Monday, December 30, 2013

Adventures in Peru

Hola! Como estas? Now that the holidays are almost over, I figured I should sit down and go ahead and report on my trip to Peru and all that happened there. What a great time we had! Teresa, Hilary and I left on Wednesday evening of November 13th, arriving in Lima around 10:30am on Thursday morning. While still in the airport waiting for our ride, we ran into a group of women arriving from the church in Arequipa, a city in the south of Peru. Only one of these women spoke English – like, at all – so we got started right away practicing our Spanish! As Pastor Fabio drove us out of the airport parking lot he warned us to be ready for the infamous Lima traffic, and he was not exaggerating. It was quite fun. The city of Lima is very full with 9 million people in the main area of the city – and they all have places to go! We spent the remainder of Thursday walking around the district of Miraflores, and having dinner at La Lucheria, a “sangwich” shop. It was so interesting to Teresa and I the words that were ever so slightly different between Mexican Spanish and Peruvian Spanish, “sangwiches” being one of those words. The Peruvians did poke a little fun at Teresa and me for speaking “Espanol Mexicana”  On Friday, Pastor Fabio and his wife, Mariella, led us and some of the people visiting from other parts of Peru and Venezuela around on a little tour of historic Lima. What a beautiful city! The government buildings in the oldest area have a strong Spanish architectural influence, and are so ornate and lovely. We actually got to see the Peruvian Presidente as he stood on the steps of the main government building while someone made a speech. The locals seemed uninterested…but we thought it was pretty cool. And I did have kind of a fun time smiling at the expressionless, heavily armed guard until he smiled back at me. On Friday evening the Women’s Conference began, which was of course the main reason we were there. Both Hilary, my pastor, and Yerelyn, a pastora from Venezuela spoke at the conference, and both did wonderfully. Hilary had to speak through a translator, which made her job a little harder than usual, but her interpreter, Maria, was so wonderful, and really helped us all quite a bit throughout the trip. By Friday evening I was speaking Spanish fairly well, and over the course of the next 3 days I continued to get better. This was, as you may remember, one of my main prayer requests, and I do feel that the Lord really answered it. I took Spanish classes in high school, but…ya…haven’t used it since…and so I was worried that it would all be gone. But immersion really is the best way to learn it – and after the initial 24 hour period of the “deer-in-headlights” look, I started following what was being said, and verbs just kept coming back to me. There were even a couple times when I was around only Spanish speakers for a few minutes and didn’t feel totally lost. The openness and loving hearts of the Peruvian people that we met made a huge impression on me. They were so blessed by our coming, but also blessed us by really wanting to get to know us and hear about our lives. One of the times I was with all Spanish speaking women, I managed to construct some sort of Spanish paragraph about my little family back home, and I briefly mentioned that my husband had a chronic illness. Thank fully chronic is almost the exact same word in Spanish . One of the women, Angela, immediately stood up and said (I’m translating now) “No! Well, do you believe that Jesus heals?” I replied that I did, and that we have been asking for it constantly, and believing that He is at work. I shared with her one of our favorite verses (the verse that our blog title is based off of in Exodus), and they all started saying “amen” and “yes!” And then Angela started speaking very quickly to the other women, and they gathered around me and just started praying for me. It was very special. For a while I tried fully understand what they were saying, but after a minute or so, I just allowed myself to feel the love and care that they were expressing, and I was just praising the Lord that He and His love is not bound by language. A few days into the conference, both Teresa and I had an opportunity to share a little of our testimony with the women at the conference. After we shared, and Hilary finished speaking, we were all told to break off into pairs to pray for each other. I turned to a woman behind me who I had chatted with a little, but hadn’t really spent much time with yet. When I asked her if she would like to pray with me she blushed a little and said that she had really been touched by what I shared, and that she had wanted to pray with me but thought that maybe we didn’t know each other that well yet and I wouldn’t want to. I am so glad that I followed that inclination to pray for her. It was a great time of prayer for both of us. Over the weekend I was also able to connect with many of the young adult women who attended. Most of the younger generation knows at least a little English, and so we were able to communicate fairly easily. They were so eager to hear my life story, my thoughts, and even my advice for their lives. Many of them are now my friends on Facebook  One girl, who was from the church in Iquitos (which is in the northern Peru in the jungle) and did not know very much English, hugged me on one of the last nights and said in very broken English “I no entiendo ingles, but – we are friends”. I hugged her and said that was very true. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to make all these sweet friends. I know they will pray for me as they said they would, and I think of them and pray for them often too. I loved hearing about their lives and finding out what we have in common. I enjoyed tasting Peruvian food, and experiencing their culture. I became good friends with my host, Silvia and her new husband from Venezuela, Pedro. We were so tired when we got home, but so full of good memories and testimonies of the Lord providing and going before us. He kept us safe, He kept our families safe, and He was, as He has promised to be, faithful. Thank you all for praying for me and

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Off to Peru!



