Arwen's Journey

In the event that you have not yet heard, our oldest daughter, Arwen, has been diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma. She has since undergone her first cycle of chemotherapy at Mott Children's in Ann Arbor, Michigan, after which we were discharged from the hospital. Her treatment plan over the next eighteen months includes four more cycles of chemotherapy, surgery, high dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplants, radiation, and immunotherapy. The prognosis is fifty or sixty percent chance of survival. Those are, of course, human terms, and we serve a God who is not limited by statistics.

Arwen has had some good days and some bad days. She tolerated the chemotherapy with varying levels of discomfort and pain. We were heartbroken at times to watch Arwen suffer, but our prayer with her has been one of thanks to God for an opportunity to worship Him in the midst of trials. Arwen's spirit has been holding up quite well - she has been very brave and a good witness of Christ in her.

We have been blessed and humbled by the outpouring of support for our family. So many of you have been praying for us and giving to us, and we are so very thankful for you. Please accept our apologies if we haven't thanked you personally or responded to your inquiries. Everything has been such a whirlwind. Our immediate need for a vehicle has been met. Also, we have arrangements with several families so that a place to stay when we are in Ann Arbor for treatment will not be an issue. We are, however, still looking for permanent housing near family in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. We are blessed to have a place to stay this month which is not far from family.
To each of you who have been our friends and support, thank you. The body of Christ is truly a loving family.

Our ministry plans have been detoured by this whole affair. For those of you who have been faithfully supporting us through Samaritan's Purse, you have some options. Samaritan's Purse will continue to hold our account with them indefinitely. What this means is that all the finances that have been donated to us or that will be donated to us through them will be available to us whenever we are able to return to our missions work. If you wish, you may continue to give to us through Samaritan's Purse and any donations will eventually be used for our ministry but will not be available to us now. If you prefer to support us during our time here in the US, you can give through a GoFundMe account that has been set up for us here: or you may email us at for an address to which you may send any donations. We do plan to apply to serve in Togo again with ABWE, but are not sure of any timelines due to Arwen's need for treatment. Anything given through Samaritan's Purse in the meantime would eventually be transferred over to our new mission.

Our hearts have sometimes been heavy through these last weeks: emotions changing on a minute by minute basis. We are learning again to give over to God all that is already His. The hospital in Togo is struggling, and we would not have chosen to leave at a time like this, but the hospital is God's. It belongs to Him and we place it in His hands. We feel that we've abandoned our friends, but they too belong to God. They are not ours to save. We hand them over to the Lord. Our daughter has been entrusted to our care, but she is not ours. We place Arwen into His capable hands. He is the God who heals! He also has the right to take back what He has given. Arwen has been entrusted to us for these ten years, and those years have been a blessing and a privilege. We learn from Christ's example in prayer. In Luke 22, Jesus asks the Father to take away the cup of suffering if that is in the Father's will. We are free to ask for what we want! We are asking for Arwen's healing. We believe she will be healed. Yet, Jesus also prays that his own will would not be done if it is not also the Father's will. "Not my will, but yours be done." Can I trust God so much as to ask Him to not carry out my will? The other day Arwen herself said this: "I'm going to be healed either way. Healed here or healed in heaven. I hope I can be healed here."

In the middle of Lamentations, a book of the Bible filled with sorrow and anguish, the author pauses to look toward the Lord rather than on his misery and says this:

But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
    his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
                              -Lamentations 3:21-23

Our prayer is that through all of these difficulties, the Almighty would work in our hearts so that we can continue to look toward Him rather than our trials. We place our hope on the solid rock of our salvation and wish not to be tempted to hope on any lesser thing. We make our prayer one of thanksgiving to the Lord and we pray that His mighty power would be made evident in our lives and circumstances.

Here are some ways you can be praying:
For trusting hearts of thanksgiving
That the Mallay family would be a witness of Christ's own work
Healing for Arwen - immediate or with treatments
For the family's physical and spiritual health
That treatments would kill the cancer and not harm Arwen
That Arwen might keep her hair
No pain, nausea, or itching
That God would continue to provide
For clarity and provision in housing near family
For the hospital in Togo

We do hope to speak at our church in Hillsdale later this month. We'll keep our facebook page updated with any definite plans:


  1. Thank you for the update, Seth. Your strong faith is such an encouragement. It is always good to remember in this life to hold all things loosely because they truly belong to Him. What a precious gift of faith Arwen has! I hope and fervently pray with her that she IS healed here. Much love to you all from the Ingersolls.

  2. Thank you dear friends for taking the time to write such a detailed account, highly appreciated. We continue to pray with and for you. May your faith not waver. Arwen, you are so right! All God's children will be healed when we are finally with Him. And yes, we are praying that God will heal you here. Amen! Love ❤ XXXOOOXXX 🌹

  3. Hey guys ... thinking and praying for all of you. Jake and I have been considering and wondering how else we can help, and it is so good to get updates. It is also wise to realize that such things are never truly in our hands - our health or our fate. But we can be active. Keep being the wonderful parents that you are, and tell Arwen that no matter what happens, she is loved. Even in the midst of pain, she is loved. And she always will be :)

  4. Since i first saw the facebook feed about Arwen, I have been praying. I have never met you, but have a heart for the work in Togo and for anyone who goes there. You can trust that I will continue to pray for all of you in this difficult time.

  5. You are in our prayers. May our Lord encourage you, answer your prayers, comfort and meet your needs.

  6. I do not know your family but I knew your dad and mom briefly years ago when I met your dad while we worked at the same company. He is such a man of faith and I see that same deep and committed faith in you. God will move in all circumstances on your behalf. Praying for your precious Arwen.