We are the Champions

Welcome to our blog...we hope our journey of faith encourages yours.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rough Days

The last couple of weeks have truly been rough. But we make it through each day - sometimes wondering how it was possible. God's mercy and peace have sustained this family. We give Him the praise and glory for that.

John is doing very poorly, we now have a hospital bed in the living area for him to be in. It is unclear all that is really wrong, but he sleeps a lot, has discomfort and is generally not present with us. It is very hard to see him so not himself - our John is not here right now. We only hope and pray that he will be restored.

We have no news on Chris and the "something" in his lungs. He was suppose to get a needle biopsy but was to high a bleeding risk so now they are talking a more invasive procedure. That seems to be higher risk to me - but... it is all in God's hands. God already healed this - so we claim that victory. As you can imagine the weight of all this is often very heavy - crushing really. However each day is a new day, and somehow through it all we know that God loves us and that He is good. We put our trust in Him. No matter the outcome, we just hope that we have served Him well and kept the faith.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ugh...what would we do without the Lord


I almost hate to blog anymore, it seems each time is another "dark storm" that we are weathering. But the good thing is that somehow we get through it, maybe a little worn out for the battle, but still standing.

On Sunday John was in pain, it was unclear what was hurting but we decided we needed to try to see what was going on. So we took him to the emergency room. After a plethora of tests it was determined he had some pneumonia in his lungs and fluid on his pancreas. We never figured out why the fluid, but antibiotics have seemed to solve most of the problem. Finally got John home today, so 4 days in the hospital. Not a fun week, but we praise God for good hospitals, for good treatment and for John feeling better.

His recovery is very slow and has been set back a bit with this incident. But it rests with the Lord.

On another note, for your prayers, we learned also that although all the scans of Chris's legs and pelvis look good, the abnormal "whatever" in his lungs has shown back up again. This has been something that comes and goes, and last time we saw the mighty hand of God completely eliminate it. So we are not going to believe anything but the truth of God's healing of Chris. However the doctor want to do a biopsy next week to just make sure nothing is going on. So please pray with us in this, God's work is already done and that everything will confirm that in Chris's body.

Thanks so much for all the prayers and love.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Petra & Ami

On a bright side, when Dan came to visit with us, he brought his dog Ami(the totally black dog). The first introductions between him and our dog Petra did not go very well. Petra is a pup still and very rambunctious. Ami was not used to being around other dogs, his previous friend was a cat (poor dog). But what has been fun to watch is Ami becoming a dog again, he has learned not to be afraid of Petra and now enjoys endless playing. The funny thing is that he especially enjoys playing when she has a ball in her mouth. Keeps her from playing to rough. So they romp around the back yard, playing chase, it it gives me delight to watch them. Funny how dogs don't have a care in the world if they know their people are faithful to take care of them. That is how God basically says we should live, not being anxious, worrying, fearful etc... because we know our God will take care of us. I wish I could live more like a dog. But I would want to be a dog in my house, where you get to sleep on beds and have plenty to eat.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It has been a week since the surgery, and John has been resting, sleeping a lot. Yesterday we went to see a movie and have dinner out, John enjoyed just getting out. He is still very weak, so we just pray and wait and watch as God restores him. Tomorrow we go and see the surgeon, hopefully to get the staples out of his head. That will give a much better look. :-) We continue to thank everyone for their prayers, meals and e-mails. Your support is so precious to us.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

We are home...

Yep that's right, only 2 days after the surgery we are home again. John was very very antsy to get out of the hospital. I have decided he does not make a very good patient. He is nice and all, but very impatient about getting out, and apparently it worked.

John is doing pretty good, very tired, he was unable to sleep last night so he is very exhausted. He is finally resting now which his body desperately needed. We give God all the praise for His speedy recovery for John and His continued restoration after the surgery. Thanks everyone and blessings to you from us.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

We sing about the LORD's ways

Where to begin, today John had his surgery. He began at 7:45 and it was complete at 11:00, which was fast compared to the last time. The doctor came out and said it was a 10 out of 10, in other words, very successful. He felt the entire tumor had been removed and also that he had been able to do so without removing any healthy tissue. It was obvious that God had directed his hands. The best part was that the doctor had said that it may be a couple days before John could talk and that it would be a very good sign if he could immediately, well guess what? He was talking immediately, and not only that but his speech was already better. John was very excited and encouraged, giving praise to the Lord and wanting to be a light that shines in the hospital. We are very grateful to our amazing God, for His faithfulness and divine hands in all that went on today, and everyday.

