March 2011

(We enjoy hearing stories of God working in unique and miraculous ways – and passing those stories on to all those whom we know. God is still on the move! This story happened in New Jersey this past month.)

Robert, a quiet, shy man, has struggled with Leukemia for years. Dad and Jeanette are just two who have been praying for him as he was diagnosed then underwent chemo. Yet through all of that, Robert remained faithful, both to God and to a team of folks who minister at Preakness Health Care Center. Two weeks ago, when Dad was out of town (visiting us!), Jeanette arranged the schedule at Preakness, assuming they would not have a speaker because they’d never heard back from the one they’d invited. But even as she faithfully planned out the day, confident that God would nonetheless be glorified, God Himself stepped in, as He so often does, with His perfect timing and provision: Robert, facing head-on his dread of public speaking, volunteered to talk. Surprised but relieved, the team looked forward to hearing him.

Bravely controlling his anxiety, Robert stood up before the Preakness residents and his fellow teammates and shared with them a little of the battle he’d been facing. The week before, the doctor told him that the chemo was not working and there was nothing left to try but a bone marrow replacement. The doctor, however, had not factored in the power of God’s response to His people’s prayer.

Just before his latest test, Robert sensed God leading Him to join a healing service at the home of a friend even though he was not accustomed to worshiping in that manner. His fellow believers there welcomed him heartily, embraced him warmly and prayed passionately. And God responded.

The day before the service at Preakness, Robert visited the doctor for the results of that last test – all clear! The cancer was simply gone.

Hearing the report of God’s work in Robert’s body, Jeanette danced for joy. Dad, much more reserved, glowed. Not only did God heal, but He did so in such a fashion that no one else could take credit, so that He alone would get the glory. And He acted with perfect timing so that the story of His power would reach the residents of Preakness, some folks in France (us!) and even beyond. The Creator of all people still cares deeply for His creations.

God’s been answering your prayers for us to absorb French: He enabled us to score among the top students in our respective classes on our last week-long exams at the end of February. And He has enabled that despite frequently diverting our attention elsewhere in recent weeks. It seems that even here, there is much ministry God desires done.

Since we arrived, God has been increasingly opening our eyes to what He is doing here and now. Yes, we are still preparing to serve in Africa: we are learning our French, but God is increasingly inviting us to join His work here and now in France this year, and through it, He is growing us immensely – and more than just in the area of language training.

So even as we continue to prepare, we desire to be responsive to His leading right now. During the first few weeks in March, family and friends will be visiting, both believers and non. Please pray that God’s grace and love might shine forth to those who do not know Jesus; we’ll be sharing our home and our lives with many over the next few weeks and months.

One of the enemy’s favorite tactics is to put a wedge between us, especially by mixing up our communication…we would greatly appreciate prayer that we communicate clearly and that the grease of His grace is apparent in our relationship.

Enjoying the cake (see next post for to see the amazing cake)