Hola y Buenos Dias mi familia y amigos!

This Wednesday evening I will be boarding a huge plane for my first ever mission’s trip and my first ever visit to South America! I am just so excited and honored to be part of this team I can hardly handle it…and I didn’t want to go without telling you (our faithful readers) all about it. 

A few months ago Hilary, my friend and pastor, was asked to speak at the National Peruvian Foursquare Women’s Conference in Lima Peru. Our senior pastors, Todd and Hilary have had a relationship with Fabio and Mariella, the couple who lead Foursquare Peru, for a few years now, and this trip has come out of that friendship. Since I am Hilary’s assistant, I heard about the trip pretty early on, and in my heart I thought “I wanna go I wanna go!” But I also wanted to be patient and see who Hilary had on her heart to take with her. So it was even more exciting when she asked me to go…it was a pretty easy decision at that point.

Matt was also SO very excited for me.  He is looking forward to some special time with Rebecca, and we are both incredibly grateful that his health is so much improved that me leaving for 5 days is possible. (More on that really needing to come soon in a post, huh?)

So the next step was to raise the money for the trip, something that I was nervous about. I have never gone on a mission’s trip before, and so I had never had to write a support letter before. While I love getting support letters from other people going on trips, me being the writer pushed on a vulnerable spot for me.  I didn’t want anyone to feel pressured or expected to do anything, and yet I know that every time we receive a support letter (and depending on the season in our life sometimes we support through prayer, sometimes we send five bucks, sometimes a little more), it is always such a blessing to us that we get to partner with that person and be behind them while they share what the Lord has done for them in another place. 

And so, trusting that the Lord would take care of the finances, I sent out the letter. 

And shattering my fears, and blowing my mind, BAM! Just like that I was fully funded. 

But more than that, I feel fully supported. I separate the two because the outpouring of love and prayer and excitement and questions and the “I’m so excited to hear stories” means so much to me. Of course just getting to go monetarily speaking is awesome, but the fact that my trip is on so many people’s hearts and to know that they are praying for me, whether they sent money or not, is hugely humbling and encouraging.

Dear friends sent me notes, deeply blessing me. Two of my previous students who are 4 and 6 years old, actually went and dumped out some money from their piggy bank because they were so excited that “Teacher Corrie” got to go to another country and tell people there about Jesus. Like the little boy who gave Jesus his lunch, these little boys just wanted to give what they could – but to me, it was treasure!  

And so, feeling thus supported and incredibly loved, I am fervently packing and list-writing and alternately last minute shopping and freaking out that I will forget something : )  (But it’s a good kind of freaking out…mostly)

I will write more when the trip is over about all that we actually did, and while we have been emailing back and forth with the Pastors there in Lima, sometimes the translation is a little iffy, so here is the run-down of what we will be doing – as we currently understand it : )

Hilary will be speaking twice at the conference of probably one or two hundred women. She has asked both Teresa (our third teammate!) and me to be prepared with a possible testimony to share at one or the other of those talks if there is time (This is Hilary’s first time preparing a teaching that will have to be entirely spoken through a translator…so budgeting time is tricky). Then, after the retreat, we will also be meeting in a smaller setting with women from around Peru who are in leadership of some kind in their churches. The focus of this meeting will be not only to encourage them and pray for them, but also to discuss what it means to hear from the Lord, and how to walk in faith, and also humility as we share with people what we feel is on our heart from the Lord to say to them. Again, Hilary has asked Teresa and me to be prepared here with a testimony of hearing from the Lord, and what we have learned so far about how to share that with others. 

I am so eager to see all that the Lord has in store for this trip. From the conversations on the plane in between trying to get a good night’s sleep : ), to the relationships we build with our host families, to the words we say, and the words we hear, to the health and the contrary-to-jet-lag-┼▒ber-energy we are believing for, I am trusting that the Lord will be in it all.

Things to please pray for!

