Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Doctor Cried

Early this very hot morning, David, Natalia and I boarded a marsurka, a little bus for Bishkek. We wanted to visit Elenya, take her some needed finances and also a blender. Patients in the hospital prepare their own food and since she cannot eat, she needed a blender. Her sister is staying with her to care for her there.

Elenya is limited in talking due to the level of pain she is experiencing, however, she was able to share one story with us. After her surgery last Friday, the doctor was discouraged because he believed the tumor he removed was cancerous...which in his mind, there would be no hope. It took a week following surgery to get the final lab reports. On Thursday morning, Elenya heard a commotion in the hall, young medical students were talking very loudly, and as Elena said, "they were shouting with joy." The doctor came rushing into her room. "The lab report just came in. Elenya, you don't have cancer," he told her. "You will be fine." Then the doctor cried.

We have experienced such joy as we have seen God work through this experience. Many of you have let us know you have been praying for her and her children. We share this with her when we go. Elenya's journey is not quite completed. She will need to have another reconstruction surgery in six months. We will be home by then, but will follow her needs closely.

Elenya's story is important to us because she is important to us and to so many. She also represents the people that we have come to know and love here.

Looking ahead to next week

Tomorrow is Sunday, and David again will be sharing at the Chinese Church. Next week will be very full, fun and hopefully productive as David is teaching five mornings a week, we will be joining John and Julie's Canadian teens on their projects, visiting the Iskra village again, teaching English at the orphanage and the rest is not yet revealed. :)

Blessings to you, our friends....
The Journey Continues....

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Elenya's Great Report

We just wanted to let you know that we just received a great report - Elenya's tumor was benign. We have been very concerned following her surgery and the doctor's were pessimistic about her prognosis. They were very surprised today when the report came back. We are really rejoicing with her.

Her surgery did happen last week and a small portion of her jaw was removed. She is facing some reconstructive surgery in the months ahead, but we are so very thankful she is cancer she can go on with the greatest jobs in the world...being mom, being a pastor and loving the kids at the school for disabled children!

Thank you all for your contributions to her surgery.....bill is paid in full!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

David's Weekly Perspective

Greetings from Kyrgyzstan,

One of the things that I have said and taught for many years is that spiritually and emotionally healthy people are able to adapt and adjust to changing realities and circumstances. Unhealthy ones, on the other hand, cannot do so and therefore live in a constant state of confusion and anxiety.

Well, this theory as stated above has been a test for me and for Jayne. We usually have a pretty good idea of our day’s schedule before we leave our apartment around 7:15 each morning. By the time we return home some ten to twelve hours later, the earlier schedule bears little resemblance to what actually happened.

We have learned to go with the flow and look for God in the disruptions and constant change. For instance, yesterday, July 1, Jayne was scheduled to meet with 18 child welfare workers here in Tokmok for training as she had done the previous four weeks. When she and her assistants arrived at the site, they were greeted by an apologetic director. Something had happened, he told them and the social workers were called out. Just two or three remained so they rescheduled the training.

What appeared to be a disappointment turned into an “incredible” appointment. As they were walking out, Jayne (through her translator) was invited to another meeting at a local orphanage to discuss some needs there. Attending that meeting was one of the directors of social services in the Tokmok area. During the course of conversation, Jayne mentioned that she had hopes to someday soon meet the Director of Child Welfare (a brand new department at the national level), but was not quite sure how to get that to happen. The social service director sitting in the group laughed and said, “That’s no problem, he is my son-in-law. When do you want it to happen?”

Other very important things happened during that meeting, Jayne told me, and perhaps some of the most important things were the laughter and relationship building that took place. After the meeting, they all sat around a table enjoying tea and one of the participants commented how she saw God’s hand in the day. Jayne and her group all agreed.

From Sunday Morning, June 29

Allow me to share a few thoughts with you regarding my message last Sunday morning. I have been on a theme regarding the power of words that have the power to kill or heal. (Proverbs 18:21) This morning I discussed the life- changing potential of just two words that Jesus spoke to Matthew in Matthew 9:9. Jesus walks up to Matthew and simply says, “Follow me.” We are told Matthew simply stood up and followed. There is no record that he asked, what to me, would have been obvious questions such as, “Where are we going?” “What are we going to do?” “Is there any money involved?” No questions. He just followed.

In the verses that follow we get a glimpse of where this journey would go and what it would be like. Verses 10-13 say “it will involve sinners and sick people; salvation and healing.

Verses 14-15 let us know that this following Jesus was not just about starting a new religion. Jesus came to restore our broken relationship with God – not start another religion. We have far more religions with their rules and regulations than we will ever need. To think that God would send His son Jesus to go through what He went through and to suffer what He suffered to just start another religion borders on absurdity. No, is absurd and tragic. Christians are not religious people, they are people in whom Christ dwells, lives and has His being. It is a relationship—not a religion!

Verses 16-17 indicate that where Jesus would lead and Matthew would follow would be a new thing – new wine in new bottles. No old bottles, no God in boxes. God is an active, creative, ever-expanding God that needs to be released to be just that. What Matthew would later see on this journey are things he had never seen before—nor even knew could see happen.

“Follow me.” These two words, once heard, once obeyed, changed a man’s life and history as well. In the same way, Jesus walks up to our table and says the same thing, “Follow me.” It is an invitation – not a command. It is “yes” or “no.”

Blessings and thank you all.

The journey continues.....

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chicken Pox, Graduation, Elenya, Baptism - Every day something new

Each day we get up wondering what will happen, what we will see and experience. No day is the same. A very small thing in the light of all we see and experience right now we are experiencing electricity rationing- meaning we have electricity 3 hours on and 3 hours off during the day and off at night. We were told this may continue through the month of July. When the electricity comes back on and the fans go on....we really appreciate that!

The week in review
Tuesday: We always look forward to our time with the Tokmok orphanage kids. When we arrived on Tuesday evening, we were greeted with the news of a chicken pox outbreak. We were disappointed for the kids because the entire group was to leave for the mountain camp for the month and now none of them can go. We will try to make it up to them by being there more often during the month. Tiff and Bekah, these are some of the beautiful kids you will be working with when you come.

The way of keeping the itching down is to apply a green antiseptic. It definitely adds to the look of chicken pox. This is Vania, next to David, Nastya and Eulia.

Wednesday: We have the privilege of attending the graduation of the first senior class at the School of Blessing, the first school founded by Elder Yang. The young people dressed beautifully for this very special occasion. It was a joy to be there.

Fourteen young people graduated June 28th.

Thursday: We went to Bishkek to visit Pastor Elenya prior to her Friday surgery. She came through surgery well, however, we do not know the full extent of her surgery, her prognosis or need for additional surgery. We should find that out soon.

David gives a gift from Christa to Elenya.

Sunday: David had the opportunity to preach at the Chinese Church. It looks like he will have this opportunity most Sundays until we leave, due to personnel changes. There will be a number of additional speaking opportunities during the week and evenings at local churches and groups. This past Sunday he had the opportunity to participate in the baptism of four new believers. It was a real privilege.

David and Pastor Steve Wade baptized four new believers.

Pray Needs:

  • Pastor Elenya and her recovery
  • John and Christa Tsai leave on Wednesday morning. They are returning to the US for medical treatment for Christa. John is the president of the Foundation.
  • The work ahead to open the Professional Institute on August 25th. Many are looking to David for guidance and direction here.
  • Work with orphanage staff consulting with them on the serious needs of their children

We appreciate all your emails, comments, etc......we love and miss you

The journey continues