"Yes, they will sing about the LORD's ways, for the glory of the LORD is very great. Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud. Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will preserve me against the anger of my enemies. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me. The LORD will work out his plans for my life-- for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don't abandon me, for you made me." - Psalm 138:5-8

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Well the conclusion of meeting with doctors this week is that there are two options for John, the first is to do nothing, and the second is to have surgery to remove the bulk of the tumor. John has been praying and really seeking the Lord in what is the right option and seems to have peace with having surgery. He truly wants to be in obedience to God's will.

The surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday, December 9th. We are going to have it done at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach where the doctor we have been using for the latest radiation is working out of. We have elected not to use our Kaiser doctors, John feels more confident in this doctor and we feel that confidence is important.

The hope with this surgery is that first it will remove the entire tumor of course, second that the pressure will be relieved and therefore John can come off the steroids he has been on to control the swelling. The steroids have become almost as detrimental to John as the tumor. They have been responsible for John's profound weakness to the point he needs assistance just walking. Truly we just place it all in God's hands. Knowing He is more than faithful.

We ask for your prayers, before the surgery for wisdom, if this is not the right path we want to know that. Thanks so much.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Faith is

I get a daily devotional called The Vine from New Zealand, this was today's,

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for." Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

Notice two important things about faith:
(1) Faith is a substance. In America people trade in dollars; in Europe they trade in Euros. But in God's Kingdom, faith is 'the coin of the realm!' It's what's required to do business with God (Hebrews 11:6). And it grows only by feeding on His Word (Romans 10:17).
(2) Faith must be connected to hope. If you're not hoping for anything, you don't need faith. But your hope must be based on what God's Word says. When God promised to make Abraham the father of many nations, Abraham spent the next 20 years looking for a son, even though the situation seemed impossible. How did he do it?

(a) "He believed - God, who… calls those things which do not exist as though they did" (Romans 4:17 NKJV). God 'sees' it, then He reveals it to you. And His willingness to bless you with it rests on your willingness to believe Him for it. (b) "Who, contrary to hope… believed… according to what was spoken" (Romans 4:18 NKJV). What has God said? That's what your hope should be built on. (c) "He did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old)" (Romans 4:19 NKJV). You say, "But considering the circumstances… !" No, believe God; He's bigger than the circumstances! (d) "He did not waver… through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform" (Romans 4:20-21 NKJV).

So, strengthen your faith through the Scriptures. Keep giving glory to God for what He's promised you. Be resolute. Such faith honours God, and God honours such faith!


Just an update...
John's doctor in Newport Beach called and recommends surgery - we will be meeting with him Tuesday morning to discuss what he has in mind. We also met with our local doctor who feels John is a good candidate for the new Cyber Knife radiation treatment. They have the machine coming on-line this week I think. We will meet with the radiologist about this option on Thursday.

We just ask for prayer that we would have wisdom on which if any direction to go. John continues to be very tired, weaker each day. God is good, we put our trust in Him, may He lead and direct us on the right path that brings Him the most glory.

A great song - Healing Hand of God!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


As I thought this morning about this day of giving thanks - it was easy to maybe complain to God, what is there to be thankful for today? But taking a moment to just remember my life I realized I am filled with gratitude, even though things are not as I would have ever imagined them, we as a family have so much to be praising our God for.

First, our lives. That we even were born is in the hands of our God, I am especially grateful for my sons and daughter. The miracle of their lives - the trust God placed on John and I to raise His precious children. I am grateful for my husband, for John, he has been my friend, my perfect match. We have been a team in pretty much everything we have done. I am grateful for all that God has blessed us with - great family, great friends, great churches, and abundance of love. Really we have so much to give gratitude for and these trial are something we give thanks for also, they have been used to refine us, to become more dependent upon our Lord.

Lord we give you praise and thank you for calling us to yourself. May our lives honor You.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Evening of Prayer

There are events that happen that make you pause and realize just how precious the people are around you. People you may not see everyday or even talk to very often. But when need arises they step up and it's just as if they had been walking right beside you all the time. They are the hands, feet and mouth of Jesus - His love. Last night we experienced that love.

Friends from our sending church, The Oaks, our new church, The Way came over to spend a couple of hours praying over our family and over John specifically. It was an amazing time of worship and prayer and reading God's word. Each person had sacrificed their time to come and spend it with us - we were humbled and felt peace. It was such a beautiful demonstration of the special love we have one for another that Jesus says will cause people to look at us - His followers.

