Looking back through my e-mail archives, I see that our last update was sent in the middle of August. Many things have happened since then, good news as well as bad news, so it’s high time for an update.
The last thing we had written to you about Jolanda’s mother, in June, was relatively good news. Just to refresh your memory on the situation, her mom had been diagnosed in January with lung cancer and had been undergoing a light form of chemotherapy. The doctors had told her it was terminal and had given her 2 to 4 years to live. Everything seemed to be going well, the cancer was shrinking and her mother felt pretty good under the circumstances.
Then about four weeks ago, we noticed that her mother was acting strangely. She was very forgetful, would walk into the kitchen to do something and forget what it was she came to do, and she had difficulty finishing her sentences.
After undergoing some tests, including a scan of her brain, the doctors reported the bad news that they had found three tumors in her brain. They prescribed her medicine to relieve the pressure around the tumors from fluid that had built up, and she underwent radiation treatments. Unfortunately, according to the doctors, this has shortened her life expectation to six to 12 months. You can imagine what a shock this was for all of us. She had been doing so well on the chemotherapy that we could imagine her living for a long time still.
Jolanda just got back from being with her mom and dad for a few days, and she was shocked at how her mother is doing. She is very weak, so much so that she can’t stand for long periods, it is difficult for her to climb the stairs, and long walks are out of the question. We don’t know if this is just a side-effect of the radiation, or if this is a downward trend.
Thankfully, she is enjoying every day as much as possible. She enjoys taking long rides with Jo’s dad and mentally she is doing better than a few weeks ago.
Please continue to pray with us for God’s best for her and for her family. Whatever happens in the coming months, there’s one thing she’s sure of, and that is she is ready to go Home anytime Jesus calls her. Please pray for the one’s she will be leaving behind, her husband and Jolanda and her two brothers and her three grandkids. (As well as us the “kids-in-law”.)
On a lighter note, I have been invited along with one of my coworkers here at Heidebeek to go with her to India to teach there for two weeks in a School of Worship. This will be the fulfillment of a dream I have had for many years now: to travel and teach in schools.
We will fly to Madras (Chennai as it is now known), which is on the southeast coast of India, on November 24th and I return alone on December 10th. My coworker will teach the first week, and she and I will take turns teaching the second week. This is my first time taking on such a big teaching task. I have preached before, but I have never had to teach for so many hours at a time. This will definitely be a good challenge for me, and I’m glad I have plenty of time to study between now and then.
Please pray for inspiration for my studies. I really have to rely on God, because it is such a big challenge. Please pray also for finances for the trip. The flight costs $830 which is actually cheap to fly to India, but a large amount for us to pay. There will also be the expense of vaccinations and a visa.
All the housing and food in India will be provided by the local YWAM base. Normally, when you go to speak in a school they would also pay for part of your airfare or pay you an honorarium, however they are not financially able to do this.
Some of you may have noticed that we haven’t sent out a newsletter for some time now. The reason for this is that almost all of those who received the newsletter also received this update, either by e-mail or in church. When it came time to write a newsletter, there was nothing new to say that hadn’t already been said in our updates.
For this reason, we have decided to stop sending out a “snail-mail” newsletter. We hope you enjoy our updates and don’t miss the old fashioned newsletter too much. (Note: you can always print our updates out before reading them, if you miss the printed form 🙂
Thank you once again for reading our update. Please keep us in your prayers this coming month.