Sunday, August 10, 2014

Joyce Post-Surgery Update - Aug 10, 2014

So, it has been a couple of weeks since Joyce’s surgery.  She is doing fine.  The incision is healing up nicely.   We went to the doctor’s in Manila last week and had the stitches removed and learned the results of the pathology report.  All is good.  Her calcium levels are perfect, which means that her other parathyroid glands are functioning well.  So we are thankful. 

She is still having headaches however.  All the other symptoms seem to have disappeared, but the headaches seems to be lingering on.  We are a bit discouraged about that but rejoicing that all the other issues that were causing her much discomfort seem to have dissipated.  

Thank you for all your prayers, kind notes of encouragement and support during this time.  Please continue to pray as we continue to seek a solution to the headaches.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Update on Joyce - July 15, 2014

We just arrived back from the doctor’s office and Joyce is scheduled for surgery next Thursday the 25th.  She will go in early in the day and have surgery in the afternoon and perhaps be able to go home on Saturday if all goes well.  Please be praying that this surgery will ease the suffering that she has been enduring for several years now.  Thanks to those who were praying that the scan test results would be ready for the surgeon’s appointment this evening.  While sitting in the office waiting for the doctor to come we got a call that the results were ready to be picked up. I walked down the hall, picked up the results, and was back to the office before the doctor arrived. 

The typhoon is expected to be overhead here in Manila sometime in the early morning hours and by the end of the day exit Luzon and head out into the South China Sea.  We are planning, Lord wiling, to travel back to Baguio on Thursday for the week.
We certainly would appreciate your prayers.  We know the Lord will take care of us and are resting in His faithfulness.

Monday, July 14, 2014

News From Baguio July 13, 2014

Greetings to you all from the mountains of Central Luzon,  It sure has been nice to be home for the last few days.  It was great to be with all the saints at the Navy Base assembly this past Lord’s Day. We received such a warm welcome back with hugs all around.  However we cannot stay long.  We must make the trip back down to Manila on Tuesday (July 15th) for another doctor’s appointment for Joyce.

Since we arrived in Manila on June 27th we have made multiple trips to Cardinal Santos Hospital in Greenhills Metro Manila for doctor’s visits, tests, scans and ultra-sounds.  The blood work-up definitely confirmed the diagnosis of hyperparathyroidism and the high calcium levels in her blood.  It also revealed a very low vitamin D level and the two are related.  The ultra-sound revealed that she has no kidney stones or disease, which often accompanies hyperparathyroidism so for that we are deeply thankful.  Her mammogram also revealed that she remains cancer free, which was a blessing as well.  The bone density test revealed that as a result of the parathyroid glands leaching calcium out of her bones, teeth and fingernails she now has sever osteoporosis, which will need to be dealt with at a later time.  She also had a nuclear scan of her parathyroid glands and that is what causes us to return to Manila on Tuesday.

Tuesday evening we will learn the result of the nuclear scan.  If there is a tumor or enlargement of one or more of the parathyroid glands surgery will be the only option, which also brings immediate relief to most of the symptoms.  If they are no tumors or enlargements then another course of treatment will begin, which will give relief as well but over a period of time.  We are praying that this is indeed one of the causes of Joyce’s daily headaches.  Others who have had this surgery have been relieved of the headaches associated with it and it is our prayer that this will be the case with Joyce.  The bone density scan did reveal a problem with her neck, which we were aware of, and it may also be a cause of some of her headaches.

So currently our central focus is on getting Joyce well again.  Please be praying with us.  We will try to keep you updated via this blog, or on Facebook.   It has been a long haul, but Joyce is staying strong.

Currently there is a typhoon swirling in the Pacific and coming right at us.  It should be making landfall somewhere in Central Luzon pray for us as we travel on Tuesday when, in all likelihood, the rains associated with what will intensify into a Cat 2 storm, will begin to be felt.  We may have to stay in Manila an extra day while it passes and the flooding recedes. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Ministry within a Ministry - June 24, 2014

Our lives both as humans and as Christians are always in a state of fluidity.  We have certain anchors that moor us to pilings that do not move, yet although as believers we have a firm foundation the superstructure above is continually being altered.  Having Christ in our lives and having the Holy Spirit as a constant in our lives produces changes for the glory of our Savior as we learn to yield to His work in our lives.

I have often told my children as they were growing up that “You can never go home”, in the sense that when you return to that which in your memory has been classified and codified as “home” will not be the same when you return after many years.  The people in the neighborhood will have moved on, the school will be filled with students you do not know.  The buildings, roads and stores you once frequented will be different.  For better or for worse you simply cannot expect things to remain the same.

I am one personally who does not like change.  I want things to always remain the way they once were, except for in my personal walk with the Lord.

