“The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad” Psalm 126:3
The summer seems to be going very fast. Time goes quickly the older you get, they say, and this certainly seems true this year. August is over half way through and summer officially ends in 2 weeks, although we hope for lots more sunny days well into the Fall.
We are in Boston today for Noel’s appointments at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute (more detail in the next but one paragraph), but a week today, Thursday, August 27th, Noel flies to Orlando, Florida, to take part in a Chaplain’s ministry healing conference organized by the Diocese of Endorsed Chaplains of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches (CEEC). Many armed forces chaplains are gathering to be equipped, motivated and educated how to be “compassionately focused on mending wounded souls.”
Our very close friend, Reverend Nigel Mumford, is one of the key speakers and Noel is going to support him; pray as a member of his team; and to make contact with military Chaplains for future ministry activities. We asked for prayer about Homeland 2015 in our last update on July 23 and since then have received $550 in donations towards the $1200 cost of going. Noel feels so strongly that he is meant to be at this event that he has organized to go even though we don’t know how the rest of the costs are to be covered. This is a faith venture and we really need you, our dear readers, to pray the Lord will bless abundantly enough to cover the costs, as well as provide the other 2/3 balance still being paid for the July ministry activities also described in our July 23rd update. The total need for both faith ventures is $2000. Please bear in mind that the military Christian organization we have been staff members of for the last 21 years, requires it’s staff to raise their own ministry (aka, work) related funds. No money (even donated air miles) comes from any other source other than the “shared vision generosity” of individuals and, very occasionally, church or chapel designated offerings or missionary activity sponsorship. Even the smallest donation helps Chaplains and combat Veterans whose souls are deeply traumatized with the often hidden or concealed wounds of war and the ‘combat’ of life. All donations, especially for US tax exemption, should be made through ACCTS at http://www.accts.org/donate.html. Click on ‘Donate’ or ‘Give’ for full details. Our title is Chaplain Care Ministry.
We also ask you to pray for a successful conference, for much healing of moral injury to occur, for many new ministry relationships to be established and that these will lead to more healing of combat trauma in the future.
Full details about Homeland 2015 can be found at http://byhiswoundsministry.org/event/military-conference-protecting-our-homeland-heart-soul-for-military-chaplains-orlando-fl/.
Meanwhile, back in Boston yesterday, Dr. Soiffer was pleased to see us and happy that Noel has continued to do well since our last visit 6 weeks ago. His blood counts were acceptable and some mouth sores that formed at the end of last week have now disappeared again. The $300 copay each month for the one medication that Noel uses as a mouth wash seems well worth it to hopefully keep these sores caused by the GVHD away. Dr. S decided to lower the Prednisone (steroid) dose again from 10mg to 7.5mg and said in 4 weeks, if he continues to feel OK, to drop down to 5mg. Hopefully this means that by the end of the year Noel will be completely off steroids again. He has now this year been on then for the past 8 months. So that day will be a big Hallelujah day! Meanwhile, we continue to thank God for improvement!
Noel’s next appointments are scheduled in 6 weeks (Oct 2) including blood tests and an annual lung function test (PFT). We are trusting the PFT will be OK as Noel sometimes finds himself breathing more heavily when doing minor physical activity like climbing stairs, let alone the 2.5 minutes of rowing he does as part of his fitness training! He will also see the Oral Doctor at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital again that same day.
Noel’s recent surgery to remove 3 small cancers from his skin went extremely well. All were caught in very early stages and his nose and chin have healed well. The wound on his leg has been more bothersome and is taking longer to heal but it is progressing and hopefully will not need a dressing on it soon.
Family-wise both sets of grandchildren and their parents have enjoyed summer vacations away from home, Charles, Sarah, Eve and William at the seaside in England; and Toby JoAnn, Charlotte and Lucy on a trip north to New Brunswick, Canada, where they visited JoAnn’s relatives and did sightseeing. A great time making memories was had by everyone.
Now the focus is turning towards everyone getting ready for the new school year. Amazingly all 4 grandchildren will now be in full time Elementary School. Yes, time does fly! Lucy is very excited about traveling to school on the big yellow school bus with Charlotte. Next year Charlotte will move to the Intermediate School so they will then travel on different buses until Lucy, at some stage, will join Charlotte on the bus to High School! Eve and William usually ride their bikes or walk to school which is in their local English village neighborhood.
In our next update we will include details of ministry activities we feel the Holy Spirit is guiding us into in the rest of this year and 2016.
Thank you for continuing to walk along side us on our journey, praying and supporting us. Remember we always love to hear your news and prayer needs too. So please stay in contact with us. God Bless You.