Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's your prognosis?

I probably don't need to remind you that 8 months ago my doctors were not very optomistic that I would live through the impending surgery let alone through the end of the year. Now here it is January 28th and the eve of Cody's 18th birthday! So, when I say it's an incredible blessing to be here to see my son reach the age of adulthood you can really believe it. And that's not all... This month I also got to be here for a milestone birthday for Ashley and to see Reaghan have her first birthday! It's been a great month!
Hearing the prognosis from the doctors was devistating to say the least but the journey since has been life altering and incredibly fulfilling at the same time. Life altering because we have learned to take things slower and take time to enjoy the simpler things of life. Fulfilling because we have drawn closer to God and become more dependent upon Him to meet our needs and to help us find contentment in His plan for our lives.
Enjoying life and finding contentment seem to be in short supply around the world today considering our economic times and social environment. On the other hand, those who are seeking God and striving to become more dependent upon Him are growing by leaps and bounds. Statistics tell us that when things get difficult and the stress of life becomes unbearable people seek God to help them through. This is good news because it's okay to seek God when things get out of our control. God is standing by waiting to hear from any one who is going through a difficult time no matter what kind of pain they are experiencing.
If you are someone in the throws of devistation or caught in a whirlwind of pain, I urge you to seek God and allow Him to carry your burdens. He is ready and waiting for you to rely on Him.

Blessings to you all,
Russ and Robyn

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quick Update

Can you believe it's been more than a month since my last update? My apologies to all of you who watch for updates regularly. I have no excuse other than I've really been doing well which has caused me to be more busy with life than usual. In any case, here I am and I'd like to give you a quick update this evening and then catch up a little more in a few days.

The number one question we've been getting lately has been about Ignas. We were all truly heartbroken when we learned that Ignas had passed away on Christmas day after being removed from the ventilator. There are still very few details about how he was actually attacked but my understanding is that he was targeted by his cousin who intended to kill Ignas from the beginning. Our family joined many people in PNG, including his family and many missionaries who were touched by Ignas' life, in feeling the loss of such a great man. We will continue to be in prayer for Ignas' wife, Julie, and their children and trust God for His comfort and provision in their lives. I've included a photo of Ignas and me which was taken on our last day in Papua New Guinea. Ignas showed up at the airport to say goodbye to us.
There's not much left to say after that but, since I promised Robyn I'd give you an update on my health, I better give you the latest...  In my last update I told you about a three day stay in the hospital due to low blood counts. The blood infusions that I received during that stay helped quite a bit and I had one more infusion just a couple of days before Christmas. Because of the holidays I was able to get a three week reprieve from chemo so by the second week in January I was feeling very good! I've since started back on the chemo schedule and I'm still doing well! As I've said to many of you who see me often, I can't complain much at all about my chemo treatments and how they make me feel compared to those who really have tough chemo drugs! The only real change with regard to my health is that my doctor has extended my chemo through the end of March to give me a full six month course of treatment. This is really no surprise but rather just a disappointment.
So, with that, we continue to give God the glory for the grace and mercy He so freely gives. Please join us in praising Him and praying for so many who's lives have been impacted by the unexpected. If you think about it, the unexpected really shouldn't be so "unexpected" any more since there's so much of it going around... We can however, continue to pray that we learn how to give these situations to God and allow Him to be glorified through the process.

Russ and Robyn