6 months ago today we arrived in thailand. i no longer cry when i tell the story. and i even laugh a little. a very little. and not a full laugh.
we left colorado. wow. time flies.
zolo is out of surgery and all went very well. the growth was completely removed and his bone has been repaired. the dr said had this been cancer they most likely would have had to amputate the entire leg – at the hip. God is good.
tomorrow, april 19, at 2 pm a twelve year old boy from mongolia will be having surgery in chiang mai, thailand to remove a tumor from his leg. i would like to share his story, or at least the part i know.
his name is zolo and this past december he fell at school and broke his upper left femur (we were told a medical name for this break, but i don’t remember it.) during one of his exams the drs. discovered a tumor that was destroying the bone, it had already caused his left leg to be shorter than his right. they biopsied and determined it was cancerous. the treatment the medical professionals in mongolia recommended was amputation of his left leg. there was no where for the family to go for second opinions or to research other options.
the first i heard of zolo was when my husband returned from a pastor’s conference he attended in mongolia in march. attending this conference were many pastors and missionaries serving in mongolia and a few compassion international employees. some of the mongolian pastors took a couple of the compassion employees to visit some families, zolo’s was one of them. the compassion employees heard his story and knew that something more should be done. and they didn’t just think something more should be done, they didn’t just talk about how something more should be done, they did something more. they researched options. found that in chiang mai, thailand this family might be able to get some other answers. they chose chiang mai because of the low cost of high quality medical care. compassion is paying for this boy’s medical treatment. he has been at the hospital in chiang mai for a week. another biopsy was done at this hospital and they determined that this tumor is benign, however it is still damaging his bone. today, our family went to the hospital to visit zolo, his mom and their translator. the translator shared with us that for the church they attend a miracle is happening. this is a small church and zolo’s crisis is the first of this kind that this church has faced. and they are witnessing how God will move mountains for one boy. one month ago, this family had no other options. one month ago, this little boy had a diagnosis that was life threatening. one month ago, this family and this church were praying for God’s provision. tomorrow, this 12 year old boy will undergo a surgery that will remove this tumor and strengthen his leg.
from zolo’s translator we also learned that world vision covered the cost of airfare for zolo, his mom and their translator. tomorrow, please pray for zolo, his family and the medical staff that is involved in his care. the surgery is at 2pm, april 19th, bangkok time.
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he–quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
*c.s. lewis’ the chronicles of narnia
i was recently reminded of the above quote at a women’s retreat. and have found myself thinking about that last bit – / ‘course he isn’t safe. but he’s good. he’s the King, I tell you. / i have often wanted to find a way to describe my God, to find a way to put into words who God is to me, and c.s. lewis has done it.
God is so good that He sacrificed his Son for us. and He has said to us, “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (jer. 29:1) see, that’s good.
but it’s the not being safe part that made me say, “yeah, exactly.” because if i think God is safe, i am forgetting that He is in control. that He is the King. that it is His will that will be done. and it is so much more than just who God is. it’s also how i should relate to Him and with others for Him. He’s going to ask me to take risks, to step out – do things way out of my comfort zone.
i think it’s pretty apparent that i don’t feel “safe” sharing my faith. because, well, i don’t do it. i mean, sure, when i’m around other christians, i’m all over it. i can stand strong. but it’s with “not-from-church” friends and “might-gonna-be” friends that i waiver. i want to be liked, and i’m afraid that my faith is something that might cause them to not like me.
to me, this is a prime example of me forgetting that God is not “safe” and that my goal in life should not be to feel “safe”. i believe when i respond to Him, it should be because i know He’s good – not because He’s safe. and because i know “that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.” rom 8:28
even the scary stuff….even the unsafe stuff. i trust in God because i know He’s good and because He’s in control.
“february is blog month at compassion! we’re asking all of our friends to share their love for compassion’s ministry by sharing their compassion experience with the blogosphere.” and since i have a compassion experience and am absolutely obsessed with the blogosphere how could i pass up this opportunity?!
a few years ago, bh thought it would be good for us to be able to witness our money being used by God to impact the life of a child, you know, since we have three of those ourselves. so we sat down and talked, we asked the kids if they had any ideas about how to pick a child. i knew people who had chosen based on birthdates, wanting to adopt a child whose birthday was close to their own child’s birthday. or people who had chosen based on location, they were studying a particular country or knew someone from a particular country. but the only prerequisite our kids had – and really, it was just one of our kids – was that our child be a girl. so we sent our form with the request for a girl and received back the information for agit from indonesia, a 7 year old girl (now 9). and the more we learn about compassion – learn that this organization isn’t just talk – that they whole heartedly believe in what they are doing, that everyday they are working towards the goal of “releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name” the more we are thankful for the privilege to partner with them.