  • My hosts will be Pedro and Silvia, a newly married couple almost exactly the same age as Matt and me. I would love to be a blessing to them, and would love this to be the beginning of a lasting relationship. 
  •  Confession: I get trip anxiety. It’s not usually during the trip, but more before the trip as I try to prepare for all the unknowns and then that’s not possible and then I try to think of the possibilities and then…and so on and so forth. So, ya, that would be a please pray for this right now! : ) 
  • Please pray for our health. Traveling wears anyone out…and I don’t want to be worn out! Sometimes airplanes lead to little bugs in the recycled air (trying not to think about it), and I don’t want to be sick. Peru has different foods, and water-drinking “considerations” – and again, I don’t want to get sick. I want to be all there. 
  • Pray for Matt and Rebecca. I know they will be fine, and we are so surrounded here on the church campus that I know if Matt needed anything he would be supported…and yet, I don’t want them to miss me at all. I want their time together to be so special and bonding that me being gone for 5 days actually added to their relationship. I love them both so much. Also pray that I don’t miss them too badly – a little missing is good…just not too much : ) 
  • And lastly, please pray that my heart is open to what the Lord wants to do in me on this trip. I know there will be places where He wants to challenge and grow me, and in my mind I’m up for it…but sometimes it’s a little harder when it’s actually playing out…So I’m asking that my heart is soft and ready to hear from Him.


Adios y hasta proxima semana!
Thank you all! Love to you!

Monday, July 22, 2013

"I Want Jesus!"



Parenting is such a strange adventure. On any given day I can experience joy/tiredness when she wakes me up to snuggle – she prefers our cheeks to be touching while we snuggle – then delight in her cuteness while she plays with her animals, then annoyance when she baby talks to her animals (her animals fuss a lot), then noble, self-sacrificial maternal care when she asks for a snack, then frustration when she won’t stop asking for a snack (Mom just needs two minutes!), then love when she goes down for her nap all snuggly, then devastation when she wakes up from that nap just 5 minutes after I finally had a chance to lay down, then happiness while we play before dinner, then “mom-eyes” when she won’t eat her dinner, then exhaustion during the 30 step bedtime process (“Mom, I have to get back out of bed cause we forgot to brush my teeth!” How do you argue with that?), then back to love when I go kiss her before I go to bed (Oh my gosh, she stirred! Please don’t wake up please don’t wake up…)

I love all that the Lord has taught me through being her mom, and even through the things she says.

Lately we have been going through the “bad-dream” phase that a lot of kids go through. It has been so comforting to talk with other parents who say that their kids went through it too and they grow out of it etc…but it is still so hard to watch. 

There are practical reasons for it (ie growing awareness, being exposed to more info as you get older, trying to process that info etc), but I really believe that it is also a very early form of spiritual attack. Of course the enemy wants to make children feel scared, unsafe, alone, and confused. That’s what he wants to do to all of us.

I have battled with terrible dreams my whole life. I will wake up crying, or feeling nauseous for most of the morning. Often I can’t even remember the dream; I just know it was awful and dark. But that’s me. And it’s one thing if the enemy tries to attack me. It’s a whole other ball game if you come after my kid.

So when Rebecca started having nightmares that she would wake up crying from, or worse, the night terrors when she never even fully wakes up, just cries and refuses to be consoled, we just started praying over her while we held her at 3 in the morning (this is an attack on parents too, who aren’t the most lucid at 3am), and praying more specifically against that before she went to bed. 

Rebecca would also ask questions about the dreams and how to make them stop. So we would go over with her that Jesus is stronger than those bad thoughts and bad dreams. And He never goes to sleep, and never leaves her side, so she can call for Mommy and Daddy, and she can call on Jesus too.

One morning a few weeks later, I asked Rebecca how she slept.

“Oh not good” she said “Bad guys AND Jesus were in my room all night! And the bad guys were saying mean things to me.”

She went on to tell me that the bad guys told her to get out of her bed and that Jesus wasn’t there (vicious!). As my righteous-don’t-bug-my-kid-mom-anger burned inside me, I asked her as calmly as I could what she did about it?

“I said to them ‘NO! I want Jesus! You go away! My mommy and daddy love me!’”

Suddenly I stared at her. This tiny little person, just barely three, was doing battle.

“Wow, Rebecca” I said, “that is exactly right. You did the very right thing. Those thoughts cannot stand against Jesus. You are very brave.”

I was shaking with anger and excitement and a new wave of mom-unpreparedness. I was suddenly aware that while I am raising a little girl, who is naughty and silly and often at the same time, and won’t eat her spinach unless it is folded (!?), and blames her baby-talking on her animals, and bursts into manipulative tears when possible, and thinks she can read cause she has books memorized, and fights with her friends but also wants to sleep over at their houses, and will only be consoled by me after the most infinitesimal scrape on her leg – I am also the guardian of a tiny little spiritual being, who is already learning that our battle is not against flesh and blood but against rulers, powers, and forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). And this little child has the simple faith that I forget to have. The simple faith that Jesus challenged us to have!

