Have you ever experienced a time when God interrupted your plans?
God has definitely interrupted our plans for these past and future months, differently than we would have chosen. Even so, He has clearly guided and provided for us each step of the way.
A man’s steps are established by the Lord, and He takes pleasure in his way. (Psalm 37:23)
After Jami’s breast cancer diagnosis in January last year, she immediately had surgery in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Then, God directed us to come to Georgia for a season, for medical care, and support from our family, church, and friends. Jami completed cancer treatments in August.
Meanwhile, Phil was diagnosed with throat cancer, has experienced a 10 day hospital stay, a feeding tube, and finished treatments this past January, As many of you have, we have had some dark and difficult days and nights. Phil still has a surgery, therapy, scans, and care by his doctors for the months to come, but his doctors have told us that he can expect a full and normal life!
As much as our hearts long to go back to the field sooner, God is having us delay. So we are following our doctors’ advice by staying in Georgia under their care for awhile longer before returning to Mexico.
No one should return to a foreign mission field after cancer without a healing period, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Thanks to God’s power and technology, the work we began in Mexico continues as Phil mentors his disciples and leaders from here.
Your financial support and prayers are just as vital now, as when we are on the field in Mexico. Thanks to the financial gifts of those who partner in this work with us, we are able to temporarily rent a house in Georgia, as well as send funds to continue the work in Mexico.
We’re going to use this as a furlough time, which we’ve never taken. (Missionaries typically take a year or so of furlough time in the U.S. for medical care and to report to ministry partners about the work).
After Phil’s surgery and recovery time, God willing, our desires are to…
-finish medical care and follow-ups
-host our pastor and family from Mexico, as they come here to speak in churches and raise support
-continue sharing the gospel with new friends who don’t know Jesus
-conduct Zume trainings for Christians in the home we’re renting
-work to start Bible studies in the homes of unbelievers
-report about the ministry to churches, businesses, and individuals who partner financially with us (when Phil is able to travel)
-share stories of what God has done in our lives through our experiences with cancer
Phil’s Good News and Upcoming Surgery
The tumor on the back of Phil’s tongue appears to be gone! The doctor will get a better look when he operates to remove the affected lymph node, and surrounding lymph nodes in the neck, during the surgery on Friday, March 4.
Our prayer is that during this surgery, Dr. Song will find no viable cancer in any of the lymph nodes, or anywhere else. The surgery will be long and complicated because of the surrounding muscles, nerves and arteries. Also, Phil still has a feeding tube which makes all things more difficult for this season. He’s strong in the Lord, and values your prayers for him.
Regardless of what the doctor finds during surgery, Dr. Song expects that, in time, Phil will have a full recovery! He will still be able to preach in two languages, and to continue our work in Mexico .
Join us in praising our good, good Father for all He is doing!
Phil was able to ring the bell signifying that he had completed 35 radiation treatments to the neck area! In the photo below, he’s holding the “mask” used during radiation, and molded especially for him.