I blog today from the “Ministry Machine”. I have to admit to you that I am struggling today. I have spent the last 8 hours dealing with an unanswered prayer. I am struggling to keep from being “offended by God”.
I know people that are diligent and faithful in their walk with Christ and in their prayer life. They might be some of the first people that I would call if I had an urgent prayer request. Some of them have even seen great answers to their prayers while interceding for others. Yet all the while, they see no results to prayers lifted for a loved one that is ill, their spouse that is not a believer, or their business that is struggling. Sometimes I wonder how those people can continue on.
Some of you may know, we got CT scan results back today on one of our special friends, Jamil.
We met him over 2 years ago when he had a very large eye tumor. Due Unto Others donors sponsored him to have an operation to remove the tumor. As he went for his 1 year follow up in 2013, it was found that his tumor was back and starting to creep along the optic nerve in the optic canal (channel in the bone that allows the nerve to the eye exit the skull). He again had an operation to remove all that could be removed and then radiation treatments to attempt to reach where the scalpel could not. He was scheduled to have treatment for 6 weeks, but it took 10 weeks because the machine intermittently was working.
When we caught up with Jamil this year, he was growing, doing well in school and looked so much better. We ordered and paid for a new CT scan to make sure that the tumor was gone and not returning. We found out today that there still is evidence of residual tumor with bone involvement. There is no evidence that the tumor extends to the brain. When I read the scans and reports this am, my heart grew heavy. We have grown to love Jamil and we have been praying that God would heal him from this tumor. Jamil told us last week that he wanted to be a doctor and we were encouraging him to continue to excel in his school work so that he could get into the medical school in Uganda.
Despite all of our prayers, all the time Jamil has spent in Mulago hospital, all of the money donated and earmarked for Jamil, his tumor remains. We have seen miracles in Uganda. We have seen needless death in Uganda. We sure thought this would be the former. I am not sure what God’s plan is, but it is painful today
I have mentioned before that I am reading a book called the Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. There is a paragraph on page 90 that I keep going back to.
Jesus is doing miracles right and left. He is healing diseases, driving out demons, and restoring sight to the blind, but John the Baptist misses the miracle train. It seems like Jesus is rescuing everyone but his most faithful follower, who is in prison. And John is his cousin, nonetheless. It seems that Jesus could have and maybe should have, organized a rescue operation and busted him out before he was beheaded. Instead He sends a message via John’s disciples. He tells them to tell John about all of the miracles that he is doing and then he asks them to relay this promise: “Blessed is the one that is not offended by me.”
That speaks right to the point. When I went back to look at this paragraph tonight. I noticed that I had written “It is well” in the book below this.
Job 1:21 says: “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Jill and I have been feeling lead that if Jamil’s tumor returned again, we should determine if there was any way to bring Jamil home to Oklahoma with us to seek out a higher level of treatment. Even though we have hosted a busy clinic today, in Buddo,
we have started to make some phone calls and arrangements. We have to have a Senior Doctor here write a letter that says that leaving the country is needed (appointment on Saturday). We have to have a receiving specialist (probably ENT or Ophthalmology) that will write a letter agreeing to take over Jamil’s care in the US. Then we have to figure out the matter of custody. Jamil is an orphan, and we have built a trusting relationship with his Uncle Joseph and his grandparents. These 3 are primary guardians now. I think that they would sign anything that needed to be signed. For us to have custody and sign consent for procedures in the US, we may have to have other USA legal work done. Another option is for a male health worker from Uganda to travel with us to be his custodian.
The next hurdle will be financial. There will likely be a CT or MRI, another surgery, and follow up radiation or chemo. This would be quite costly in the US. So I am prayerful that God will lead us down a path to find people and facilities willing to donate the services needed.
I don’t want this scenario to turn into an effort to get Jamil to the USA. I am interested in Jamil’s healing. So I pray that God will open the right doors in the right direction for healing to occur. I choose to not be offended by God. I will trust in His plan and I know that His plan will ultimately be to His glory. If you would, please join me in prayer that Jamil is healed and that God receives the glory.
Preparing for Due Season – Galatians 6:9
PS: Jamil is staying with us for a few days, so he went with us to the airport tonight. We were taking Mason Lang and Anna Catherine Ortego to fly back to the US. This was Jamil’s first trip to Entebbe or to see an airplane on the ground. He sat by me at dinner and among other questions, I asked him when his birthday was. It broke my heart as he said that he did not know. I asked if he knew which month he had been born in. Again he did not know. So he says that he is 12, but when does he add a year? Has he never had a birthday party? I think that we should come up with a birthdate for Jamil. I think it should soon and that we should have a big celebration with ice cream and cake!