The faith that just says: “No! I want Jesus!”

That little statement has such power in it. And I was acutely reminded that I am in over my head.

Lord, I ask you a lot to help me raise my child. But Lord! Help me raise YOUR child! You have plans for her, and you are making her a tiny little faith filled warrior. Show me how to mold her!

I get proud of my kid ‘cause she can write a few letters. She can recognize her name when written and she is ace-ing the little phonics games we play. I get proud cause the little “what doesn’t belong in this picture” SAT prep portion of her Pre-K workbook was so easy for her that she looked at me with the funniest “duh” expression ever. Call the Montessori schools people! I am 100% confident that I have a genius here! (Full disclosure: I just misspelled genius. yikes. Apparently Daddy will be teaching the spelling portion of the pre-k workbook…)
 
But I get really excited when my little girl believes, and acts on the fact that Jesus loves her, and is available to her. Because above ALL the hopes and dreams I have for that little future ballerina/Broadway superstar/athlete/Mommy/world renown artist, my biggest wish is that she knows the Lord, and that she gets to walk with Him, and hear from Him, and touch others along the way.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

To the other side!

Good evening friends.  Thank you all for your excitement for our family over the last couple of weeks.  It sounds funny to thank someone for being excited, but I really do mean it.  You all have your own lives with your own concerns and dreams and schedules...and it really means a lot when you care so much to know how things are going and make it a point to pray for us.

Here I am, back in Carson City looking forward to my third full week of treatment.  I just got back here this afternoon after driving Corrie and Rebecca home.  They had come for the whole second week...and now I really miss them...A LOT.  But my heartsickness doesn't negate the fact that this is still such a huge blessing, a gift from the Lord that we are so immensely thankful for.

I know that we didn't write at all about how last week, the second week went.  We were too busy having family time venturing to Tahoe, getting our car fixed, making wonderful new friends, etc.  By the way, this is the baseball/Dad in me coming out, but Rebecca and I played whiffle ball for the first time while they were here.

I set her up with one of those fat plastic bats, a little plastic tee, and the ball...and she hit it.  BUT....then I thought, "I bet she could hit a real pitch."  So we got rid of the tee, and I showed her how to stand and where to put her hands.  Backing up to about 7 feet away I told her to watch the ball the whole way, you know the typical baseball advice.  I threw her a nice soft underhand pitch and she WHACKED it right back at me!  The first pitch she's ever seen in her life, and she makes contact...my budding three year old all star.

But all proud dad moments aside, I wanted to talk about something I could feel happening today on my drive up here.  I found myself worrying.  I started worrying that this opportunity from the Lord to come and receive such top of the line treatment would just be a flash in the pan that would eventually turn into another "nice try" with no lasting healing value.

Now, this worry is not from a lack of results.  I can honestly say that I feel far FAR better right now--after an exhausting weekend of little sleep and a LOT of driving--than I did on the day I walked in for treatment.  Good things are happening.  My body is being restored.  But nonetheless, the worry was there.  What if I wasn't receiving enough of a certain kind of treatment during my three week window of opportunity?  What if his plan for me when I go home won't be enough and I actually need months of intensive treatment?  What if it doesn't stick, and I could have done something differently to prevent that?

Then, the Lord brought to mind Paul's question in Galatians 3:3:
Are you so foolish?  Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
And I remembered two weeks ago when I was getting hit with fearful thoughts: What if I shouldn't be here?  What if they don't know my situation?  What if he didn't think I would actually take him up on his offer?

Back then the Lord showed me that it was all OK.  It was OK that I had no plan B because he had established my steps.  The "what if's" didn't matter because he was directing me the whole way.  My fear faded, giving way to faith in his presence and promises.  And that stance, of walking through this with no plan of my own, no trying to make anything happen, just simple release into the Lord's hands and following him, has led to spiritual healing and freedom...not to mention a wonderful experience at the clinic.

Now, it's time to choose that path again.  I'm choosing to not reason this thing out, to not have a stance of grasping at every little ounce of...whatever I can get for fear that soon it will all be gone, that the well will run dry.  The Lord has spoken good things to us about this doctor, this clinic, this whole thing.  And those good words from Him stand in direct opposition to these little lies that try to sway me.

