Archive for November, 2008
On the one hand, most of our day was peaceful. On the other hand, we are concerned that Dan’s incision is not draining well, redness that started around the edges of the incision has now spread to a width of 2″ and about 4″ long. The red area is extra warm. This afternoon Dan’s personal Dr. prescribed antibiotic to stop the infection.
We have an appointment with the surgeon Monday at 9 a.m. If he again refuses to debred it (clean it out well so that it can drain properly), we are going to get a second opinion. The way it is now, the incision cannot heal. The edges of the incision are sealed to his leg; the excess fluid accumulation is causing painful swelling and now infection has set in. We don’t know what to think. We feel confused – one doctor and 3 Home Health nurses say the wound needs to be cleaned out. The surgeon says, “No.”
Please, pray that God will heal Dan – heal the wound, heal the cancer, heal whatever is causing the cancer, heal broken relationships, heal whatever is wrong in us. We trust God, but we are not so sure about which humans we can trust right now. “God is a God of peace, not confusion. Everything should be done properly and orderly.” I Corinthians 12:33,40. — Anne and Dan
The fast move to Saginaw to protect Dan from catching Dottie’s cold was exhausting. Paul and Melissa are extremely thoughtful, anticipate our needs, and help in so many ways. We have been pretty tired the last two days, so we have been taking it easy…slowly getting things accomplished.
God has surrounded us with love — Paul and Melissa are “going the extra mile” for us. Shelly, the Home Health nurse is very experienced in caring for cancer patients and wound vacs…and so kind. Today Brenda and her sister, Sheryl, brought groceries, flowers, even a fun knit shirt for Dan and a warm fleece top for me. The Bankes delivered our mail. When I thanked Melissa for all of their many kindnesses to us, she smiled as she said, “We are family.” Yes, intentional followers of Jesus become family. We thank God for the loving family He has brought to us.
As we count our blessings, we join the angels in singing, “Glory to God in the highest and peace to men on whom His favor rests,” Luke 2:14. May His favor rest on you. — Anne and Dan
A Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of you! We have much to be thankful for even though we won’t be spending Thanksgiving with any of our kinfolks. However, we will celebrate our blessings with Paul and Melissa Bourland, Family in the Lord, who helped us today to move to their house in Saginaw, TX, just West of Ft. Worth.
Two very unexpected things happened today. First, the surgeon cancelled Dan’s appointment to have his wound debrided. He was “on call” today, and just took a chance that he might be able to see patients. A few minutes before we were to leave the house to go see the Dr., we got a call saying the appointment was changed to next Monday. Let’s see…we are to give thanks in all circumstances because we know we will grow as a result. We must need lots of growing!
The second unexpected thing was that Dottie texted as soon as she got to the States from ministering to missionaries in Europe. She warned us that she has a very bad, bad cold. (In the past she has encouraged us to protect Dan from illness.) We called the Bourlands to accept their earlier invitation to stay with them. They dropped everything, got our rooms ready, and by the time they got to Dottie’s, Charla Arnold had already suddenly appeared at our door to check on us. The 5 of us got us packed and loaded to go just as Dottie got home. I can feel the stretching…but God continues to provid all of our needs. Praise God! He is ever faithful. — Anne and Dan
Today was a mixed day. The good news is that Natasha came again to chop veggies, study the Bible with Dan, and help and encourage both of us. Natasha brought a little electric chopper that really went to work fast on onions, and things that need to be chopped fine. She seemed to know just what we needed…angel in disguise? I had another good visit with Reka. AND, Dan had a fine study with the Small Group Bible Study in Sfantu Gheorghe. Six year old Tomas attended for the first time. It was delightful to see him and all the rest of the group of our close friends/family.
The not so good news is that when the nurse changed the dressing on Dan’s incision, she said, “The tumor growing behind the new tissue is pushing outward making the opening larger.” I slipped right into despair and hopelessness. But then, I remembered…my Lord is in control. Whatever happens, we will be okay because of Jesus. That sounds quite simple minded on the one hand, but on the other hand, we believe that because of God’s promises in the Bible to us.
Sherrie explains it quite well — “Happiness is something we choose — no matter what happens in our lives. We choose happiness or misery by the way we choose to think about our circumstances. We can either find the good and cheerful, or the bad and miserable in every circumstance. The choice is ours to make every single day. Sure we will cry tears of sadness in sad times….
We can choose where we” live” in our minds. One fact is consistently true: Believers can always be happy that the Lord loves us and saves us–every single day–in every single circumstance. No matter what happens, the Lord loves us and saves us–that is something to be joyful about every single day.” — Anne and Dan
We’ve been thinking a lot about our choices lately especially since Dan has a sarcoma that has no medical cure, and the incision is not healing. Yesterday was a day “made in heaven” just for us. Today continued the blessings. It’s easy to be positive on days like this. We had a good visit with our grandson, Michael, at church. We talked via Skype with our son in the Gospel somewhere in Eastern Europe. Then God used us to help Reka work on a challenging situation. Our son, Bob, in North Carolina, and Dan’s sister, Bonny, in Oklahoma, phoned us.
The excellent sermon today talked about the fact that we do choose our attitude, our approach to life. Dan and I choose to do our best to let God help us glorify Him. He has done so much for us — always food on our table, clothes on our back, a roof over our heads, jobs so we could work our way through university, and much much more…He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross to pay for our mistakes, our unkind choices, our pettiness, our impure thoughts, our anger, our self centeredness. Shall I say more? We want to give God the glory for HIs forgiveness, and His faithfulness in helping us through every trial. We are who we are today because of God’s grace.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Do you realize that you are one of those in the world that God loves so much? No matter how many clouds come in your life, you can always choose to see the Son! — Anne and Dan
Even though this has been a very challenging week, it ended with much joy. God filled our day with love. Melissa, our friend for 8 years, came this morning to help me cut vegetables with my new vegetable slicer. While she was here, Glenn and Lani arrived from Houston! We have been friends about 20 years. Marjorie, a friend for 5 years, phoned from Colorado. All these fine people walk with the Lord…intentional followers of Jesus, and help support our work in Romania.
While Glenn and Lani were here, Adolf and Reka Skyped us from Romania. We were so happy that they could “meet” each other. To top our day off, Dick and Hanny phoned from Holland…best friends for almost 50 years! We celebrate that Dick’s cancer is going away!!!
Dan remains about the same – no fever even though the incision shows no improvement. The Home Health nurse comes each day to clean it with saline solution, and put a new silver carbon bandage on it. We hope that the wound vac can be put back on after the surgeon cleans out the incision next Wednesday. Though sometimes we think we are alone, God has not forgotten us. Look at all the love He filled us with today.
Again tonight, for the third time, God gave me this scripture about Dan, “…wherever you go, I will let you escape with your life.” Jeremiah 45:5b. God still has work for us to do. We choose to believe, to live in hope, and to walk with Jesus no matter how rocky the path or what trials come our way. — Anne and Dan