Cancer for Christmas - What a Gift!

Robert Fuqua on March 4, 2014

We came back to Texas just before Thanksgiving with our priority for December being to catch up on long overdue communication with those of you who so faithfully support the ministry in Russia. But God would set me on a different course for December, one that would affect my life profoundly in a matter of a few short weeks.

The day after we got back from Russia I was in my internist’s office having him look at a sore on my tongue that had been bothering me for a couple months. He referred me to the best oral surgeon in Fort Worth, but his office informed me there was no way he could see me before Christmas. Already concerned that it might be cancerous, Ann and I had been living with the weight of not knowing for several weeks already while in Russia, and we weren’t willing to wait another month for answers. So, I made an appointment for Wednesday of the next week, with the first oral surgeon I could find that would fit me in. But, the next day I got a call from the office of the original referral saying they’d had a cancellation for Tuesday. After his examination we were sent to the hospital to begin paper work for biopsy surgery scheduled for the next morning.

The rest of the story is documented in the Facebook entries we posted as we entered the whirlwind of events that unfolded.  These Facebook posts are posted below in this blog as well.  You’ll find them in date order, last to first, in this, the Blog-a-Dot section of our site. But, bottom line, after two surgeries we’ve received a very good prognosis. Next week we meet with a thoracic surgeon to determine next steps.

We are overwhelmed by the demonstration of God’s power as He has moved quickly and mightily to facilitate my healing. We’ve also been overwhelmed by the love and power of the intercessory force of the Body of Christ worldwide, as they rallied in response to our need for prayer. Was I being facetious in saying, “What a wonderful gift” this cancer has been this Christmas? No, not at all! It wasn’t how I had planned to spend this holiday. Especially not the first with our new grandson. But, like every other trial God has sent our way throughout this walk of life, I’ve already grown to cherish this one because of how He’s used it to remind me how deeply He cares for me, and how it has intensified my desire to live well the days He’s numbered for me on this earth.

But, you still need a ministry update

Those who so faithfully and sacrificially support this ministry, you still need to know what’s going on and how your gifts are being used. To that end, I want to encourage you to revisit our website.  In addition to the blog feature on the current cancer battle referenced above, you’ll find other updated pages. We always try to keep the page regarding the ministry’s finances updated. And we continually work to ensure that it is accurately representing our ministry strategy and activities. Although we haven’t posted many photos for a while, you’ll find plenty of new photos on ongoing ministry activities if you know where to look, and if you don’t mind trying to read the Russian captions. There are two places on the web that have been created by our Russian team members in Voronezh as a networking vehicle within Russian social media. The Russians have a version of Facebook called VK, (V Kontakte), loosely translated ‘in contact’. Our “You Are Not Alone” club team have created a page (link here) which regularly updates the members of the group with info about club happenings, and pictures of recent events. There are also some photos there of recent orphan camps in which the “You Are Not Alone” kids have been involved.

Camping has been a major part of this ministry since it began, and our Russian team continues to do 6-8 camps a year for orphans or kids with Down Syndrome and their families. Many of the leaders of both the camp teams and the club ministry team were themselves participants in the first orphan camps we did 10 to 12 years ago. It is one of our richest blessings, getting to mentor these new leaders and stand back and watch them serve their Redeemer as they lay down their lives for these kids. They still remember fondly how the American teams came and ministered to them, and they love being able to give back.

Financial Needs

Please consider the financial needs of this ministry in your stewardship of what God has entrusted you. As you can see by checking the financial update page of our website, the ministry has been underfunded for the past few years, limiting some of the scope of the ministry projects to which we’re committed. Yet, God has been so faithful providing for yet another year of ministry. This is the tenth year of the You Are Not Alone club, the eighth year of Hope House, and the fifteenth year of ministry in the orphanages and orphan camps. The Gospel is going out! Lives are being changed! Disciples are being made! Leaders are being developed! And it continues because of your sacrificial partnership. Thank you!

Merry Christmas! And a blessed New Year!