And it's funny, I just read Mark 4 when I got here.  It's the story where Jesus and some disciples set sail to cross the sea, and he says to his disciples, "Let us cross over to the other side."  While they're on their way, a huge storm comes up and starts tossing their boats and filling them with water.  Meanwhile, Jesus is sleeping.  The disciples freak out and wake him up asking, "Don't you care that we are perishing?"  To which Jesus replies, "Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?"

He really drove this story home with me this evening.  "I've told you that we'd make it to the other side.  What's more, I'm even making the journey with you...AND I'm not even sleeping this time.  These little lies washing over into the boat are no match for my power."  And as he called out, "Peace, be still!" to the storm, he gently whispers the same thing to me.

He has had his hand in this whole Carson City experience from the beginning...months ago when he told me, "I'm giving you favor here."  How will he not see it through to full completion for the greatest good?

We've got to keep our eyes on his promises, on HIS truth.  This life, Satan, our flesh all send lies our way that masquerade as truth...but they are powerless in the presence of Jesus. 

Galatians 3:5
 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
Romans 15:13
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ozone in Action

Frankie...he sat on my lap for a while today.
Day three is in the books...successful as the last couple.  Although I blazed through treatment quickly today, so Michael and I got to go to lunch at a pho restaurant.  "What's that?!" you ask?  It's a really good type of Vietnamese soup with fresh basil and jalapeno...'nuff said.

So, this post may or may not be too long.  I mostly just wanted to share some fun pictures with you guys and also explain a little more about one of the treatments I'm getting.  This first picture is the aforementioned Frankie, a good, understanding friend to hang out with while hooked up to the IVs.  He's always on the lookout for someone to share food with him, and he was definitely eyeing my trail mix.  I don't think he fully realized what it was, otherwise he may not have been so intrigued.

This next picture is of the IV line coming out of my arm.  The dark liquid in the line is my blood as it's coming out of me and into the IV bag.  This is the first portion of the major autohemotherapy treatment.  What happens here is that they let about 6 ounces of blood out of my arm into an IV bag. 
ozone, major autohemotherapy
Dark, pre-ozone blood on its way out.
There are a couple possibilities as to why it looks so dark.  The first is that it's blood that's actually on its way back to my heart, after dumping its oxygen throughout my body's tissues as it's meant to.  Oxygen is what brightens the blood, so when it's on the way back to the heart and lungs to get more, it's darker than it is after it passes through those organs.  The second possibility is that when you're sick, your body does not actually get as much oxygen as it wants, and blood with less oxygen means blood that is dark and not as bright red.  The third, and this intrigues me, is that my blood is fairly dirty.  People who are sick often have much darker blood than healthy people because that blood is carrying around a lot of toxic filth, whether from infections or other toxins.  I think that this definitely is playing a role with me, because this is quite a bit darker than my blood looked on day one.  The reason for that would be that all of this intense treatment is stirring up the toxic sludge in my body and it's more freely floating through my bloodstream right now.

So, after the blood comes out into the IV bag, they take three syringe-fulls of ozone gas and inject them into the IV bag with the blood, mixing it around.  Once the ozone has a chance to mix into the blood, they let it all run back into my body through the same line.
ozone, major autohemotherapy
Ozonated blood going back in.
Here's a picture of my blood in the same line, running back into my body with the ozone in it.

It's amazing to me what a different color it is!  They didn't dilute it with anything, add any liquid at all.  The only difference is that the ozone is in there, working on both oxygenating my oxygen-starved cells and also killing infectious organisms and oxidizing (burning up) toxic sludge.  Crazy.

So they let that all run back into me where the ozonated blood can be distributed throughout my body, which then distributes the ready-to-work ozone.

So what is the ozone doing once it's inside?  I've already mentioned a couple times that it will kill harmful anaerobic organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi...all of which have come up in the course of my treatment.  I've also mentioned that it detoxifies by dissolving and getting ready for elimination both organic toxins (from infections and normal cellular waste) as well as more chemical-like toxins (chemicals, metals, etc.).  One top of those major benefits, it will also support many of my body's normal, good, healing processes.  I've found so much solid research about so many things that ozone does, it's hard to summarize them all...but here are five things that just scratch the surface.  
  1. It regulates the immune system, calming down an overactive system, and stimulating and underactive one.
  2. It stimulates increased oxygen uptake by our cells from hemoglobin molecules...basically preventing and helping treat cellular oxygen deprivation.
  3. Improves circulation by enhancing the bloods ability to flow, which allows for even greater oxygen delivery into the body's tissues and cells.
  4. Increases antioxidant protection.
  5. Stimulates the mitochondria, or energy factories in our cells.  Decreased cellular energy is a major underlying cause of disease. 
Interesting...to me anyway.  I won't bore you with more science details, but just know that they're out there.  If you're interested, I'm posting a link on the right to a ton of peer-reviewed research.  Boring I know, but some may find it interesting.  The science is compelling, and I'm very thankful to be here.

