Letters from Africa to my intercessors

July 26th, 2009

Dear Ones,
I want to thank each and every one of you for being willing to cover us in  prayer.  We leave at 6:10 PM today on KLM flying first to Amsterdam and then, at 11 AM  tomorrow on to Entebbe, the
airport in southern Uganda made famous by the rescue of hijacked hostages by Israeli paratroopers in 1976.

Entebbe Airport at dusk

Entebbe is on a peninsula that extends southward into Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake.

Three days ago I learned that my mother has cancer in the pleural cavity which surrounds her lungs. We have not told her yet, so she believes she has pneumonia and congestive heart failure. This particular cancer is even more insidious than most because it produces large amounts of fluid which keep her lungs from expanding. The doctors drew a liter of fluid from her plural cavity a week ago.

According to her favorite doctor at City of Hope, the plural effusion, or excess liquid showed up on X-rays in May, so my dear little mother has four to ten months to live.

But we are going to doctor Jesus for a second opinion. Cancer is not too much for Him as he reminded me about a week ago. In the last year we have not lost anyone to cancer. None of the people that we have prayed for have died. We’ve had some amazing miracles including the healing of my sister-in-law whose cancer markers dropped faster than her doctor had ever seen before. She recovered from advanced ovarian cancer; Joe K. who many of you know is healed, along with Jeanette T. and many others.  We are grateful.

My sister plans to fly to Los Angeles from Toronto this morning to be with my mom when she is discharged from the local hospital where she was admitted on an emergency basis. I ask you to bathe this situation in prayer. There are so many complications!  My mom can’t go back to assisted living where we moved my parents in early July, but instead needs to be in a nursing home. The City of Hope, one of the top cancer treatment centers in the world, has promised to see her the day after she is discharged.

She is feeling temporarily stronger because the fluid is gone; the doctors at City of Hope want to install a tube in her lungs which will drain off the fluid.  If all goes well, my sister will move my mom to Fairfax Nursing Center, a mere 2700 miles away from Covina, where she has lived all of her life except her college years at Oregon State.

I can’t go into all the complexity of this move, let’s just say that without divine intervention moving her across the country seems daunting at best.  It almost seems that we cannot succeed, so we look to God and to Him alone to help us.

We are uncertain as to what to do with my dad who was told on June 18th that he had two more months to live.  We need wisdom. We may try to move him to assisted living in Virginia as well.
Then is also their house to deal with, clean out, repair, and put on the market.

I will be gone two weeks but know that there will still be a lot of work to do when I get back.

The Lord has told me, that I am in grief going to a nation–Uganda–that is grieving and has been grieving ever since Idi Amin wrought such devastation during his despotic reign from 1971-1979. The dark history of Uganda has continued through the tyranny of Joseph Kony, head of the ironically named “Lord Resistance Army”, who is known for kidnapping children and traumatizing them and turning them into gun toting soldiers.

God is saying that it is okay for me to be a mess of sadness and tears; that my open, raw grief may help the Ugandans release their grief as well.  They will minister to me as much or perhaps more than I minister to them. It is humbling to go in brokenness and stumbling.

In Samuel it says that when everyone turned against David he strengthened himself in the Lord. I feel His presence now more than ever and I feel him strengthening me.  That is all I need, for him to strengthen me, lead me, guide me, cover me and my family.  I am comforted by the picture of Hudson Taylor leaving England for China as his little mother ran along the pier crying as the boat pulled out to sea. They never saw each other again.  I am only being asked to leave for two short weeks.
I am grateful that everyone in my family–except my dad–knows the Lord and that we are pulling together, loving each other and finding strength in the Lord.

Pray as God leads.  He will put us on your hearts.
We go with God.

Love to you all,


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