Hello dear friends,
I initially hesitated to include ministry news with an update on Traci’s health but decided to do it anyway this one time. Future updates won’t interweave the two as I do here.
Since I learned about Traci’s diagnosis in Germany on my way to a YouthReach event in Novosibirsk, Russia, called History Makers, I thought I would begin by saying that even though I returned to the States as soon as I heard from Traci, History Makers went on without me. 30 leaders gathered together just south of Novosibirsk to delve deep into The 8 Core Values of Christian Leadership. It was a life changing time for all who attended. I am so proud of Ruslan and Martin and Anya and Yan and Brad and Justin for going on with the week-long retreat without me. It is a testimony to the strength of our ministry and our partnerships that nothing we do depends on any one person other than Jesus himself. As long as he’s present in Spirit then truly all things are possible. Since I don’t Facebook I encourage you to befriend Ruslan Asadov (the one with the white afro hair as his profile picture) and see some of the pictures of this great group that gathered together. The feedback from everyone I’ve heard from was basically “thank you” and “I’m changed forever.” Praise God for that!
As some of you have heard by now, Traci’s big day is set for September 7 at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. She’ll have a double mastectomy with immediate reconstructive surgery. We have consulted the 2 surgeons that will carry out these two processes and feel very, very comfortable with both of them. God has opened so many doors to get us in to the practices and under the care of these two very skilled and compassionate women. We are thankful to our friends Ann and Patty for making meeting Dr. Amerson possible when originally we were told it would be weeks before she could see us. We are grateful to Dr. Amerson for getting us in immediately to see Dr. Alexander who will perform the reconstructive surgery. Just every step of the way God has thrown doors open for us and we are acknowledging to Him and to you our gratitude.
Traci will be in the hospital for 3-4 days following surgery and will then begin recuperating at her parent’s home in Lilburn so as to make trips to Northside shorter and easier. She hopes to return home to Monroe, GA by September 18 or 19. If the cancer has not spread then we pray no further treatment will be necessary. If it has then we will cross that bridge when we get to it.
It is literally an hour by hour journey we are on. Honestly, some hours are better than others. One hour might be filled with great courage and resolve and the very next with the question of “why Traci?” The shock still hits us at times but all in all we are doing quite well. Prayers, emails and PHONE CALLS from places like Siberia, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Zambia, and even Texas have truly empowered and encouraged us. Thank you all so, so very much. You are truly the hands and feet of Christ to us at this time.
That is probably enough for now. We’ll update you again just before September 7 with last minute prayer requests and any needs that we just can’t get taken care of ourselves before we go “offline” for a week or so.
May God bless you all and please know again how humbled and thankful we are for your love, support, and encouragement during this time.
Rob on behalf of Traci, Benjamin, Nate, Aidan and Anna