The Gogodala have a saying: “Obi Awapa,” “God is enough.” God has certainly proven His sufficiency to Cindy and me over this past year.
2012 was a very long year for us. In February, while we were in Australia, Cindy was diagnosed with stage-two breast cancer. We returned to the States to seek treatment, and I became the caretaker of AFM’s training center. The doctors we consulted pressed us to jump right into surgery, radiation and chemotherapy—the conventional protocol. When we decided to pursue a nonconventional, holistic approach, they condemned the idea. Only a few close friends supported us in our decision.
At the same time, we were working through the intangible, pernicious effects of reverse culture shock, adapting to a new, cold climate, learning a new job, settling into a new community and house, and struggling with feelings of fear, loss, doubt and rejection. But, Obi Awapa! Praise God for His mercy and grace! Today, Cindy feels great. Her cancer is in full remission, and she is radiant.
With Cindy’s health on the mend, AFM asked us to consider starting or joining another project. Sadly, we could not return to PNG. There are too many environmental stressors there, and nutritious foods aren’t always available. So AFM suggested other less extreme fields of service. After reviewing many locations, we decided on a Middle Eastern country where nutritious food was available along with modern medical facilities to monitor Cindy’s health. But, as we pressed ahead to set a launch date, the stress built and became unbearable. In less than a month, we bottomed out emotionally and had to stop the process. I guess we’re not yet fully recovered from the rollercoaster of 2012.
Before joining AFM, we were blessed to work with a small group of dedicated medical professionals whose ministry was to teach about the vital connection between the mind and body. One of the laws of health we taught was the restorative law of rest (Mark 6:31). We now find ourselves having to practice what we preached.
The Bible says God’s call is irrevocable (Rom 11:29). I guess that means we will always be missionaries. That’s a good thing. But for now, we find ourselves in need of rest. We plan to use this time to “sharpen the axe,” and we have both applied for grants to attend university classes.
We are extremely grateful for all your financial support over the years, but now we invite you to refocus your support on another AFM project. We can absolutely recommend the Tsering family. They were introduced in these pages two months ago and are preparing to minister to the Bhutanese people. We know them personally and can vouch for their commitment and the authenticity of their call.
Lord willing, we will take up another call with AFM someday. Until then, thank you for your prayers and support, and please consider using them to bless another AFM missionary project.