaiting him there.
Thank you for your prayers.
5-19 update: From Elias’ dad, Richard.
Lord willing, Elias will be discharged from the hospital tomorrow and we are really glad about that decision, he has been staying there now for 2 ½ weeks and is really happy to be able to get out.
He is doing much better in his overall condition, but he can’t walk properly and needs help, since he cannot walk by himself. He will most likely have to undergo therapy to correct that.
We have decided to go back to Germany/Austria for any further treatment. There is still quite some residual tumor left according to the doctors, so we would like to go back home as soon as possible and continue treatment there.
The plan is to go back home sometime mid June, Lord willing. For now we will stay a few days here and help Elias to adjust to life out of the hospital and on Monday we will head back to Mindanao… thank you for your faithful prayers, we appreciate that so much!
5-15 update: This just came in.
…the family just came from a meeting with the doctors and the news is not good. The MRI has shown that there is still some of the tumor left and that it is stage 1 or 2 malignant. This is of course a big shock to them as previously they had been told there was nothing left and the tumor was not malignant. They have been told that they need to wait about 4 weeks and then have another MRI which should be more clear and will be more definitive of what is actually going on and what treatment will be necessary.
At present Elias is not doing too well as he is running a fever and is rather sleepy and lethargic. They ask that you particularly pray that Elias will improve in health to the place where he can get out of hospital. Even after getting out of hospital he will not be able to travel for a while as he is too weak. Pray for wisdom for the doctors and for Elias’ parents as they make decisions about what to do next. Going to Manila or back to Germany (their home country) are considerations, but at this present time Elias will not be able to undertake such a trip. Elias has been through a huge emotional and physical trauma in the last couple of weeks.
Thank you for praying both for his physical and emotional healing.
5-13 update: we just received this about Elias.
“this morning we had a chance to talk to the doctor about the final result of the biopsy and she said that the tumor was benign and since they were able to remove everything in the surgery, there is no need for any further treatment. We are just marveling at God’s grace and mercy on Elias and us as a family. He still has to stay in the hospital for a little while to be observed. But we are so glad to know that he doesn’t have to have any radiation therapy. His right side has been affected by the surgery. He can move his hands and feet though, but very uncontrolled. The doctor said that will take a while to recover, but normal control over his hand and feet should be coming back without any therapy after a while.
We just want to continue to trust God for every step ahead of us and covet your prayers for that.
Thank you for all you support and prayer during this time. We certainly have seen, and still are seeing, God at work , due also to the many faithful prayers of the saints! To HIM be all the Glory.
5-12 update: Here’s news from Elias’ dad… a lot of things have happened today, first the doctor allowed Elias to drink, which was already great. Later the surgeon came and removed the drainage from Elias’ head and told us it has to be done, since the bleeding has stopped and he doesn’t want any brain fluid to be drained. Then he told us that Elias can eat soft foods if he wants to. And if things are progressing the way they are he will be transferred to a regular room by tomorrow. The surgeon also was impressed by the fast progress Elias has made, All the things that could have happened after a surgery like that, temporary disability, disability of the facial nerves, swallowing, no voice… limited eyesight…all these things occurred only for a short period if at all. All these are things to praise our great God and humbly accept his mercy upon Elias and us as a family. He has also undertaken for us as a family. Here are also some dear Christians who volunteered to take Lucas and Melissa out for an afternoon or so, and give Carmen a break.
Tomorrow we will know what kind of tumor is really was. Depending on that the doctors will decide the further course of action. We will also entrust all these thing to our great God and ask you for your prayers.
Thank you for all your support and unceasing prayer on our behalf. We are truly amazed at what God is doing and the dear fellowship we enjoy with you through your prayers and email during this time.
5-10 update: We woke up to more news on Elias today. Thank you for praying!
The first email said that there was an accumulation of blood that had to be removed and surgery would be done immediately.
Here is the latest:
Elias is out of surgery and back in ICU. He now has an external drain attached to his head to drain the blood and a little bit is still coming out. Praise the Lord they have removed the ventilating tube from his throat already, so hopefully he will remain peaceful and calm. The ventilating tube was a major concern after the last surgery. Praise the Lord the surgery is finished and the tube is out and thanks for continuing to pray for Elias and family until this crisis is past.
Thank you for praying!
Lance & Laura
Dear All… here’s the latest regarding Elias written by his dad, Richard.
This is just a quick note to tell you that the surgery is over and went well! The doctors were able to remove all of the tumor that was visible. That is a huge answer to prayer. Another answer is that it looks like from a first Biopsy that the tumor is non-malignant to low-malignant. Elias might have some defects, his balance and his facial nerves, but only time will tell the extent and duration of these potential defects.
Thank you all for your prayers, and please continue to do so, since it is not over yet. We have to do a CT scan in a few days to really see what is remaining and then decide which steps to take next.
We are overwhelmed by God’s grace and goodness and really happy for the successful surgery.
Thanks for praying for Elias. Check back from time to time for more updates.
Secure in Christ’s love!
Lance & Laura