However, at the end of the day, the Lord is our healer.  My healing is in his hands and whether he uses ozone and diet and lifestyle or a miracle, or a combination of all the above...it's all from him.  Corrie and I never want to put our faith in a doctor or a therapy or anything other than Jesus.  HE alone is Jehovah Rapha.

After 2 Days...

So here we are, Tuesday night, two days in to this incredible adventure, and I'm still having to remind myself to trust God with each step.  To be honest, I woke up at 5:45 on Monday morning totally unable to go back to sleep because my mind was racing.  I kept thinking, "What if I show up and they're like...Uhhhh what are you doing here?"  I kept saying to myself, "You're really going to walk in there with no plan, no proof that YOU of all the sick people out there are the chosen 'special treatment' one."

Thoughts like this kept coming at me, trying to let fear take over, until I finally realized, "Yes.  Yes I am going to walk in there with no plan other than trusting God, that this whole thing is actually real."  Granted, I had the Doctor's personal vote of approval, but what if he forgot?  What if he changed his mind?  What if he really didn't expect me to take him up on it?

But that's the beauty of walking in a path laid out by the Lord and of having the assurance of that through the witness of his Spirit.  All the what if's don't really matter.  Romans 8:33 comes to mind:
Who shall bring a charge against God's elect?  It is God who justifies.
But those fears, those attacking thoughts have all been silenced.  From the moment I walked in the clinic on Monday, I knew this was right.  They actually said, "Hi Matt," as if they really WERE expecting me...as if they KNEW me.  Then I almost immediately went in to see the doctor who examined me, looked at my blood in a dark field microscope, and set up a plan for the coming weeks including medication/supplements and the "big gun" clinic treatments.  Not only that, but he gave me a couple ozone knee injections right off the bat.

As I was sitting on his table, I said, "I can't tell you enough how thankful my wife and I are that I am here."  And his reply was simple: "Hopefully you'll be more thankful by the time we're done."

 From there I went to a far back room, by myself, because the IV room was already full.  But soon a little older hobbling lady came in with a fire in her eyes and introducing herself as Linda.  She said that she also has Lyme and that the doctor had sent her back to pray with me.  Come to find out she actually goes to the doctor's church and loves teaching (used to teach at their church's school), loves the Book of Matthew movies with the really down to earth Jesus, etc.

When she first started coming to the clinic, one of the nurse's kids asked, "Dad, is that lady gonna die?"  She could barely walk/move (sounds like places I've been), but now she's functioning and getting her life back.

And then, in came Frankie, the doctor's little dachshund, honorary member of the nursing staff.  Apparently he roams freely around the office checking on patients as he pleases.  I was hoping to get a picture of him today, but he wasn't there...sadly.

The rest of the day consisted of a series of treatments: IV antibiotics, Major Autohemotherapy, Pulsed Electromagnetic Frequency Therapy, Ozone Insufflation, and STEM Muscle therapy.  Today was pretty much the same, minus the Pulsed Frequency one, and with the addition of an ozone sauna session. 

As if the welcome, the doctor's compassion, the little old lady being sent to pray with me, the dog all weren't enough to let me know that God is in this, I was pretty stunned by one of the other doctors.  He was taking me to administer the autohemotherapy (which is drawing several ounces of blood, injecting it with ozone, and reintroducing it into the body) when he saw that the IV room was full again.  But he was excited about that and told me, "Good, I can take you back to the back room without all the other distractions and I can ask you more questions."  This isn't a nurse, this is another doctor wanting to pursue time with me to figure out my case.  So he brought in my chart and we had basically an unscheduled office visit as he interviewed me about my health.

The sense I get is that these doctors really WANT me to be healed.  They're going out of their way to make it happen.  I am so thankful to have this new team of people fighting for me, with me.

How am I feeling after two days of this?  Honestly it's too soon to put too much stock in feeling better or worse.  Nevertheless I am feeling better now than I was when we started, no denying it.  When I was done yesterday, I was surprised at how easily I was able to walk down to the beach up at Tahoe.  It's been a couple months since I've been able to walk uneven terrain that quickly.  Also, I didn't have any night sweats last night.  That's been rare lately.  So, small but good things.

