For most people, when they think of the word ‘big‘ they’re thinking about the biggest ice cream cone they’ve ever seen, the biggest race they’ve ever won, the biggest steak they’ve ever eaten. On an normal day, during a normal week, I’d be thinking along the same lines. But I’m not. It’s big news that has spurred on my inspiration to write/blog about this week’s photo challenge subject.
What is big to me? It’s the moment when you hear about something that touches down to your very soul and you can’t help but want to react.
This is Mr and Mrs J, with one of their many grandchildren. I have known this family since before I could remember. I grew up with their children, worked at their non-profit Christian camp (Sagrada Scholarship Bible Camp), was a member of the same church, and attended a couple of their daughter’s weddings.
They have always been a part of my family’s life…helping us in times of need, coming to our college graduations, attending my sisters wedding, etc. They are truly lifelong friends, and I have never met a family so on fire and 100% willing to serve God.
Last week Mr J went to the doctor because he had pain in his lungs, and the doctor found a mass during the x-ray. He went back for a PET scan, and the doctor believes he has Stage 4 lung cancer. The doctor was truly baffled as to why, Mr J is in perfect health, and has never smoked a day in his life.
This came as shocking news to all of us. It’s painful living so far away now from this family, that there’s nothing I can do to help. But then again, I guess there is. Prayer.
The doctor has ordered one more test, just to rule out the possibility of a blasto infection.
I can’t even comprehend the shock, surprise, and pain the J family has to be going through. Overall I know they all trust that God is more powerful than any illness, and He has a perfect plan.
Please pray for this family and for healing. This is big to me. Big news.
But you know what? God is Bigger.
This is written from Mrs. J just a day ago (Oct 21st):
Dear Ones Far and Near, Here is an update on the J’s journey, which has become, in part, your journey too as you follow along with us in prayer. Your prayers mean a lot to us, along with everything else you do to encourage us. Thank you.
Thursday we drove up to KC for the biopsy on Cliff’s lung. The Dr. said he would not be calling us for the result of that test until Monday or Tuesday. That was discouraging news for another long wait, but when he called us Friday instead, it felt nothing short of a miracle. The Dr. called to confirm that what Cliff has is indeed cancer.
Now for those who were praying that it would turn out to be just a fungal infection, or be gone all together, take heart. God is not finished with this journey yet. Where there is life there is hope, and God is certainly bigger than desease. HE is the One we trust. No one loves a trial, but if that trial will bring God glory and bring others to a saving faith, and if it even brings the one in the trial closer to the presence of his heavenly Maker, then we count it all joy. We know that Jesus loves Cliff even more than we are capable of doing.
So what’s next? A week from Sunday we will be flying out to the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Tulsa, OK and begin extensive evaluation and treatment. Cliff and I look forward to witnessing to people with cancer there, and also to the staff, even as we have been able to do at the KC hospital. Cliff said, “Wow, a whole new witnessing opportunity is opening up to me. If a cancer patient says ‘you don’t understand’, I can say, yes I do, I’m in stage 4 of my cancer.” His attitude toward all this has been only thankfulness to God for everything God has done for him in the past, present, and future.
So what is happening with the Bible Camp? It is doing well. We sent the campers their October newsletter and things are moving along as usual. We still want your prayers now more than ever. I will leave you with the Bible verse that we asked our campers to memorize for the month of October. It is Philippians 4:6-7 (Let us all keep that one memorized). Love and Peace in Christ, Susie