Dear Friends, January 18, 2012
It’s hard to believe that we are already more than 2 weeks into 2012. We hope that you enjoyed a blessed holiday season with your loved ones. We apologize for not getting out our usual Christmas/New Year’s letter, but we have been focused on some family health issues. Last December was a cruel month for our family because my Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in early December. The GI specialist told us that the cancer had metastasized to her lungs and estimated that she had 3-6 months to live.
My heart broke as I thought of Mom suffering the pain of terminal cancer especially as she has led her entire life sacrificially to support the family. Since she was not a candidate for traditional chemotherapy or radiation treatments, we decided to take her to a naturopathic specialist who has had some success in treating late-stage cancer patients. I also asked a few friends of mine to pray for my Mom’s healing.
Recently an amazing thing happened. When the hospice team arrived last week they asked, “Is your Mom doing as well today as she was last week?” since my Mom’s condition had been relatively good in the previous week. As I said “yes,” the nurse laid her hand on my Mom’s abdomen. She was shocked to discover that the large solid mass she had felt in Mom’s abdomen on her first visit was gone. With our permission, her partner also touched Mom’s abdomen and did not notice anything. They were thrilled as they said, “Your Mom need reevaluation. You may not need us anymore. We believe in the power of prayer. If it takes prayer to heal your Mom, please pray. If it takes natural supplements to cure your Mom, by all means take natural supplements!”
My Mom’s two feet are still swollen and she is very weak, but her spirit is filled with the peace of God. Would you pray with us that instead of dying, she will get up out of her death-bed in the coming spring to continue to live a few more years as a prayer-warrior and personal witness. This picture of my parents and me was taken in August at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport right before I took off for Africa.
Apart from my domestic ministries, God has assigned me to hold gospel festivals and develop church leaders in Ukraine/Moldova, Guatemala, and Thailand/Nepal this year. Furthermore, I have an ongoing task of developing church leaders in Gisenyi, Rwanda and this ministry must continue whether or not I can travel to Rwanda. I am thrilled at the thought of partnering with you to preach the gospel and develop church leaders all over the world in 2012. As we have obeyed God’s call by seeking to accommodate more and more needs in the mission field, God has abundantly provided the financial resources to respond to these needs. We praise Him for the generosity of so many who financially supported our ministry in 2011.
As we were wrapping up last year, we received a letter from our Ethiopian ministry coordinator, Dr. Eyasu Ferenj. This letter was filled with gratitude for supporting 5 Ethiopian evangelists’ children with $30 a month. Since last October, a couple of DCMi supporters began to do this to undergird the work of the gospel in Ethiopia by supporting these poor evangelists. These are some descriptions of who these kids are: M . . . T. . . D (10 year old male, 4th grader): Both his parents were evangelists. When his mother was coming home from an evangelist’s training session last November, she was killed by a traffic accident. Y. . . T. . . E (9 year old male; 3rd grader): His father was a popular evangelist, but died of cancer last year. His mother has no job. There is an evangelist whose daughter has been sick for the past several months and unresponsive to medical treatments. Since they live in a remote area, it will take some time to get more information about her personal status. One supporter donated $600 to help support a former Muslim fighter’s daughter for a year with $50 a month. After encountering Jesus Christ, this girl’s Dad became an evangelist and he is risking his life now to evangelize Muslims in a Muslim area. When he became a Christian, this man’s father-in-law stepped in and made his daughter (this man’s wife) divorce him. In order to safeguard his daughter’s life, this evangelist sent his daughter to a boarding school in a safe region.
Thank you very much for supporting the work of the gospel in Ethiopia by supporting these evangelists’ children. This is one way of developing future church leaders of Africa. If you would like to take part in supporting an evangelist’s child with $30 a month, please let us know. One other major project for us this year will be to seek to operate more effectively as a growing mission organization. We are working with a non-profit specialist to develop a more active board of directors and a strategic plan to move us into the future.
On the home front…
We have been blessed with so much support during this time of Mom’s illness. Mom’s niece from California spent a long weekend with us. We had the pleasure of hosting the son of one of David’s friends during the Christmas holiday. Grace felt like she had a new big brother! Sweet friends from Victoria, B.C. traveled here on Christmas day to spend an hour praying for Mom. We have experienced many more acts of kindness during this time, for which we are so grateful. I (Kay) am also so proud of Mom for the dignity she is showing during her illness. In spite of her extreme weakness, she worries about everyone else and is determined to serve us as often as she can.
Grace is progressing in her flute playing. I was beginning to wonder if she would ever get a single note out of her flute, so I was so proud to see her playing in her first band concert at school. Being the parent of a special-needs child can be challenging at times, but it definitely gives me cause to rejoice when I see progress in a particular area. She has enjoyed a couple of days off of school this week due to a January snow.
I was able to go to Louisiana to visit my family last week. I would appreciate your prayers for my family as well as we are facing a number of challenges with my father soon to start dialysis, a brother with significant health issues, several other stressful situations. In the midst of storms I have felt the peace of God for which I am so grateful!
We thank you for your love, your friendship, your prayers and your financial gifts. What a blessing to be part of the family of God working together to expand His kingdom! We wish you a most blessed 2012. May you love Jesus more than ever this year and allow Him to use you as a blessing to others!
David & Kay