We Have Good News and Bad News

Which do you want first?

The good news or the bad news?

DH was a judge for the Hilltop science fair. Here he is with two students.
Since we believe in a God who loves us and knows our whole story, even the bad news can be used for His glory and our good. Even so, there are things we experience on this side of Heaven that are very hard. We’ll start with the hard news.

Most of our prayer updates are focused on the ministry God has allowed us to be involved in. However, we know that you who pray for and keep up with us care about us as a family. That is why we wanted to include you on some significant personal family news.

Last week DH had an MRI to explore a possible cause of some hearing loss he’s been experiencing over the last year. While we waited for a follow up appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor (ENT), we sent a DVD of the scans to a friend who is a neuroradiologist to have a second set of eyes on what was there. Monday night we got news back from our neuroradiologist friend, who said what he sees is a textbook instance of Vestibular Schwannoma (acoustic-neuroma) – precisely what we were hoping to ELIMINATE. He said it is a slow-growing benign tumor – a growth on the nerve (not technically a brain tumor since it’s not connected to the brain but the cochlear nerve).

Tuesday we met with DH’s ENT again and he confirmed the diagnosis. He pointed out that the tumor was less than 1 cm (9.44mm) in size, which is still relatively small in comparison to others he had seen. He recommended that DH get another MRI in six months to see if it grows in size. Again, he reminded us that this type of tumor does not grow fast and he saw no danger in waiting that long. When we inquired about a non-invasive procedure that could remove the growth all together, he explained that the procedures all share the risk of loosing hearing altogether in the affected ear and he could not suggest that course of action unless the tumor began to grow so large that it threatened more than just parts of DH’s mid-range hearing (DH still has hearing in that ear and the doctor would like him to retain what remains). There still are some questions we hope to ask other doctors, particularly neurosurgeons that specialize in this non-invasive procedure (i.e. gamma-knife radiosurgery). However, DH feels content to wait on the Lord to see how He will respond in answer to the many prayers sent up to heaven.

The good news is God has already begun answering prayers regarding DH’s hearing loss, even before we knew it was a tumor. We had been praying for answers and peace. Now we know what’s going on and DH has a clear mind and is taking the news with faith that God will use it for the best.

Ministry continues despite this condition:

  • Pastoral Summit planning meeting this Friday (please pray for the equipping of Navajo pastors all across the reservation).
  • DH has been asked to moderate a long over-due congregational meeting at Community Bible Church. He is reading through two decades of meeting notes, and church communications to get up to speed on what the needs of this body are. Pray for the Pastor to be built up in this process, and for DH to be a blessing as he prepares the meeting’s agenda and moderates the meeting itself (scheduled for this Sunday, March 11).
  • Emily is beginning grief counseling with a third grade student from Hilltop Christian School and his mother after the death of his father/her husband.
  • AWANA is on Wednesday nights and DH has a energetic class of six pre-schoolers. Two of them, a brother and sister, are faithful in attending and excelling in their scripture memory.
  • We have been meeting with a couple on Tuesday nights to press on in language learning. A recent phrase we translated into Navajo was the English idiom, “He was born with a silver spoon in his hand.” We laughed together because, in the Navajo language, it is even more silly than it sounds in English!
  • We continue to work hard to help the Christensen family reestablish a normal life — in January, they lost their home and all their possessions to a fire. So far, we have seen God provide them with a used double wide trailer, and, it seems, they finally got water hooked up just last weekend. The process of setting up utilities is quite long here on the reservation, so they don’t yet have power in the house. They are still in need of funds to be able to set up what’s needed for their family to thrive. See the GoFundMe page.
  • Emily has been pouring her life into a young woman named Brianna over the past two years. Together, they’ve done Bible study, deliverance prayer, emotional healing, counseling for depression, suicidal thoughts, processing past trauma, and, most recently, Emily has been joining with her to battle against the Accuser’s attacks on her faith. In a conversation earlier this week, she confided, “I really want to be with Jesus but I’m having a hard time believing what He did for me.” She knows the Gospel, was recently baptized, and Emily is confident in her faith, but the Lord has to confirm in her mind the assurance He alone can give. The enemy is whispering lies to her along the lines of, “You’ve screwed up too many times…it’s too late for you…you’ve said and thought too many bad things…Jesus can’t die for that sin…” As you can see, the battle is intense. Please join us in bringing her before our Great God who is delighted to use this dear friend. Just today Brianna had the great joy of leading a woman to the Lord! Hallelujah!
Partner with Us

Please Ask God:

  • To give DH wisdom to moderate the Congregational meeting Sunday, and for God to give this congregation certain and final direction on matters that have been endlessly deliberated (James 1:5; 4:1-3)
  • To lead DH in all his preparations for the sermon to be delivered to High Desert Church in ABQ on March 18 (Eph. 6:9)
  • To provide a way to both preserve DH’s hearing and eradicate the tumor around DH’s cochlear nerve – whether through His miraculous power or through a medical procedure that He’s ordained. (Mark 7:34 — there are more recordings of Jesus making ears hear again. He’s certainly good at it)
  • For His healing presence to be with Emily and the family who she is counseling regarding the loss of their husband and father. (Phil. 2:13; James 1:27)
  • To strengthen Navajo believers in their faith and to enable Brianna to have a firm hope in the face of Satan’s accusations. (Eph. 6:16)
In Christ,
DH & Emily

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