31 August 2013

Offy update 3

Received word from Wendy that Offy's tests yesterday came back mostly okay.
There is still some swelling on her brain and they are giving her some new medicines to try and relieve the swelling.
She will return for more tests next Friday to see if the swelling has gone down.
Good news is Offy is eating well and got up today and wanted to play!
That's our Offy!

Please keep Offy and Wendy in your prayers, and that the swelling will go away and for healing.
Praise God that they have Kairos house and some good doctors looking over them

28 August 2013

Offy Update 2

Sandi & I went and visited with Wendy and Offy this afternoon and were greatly encouraged!
They were sent back to casa Kairos this afternoon.
So, basically the 'tests' she had on Monday when she didn't wake up was actually a procedure where they opened the top of her skull! They wanted to see if the tumor was still there and there was an additional 'stain' or 'mark' they didn't know what was causing it and were hoping it wasn't another tumor.
Anyway, they did not find any tumor! 
Wendy & Offy
I never really learned what they said about the 'stain'.
In addition, after she woke up yesterday morning the doctors wanted to send her to another lab for some tests to see why she had convulsions and what damage may have been done.
They found some swelling of her brain, although not excessive and are treating with medicine. They now believe the convulsions were caused by the anesthesia. 
She is a pretty wiped out little girl, and Wendy also. Wendy hasn't had much sleep for a few days having to be with Offy round the clock. They should be able to rest for a couple days as long as Offy doesn't develop headaches or any other symptoms that would require returning to the hospital immediately. 
They will go back to the lab on Friday and check on the brain swelling.

This is all good news, but please keep praying for them. 
Pray for healing and that the swelling goes down.
Pray that no more complications would come up.
Pray they both could rest and be refreshed and restrengthened.
Wendy is overwhelmed to hear how many are praying and is praising God for all of you with a heart overflowing with gratitude.
Thank you.

27 August 2013

OFFY Update

Thank you all for your prayers and please keep praying for little Offy.
I just received a call from Wendy, Offy's mom, to tell me that Offy began waking up last night around 11 PM. This morning she is alert, and talking normally and is eating well!
Gracias a Dios!

They are taking her to some other clinics in another part of the city this morning to run some more tests to try and know why she had convulsions yesterday and to see if it caused any damage.
Then they need to decide the next step whether to continue with plans for surgery to remove the tumor, or to wait more.
Wendy expressed her deep deep gratitude to all for your prayers and love.
Please continue praying for Wendy and Offy.

26 August 2013

OFFY - Prayer Request

I have a very urgent prayer request, please pray for Offy and her mom Wendy as you read this.
I have included a few pictures from a day we spent at the zoo with them last month.
Offy is 6 yrs. old and we have known her for 3 years now. Offy and her mom Wendy are from Chiantla in Huehuetenango. Three years ago Offy was diagnosed with cancer and they have lived at Casa Kairos pretty much for the past three years while she has undergone treatment at the public Roosevelt Hospital here in Guatemala City.

Offy & Maria
There have been many ups and downs over the past three years, times where she hasn't been doing well and it didn't look good, then times where she has rebounded and has gotten much better.
Through it all, we have been amazed by her mom Wendy. Whether Offy is not doing well, or is doing very well, Wendy is always positive and trusting in God to carry them both through anything. Wendy also is there at Kairos helping all of the other parents with their kids, being positive and sharing her trust and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Offy riding while Wendy walks!
 Offy had been doing better lately enough so that the doctors were planning to do a surgery on her head this week to hopefully remove the rest of a tumor there. Wendy had told me she would greatly appreciate our accompanying her during the surgery. We have been waiting word when they had an opening to do it.
A couple of hours ago Wendy called me and was pretty upset, and told me that they had gone to the hospital this morning at 7 AM for a test needed before they could do the surgery. They put Offy under and as of 5:30 PM she had still not woken up. Wendy is obviously very worried.

Always smiling is Offy
 The Doctors are concerned and said she had a convulsion during the test and that may be the cause for not waking up. They are now administering medicine to her in hopes she will wake up. We are still awaiting word. There is a possibility now if she wakes up that they may go ahead with the surgery tonight.

