Tuesday, September 08, 2009

His Grace

I made this card to send out to a family on our field whose 11-year-old son was just diagnosed with a rare parasite that is essentially paralyzing his white blood cells and causing all kinds of other problems in his body - here are some excerpts from their update, and I'm sure they would value your prayers.

"...Joe has been sick since late May/early June. He has had symptoms ranging from nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lung issues, fatigue, bruises and the list could go on. We have made several trips to Jakarta in an attempt to seek treatment for Joe. As of this week, we finally have an answer. Joseph has a very rare parasite that is causing all of his symptoms. What does this mean for Joe? This means a long journey where God will guide us each step of the way. The shortest amount of time a child has struggled with this is a year and a half - the longest 3-4 years. He will need to take medicines for two weeks at a time and then retest. Eventually the parasite no longer shows up in the stool - and yet is still present in the body and unable to be seen except for the nasty damage and symptoms it causes. The biggest complications with this parasite are lung, heart, and bleeding issues. Joe has already showed lung issues but those are under control today (could change tomorrow). He will be unable to play PE, soccer, or wrestle with his brothers due to the bleeding issues. If he hits his head he could bleed internally. Ok, so those are the facts of where we are, but now I would like to share with you how God has carried our family in the last week.

When [we] got to Jakarta this last time, we were told that there were two options for diagnosis and both were fatal.... But, during the next 24 hours, I watched as God provided peace to an 11 year old. A peace that many adults have no idea how to access. One night when we were talking I asked Joe how he was doing and this was his response: "when I die you can put me in a box and bury my bones wherever you please, you can cry and wail but it ain't gonna bother me cause I'll be a long time gone to a bright happy home, celebrating and singing, worshipping round my heavenly Father's throne." For those of you who do not know, these are lines to a song by Buddy Greene that we play in our house often. I can't tell you how humbled, convicted, excited...and whatever else, by that short little section of a song. God had given Joe peace, the kind that only He could give. Over the next few days Joe would need to go to the university and see the professors there have more blood drawn... God provided three doctors in Jakarta who are in a small group of Christian doctors. Very, very caring men who would not charge us when they saw us....The Lord had prepared one of the doctors ahead of time – about a month ago he was reading up on some medical articles, and one of them “happened” to be about this rare parasite, which he had never heard of before! Because of that, he knew what tests to do to see if that’s what it was.

There have been thousands of people praying for our family; please know that God not only hears your prayers but He answers. Maybe not always the way we want but the way that is best for us. We believe it is those prayers that are carrying our family. Thank you..."

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  1. Thank you for sharing this card and the boy's story. I'll lift him up in prayer today.

  2. What a beautiful and moving testimony. I will be praying for Joe and his family.
    P.S. Your card is stunning!

  3. Dina, My heart goes out to Joe, and his family, and you and yours for supporting him. I am praying too! And I know God hears me, and all us praying. Peace be with you my Sister.


  4. Lara's Laugh Lines9/09/2009 8:26 AM

    Thanks for sharing Joe's inspirational words!

    I shared Joe's situation with my kids and they were moved by his attitude.They recognized his response to be an example of the"peace that passes understanding".

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to pray for this family.

    Love & blessings to you & yours.

    Isaiah 26:3
    "You (God) will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."

  5. WOW! Joe's faith is amazing for such a young child! He knows God's grace! I prayed for Joe's healing. Please keep us up to date on him.

  6. Dina, thank you for sharing Joe's story with us. I will add him to my prayer list. I thought you might want to share this, it has brought me comfort.
    "There is comfort in the fact that God can never be taken by surprise." ~Gabelein
    "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him" ~11Chronicles 16:9 NIV
    ~Diane DCRU DT