January Update

January 2016

Change of Plans

God-is-in-control-MJWe take this opportunity early in the New Year to update you on some important unexpected ch
anges to our immediate plans.

We expected to be writing to you in this latest Newsletter to let you know about how our move to Dallas is going.

As planned we returned home to the UK in December to visit our family, finalize our Visa application process, pack 2 suitcases and then the plan was to fly to Dallas on the 28th of December to take up our new positions training and equipping Missions Students at Christ For The Nations, Bible College.
Well, the first part went according to plan and we got our Religious Worker Visas approved just a few days after arriving in the UK.

We got to visit family and friends and sorted out items from our storage to fit perfectly into the 2 suitcases we are allowed to take on the flight back to the US.

With practical matters taken care of, we were all set to book our flights and then spend the rest of our time enjoying Christmas with family, but all changed following a visit to the Doctor, early in December!

Unexpected Developments

Julie went to the Doctors during our time in the UK for a repeat prescription for some skin IMG_6645 (1)cream. When she was with the Doctor she mentioned that she had been having some symptoms in the past 3 months of what she thought might be Hemorrhoids, expecting to be given some medication to clear it up.
The doctor examined Julie and showed great concern, referring her to cancer services to checkout what she thought was a polyp in the rectum.
Julie was fast-tracked and had an appointment with a specialist within a week and the specialist decided Julie needed a sigmoidoscopy examination with a camera and booked in for later that afternoon. This examination and biopsy showed a cancerous tumour, which the surgeon hoped he could remove before Christmas. Julie was sent for an MRI Scan and a CT Scan on Christmas Eve to check the tumour was confined to this one position.
The scans were encouraging and an operation was planned for 30th December. During the operation, the surgeon discovered that the tumour had attached itself to the sphincter muscle that controls bowel movements and was concerned about trying to remove it by surgery.
Julie was referred to a clinical oncologist specializing in treating cancer using radiotherapy and chemotherapy. The appointment with this specialist in Bristol confirmed the diagnosis and Julie has now been scheduled for 28 sessions of Radiotherapy, 5 days per week for 5 ½ weeks starting 25th January until 2nd March. All our plans are now on hold as we deal with this situation and until we are given the all clear to book our flights to the States.

Christmas and Beyond…

Family photo edited December 2015_edited-1MarkJulieGrandkidsDecember2015_edited-1We made the most of the Christmas and New Year holidays and despite hospital appointments and challenging news to deal with, we were able to spend time with family and friends in Wales and Somerset.

We are so thankful to our friends in Wellington for making their home available to us for a longer period than we expected to facilitate our visits to the specialists and hospital appointments and for their support during this difficult time.

As the final diagnosis laid out the treatment plan of a further 6 weeks hospital visits in Bristol, friends from Taunton who are out of the country for 6 weeks offered us their home for which we are so grateful. Leaders at Christ For The Nations were very encouraging as they have facilitated other staff members to cover the Missions classes we were going to teach at the start of the Spring Semester and they are standing with us in faith that God is going to bring us through this trial and that we will soon be able to join the team following Julie’s recovery.

We have hundreds of friends praying for us throughout the world and we have been overwhelmed by the emails and Facebook messages we have received. Whilst we don’t understand why this would happen at this time, we understand that God has a purpose in everything that happens to us and we trust Him to use this situation for our good and for His glory.

How You Can Support Us.

What we need more than anything is a miracle of God’s healing power! Please pray that the tumour will disappear! We have heard of so many people who have received prayer and miraculously tumours have shriveled and died before treatment has even begun. We believe God can do this and this is our prayer.
Pray for our family as they come to terms with this diagnosis and wait expectantly for a good outcome.
You can support and encourage us by emailing us with your news, even if only a few sentences! Hearing from friends and family is always an encouragement and we love to support you and pray for you too!
You can support us financially. We currently have no income and no financial support as we were due to start on staff at CFNI at the end of December, so we are currently unemployed and using the savings we intended to supplement our income at CFNI in 2016 to pay for meals, living expenses and transport. The hospital schedule doesn’t allow us to take employment and the 30 hospital visits will mean driving 3,300 miles in the next 8 weeks.