Offy, Maria and Wendy
Offy is an amazing little girl, normally full of energy and always in charge! Talks non-stop and always has a smile on her face. We have grown close to Wendy & Offy over the past three years and humbly ask for your prayers for them now.
Please pray that the Lord's will be done and for strength, comfort and peace for Wendy. 
Pray for strength for Offy, that her little body can stand up to what is being done to her and pray the Lord would touch her if He desires and heal her.
Pray that Offy would wake up and not have more damage from whatever is happening to her now.
Pray that she will wake up and that they will be able to continue with plans to remove the tumor sometime soon, hopefully this week, and that would also go well.
Pray for wisdom and skill for the doctors attending to Offy, that operating rooms, equipment, medicines and whatever is needed would be available when needed.
Pray for the financial needs to be met, it is the public hospital but there are always some costs incurred.
Pray for those that work at Kairos and are closest to them for strength and courage as they minister to all the folks there.
Pray that we will be able to provide Wendy and Offy the comfort and assistance they need from us.

On behalf of Wendy, Offy, those at Kairos and ourselves, thank you with all of our hearts.
May the Lord bless you richly for your prayers.

19 August 2013


So, where was I last week?
Most everyone knows that life in Guatemala can tend to be somewhat random, and I seem to fit into that fairly easily, but last week was extra random, even for me.
Okay, back up to the beginning. Late July Sandi, Maria & I flew to Dallas with our summer interns for a week in Texas. Then, I returned home to Guatemala and Sandi traveled with Maria to Washington to help her get settled into her new life there where she will begin college next month. They were staying with our daughter Kimberly and her husband Sergey.
Needless to say, it was awfully quiet here at home without them, and knowing Maria wouldn't be coming back made me miss her even more.
Then Thursday the 8th I received word that our son Jacob was, unexpectedly, flying up from San Diego to spend a few days with them Thursday and Friday I received a couple of messages that worried me a little bit, and Saturday morning I had a little bit of a meltdown, missing my kids, feeling like I had been an absent father for too long. I took a long walk to pray and think, and felt I needed to be with them. 
Then I had to go in the afternoon to Antigua to pick up a friend, Seth Thomas.
Seth had been studying Spanish for the week in Antigua and was returning home (to Bellingham) on Sunday, so was going to stay with me Saturday and I would take him to the airport Sunday morning.
I took Luis and David with me to get Seth, and then driving home with Seth in the car I shared with him how I was feeling and he asked "what can you do about it?" I said, ""well, I could get on a plane and go."
He said, "why don't you?"
We got back to the house, talked it over some more then took David home and visited with several of our youth at the children's home for awhile.
Finally, just before dinner we looked on the internet and I found a ticket on the same flights as Seth had, and I bought it! How much was it at the last minute? Let's just say PRICELESS.

Jacob, Sandi, Mike, Maria & Kimberly - 12-August-2013
Bellingham Bay

Then, as is life here, we ended up having 7 people for dinner unexpectedly which was great to keep my mind off of things.
Sunday morning I spent a few hours making sure some details were covered for me to be gone, a couple of errands, notified some people and then spent 5 minutes packing and we left for the airport!
After a delay in Houston we arrived in Seattle at almost 11 PM. Seth had his car at the airport and he gave me a ride to Kimberly's house in Ferndale where we arrived at 1 AM!
Did I mention I arrived unannounced? They had no clue.
I rang the doorbell and knocked. Rang some more....more....more.
Finally Sergey opened the door, thankfully without a gun, looking a little stunned.
I asked to come in, Kimberly was at the top of the stairs and was just a tad bit surprised
okay maybe SHOCKED is a better word
Maria came upstairs and then they woke up Sandi and Jacob
 and we talked until 3 AM!

Monday was a wonderful day just hanging out all together.
Jacob left Tuesday and we spent the rest of the week helping Maria a little to get some things done.
The only thing missing was Felicita, it just wasn't complete but 3 of the 4 were there and we had visited Felicita in May when she graduated from college.
I returned home Friday night arriving Saturday.

Never done a last minute trip of this magnitude before, but I must say what a blessing it was!
My soul was refreshed and comforted more than I could have imagined.
I am now back home, and it is still waaaaay too quiet without Maria, but I am at peace knowing she is going to be okay. I feel so blessed to have spent time with Jacob, and Kimber and Sergey. To see their new home and feel so proud of them for their marriage and all they have done in just a few years.
Thanks God....you're awesome!