Many times we pray these very familiar words “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done” with no real awareness of the tremendous blessing it is to be led by a loving God, to be about His will to seek and save the lost in the midst of our journey of life. While the Lord clearly closed the door for surgery at this time in Los Angeles, He did hear your prayers and open the door for us to do ministry our last two days in LA. We were blessed the evening following the bronchoscopy (a surgical procedure where a camera views behind the bronchial tree for signs of cancer) to go out to eat at a little café near Rodeo Drive. There were three restaurants to choose from but we all agreed on the 3rd one mainly because of the price. God is so good. He allowed us to have a young waiter/actor named Jonathan. Immediately I thought of my youngest son Jonathan and we began to share with this struggling actor. The conversation, led by the Spirit because of your prayers, turned to the topic of his relationships. He then asked if I was psychic (never had that before). Relationships was the theme of the service God led us to at Mosaic church and was fresh on my heart. We had prayed about which church to attend and the Lord clearly led us to Mosaic at Beverly Hills High School. Now we were witnessing to a man half a mile from where the church meets who is seeking good relationships in his life and a new beginning. We are praying as we shared with Jonathan for his salvation and for him to experience life changing relationships through a local church. The next day as I was praying, there was a deep impression that we should go to an inner city community and pray. Mike Buster had stayed with me and Laura to go to the doctors and continue to walk with us during our stay in LA. Mike Buster and the 4 men who traveled across the country to be by our side during this season were a tremendous blessing from God. We did some sight-seeing in Beverly Hills of famous homes and went to the Getty Center, the wealthiest museum in the world. From the stars’ homes and the multibillion dollar museum, we went to the hood. We put an address of a housing development in our car and drove about an hour in rush hour traffic and finally found the housing development. The weather had gotten very windy and cold. The housing development looked like a prison, cinder block apartments with bars. When we pulled into a parking space there were two men sitting in the cold near our car. Mike and I got out and began to talk to these two men. It was surreal; they were so open to hearing about the work of God through BridgeBuilders and our church. We both shared that we wanted to pray for them. The minute we said this, men started coming from everywhere for us to pray with them. Men were actually running across the street to join our prayer time and we were now surrounded by eight men. I asked these men in the inner city to pray for my healing and they did. I told them that by God’s grace when I am healed, we would return and plant our work in their community. We then linked arms and prayed God’s blessing of salvation for these men, their families, and this community. Several of the men hugged us and thanked us for coming to pray for them. Regardless of what I am going through, I have never lived one day like these residents in the housing development. I have been blessed with godly parents, an education, employment, a beautiful family, home, salvation, and an amazing church family. What have I done to earn this? Nothing. I am overwhelmed by God’s goodness and grace to show me just how blessed I am. These men are now in my heart and prayers. By God’s will, we will one day return to this band of brothers who prayed for me.
Medically, we had a very good meeting with our doctors in LA. They will be working with our doctor here at Baylor. It is great how these doctors are working together for our good. We had the privilege of praying for our doctors, affirming the great work the Lord does through them every day. The status of the cancer is now confirmed to be stage 4 as it has metastasized in the lungs and the lymph nodes. The good news is that by God’s grace the Tarceva has shrunk the tumors significantly and the cancer found in the lymph nodes is microscopic. The Tarceva can stop the cancer from growing for six months to several years. Eventually in most cases, the cancer goes around the Tarceva and you must take other medications designed for this specific cancer or take chemotherapy. The Lord has blessed us with Tarceva that is so effective against this cancer. There are clinical tests for this cancer and the doctors are very hopeful because every day there are new “God given” discoveries that could defeat this cancer. I am confident that our God is able to heal and that He has created this remarkable drug to hinder the cancer until the Lord brings our healing in His time and His way. He alone is able. Please join us in praying for wisdom about our next steps of treatment. Thank you for your prayers and love. We are overwhelmed by God’s goodness and grace and the open door He gave us to witness in Los Angeles and be about His will for our lives! May we each pray with absolute abandonment, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done. May we live everyday knowing that they are not our own, but precious gifts from God to be used for His purpose and plan to seek and save the lost.