It was wonderful for us to be in North Carolina during the autumn months among family and friends. We were blessed and encouraged by the fellowship of believers at our home church. We are thankful to all who provided us with work and housing during our stateside stay. Both Stacey and I were blessed to have jobs; I was again able to work in agriculture, helping with the autumn harvest. Stacey worked as a waitress in a small local café. Following Christmas in Dixie we headed north to Michigan to spend a couple of weeks with Eric’s family and our church family in McBain, Michigan. The LORD has blessed us richly with the prayers and encouragement of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
As many of you have heard, we were in Hungary for all of one day when we received some unexpected news. I had some moles removed at the dermatologist while in Michigan. We received the surprise call after we had returned to Hungary that one of the moles taken off of my head was not a mole, but instead was a growth that pathology reported was cancerous. I was told that I should come back to see an oncologist right away. Stacey stayed in Hungary by friends for a couple of weeks, but I returned to Michigan for a series of tests: CAT/PET scans, bone marrow biopsy, blood work, etc. I was diagnosed in February with non-Hodgkin B-cell Lymphoma Cancer. Stacey returned to Michigan about three weeks after me. The tests have shown that the Lymphoma has not spread to anywhere else in my body, and following confirmation from a second opinion sent to Mayo Clinic, I began radiation treatment. The Radiologist scheduled me for treatment, five times a week, a total of 15 treatments. As I write, I am just over half way. The doctor is very optimistic, and tells us that this type of Lymphoma has a high success rate with treatment. He told us that we can return to Ukraine in the end of March. The only downside with this type of cancer is that in the majority of people, the lymphoma will return, so it is something to watch closely. Normally it is not detected until it has spread to other parts of the body and the person is symptomatic. Neither of which was true for me, so maybe I will be an exception to the rule. We are confident that God will use this for His glory and our faith will be strengthened.
While in Michigan we have been able to continue working on summer plans and the organization of our summer English camps. Our English camps take place in both Ukraine and Hungary and our camp season officially goes from June 7- July 7, although we may be involved with some other English camps in Ukraine in the middle of July. We find these English camps to be an exceptional way to meet students and develop relationships with them. They are a wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with many people. We have had a good start to finding volunteers but we are still in need of more. If anyone is interested or knows of anyone interested please feel free to refer them to us.