if you would like to read other compassion stories visit shaun groves’ website.
head pastor so soon
never know what God has planned
wonder what is next?
x365 – a year long journey
i keep getting asked, “so, how are you really doing?” like i might not be answering the question, “how are you doing?” honestly. the honest to goodness truth is, i’m doing just fine. i’m including a graph to help define “just fine” –
now, i know that doesn’t look so good, looks pretty close to dismal maybe. But it is what it is. you know during the closing credits of the jetsons, when george yells, “jane, stop this crazy thing”? well, i’m pretty sure i know what he’s talking about. it’s not that i want to go home, or that i’m sorry we moved – it’s that it’s just so much, so fast.
i’ve already posted about the delayed flight, flying standby, bh going straight to singapore from bangkok and the kids and me coming on to chiang mai. which was a bit of a rocky start (if you haven’t noticed i have a tendency to minimize things, i learned that in our “are they the right kind of crazy to move to thailand” counseling session). you thought how brave and adventurous i was when we were here without bh – I got us out of the hotel, went to the zoo, the night bizarre, the internet café… well, the truth is, that while we did do those things, and while it may have seemed brave and adventurous, it was really just forward motion. i would have rather stayed holed up in our hotel room and cried. but what good would that have done, other than to further traumatize the kids. and we did spend a few mornings crying over breakfast – some very nice people who were also staying at the hotel were kind enough to check on us, maybe more to be sure the kids would be okay left in my care.
then bh got to town and we had to really think and act like this was our new home. we took care of the kids and school and got moved into our house. i drove a stick shift – on what i consider the wrong side of the road – in the middle of morning rush hour down and around the streets of chiang mai. and that really might go down as one of the most stressful and scariest things i’ve ever done in my entire life. we found furniture, the grocery store, the local market. i’m learning to shop by picture and that there are some places to shop that are more english friendly – not meaning they speak english, but that there is some english on the packages. i’m learning that things take more time. i’ve learned that i’m spoiled. i don’t like hanging clothes to dry or hand washing dishes. it’s not convenient and it takes time and your clothes aren’t really soft. i want furniture – now. i’m glad we have mattresses and a kitchen table and chairs. but i want some place else to sit in the house. i want my mattress off the floor. i want to be comfortable. and i want routine.
i want someone to talk to. i’m a bit of an extrovert. you know barbra streisand’s lyric, people, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. that was written for me, about me, i’m one of those people – well, not really feeling the luckiest people in the world part right now. and i got no people here. i mean none that aren’t family and forced to endure me because of their genetic makeup or because they said, “i do.” and not only that, the only other adult in the house is introverted. which – if i understand what an introvert means- it means he’s some kind of freak of nature – you know, like a weird mutation or something. he’s drawn me a graph to show me the difference between extrovert and introvert, i’ve done my best to recreate it.
lets say that the 0 – 7 are representative of how full up of conversation and interaction we are – with 6 being as full as you can get – and the 7 being there because i didn’t know how to make it go away. so, bh spends his entire day, either pretty full or totally full. i, however, start with plenty of space available and it’s not full until i close my eyes to go to sleep – and really, it might not be full then. this doesn’t really do his original diagram justice, but it gives you a good idea. the problems – well really it’s just one big problem – this causes are that he is all happy in his introverted little world, no one wants him to participate in any kind of conversation – it’s good, but then there’s me. sad little no.one.will.talk.to.me me. he tries, God love him. he uses exaggerated hand gestures, makes disturbing faces and he grunts, but those really aren’t
good substitutes for conversation. so, i blog, a lot. maybe you noticed. and i check my email every chance i get. but it’s not the same. and the truth is, i want friends, but i hate making them. you know, the awkward small talk, the i’m not sure i’m gonna like this person, the i’m pretty sure they don’t like me. i know i’ve done it before, but once you’ve gotten past that you forget it and it’s like you’ve always been friends. it’s sort of like that mommy amnesia – the one where you forget how much it hurt to sit up in bed after a c-section so you go ahead and have another baby. that’s where i want to be, not having another baby – it took three, but now i remember the pain. i want to get to the you’ve always been friends place.
so, right this moment i would say life sucks. but it’s all part of it. i signed up for this. i know it’s where God wants our family and i know it will all be good. and i know i have a choice. i can move forward, get things done or i can curl up in a ball and cry. one is much easier than the other, but i think i’d miss out on all the
not to mention the blog fodder.