I think one of the most moving times during the prayer was when John was asked if he had anything to share and He kept repeating that this was not about him - but about Jesus. I just prayer that whatever the outcome of this journey John's desire will be fulfilled, that the name of Jesus will be Glorified in such a way that those who do not know Him will be drawn to Him.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Praise the Lord, He opened the schedule so John got the PET/CT done on Thursday, it was sent to the doctor in Newport. We hope to hear from that doctor on Tuesday. Meanwhile, we just wait on the Lord, He is good. A friend at our church gave me a little card with just one word, TRUST!! We continue to just trust in Him, He is always faithful.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Just an update, John's doctor in Newport Beach has asked for another type of scan, PET/CT so we are working to get that done quickly. So there is really no news yet. John is doing alright, tired a lot and very weak on his right side. Thanks again for your continued prayers.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

God is our Hope

It is hard to even know where to begin with this prayer request. As we have walked this journey with so many of you and with our Lord, there have been times of great joy and times of uncertainty. We have tried through them all to give God all the Glory, and it is our wish to continue to do so. With that said, last Friday we learned that the tumor in John's head has again began to grow. It has begun to cross over from one side of the head to the other. In the natural this is not good news.

We are not giving up our hope, but are trying to be practical also. If it is the Lord's timing to call John home to himself, then we want to be prepared for that. However we still know that God is more than able to heal John. He is Faithful despite the circumstances. God seems to keep us close to Himself by not making that future knowledge known to us at this time.

We have sent the information to the doctor in Newport Beach who did the last radiation treatments which God used to give John at least the last 5 month. We ask that you continue praying for complete healing if that is the will of our God, for wisdom for all of us as we face some decisions, and especially for our children, Dan, Chris and Mihaela. John has been an awesome father and has lead his children with faith and integrity. May this be a time where they allow the Lord to bring comfort and peace. Dan is coming home for awhile.

Thanks for all your prayers and support. Without each of you we would be lost, it means so much to know that you care and love us. We love each of you also.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Is really October?

How do the days go by so quickly? One minute it is the middle of summer, the next the pool is to cold to swim in. Life truly is short, and trying to keep up a blog really makes that even more obvious.

Lots has happened the last 6 or so weeks. Not sure where to begin. Lets see, Chris is off at Cal Poly. He is extremely happy there, evident by the fact we hardly ever hear from him. But we are so happy to see him there, giving God the praise for His mercy and grace over Chris's life. Chris did call a couple days ago wanting to know how to make "Gumbo". If I do say so I make awesome gumbo, so it was a pleasure to share the recipe with him.

John had been doing very well, until a couple weeks ago. He unfortunately had a seizure. This is the first one since the initial one a couple years ago when we discovered his brain tumor. It was a total shock but we believe it was the result of to much caffeine. Usually John is very careful about drinking coffee, but this day he had not only a couple cups of home brew, but then a grande of Starbucks. To much for his recovering brain. The result was an ambulance trip to the hospital, overnight stay and worse of all some significant set backs in how well he was doing. The good thing is that over the last couple of weeks many of the set backs are coming right again. A MRI scan showed the tumor is stable, which was a huge praise. So John is keeping a smile on his face, listening to the bible on his IPod and continuing to trust God for His provision and restoration.

The sunday before John had this seizure, he had spoke before our church about how he had felt discouraged and at times tired of the fight. But he had realized that it was not about him but about God. I believe the enemy came to steal that testimony, but God is restoring John and the testimony is even stronger. God will bring the victory - His name is to be exalted and He turns bad things into good things for His glory.

This last weekend was the Ladies Retreat for our church. Last year I was privledged to share but was unable to attend this year. However, I was prompted, by the Lord, to think about the teaching I shared and as I did God really spoke to me. So much has happened in the last year, and my message at the retreat was really about how we can believe and trust the promises of God. I realized that everything I had taught on I was challenged on through out this last year. I can see that as hard as it has been, and it has at times been heart wrenching, God has proven Himself trustworthy and true to His word. At times it has not seemed so, but today John is still with us, and Chris is back at Cal Poly. God has been true to His promises, we have been challenged on every side, and at times our faith has been very small, and at times I have forgotten my own words that I shared. But praise the Lord, He has not forgotten His word and it stands ever true.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Yep we are still here

I am way over due in updating our blog. For those of you who read it - sorry.

So we have great news to start off with. Last week John had an MRI of the Brain ( I hope a day comes when I do not have to even type those words), the results were very good. Overall there was no change, but the change that was seen was good change, slightly smaller in some respects and the edema (swelling) was less. We were very grateful to our awesome God and to the doctor who had performed the radiation. John is doing well. Some days he is very tired, but we persevere, and in that we see improvement.

Chris is beginning to grow his hair back. The big question is what color will it be and what texture. He is getting ready to see his girlfriend off to Westmont College next week and then He will be off to Cal Poly a couple of weeks later. He is going to be one sad puppy when Emily leaves.

