This has been a very full week for us.  There have been some very wonderful times mixed with some very difficult ones.  In everything that happens we see the sovereign hand of our loving God carrying us.

There are many times when we have brief contact with someone and an opportunity to talk about the love of God for them but don’t know if they ever make a commitment.  In December, 2012, Joe spoke with a nuclear medicine tech named Amy for about an hour about God’s love for her.  On Monday, Joe had a kidney scan and saw Amy at that time.  She told him that she had prayed to receive Christ as her Lord and Savior in December after talking with Joe.  She has since been baptized and joined a church; her 2 brothers have since made that same commitment to Jesus.  She thanked Joe for his sharing the good news of the Gospel with her so many months ago.  We were so excited and uplifted to hear that news.

On Thursday we were waiting to see Joe’s surgeon and got into a conversation with a woman named Robin.  She, like so many people, felt as if God could never forgive her for the things she had done but was so hungry to know God’s love.  She prayed to receive Christ right there in the waiting room.  There was a couple sitting on the other side of Robin who later came over and thanked us for sharing the Gospel so openly.  They were believers who were familiar with the ministry of Keswick – we had a great time talking with them.

Joe’s kidney scan showed that his right kidney is only functioning at about 34% due to the obstruction of the ureter and the resulting damage to the kidney.  Joe will need to have a procedure to try and open up the obstructed area sometime in the next few weeks (we will hear on Monday when this will be done).  The left kidney is functioning at about 70% but there doesn’t seem to be any major obstruction.  If this next procedure is not effective, Joe will have to have major surgery to remove the obstructed area.  That surgery would also include repairing the hernia and the fistula (which has reopened) as well as doing a biopsy.  The surgeon does NOT want to do the more extensive surgery, as he is not sure that Joe is strong enough to withstand the rigors of such a major assault to his body.

We had a very frank talk with the surgeon, Dr. Spitz, on Thursday.  He affirmed that Joe’s situation is not likely to improve overall and that his physical symptoms are likely to be ongoing.  Pain management and keeping his digestive system moving are major issues that we have to deal with on a daily basis.  He is experiencing increasing pain and has difficulty keeping food down (he has lost 13 lbs in the last few months).  It is difficult for him not to feel as if he is a burden on me as a result.
Our ministry continues despite the physical difficulties, and having opportunities to share God’s love is the best medicine there is.  We would love to share the message of hope for those caught in the bondage of addiction and the pain of abuse, so please contact us if your church would be are interested in having us speak.  As always, the information for donating to this ministry is on our webpage xlproject.com.  We are a 100% faith-based ministry that relies on the financial generosity of individuals and churches as well as faithful prayer support.
We are extremely grateful for your prayers and gifts; we thank God for every one of you.

Blessings,
Cherri and Joe

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine;  even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord!  I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign Lord is my strength!  He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.   Habakkuk 3:17-19

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