Monday, September 07, 2009

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

Happy Monday morning everybody! Did you all have a good weekend?

This morning Geoff's family heads off to Israel for 12 days! Think i could stow away in their suitcase? No? Ah well, a girl can dream.

Geoff, the boys and I are staying at the house to look after things for them while they are gone. What things? Granny, the cows, the hens, the dogs, the garden, the fish... we'll be busy! But i'm happy to be here. It'll give us all a change of pace and a new view for a few days.

I have some really good news for you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for praying for Joe. If you missed that post click here. But please don't stop praying for him!

Here is an email from Joe's momma herself and you can see God's hand at work...

Dear Friends,

As a parent there are always things we face that are difficult, but coming face to face with the thought of losing a child is indescribable. To update you all… our 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 Joe and I(BJ) got to Jakarta this last time, we were told that there were two options for diagnosis and both were fatal. You can imagine as parent the hurt that you feel to hear this kind of news. Ken and I both were faced with a parent’s worst nightmare. 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 burry my bones where ever 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 worshiping round my heavenly Father's throne" For those of you who do not know, these are lines to a song by Buddy Green 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 - all of this in the capital city during Ramadan. Enough to make me CRAZY! 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. Then God provided a few couples to come through Jakarta at the time we were there who were such a huge blessing and encouragement. They were already scheduled to come - they had no idea that God would use them in such a big way during their transitions from one area to another. Back here at the school, where our boys attend, a young man, who had had a rare form of cancer 3 years ago, was so burdened for Joe that he called his mom (she lives in Jakarta) and asked her to go and visit us. What a blessing!!! This lady, Mari, is half Cuban half American. For many of you that will not sound significant but for me and Joe it was huge because that is exactly what my mom is. (God even cares about the little things!!!) We were able to scan all of Joe's test results and send them to the oncologists that her son used in the states. We got word from the doctors here of the final diagnose and just a few hours later word from the doctor in the states confirming the exact same diagnosis. When you’re living in the country we live in there are no words to describe the peace that provides.

This has been a hard year for our family and it does not look like it will end any time soon but, we would not trade it for anything. God is growing our family He is changing us and making us more into His image. We are truly in awe of God and how HE chooses to care for the wretched people that we are.

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 for your prayers.

Until the last tribe is reached,
BJ for the rest of the Armstrong Tribe


JennyMac said...

heart warming and heart breaking at the same time. Sending prayers and wishes of peace for healing hearts.

Brittany Ann said...

Still praying for this sweet family:)

Crystal said...

I cried as I read this! Emotions were at 1st sad, then happy & joy at how God works! Praise the Lord, they have an answer!

Randi Troxell said...

i had missed the original post... but i just caught up and this wonderful family will stay in my prayers...

Amber said...

What a touching letter! Joe and his family will definitely be in my prayers!

the monkey's mama said...

I hope you have fun while your inlaws are gone.

I am amazed by the letter from BJ. What a scary moment in time for this family but how uplifting to see how they are lifting their lives continually up to our Great God and Healer.