Dan was visiting last week. We really enjoyed having him - he always has a lot of energy and it is just a joy to have all of us together. I look at those time as such blessings. Dan taught us a new trick for our dog Petra. Fun with a laser pointer. It is riot, Petra will chase the laser all our house. I even took the pointer outside in the dark and she runs around like a wild thing, chasing it everywhere. What a great way to exercise her, just stand and point a little light. Its great. Reminded me of those people you see walking their dogs by holding a leash outside the window of the car while moving. Well I don't thing this is quite that bad, but close. However Petra loves it, and we just have to be careful she does not become obsessive.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Well we stand in complete awe of our magnificent God, to Him be all the glory.

Today we got apples to apples confirmation of the healing in Chris's lungs. The original scan that showed something was a CT scan, a PET was done which showed all was clear but Chris's doctor, who we give thanks to the Lord for, wanted to make sure and redo the CT. Well God just used that scan to complete the confirmation of His work and healing - IT WAS CLEAR!!

We truly are in awe of such wonderful news.

As for John, well things are progressing well. We have been working hard on physical, speech and occupational therapy. On Monday both his physical and occupational therapist said they are seeing great improvement. We have been doing exercises in the pool which is a great place to build strength. Next week we will redo John's MRI and I am confident it will continue to show God's healing also.
Blessings ~ Dawn

Friday, July 11, 2008

We rejoice in God's goodness

First you have to read a portion Chris's blog, which was posted yesterday.

"I had the redo on the PET scan on Monday. Still waiting on results for that. A friend from Qatar came and prayed for me on Sunday, and through that this is what I got: Why am I always like "God will heal me when He wants to." That's dumb! God wants me healed. And I'm believing that. These scans are going to come back totally clear. I'm sure of it. And I'm not going to leave my place to retreat to (saying things like "God will heal me when He wants to") if they don't. Because they're going to come back good and it'll be awesome."

Today we saw the complete victory that Chris already believed for himself. The scans came back completely clear, no sign of anything in his lungs. We know without a doubt that there was stuff on his lungs and we also know this is a God miracle, as He healed Chris's lungs. We give Him all the praise and glory for this.

For anyone who reads this and does know if God truly heals or not, this is a irrefutable demonstration of the fact that God truly does heal and that He is good and loves us. We are also so grateful for Chris being able to believe in Gods provision before he saw the proof of it.

A dear friend sent this scripture to me.

"I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong." Ephesians 3:16-17

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cardboard Testamony

I was going to share the wonderful news of John's latest scan and God's wonderful provision, but I would like you to take the time to watch this video first, it is truly what it is all about. Our God truly is amazing and awesome. He can heal and restore us, He loves us so much.

Hopefully you watched and saw yourself either healed, restored or you realize the need for His great love to do so.

The Lord used the radiation treatments to truly Glorify His name in John's body. Yesterday the doctor said that the result could not have been better. The tumor was stopped, and had shrunk. No further advancement. We are so grateful, God has used many people and resources to bring this result and we know it is His hand. It is His love for us and we are overcome with just how much that is true.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


A couple of weeks ago our church "The Way Fellowship" did something that really touches our hearts. They had bracelets made in support of praying for and standing together for victory for our family. The bracelets read "We are Champions" Phil 1:30." You're involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through, ..." Which for our church was a declaration that they are joining us in our struggle and that we go through this struggle together as a fellowship. We feel so encouraged and so loved, and completely humble that God would care enough to give us such a loving fellowship of friends to walk this walk with us.

Expect the worst hope for the best!

This was the parting words of Chris's doctor in LA after learning on Wednesday following the 3 month check up that there is some suspicious things in Chris's lungs. I have been thinking about those words a lot and realize they are truly words of faithlessness. It takes no faith to believe in the worst. It takes no faith to even hope for the best, because in this context that hope is based upon a throw of the dice rather than the goodness of a good God. But it takes tremendous faith in our faithful God to believe Him for His best in light of "bad news". That despite bad news He will prevail because of who we believe God is.

"Surely he will never be shaken
A righteous person will be remembered forever
He will have no fear of bad news, his heart is steadfast trusting in the Lord
His heart is secure, he will have no fear, in the end he will look in triumph on his foes."
Psalm 112:6-8

Although sometimes it is hard to keep that steadfast heart...when we go back to what we know is true, God's peace again descends upon us and we are able to have no fear.

Our hope is on a loving God, we will believe this over the words of doctors or the pictures on a scan.

"But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD even as we put our hope in YOU!" Psalm 33:18-22

~ Dawn

Monday, June 02, 2008


Well we decided to get another dog, so we went to the SPCA and brought home "Petra". She is very sweet, active and happy. Unfortunately our other dog Shakespeare hates her. It is funny to watch, he actually goes out of his way to make a point of how much he dislikes her presence. Dogs are so much like people, so easily doubting and becoming insecure. Hopefully with time he see her as a companion and someone to play with.