I'll go into more detail about what the treatments actually are as the next couple of days unfold.  As we keep going forward, could you keep praying?
1) For our family as we're separated from each other.  It was already a busy time for us with VBS on the horizon, and with me being gone, it's even busier.
2) Honestly, I have the easy end of the deal.  Corrie is keeping a lot of plates spinning back home and doing awesome with them, not to mention going solo with Rebecca for a few days.  Please pray for her that God will meet her with more than she needs.
3) Please pray for Rebecca, that she won't miss Daddy too much and that she will be able to understand that it's actually good that Daddy's gone right now.
4) Please pray that they have a safe drive at the end of this week when they come to be with me.
5) And also, please pray that deep healing takes place in my body over the next couple weeks.  That this would be a turning point for me.  That my gait would normalize.  That I would stand straighter.  That my joints would recover.  That my weight would increase.  That my pain would go.
6) Lastly, please pray that somehow, our little family with our little story will be a blessing to the doctors, staff, and patients here.  We hope that the fact that they blessed us by making a way for us to be here would actually turn around and bless them.

Thank you all for being with us.  We KNOW that you are.  You've made it very clear.  Thank you.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

God is Moving Mountains!

"Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you." Isaiah 42:9

 As I read through Pride and Prejudice for probably the 5th time, I am reminded how much I love a good story. One thing I have asked of the Lord in these last few years is that He give us stories to tell. Stories that show that He is here. Now. Contending for us. I want to be able to tell stories that give people hope. The Bible is full of miraculous events, and we have the same God now. He doesn’t change. It is so encouraging and faith building to hear about things that are happening now, and to be reminded that God isn’t finished with the miraculous.

 Last fall Matt and I went to Carson City, Nevada to see a world renowned and highly successful doctor. Matt had been reading his research, and, in reading other research, kept coming across his name quoted by other doctors. We went with the hope of seeing this doctor more than once, but travelling that far is expensive, not to mention the cost of the actual treatments.

 I remember thinking “What’s going on here, God? This seems like a great treatment, why aren’t you making a way for this to happen?” Unintentionally, we may have been pushing for it in our own strength a bit, knowing that it is good treatment and trying to work out the kinks ourselves. Our efforts were probably commendable, but in the end the answer was an unavoidable “not now”. So we decided to wait and try our best to be faithful and keep pressing on into healing.

Insert tumultuous and full winter here (remember the whole pneumonia thing?)

Then, Matt and I were stoked to be able to purchase an at-home Ozone generator a few months ago. He contacted our doctor in Nevada to set up a phone consult and just get his opinion on how best to use the machine for his current state etc. After all, this is one of the doctors who has really pioneered Ozone therapy...might as well try to get his input.

After a couple phone chats, and some more blood work, our Doc called Matt to say that he considered Matt's case to be….well…urgent. In his opinion, our at home efforts weren’t going to be as successful as they could because Matt's body is backed up with toxic inflammation like the 405 on a Friday evening. He said that Matt could benefit from more intensive treatment. To the tune of a 3 week stay in Carson City, going to the clinic Monday through Thursday, all day. Ozone Sauna treatments, ozone injections, Ozone IV…and something cool called Irradiation. It’s something to do with taking some blood out, exposing it to ozone and UV (the good kind) and then putting it back in.

 So then the million dollar question was how much will this cost? While he had been very kind and generous to us in September, drastically reducing the cost of the treatments we received, nothing had prepared us for his response.

The doctor answered saying that the Lord has been good to him, and he knows it is good for him to give. So he did not want cost to enter into Matt's thinking at all, but rather to just come, and pay what we can. He said he knows that we could use this, and he didn’t want money to keep it from happening for Matt.

 Brains blown. Having done the research, if Matt could have his pick of all the treatments out there, this would be the one he would choose.

 And then, pieces of the puzzle just kept fitting: A family in Carson City who we had met last time offered for us to stay there as long as we need, another friend generously paid for the gas to get up there, and (since this week is already booked tight for me) a third friend dropped everything he was doing this week to drive Matt to Carson and stay with him.

--That was Corrie writing on Sunday the 19th...the next section is Matt, at the end of Monday the 20th.-- 

Hi everyone!  So that story that you just read from Corrie is how I ended up where I am tonight, in bed, in Carson City, updating our blog after day one of intense treatment.  This has all happened so fast, it's hard to imagine that I'm up here right now.  Just yesterday I was driving home from a wedding in Three Rivers with Corrie and Rebecca!

