It is with heavy hearts that we share our recent news. As most of you know, we had extended our last home assignment to spend time with Joel’s mom, Carolyn. She had been diagnosed with terminal liver cirrhosis, and the doctors gave their best estimation regarding the time she had left.
Three days ago, Mom presented stroke-like symptoms, and the CAT scan showed a large, bleeding brain tumor. None of us, including the doctors, saw this coming. Many of the symptoms that would clue you in to a possible brain tumor coincided with her previous diagnosis.
Mom is at home in Alaska, and we are emergently scrambling to join her. She is currently able to form sentences at times, but it is obvious her brain is short-circuiting and is unable to speak the words she wants to say. Dementia and confusion have accelerated. Her right sided functions are declining. She can stabilize at this state, continue to rapidly decline as she has over the past few days, slip into a coma, or God can take her home.
We feel God’s presence and guidance. Circumstances have already occurred that show us that His hand is on us. Tickets are booked for us to leave Lokichoggio on Wednesday afternoon and we will begin our travels from Nairobi to Alaska Wednesday night.
Friends, please be praying for us. God has given us clarity of thought to manage details in getting ready to leave. We praise Him, because there’s no way we could do this in our own strength. Friends have come around to assist us with travel details and leaving Lokichoggio for an undetermined length of time. We are blessed.
Specific Prayer Requests:
~ For Carolyn to remain coherent until we can get to her, and have peace with what is going on in her body
~ Clarity of thought as we pack and get ready to go
~ Strength and endurance to travel from Loki to Anchorage with only small layovers. We have 5 airplanes and 38 hours of travel. 26 hours in the air.
~ Health for us. There has been an unusually high incidence of typhoid and malaria in Lokichoggio over the past few weeks. We have tried to keep ourselves protected and are immunized for typhoid, but we have a rigorous journey before us.
~ Peace that transcends all understanding. We serve an amazing God and are currently at peace. Please pray that we keep our focus on Him and do not waver in our trust.
In His Service,
Joel, LaReina, Renee and Ian