We were probably crazy with everything going on to bring a puppy into the house, but her joyful spirit lifts our spirits, and so far she seems pretty smart and not to destructive.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Dan and Nisha

Dan and his girlfriend Nisha came to visit. It was really nice meeting her. We very much enjoyed her company, she was funny and very smart, but what was especially nice was that she was very accommodating to our hectic schedule with John doing radiation and Chris finishing Chemo. Dan and Nisha did get a chance to explore the SoCal beach area which is always very interesting, a whole different lifestyle then mainstream America. They were able to do the Ruby's on the pier lunch, always a must.

John finished the radiation. We now wait anticipating that God will use it for His purposes. Chris begins his internship with Oxy this week. We are excited for him as he is very excited. Oxy has been very gracious to work around Chris's treatment weeks. God really has been good to us.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Treatment and a visit

This is an incredible busy week. Chris has a week of chemotherapy, never a fun time. Dan and his girlfriend Nisha have come to visit from Chicago and John begins the 5 days of Tomo Therapy at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. This is the second part of the new treatment plan that we believe the Lord has opened up to us.

John usually has claustrophobia in these machines, but he said that this time as he was listening to a CD of "Who Christ is", it gave him peace and it was also good because the technicians had to listen to it also as he had his treatment. Our prayer is always that God would be glorified no matter where we have to be in this process, so we gives thanks for even this small opportunity for the Lord's name and character to be lifted up.

In the midst of this Dan and Nisha have come to spend a few days with us. Originally we did not plan all of this chemo/radiation stuff to be going on while they were here, but even in that God has a plan. Dan and Nisha will have a chance to check out the beach scene and hopefully do some exploring while in Newport with John. Not perfect for them but thankfully they have been very flexible, and we are just glad to see them.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Relay for Life

Last Saturday, our church youth from The Way Fellowship participated in Relay for Life. Bakersfield sponsors the second largest relay in the entire nation. Very big event. Friends from our church stopped by our tent site through out the 24hours of the event, taking turns walking around the track, fellowshipping and of course eating. Several even spent the night and walked in the middle of the night. It was truly a wonderful day being loved on and just watching everyone enjoying each other. Duke was the king of BBQ, he even went to another site and took up cooking for them.

We want to especially thank John Mitchell and his wife Sally. They organized this event with the youth and God used them in a mighty way to not only bring support to the cause of cancer but to bring our newly forming church family together, where we could feel even more connected to each other. You are so wonderful John M. and true friend. Thanks again and again for all you did.
One of the more moving events is the light of the Illuminaria's. They represent people who are currently cancer free, fighting cancer or are in memory of someone. All the light are turned off and they line the track. It is a very powerful time. We pray for God's victory over this disease. He is our God who heals us.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Passing the Crown

Chris and his friend Emily went to the Stockdale Prom last night. If you remember Chris was crowned Prom King last year so he went this year to pass the crown to the new prom king. He and Emily made a smart pair. Emily was very beautiful and Chris was of course very handsome, even with a bald head. He wears it well.

Friday, May 02, 2008

So, what do you want to do?

So, what do you want to do? That was the question from John's Kaiser Neuro Oncologist. He basically was out of options of what John should do next. The tumor continues to grow and we have apparently exhausted all the usual protocols for this type of cancer. Which put everything into an interesting perspective. Surprisingly we are not worried about it. We believe that our God is always faithful and that if this door is closed, then we will trust He has already opened a new avenue.

As we have shared we are in a new direction and the attitude of the Kaiser doctor further confirms we are the right track. The Kaiser guy did not have a clue about the treatments we were exploring through Hoag Hospital and was unsupportive, which with his general "don't really care attitude" gave us peace that it was the right path.

On another note, Chris does not have a staph infection, but another type that came from being in our hot tub, his low immune system caused him to be susceptible. So that was good news, however the bad news is that the infection delays his treatment. Groan. The delay puts him having treatment while Dan is visiting and when John will be having his new radiation treatments. It is alway something.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A New Direction

Today John had the gamma knife procedure. This procedure was to stop the advance of the tumor. The area where the tumor is heading is radiated to stop it. The process went well, we started at 6am and got back to his dad's house about 2pm. The actual procedure only took 30 minutes, but all the prep took lots longer. The machine that does it is really amazing.

Part of the prep was to do a detailed MRI of John's brain which showed that the tumor was still spreading, the latest treatment was ineffective. The doctor we have met at Hoag Hospital, Dr Christopher Duma is really wonderful, seems to really care and gives a sense of peace with the new direction we believe God is opening. He suggests high dose radiation for the rest of the tumor, it is quite large now, and then follow up with surgery to remove what we hope will be a dead tumor.

