Flori is staying with Dr. Coral Matus and her family this weekend. They are such a beautiful example of all that God asks us to do with our lives. Like so many other people I've come to know with this organization, I feel God's presence in them. I was reading Galatians this morning and there's a beautiful verse in chapter 5, verse 13-14. "You, my brothers were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single comman:'Love your neighbor as yourself.' If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."
Throughout these weeks with Flori, so many people have stepped up and shown me God's presence. I keep seeing miracles all around me!
Flori had her small surgical procedure on the 3rd. The doctors told us that they are "amazed" at the great response of the tumor to the treatments! Dr. Phibbs told Coral that he is very optimistic for a complete cure!!
I could cry thinking of this. Just last week, I was sitting next to her bed in the ICU stroking her face and wondering if she was ever even going to make it back to Guatemala alive - now I'm seeing a real possibility of being her "sister" forever! She has been so much better this week - her sense of humor has once again surfaced! She announced to me the other day that my mom is now her 2nd mom which makes me her sister! So I told her that then means that my other sister, Clare, is also her sister though they've never met! And she told me that her sisters and brother are my siblings now too!
This seems like such an easy way to understand what it means to be a "family" in Christ. Sometimes that term seems so "corny" and yet, this really is what it means, isn't it? You just struggle through life together - lean on each other in the tough times, encourage each other, love when you feel like running away and take chances for each other. And then, there you are - a new family!
The thought that we'd all really know and love each other in 10 years gives me such joy. Thank you ALL for so many things you have done to make any of this possible. Thank you, Tim Phleghaar for fixing the ultrasound machine so we had in Guatemala (which is what brought Flori there in the first place!). Thank you John DeKeyser, for sending it there in the first place. Thank you Chetti Smith for making this cervical cancer program possible. Thank you Anne Conklin for making this diagnosis! Thanks to all of our supporters, to all the people who have been touched by this, to the people who took time to care for Flori. SPECIAL thanks to Ismael and Orphe who have watched over her family in Guatemala and who helped get her here. Thanks to Dr. Conway for working with the U.S. embassy to get her visa. Thanks to Marcy Kaptur's office and Dan Foote for hearing my plea for help and working with the embassy. Thanks to my children for giving up a lot of things that we had planned so this could happen. I know you must sometimes wonder! Thanks to my office staff for all the extra work! Thanks to the pastors who have loved and prayed with Flori. Thanks to each person who has offered so many encouraging words and financial support. THANKS to the thousands of people who have prayed - your prayers have been heard. Thanks to the medical staff at Flower Hospital and to Dr. Phibbs for your wisdom and for generously and lovingly caring for Flori. Thanks to Kevin Webb, president of Toledo Hospital, who gave me the initial consent to bring Flori here for treatment.
Thanks to Flori's family in Guatemala for trusting us and for caring for each other while she is gone. Thanks to my mom for not only caring for Flori so lovingly, but for making her now feel that she is truly her daughter. I know I'm forgetting so many but that's for another blog day!
Please don't hesitate to write on this blog if you would like to contribute anything. Your words are so encouraging!