A little different tone to this Reaching to Russia newsletter. I expected until 24 hours ago that I would be writing this from Frankfurt or Moscow or Novosibirsk asking you to pray for our History Makers Journey in Novosibirsk August 15-21. While I still do ask you to pray for that my full attention is now turned to my wife Traci who was diagnosed two days ago with breast cancer.
I got this news as I was about to fly to Moscow from Frankfurt. Thanks to my late father leaving me some Delta Airlines flight privileges and some help at Aeroflot and the Sheraton I was able to get my bags back, cancel my onward travel, and get a seat on a Delta flight back to Atlanta in time to join Traci, her mom and two wonderful friends at Traci’s first post diagnosis appointment with her doctor. 20 hours later, here I sit trying to put into words all the stuff going on in my and my wife’s mind and heart. Can’t yet do it so we’ll stick to what we know which is basically God is perfect. As long as that is true NOTHING can be doubted or questioned as being outside of his workable plan. On a more rudimentary level we are aware of some other things too.
First of all, we got it early. Very early. The earliest this doctor who had been practicing for 16 years says he has ever heard catching this type of breast cancer. That’s a God thing and we praise him for it.
Second, treatment is available and highly effective. It involves a mastectomy initially with possible post operative treatments which is something we’re still wrestling with but something that becoming more and more viable on the heart and head level. Still though, kind of a shock to us at the moment.
Third, History Makers goes on without me. Ruslan Asadov, Ministry Manager Extraordinaire, will facilitate all the remaining work (and there is a lot of it so drop him a line at email@example.com to encourage him if you will) and ready Novosibirsk for the 2 Americans, 1 Brit, 1 Romanian and 26 Russians who are arriving this weekend to begin this one week Journey together.
Fourth, we are surrounded by a host of seen and unseen witnesses who are loving us, affirming us, encouraging us, serving us, and holding us up. For that we are very, very thankful. Please do add Traci to your prayer list over the next few weeks especially as surgery looms for sure, continued treatment possibly, and recovery by all means! Since I don’t Facebook, we’ll use this avenue for updates as time goes on.
Thank you. Hardly enough I know but it’s sincere I promise. We thank you for your love for us and we your willingness to stand with us on the road ahead.
Rob, Traci, Benjamin, Nate, Aidan and Anna