The experience so far has been fantastic, thanks in large part to our new friends who have so graciously opened their home to us.  I nearly cried when the doctor offered his treatment to me, and I've gotten choked up a couple times since then thanks to the unquestioning generosity of our friends here in Carson City.  Their home is so peaceful and a perfect place to come back to after a long day of treatment.  It's just as much a gift from God as any other piece of this adventure so far.  

But since it is getting late...I will save the details of my time at the clinic for tomorrow.  I would, however, like to add something.  At the beginning of this post, Corrie included the verse from Isaiah 42 that talks about the Lord telling us of new things coming before they even come to pass.  Back in September, when we first visited the clinic for some ozone joint injections, I sensed as clear as I've ever sensed the Lord's voice that he was telling me, "I am making a way for you here.  I am giving you favor here."  At the time, I had no idea how huge that would be.  I could never have guessed that this would happen...hope yes...guess, no.


Then around the time of my first phone appointment in the last month, the Lord said the same thing again, "I am making a way for you here.  I am giving you favor here."  To me, these small whispers of the Holy Spirit are almost even more testimony that this is an opportunity from the Lord.  The fact that he spoke to us in that way shows me that this is more than a benevolent man with compassion for a sick 26-year-old.  This is a benevolent man with compassion spurred by the nudging of the Spirit.  What that means for how successful this treatment will be, I don't know.  I have high hopes indeed.  But whatever the result, Corrie and I are seeing, yet again, how REAL our God is.


He speaks to us.  He speaks through his word, but he also speaks through his Spirit, specifically, where we are, now.  And that shows me that he's not done here.  He hasn't stopped pursuing my healing.  He wants to do something with all of this.  And Corrie and I are thankful that he lets us in on his plans from time to time.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

See-through



I have tried to start this post several times. Eloquent words escape me. I have no fancy intro this time.

When Matt and I moved onto The Coastlands campus, we were so ready for new things in our life. We wanted to go new places with the Lord. Turns out, the Lord knew what was ahead for us, and while it was new, it was not exciting, and He knew just how much we would need people around.

Less than 2 weeks after moving here, in November, we found out that we were expecting a baby, and less than a week before Christmas, we lost the pregnancy.

Almost four months later, I would love to say that I am healed, and some days I feel like I am. It comes and goes...

As sorrow and frustration swirled around my head and heart, I attacked my Bible with ferocity. Not actually - *no Bibles were hurt in the writing of this post* - but also not really in a spiritual “Oh I just love the word of God” kind of way either. It was more like researching for a paper or a legal defense. Where? Where does it tell me what to do now? Where does it say how to stop feeling this way? Where does it tell me why this is happening?

And for some reason, I found Colossians to be strangely comforting. Be warned: don’t necessarily go recommend Colossians to someone grieving, it talks a lot about life and death and Jesus being the first born of the dead…In fact looking back I’m surprised I kept reading. But the verse that inspired my first deep breath and “yes, Lord” was this:

Colossians 3:4
When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

The Lord was so near to me during that time, and I felt Him over and over asking “Do you want what I have for you?”

“Not if it includes this” I answered. PS I knew that this was not something the Lord “wanted” for me, but I was a little mad that it happened anyway.

“I know. I hate ‘this’. Do you want what I have for you?”

Quite honestly, I audibly choked out the response “Ok, Lord, I want what you have for me.”

The Lord was not asking me to just accept the pain or the loss. He was not telling me to get over it. I believe He was asking me to be see-through. In all this, in everything, I want so much to be more of who He made me to be. And when He is revealed in us, then we are revealed – the real us.

2 Corinthians 4:7 says:
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.

I am a very earthen vessel. And so often I am painfully aware of the cracks and holes in my not-so-very-perfect shell. But He puts the treasure of salvation and His Holy Spirit in us, not because there is no one else, but because others can see Him better through the holes and cracks! Where we are broken, Christ shines through.

I will not be complacent with death and loss. But I will be confident in the fact that where I feel insufficient to hold anything, Christ is sufficient.

So then my prayer became “Do something with this Lord, I give it to you. Force it into something good.”

In the months that have passed, I have been asking the Lord to keep me anchored. I have felt so tossed. I have felt like a crazy person. Happy for several days, then aching in my heart and bursting into tears in cartoons, while reading children’s books, looking at my child, you name it. Anything could push me over for a while there…

Now as I look forward, I am not hopeless and I am not “over it”. I’m not sure how “over it” a Mom’s heart can ever be after that. But I am so certain that He who began a good work in me will complete it. And I am hopeful that as I surrender my life to Christ, He will reveal Himself and me – an ever changing me – in Him.