As we know, it is all in our Lord's hands, we thank Him for the wonderful doctors He brings into our lives to care and treat John.
~ Blessings, Dawn

Sunday, April 27, 2008

To our Lord be the glory

Tomorrow, April 28 we are heading for Newport Beach Hoag Hospital. Through John's dad we consulted with a doctor there who had a treatment called Gamma Knife Prefexion. It sound like it has promise to be used of God to treat the tumor. The procedure will be on Wed morning. We are praying for God's provision and that this treatment will be used of Him to bring us the victory we have been contending and believing God for.

We once again thank you for the prayers. John's health has deteriorated dramatically over the last couple weeks, and even the last few days. His mobility and speech are very limited. We just wait in expectation, knowing that no matter what, God truly is good and He will turn all to His glory.

Blessings ~ Dawn

Friday, April 04, 2008

A fair bit worse

Well that was how John put it after his brain scan today. I suppose we were not surprised, he has been having some physical symptoms that would indicate this is so. However, this just what we see physically, we are not going to be discouraged.

I was convicted today, through the voice of my hair dresser of all things, that we (our family at least) need to be proclaiming God's word verbally over our family every day. Proclaiming "in Christ" scriptures and not giving ground to the enemy and his attempts to defy the promises of God.

The next step medically from what I understand is for John not to do chemotherapy, but to take some sort of new treatment that is a blocker, which should not make him feel sick. So we will join that treatment with a new battle plan, the active, spoken, powerful word of God.

Relay for Life

Our family is participating in Relay for Life with our church The Way. The youth of The Way have formed a team in honor of John and Chris. We are very blessed by their desire to support our family through this event, which is scheduled for May 3rd in Bakersfield.

If you would like to help support John and Chris through Relay for Life you can do so through the link below.

Youth of the Way Relay for Life

Chris and John each have their own page you can go to also linked in the roster list of The Way team page.

Our Faith

"Our faith will never be stronger than the God we perceive"

I am redoing a study I did last year with the ladies of our church plant. The study "Believing God" was very profound for me last year and as I look over my study book, I am reminded of just how much God spoke to me during it. It also makes me realize how easy it is to have revelation and then with time for the strength of that revelation to fade. The conviction of what I discovered being overshadowed with the weight of the day to day struggles of earthly circumstances.

A couple of key points for me were:
1. All attempts to define God cannot help but minimize Him. God is just to big, awesome, magnificent, majestic...for us to define.
2. God entrusts greater supernatural empowerment to those who believe He is who He says He is.

Lord light that fire of uncompromising faith!!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Prayer in a Square

A dear friend from the Middle East days and I reconnected this week. It is funny how when you hear from someone you haven't seen in a while it just gives you such a sense of family - that knowing that no matter how long its been since you talked it just doesn't matter, you just begin where you are now.

She has a picture on her website that when I saw it I was totally captivated by it, it was exactly how I feel. So I just wanted to share it - people often ask how are you, this picture is how I am. Totally dependant upon prayer, boxed in by His love and yearning to hear from our God, submitted (or at least I try to be) to hearing from Him. I am sure if I move out of the box of His protection I will be overwhelmed.

"Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever"
Psalm 73:25-26

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It is well with Chris

Just heard from Chris, he had an appointment with the surgeon who as Chris says "messed up my leg". Praise You Lord, the report was very good. Everything was healing very well, even some of the concerns about mobility - Chris is having trouble with getting some of the muscles to work properly - was not a concern. They will be completely restored by the power of our God. We will rest in that truth. But it is always wonderful to have man confirm what we believe God has already accomplished.

Thank you Lord for Your blessings and mercy to us ~ Dawn

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It Is Well With My Soul

Two Must Reads

A girl I knew from many years ago sent me an e-mail and recommended this book, I must say it is amazing. I highly recommend it.

The Shack by William F Young

Susan Sakka, a friend of mine was on a rabbit trail on the internet and came across the original text of this book written in 1859. It was in old english and difficult to read so she found out it was rewritten in modern english a couple years ago. The vision of this young girl is truly amazing. If you want to get excited about Heaven, and want a fire lite for saving the lost, this book will inspire you.

Nine Days in Heaven by Dennis and Nolene Prince

Major Change

Starting yesterday John is working from home. The effects of the continued Chemotherapy on his body have made going into work very difficult, he has problems writing, reading and often difficulty with speaking. This is of course a major change for us, but we are looking at it as a opportunity. An opportunity for John to get healthy physically, the last couple years of not feeling well have kept him from basic exercise, so we will be trying to slowly do things like walking and the elliptical strider we have in our house to build endurance. Also it will be an opportunity to press into spending time with our Lord as well as helping more strategically with The Way, the church plant we are part of.

