Our Current Newsletter

 
Spring 2017
 
Dear Friends,

One Sunday, in the middle of the morning service in the church in the village,  a young man with his head down, his hoodie on and his hand holding something under his sweatshirt, walked slowly towards Ed. He and his father wanted to talk to Ed right then, right there.

A dear believer named Augustín came up to  them.  He was the one who had urged them to come to church because the need was so great.  This young man pulled out his buried hand beneath his shirt and lifted it up so Ed could see it.   A tumor, as big as a  grapefruit, was bulging out between the 4 fingers and the thumb.  Would the church pray for him?   It had been growing for three years and all the doctors in the government hospitals  had said the only recourse was amputation. For a young man of 23, this was traumatic news.

Not only did the church pray for him, right then, right there, but they took an offering to help with pain medicine.

This young man, Mario, came from a small Nahuatl farming village.  They had tried herbs and other home remedies for years but in the meantime the tumor kept growing. This situation had made Mario somewhat of a pariah in his village.  He never took his hand out in public. It took courage to take it out in front of the church.

This is a case, like so many, when one has to, and wants to, go the extra mile. We took him to the city of Puebla and a Christian doctor referred us to a hand surgeon who assured Mario that he would do all he could so as to save his hand.  However, there was no certainty that his thumb (which had been grossly pushed out of place by the growth) could be saved. In addition,  the growth showed all the signs of an aggressive sarcoma cancer so  there would not only need to the surgery but many radiation treatments afterwards.

The day of the diagnosis, Mario sat at our kitchen table, head down, not talking. After dinner he shuffled slowly to his bedroom room.  Then we heard the quite depressed Mario starting to talk a blue-streak in a call to his family.  All that emotion poured out.

The thought of  possibly getting his hand back, yet possibly losing his thumb, and possibly having, on top of that, an aggressive cancer was just too much. He told his family the cost of the operation.  He wept, crying out loudly. It was impossible, totally impossible.

Of course, our God is a God who provides what we need and there was a team of doctors, including the advocating Christian doctor, who drastically lowered the price.  They wanted to do this operation. Still the  amount was overwhelming to a farm family in a small village.

His father sold trees for timber and was able to come up with half the cost.  We contributed the other half on your behalf in Jesus name.  

The Christian doctor, the hand specialist, an oncologist and a tumor specialist all worked on Mario for 4 hours. Eduardo was invited to be present and it was a wonder to watch the surgery which consisted of removing the tumor. His hand was reconstructed by sewing a large skin graft from his stomach to the palm. The hand was connected to the skin and a stomach artery for 3 weeks until the graft took.

 
 
Two weeks later while removing the stitches, the doctor reported that the tumor
was not cancerous despite everything pointing to it prior to the lab work. Mario’s  hand with all the fingers and thumb would be saved.  There would be no future radiation needed.

One doctor exclaimed, “That’s strange!,” another was incredulous saying, “That’s amazing, incredible!”  Another insisted, “It had all the indications of cancer. That’s rare. What a wonder!”  For the first time Mario  smiled from “ear to ear.” We were thrilled and overwhelmed with thanksgiving.

One month later his hand was separated  from the stomach.  Another relief!  The swelling is going down and Mario is trying to break the habit of hiding it.  He even shook Ed’s hand in confidence.

There is still work to be done for Mario physically, but spiritually  there is far more going on than the saving of his hand.   We now have an open door to their village.  The family, especially the uncle, is responding clearly to all the words we shared with them during their time in our home.

While staying in our home, there were many times of sharing the Word and talking about Jesus’  sacrificial love.  There were honest dialogues and great questions by Mario’s father and uncle. In every way, the extra mile was taken to give Mario his hand and much more.   Mario’s timidity is less now that he is realizing he really does have his hand back.  Surprisingly, it is the young uncle who decided to tag along, that has responded sincerely and with great interest to God’s word.  Besides this, the young Christian doctor, as well as his colleagues, are deeply touched to have been a part of this healing.  The family is waiting for our visits.   We are on our way with more Good News in the mountains!  Only you, Lord, could have done this!

Thank you for reading, for praying and giving unselfishly!

Your friends in Christ,

Ed and Denise