Last Saturday morning we woke up to several texts from a friend in the States, telling us to call/email/check facebook ASAP. Janine found her friend, waiting online, even though it was 1am her time.
Janine’s mom has cancer. They found a large tumor in her large intestine that was causing all sorts of problems. Her mom is a very poor surgery candidate, due to several other health issues, but the decision was made that the removal of this tumor trumped the other concerns.
Surgery was set for that Monday morning (August 6th).
Thanks to the blessing of the internet, and a very helpful friend in Lusaka, Janine was able to book two tickets on Saturday evening’s flight back to Ohio. We quickly woke Sean up, told him he was going to the US that evening, and started packing.
Then we drove the 5 hours to Lusaka, ate a quick meal, and Chris took Janine and Sean to the airport. Three hours later they were winging their way to Ohio, via Amsterdam and Atlanta.
Janine made it back in time to see her mom Sunday night, before the surgery, and to be there when she woke up. The good news is that they got all of the tumor, and that she is on the road to recovering from the abdominal incision. The bad news is that cancer was also found during a lymph-node biopsy, meaning it is in other parts of her body as well. Further treatment options will be discussed when she has had a chance to heal a bit from the surgery.
Meanwhile, Janine is spending a lot of time at the hospital with her mom and other family members. Sean is hanging out with his other grandma, enjoying the last few weeks of summer vacation. And Chris is all by himself in Petauke, still helping the Nsenga translators move forward in the Gospel of Mark.
Your prayers for our family are more than welcome at this time. Especially we’d like to ask for prayers
– Of thanksgiving for Darlene’s successful surgery
– For wisdom in the consideration of further treatment options
– That Darlene would continue to regain her strength in the healing process
– That the “readjustment shock” of leaving Africa so quickly doesn’t adversely affect Janine’s ability to do what she needs to do in the States
– That Sean especially is helped, rather than messed up, by the series of quick transitions, and that he comes back ready for two more years in-country without renewed bouts of homesickness and culture shock
– That Chris not go crazy living by himself for three months, and that he finds God-pleasing ways of productively using “all the extra time” he’s going to have
– For safety and health during our time apart, especially that Janine and Sean would come home safely and soon
If anyone has a chance to see Janine or Sean in the next few months, be sure to give them a hug from Chris!