Great is thy faithfulness, new every morning new mercies we see…are the words from our special hymn, sung at our wedding… we are so grateful for all the Lord has done for us.
Since our last visit to Boston a month ago… there has been a dramatic improvement in Noel’s GVHD symptoms. Actually a mystery to the Doctors as to why, very suddenly just about two weeks ago, the sores in Noel’s mouth disappeared and no new ones have developed. We are of course putting it down to the power of prayer and the Lord’s timing.
Doctor Treister is mystified but happy and has told Noel to slowly reduce the frequency of the special mouth wash over the next few weeks to down to once a day. Unless there are any adverse changes Noel will see him again in 3 months. When we mentioned to Dr. T about our belief in the efficacy of prayer he put his hand on Noel’s shoulder and said, “maybe someone reached down and put his hand in your mouth and took the sores and GVHD away!”
Amy, Dr Soiffer’s NP, was equally pleased to see Noel’s mouth looking so very much better. She and Dr S feel that Noel should stay on the 15 mg of prednisone (steroid) for another three weeks before further reducing to 10 mg if all continues to go well. Noel’s next appointment was lengthened to 6 weeks so this is another huge improvement. Next appointment is Wednesday,19th August.
So please keep praying his mouth stays GVHD free; that his swollen feet and ankles continue to reduce – they are still preventing him wearing normal shoes; that the swelling around his face, cheeks and jowls reduce; and that he gains more energy and stays well. Amy gave him the go ahead to travel over the next two weeks but said she wanted him to wear a face mask on the airplane flights. Even though his blood counts are good his immune system is still fragile. His platelets have gone above 100 for the first time in more than 6 months.
So on Thursday we fly to Dayton, Ohio for the Anglican Armed Forces Jurisdiction (aka Diocese) annual training, sustainment and fellowship meeting adjacent to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Noel will listen to, show love to and pray for many military Chaplains he knows and also help lead the sessions for Commissioned Lay Chaplains in his capacity as Prior of the Order of St. Martin of Tours, a relatively recently formed and growing community of Lay Chaplains ministering in secular places of work such as VA and other hospitals, hospices, prisons and correctional institutions, as well as pastoral care roles in churches, and for Noel, ministering in the military environment to Chaplains and Veterans.
On Monday, 13 July we fly on to Florida where for a couple of days we will pay short visits to 2 sets of friends in the Orlando/Kissimmee area. We first met both sets over 20 years ago when we all lived in Virginia Beach. From Thursday, July 16-18 we will help lead a Welcome Home Initiative Retreat for at least 10 combat Veterans and 7 spouses at West Palm Beach. We return home on Sunday, 19 July, back to our busy home life and school vacation day care for the girls.
Because ministry is busy this month, let alone into the future, we are writing a second, separate, update this month. Please read it and pray what role you might have in helping to further our ministry vision and activities to the end of this year. We fully believe we have been called to the Chaplain and Veterans ministry by the Lord and that the plans we have are directly from our Father in heaven as we listen to Him and respond to His leading.
So thank you again for following our journey and praying for us. God Bless you all!