Monday, March 03, 2008

My Cousin, the Doctor - on MIssion!

There is nobody in my life that I am more proud of than my cousin, Chase. That's not to say that I'm not equally as proud of other family and friends, but I digress. Chase is a medical doctor who is currently in the second year of his residency in Waco. Chase has always felt as though medicine was a means by which he has an opportunity to serve the Kingdom. Chase and his lovely wife, Jenny, are both passionate about Spanish speaking mission opportunities, and they have served on both short and long term mission trips. Recently, they were given the opportunity to travel as a family to Ecuador, and they followed the call of God there for the month of March. I woke up Sunday to the following e-mail from Jenny. If you are led by the Spirit, I would love for you to join me in praying for their time away this month. Please read on...
We're here!  We arrived in Quito, Ecuador last night a little after 10pm, and made it to the guest house at 11pm or so.  Chase and Anna are still sleeping, but Evie gets up early no matter where she is  :) 

We're excited to see what God has in store for us during our month here. As many of you in ministry may know, Satan can come at you HARD as you prepare to leave, and we have felt it. I've shed many tears this week. Chase hasn't slept much. Anna is going to make it, and Evie is alive! Here's a quick run-down of our last week or so...

Last Thursday Chase gets the flu. He's not able to complete a shift of call at the hospital, and had to make it up Monday instead. This set him back big time and he worked late every night of the week trying to get all of his charts and paperwork done before we left. He slept about 5 hours Thursday night, and 3 hours Friday night.

My heart has been doing funny things a lot this month, and last week it became ridiculous. Several times throughout the day I either had an irregular heart beat, or my heart would race at 150 beats per minute for 10-15 minutes at a time! Wednesday it was racing almost constantly, and when Chase got home we went back to the clinic and he hooked me up to the EKG machine. We caught some pretty crazy rhythms on paper, which is a praise because I've never been able to catch it. A doctor there said it was not life-threatening, and that I wasn't going to drop of a heart attack. This was enough for me. We prayed against it that night and it was almost gone the rest of the week. :) Praise God!

Thursday morning I took off with the girls to do some last-minute Wal-Mart shopping, and Evie fell out of the cart. Yes, she fell. She was on top, and in a moment she was on her back on the floor. Anna and I hit the floor, gathered her up, and I asked Anna to put a hand on her head while we prayed. I cried out to Jesus in desperation as I watched the back of her head become red. Several employees heard the crying and came to help out (a lot of excitement for Wal-Mart at 9am). I asked a man for ice, but by the time the ice pack was ready the redness on Evie's head was GONE! She was calm and playful. In minutes. There is no swelling, no redness, no bruise... she's gotten bruises on her head from crawling and running into furniture, but no bruise from falling 3 feet onto a cement floor. PRAISE GOD! Only the power of Jesus can explain something like that. I'm SO thankful she's alive and well. We went to the clinic to make sure all was okay.

BUT it was only a few hours before she developed a fever! GOOD GRIEF! So Friday we went to the clinic AGAIN to get her checked out AGAIN. Her urine was clear (PRAISE GOD!) and her ears were clear - just a virus or the flu that daddy had a few days earlier. She was hot until middle of yesterday, and seems great this morning. She's eating animal crackers in my lap as I type.

Okay, so the last straw... Any of you that know Anna know that the thing she loves most in the world is her stuffed bunny rabbit. In the terminal yesterday, about an hour before we boarded for Quito, rabbit went missing. She was playing in a small area, just under the chairs in the waiting area, but he was gone. Just like that. Several people there with us helped us look, but we never found him. This, honestly, is as much as a mystery to me as Evie's healing. There's no where he could have gone! And there were no other kids around that would have taken him! So, we boarded the plane without him. I think I've mourned him more than Anna, which is good. And she went to sleep just fine without him last night, which is a huge praise! But I feel like this huge part of her childhood is gone forever. I'm tearing up as I type. Anna's first spanish word was conejo!

So we are thankful to be here. Satan has played DIRTY this week, and I've seen for the first time how kids can suffer for Jesus. But Jesus is worth it! I learned a lot yesterday with the loss of Rabbit. Jesus said to give up everything and follow him, and there were few things more valuable to us than that stuffed animal. Can we really do it? Can we really be willing to lose everything for the cause of Christ? I'm crying again, all sacrifice and loss is so painful, but Jesus is the pearl of greatest price and we'd be fools to hold on to anything but him.

We are humbled, we are wounded, and God is already helping us to answer the questions we're seeking this month - could we do this? Really? Do we have what it takes to give it all up and live in a foreign place far from family, friends, and the comforts of home?

Please pray for us this month! Here are some key requests:
- That we would be open to all the Lord wants to teach us, and that we would hear his voice as we seek him.
- The health of our family, especially the girls
- Chase's work in the hospital, and his ability to communicate in Spanish
- That we would be BOLD in sharing God's love with others. I got to talk to a lady on the plane! Yay!

Thanks all. Please pass this on to anyone whose address I didn't include. We'll get a better list together as the days go on.

We love you!

Jenny, Chase, Susanna, & Evelyn