It may seem discouraging for John to stop working, but we really feel it will be a time of opportunity. We are standing firm on believing for the complete restoration of John and Chris. We will not give into looking at the circumstances as negative, but will see the circumstances as leading us into a new phase of our lives which will open doors that would not have been available before.

A friend gave me this quote she heard from Chuck Swindoll,

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised
as impossible situations"

We thank all of you for your continued prayers and support. We serve a good God and even if things do not happen in the way we would like them to, it does not diminish the fact that our God truly is GOD.
Blessings ~ Dawn

Monday, March 10, 2008

Oops, wrong product

Anyone who knows me well knows that I like to keep my house clean. It gives me pleasure to clean it all in one day, then I feel like I have accomplished something. Usually I like to clean on Monday's, so today after Chris finally woke up, I set to work. First I vacuumed, then cleaned bathrooms (always such fun) and then I thought, I'll not only vacuum the hardwood floor, I think I will polish and clean them too.

Well we have quite a bit of hardwood flooring. So I got out my hardwood floor cleaner and set to work. After I was done it looked really shiny, I thought wow this floor really looks nice when it is polished. So I tip toed around it, trying not to step on it until it dries. I waited and waited, touched it and realized it feels kind of oily. I didn't remember it being so oily last time I did it, and it was not drying. Hum, so I went to the spray bottle I used and guess what? It was not the polish for the hardwood floor but the furniture polish. Now, let me assure you, they are not the same thing. So I had very slippery oily floors, and was not to sure how to get it off. I am still working on that actually. I have tried to soak it up on swiffle dry floor dusters, clean it off with another floor cleaner and well I hope it eventually dries off. What a mess - and I only have myself to blame. Humbling really.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Only Passing Through

I have just started a new study by Beth Moore called "Stepping up", a study of the Psalms of Ascent. It is such a timely study for me. I am doing it along with 3 other ladies who have been my rock through all of the trials over the last year or so. One of the statements Beth makes is:

"We need to change perspective, that whatever we are going through is not where we are staying, we are only passing through"

Oh Yah! That statement really speaks to my heart. We are only passing through, this life, these trials are only temporary, and believe me I can not wait for the time when I can see the end result, either here in this life or in heaven.

Chris is struggling through this week. It has been difficult as the combination of the chemo and radiation has taken a heavy toll on his body. Today he had a nose bleed that would not stop for a long time - I was almost worried we would have to go to the hospital. But after calmly praying over him, it did stop. His blood counts are very low - so he is what we call a boy in the bubble. We have to be very careful to keep any source of infection away from him and then to top it off he has had a fever. So we have been trusting our God, and for me praying for the "passing through" of this trial.

The good thing for today was doing the study, hearing and really being excited to move into a new level with the Lord, and seeing God restoring Chris, answered prayer for the fever and nose bleed. Might seem like small things, but it is a delight to acknowledge the Lord for His provision.
~ Blessings, Dawn

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Begin Again

Well Chris has began his chemotherapy again. It is with a heavy heart that we walked into the center where he gets his treatment. But the light in the midst is seeing nurses and patients who have walked with us over the last 1.5 years. What a weird place to be - however we are trusting our God, that He will use this for His glory and there is a purpose for this continued trial.

Chris is doing both radiation and chemotherapy, so it is a double whammy. The radiation is on his leg, to make sure all the rogue cells have been killed. We proclaim them withered. He is doing a high dose chemotherapy, so we are in constant petition before the Lord for no harm to come to the healthy cells. Chris feels lousy, but we just keep him bathed in prayer. He will do 5 days of the chemo, and then 2 weeks off, then repeated. Not sure how many times he will do the cycle. The radiation is for 30 sessions and he just finished the 11th today.

Each day I am trying to find something good that happens, to be grateful for. Today my friend Rille brought lunch for Chris and I, but even more she shared some of the what she heard at her womens retreat. One scripture she shared was Romans 8:28, it was like a sweet reminder from God. Thanks Rille.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Friday, February 22, 2008

No Change

It is funny how those two words can mean so much. Today, John went and had his brain scan. This is always a time of battling anxiety vs trust. Trying to see things through my spiritual eyes, to know and believe that no matter what - God is good.

Well that said, there was NO CHANGE in the scan. This is very good news, it is the first time since July that things have not looked in the natural worse. So we give praise to our God, knowing that He is the one who has sustained us.

Lord, I have heard of Your fame. I stand in awe of Your deeds, O Lord.
Renew them in our day in our time make them known. Hab. 3:2

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Seeing God's Provision

It was an interesting week. Chris spent most of it on the couch, lots of rest and just waiting as his leg continues to heal. He can move around with quite a bit of pain with a walker. Yep back to the walker. By the end of the week he was lifting the leg fairly well off the ground, which was a good improvement.