My thoughts this morning have been on a place called Faith Academy in Manila Philippines.  It was for so very long a central part of our lives.  My wife graduated from there, all of our children attended school there.  We knew all the people up there.  We knew all the teachers by name, all the staff members both Filipino and expatriate.  When we go up to Faith Academy these days there is that strange feeling of not knowing anyone. I wander around the campus from time to time and I remember.  I can hear my daughters cheerleading in the gym.  I can see them on the playground. I can see teachers and staff members that I grew to love.  I can see my daughters getting off the buses from Outdoor Ed. completely exhausted from a long week of adventures.  But things change.

Faith Academy has always been a ministry within a ministry.  There was the overall ministry of working with the national work, seeing men and women coming to know Christ and growing in their lives for Him. Seeing new churches established, orphanages built and schools organized.  But within that ongoing national work there was a sub-culture, if you will, a ministry within a ministry always going on up on that hill.  It was a school which was started for the education of the children of missionaries who were serving the Lord both in the Philippines and throughout the Pacific Rim or in all surrounding the Republic.  Here our children were given a world class education all the while being cared for and nurtured by a dedicated faculty and staff.

But things do not stay stagnant.  Over the years Faith Academy has grown.  Not only has the campus expanded and the staff requirements enlarged, but its ministry has expanded along with it.  It is more than ever a ministry within a ministry.  It has been transformed into a world class international school.  And in the transformation has become an opportunity to see the word of God be planted in the hearts of those beyond the missionary’s child’s hearts.   It is an opportunity to share the love of Christ and the wonderful salvation that He has provided to a new and growing group of individuals. Our eyes must be open to the wonder of the opportunity that the Lord is bringing in this new stage of life, for the school.

Some things however have not and will not change. One is the dedication of the teachers and staff who still come to Faith Academy short term or long term to serve the Lord.  They still come as those looking to the Lord alone to provide their needs.  No salaries are paid to faculty or staff, they trust the Lord to provide their month to month needs. And as costs rise in the Manila area and the availability of housing shrinks significantly we need to keep these dear servants of the Lord in our prayers.  Some are looking for affordable housing and are finding none.  Some are often forced to be in competition with other brothers and sisters in the Lord for the same housing as it comes available.  Pray for them as they look to the Lord for His provision and direction for their lives and ministry. Gone are the days when there seemed to be many homes available for rent at 300-400 dollars a month.  Time and demand have driven the prices to double that over the last several years.  Pray.

For those of you reading this who pray for those in the CMML handbook, remember those at Faith Academy.  A wonderful opportunity to serve the Lord is present at this school in the Hills of Valley Golf and as this ministry continues to grow and expand in many different directions, the Lord is using special men and women to bring His gospel to many and to help shape the lives of multitudes of future leaders in our local churches.  Uphold them in your prayers, support them in their efforts.  Call them, encourage them. At times they feel alone and vulnerable and a word of encouragement will go a long way.

I am so very thankful to the Lord for the ministry of Faith Academy.

Monday, June 02, 2014


Thursday, May 08, 2014

May 8, 2014 Greetings and Update from New Jersey

Well it has been a busy year, for which we thank the Lord.  Our travels this year have taken us from Connecticut to Chicago three times, Kansas City twice, St. Louis twice, Atlanta twice, Augusta, Several locations in Florida twice, Richmond Kentucky, Several locations in New Jersey while staying at CMML, Chambersburg PA, and Cincinnati.  We enjoyed a conference in Kansas City, Southern Florida, York and Cincinnati and one on Saturday here at CMML.  All of this was driving miles with the exception of the conference in Cincinnati.  While I was in Cincinnati for the weekend Joyce spoke at a women's conference at Greenwood Hills.  So it has been a busy and productive year.  Thanks to all who invited us to visit, it was such an encouraging year for Joyce and I.

Next week we will begin the trek that will eventually bring us back to Manila in about 49 days from the writing of this update.  We will finish up here in New Jersey next Thursday and then head up to Connecticut for a couple of meetings then over to Chicago for a couple of meetings, then down to Springfield IL for a midweek, then off to St. Louis for a visit with some friends, then finally back to Kansas City where we will drop off the car we leased this year from Missionary Motors and fly out of Kansas City to San Francisco and visit with some friends and speak on the Lord’s day there.  Then on the 26th we will board a plane that will take us back to the Philippines.  I am tired just thinking about it.

When we arrive back in Manila we want to immediately begin preparations for a surgery that Joyce needs.  Please be praying with us that the constant headaches that she has been enduring for so many years now may be relieved by this procedure. 
Then we will head up the mountain to our home in Baguio.  It will be good to be “home” for a while. 
Thank you all so very much for your prayers and support of the Lord’s work among us.  May he richly blessed you all.