"...and behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, 'woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.' And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight and glorified God" (Luke 13:11-13). Every time I read a passage like this, where Jesus heals or "looses" people from their infirmities, I'm greatly encouraged. It gives you hope and comfort when loved ones, friends or family members are experiencing infirmities, that they too might be healed. And so we pray, intercede, cry out to God that they might be made well.
Many of you have been doing that for our brother Pancho, in his battle with cancer. Its been a long, hard fought battle, and it was seeming like victory was in his grasp. However, things have taken a tough turn. We found out, after taking Pancho to his last appointment in Chihuahua, that the cancer is back and starting to spread, towards his brain and major artery in his throat. Because of the way the cancer is spreading, there will be no more surgeries, for fear of doing more damage. This was VERY difficult news to hear, as we were all hopeful that Pancho would be "loosed" from this infirmity.
Over the past 2 years of battling cancer, Pancho has had 38 rounds of radiation. The doctors said he has reached his max and will now only continue with chemo. For the next 3 months, he will travel to Chihuahua for 6 hours of chemo, once a week. He is in a lot of pain and loosing a lot of weight because he is unable to eat through his mouth. The only food he gets is through a tube in his stomach, which the doctors want to remove soon. I asked him why they would do that if he can't eat any other way, and Pancho was not sure what they were thinking.
The other day Jackie, Antu and I were leaving the park and we ran into Pancho and Sabrina, walking home from the bus stop. We were able to talk with them, take them to the store for some juice and then home. I tried to get as much info as possible, without pressing the sensitive subject. I was amazed at Pancho's response as he said, "I don't know what's going to happen...but I just hold out my hand and say take it Lord, You lead me." As I looked at this frail, skinny, hurting man, stretching out his arm, sharing about his trust in the Lord...my heart was incredibly encouraged.
Why isn't God answering our prayers and healing this man. Why are things getting worse then they are better? We read about all those who Jesus healed....that He might be glorified. Why not heal Pancho? And to that, I don't know. I don't understand how God works, why He chooses to heal one person and not the other. It can be easy to get mad, frustrated and angry with God. However that usually makes things worse. So, what do we do? We cling to the scriptures and renew our faith and trust in the Lord that He IS GOD, He is in control and He knows EXACTLY what He is doing. And regardless of the outcome, He WILL be glorified. We can also join Paul in the same conclusion he came to, regarding is own infirmity...
"Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 2:8-10).
We will continue to pray, care for and love on this brother and his family. It has been one of the biggest blessings to walk alongside them in this process. On behalf of Pancho and his family, thank you for all your prayers as well as money that some of you have donated. Those funds will continue to go towards transportation to Chihuahua, medical bills and food for the family. One thing that is very hard to get and very expensive down here is morphine, which is something Pancho will need. if you would like to donate financially to Pancho and his family, please let me know and we will see that the money gets used accordingly. Thank you for walking through this process with this family as well, through your prayers and support. We know that God will have His perfect and beautiful way!
"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:13).