Thank you for being patient with us between updates. We've had a few busy months, but we do have some news for you. First, Arwen was able to fulfill her Make-a-Wish with a family vacation to Orlando to visit several theme parks including all of the Disney parks, Universal Studios, and Legoland. Especially for the children, this was a great family getaway full of fun memory making moments (the adults might have elected to spend more time sipping cool drinks in the shade). Because of Arwen's "wish kid" designation, she and her siblings were allowed to move to the front of most ride and character lines. In one of the photos below, you can see Arwen holding the hand of Pixar character Joy as we stand between Joy and Sadness. That describes life to some extent, standing between joy and sadness, but Joy will win in the end – of that we are sure. “And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). The whole trip really was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we will look back on fondly.
Overall, Arwen continues to feel pretty well and act normally. She's growing, learning, and maturing. Of course, her cancer is still not cured after exhausting all treatment options. During this last week of March, Arwen has been undergoing an experimental type of immunotherapy which incorporates the reintroduction of her own natural killer cells. It has been painful and uncomfortable for her. Pray with us that these treatments will be fruitful - we continue to trust God as we make known our request for Arwen's healing. He is faithful, and we can give witness to His gracious love and faithfulness.
That’s where we’re going to need you! Over the next one to two years, we will want to connect with people who are willing to partner with us and financially support our ministry. One-time gifts will be necessary, but we'll also need people able to support us on a monthly basis. For those who have continued to support us through Samaritan’s Purse, thank you! We will ask that you switch your monthly giving to be processed by ABWE. For others who are interested, please consider joining with us to grow the church in West Africa through our health care ministry. Look out for future blog posts describing some of our hopes for ministry in Togo.
To start giving toward our ministry with ABWE, follow this link.
Thank you all for continuing to pray with us during these past few years and especially concerning Arwen’s neuroblastoma. We can’t know what the future holds, but we do trust the Lord. We know that if it is His will, He can heal Arwen. Until we know otherwise, that is exactly what we expect. It is Arwen’s desire, as well as our family’s desire, to return to our home in Togo as soon as the Lord allows. Even though we are running out of treatment options, "we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose" (Rom 8:28). Our greatest hope is that the Lord would be glorified, and this is not a hollow hope, because we know that He will be glorified (Hab 2:14). May our hearts be continually bent toward our God and our minds renewed by His word.
Remember to pray for Arwen's health and restoration. Pray for few symptoms with her current experimental treatment (and that God would use it for her healing, if that is His will).
Pray for baby number six (baby K) who is due on June 27th.
Pray for wisdom for us as we start moving back towards missions while we continue to fight for Arwen. Pray for financial support to come, in God’s timing.
Pray for a good family vehicle as we set out on pre-field ministry (we’re looking at the Ford Transit 350) and possibly a stateside house (it’s still unclear to us if this is the right choice for us).
Above all, pray that God would be magnified in all we do.