Many wonderful friends from The Way and from The Oaks brought us food throughout the week. We are so blessed by so many amazing people who show us such love. Thanks again and again to all of you.

On Wednesday, we got a call from Dan. He had just been in what could have been a very serious accident. The car he was in had lost control on the icy roads in Chicago and was hit by a semi-truck on the passenger side. If it had hit a foot or so closer to the passenger front door, Dan would likely have been very seriously hurt. But praise the Lord, Angels were truly protecting Dan. He was very badly bruised, and had to spend a night in the hospital. But he is alright. It was so scary but we really saw God's provision. It is especially hard because we are so far away and unable to "take care of him", but he has a girlfriend who is making sure he behaves himself and heals.

On Thursday we saw the radiologist who will do the radiation on Chris's leg. So that will start this next week. Not happy with Chris having to do this radiation, but we will place it in God's hands and pray for wisdom. Chris will also start the Chemo this next week. It looks to be a much easier schedule for him, that would be a nice bright light for Chris.

On Friday, I took Chris to see the surgeon. Wow as I write this I realize we had quite a week. No wonder we are so tired! Anyway, Chris's leg looks very good. The surgeon was very pleased with how well it was healing and the mobility. Chris will have to exercise it a lot to keep the mobility during the Radiation. Thats were I come in, I asked if I had permission to pester Chris to do the exercises. I was given the green light.

And now it is Saturday, Chris has several of his Cal Poly friends coming this evening and staying the night. So they will have lots of fun. What a blessing, all the friends that Chris has and how they have really gathered around him and supported him.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

How sweet it is to be Home

Yep, we came home today. What a relief to be back in our own home - it just feels so wonderful to be here. Chris was released with everything looking good. The car ride home went very well, very little traffic so it was fast.

When Chris came from the car into the house he was able to lift his leg for the first time, we praise you Lord. It is surprising how such a simple thing can give us such joy. Especially realizing that without the Lords provision Chris could very well have come home without his leg. It reminds me of when your baby first walks.

We are tired, and looking forward to sleeping on our own beds (although I stayed at my in-laws house which was a huge blessing, John slept at the hospital all week), taking a long hot shower and overall just being home.
thanks again for all the prayers, phone calls, cards, etc... they have blessed us so much.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Making progress

Chris just completed his second time of Physical Therapy today, he did it with almost no pain medication, so he is doing really good. He still can't move his left leg without help, but that is just a matter of the muscles being able to start working again and of course some healing, so right now he is using a walker. They have to find one special since he is so tall. Funny nothing here is made for tall people, even the bed is barely long enough.

We are hoping to be out of here by Friday, but there is no word on that from the doctor. We are just wishfully thinking. John has been staying in the room each night with Chris and his sleeping has gotten better. So although the process is slow, we thank the Lord for each success.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Up for the First Time

Well Chris got up out of bed for the first time. It was extremely painful, and on top of it he ran out of the pain killer just as they began. Which did not make the event any easier, but we praise you Lord, he was able to stand up. He will be exercising his leg during the day and then they will get him up again tomorrow.

Chris is doing very well, he slept pretty good last night which was a huge blessing. Many of his friends came to visit yesterday, which was such an encouragement to him. Even though he did not feel that great and was not his usual social self, he was obviously happy to just listen to the various conversations going on around him. The one unfortunate thing was one group coming from Cal Poly got into a car accident, praise you Lord that none of the boys were hurt, but they could not continue on to visit.

Chris surgeon also came by last night and seemed very pleased. It was nice to see him and again hear how the Lord really did orchestrate some amazing things during the operation. He even said a doctor who was there from UCLA was impressed with how the procedure went. We know that was due to our amazing Lord's intervention on behalf of all of you who have prayed for Chris.
Blessings, ~ Dawn

Saturday, January 26, 2008

11 hours

11 hours is how long Chris was in surgery. but praise God, He truly answered the prayers of all of you. The first 7 hours was doing the knee. There was concern that there may be cancer on the femur prosthetic, but praise our God, it was clear. The knee was replaced and all looked good. The next 4 hours was taking out the lymph node. This turned out to be a bit complicated, the femoral artery was being pushed by the enlarged lymph node, so the surgeon had to do a patch, which ment he had to cut the artery and patch it with a vessel from another location. It "just so happened" that the best vascular surgeon in the hospital was next door, just getting ready to do a surgery. He was just getting ready to start, when they realized the situation with Chris. He was available at the exact time he was needed. God's complete provision. Unknown to us, there was concern that the cancer had invaded the vascular system. Praise God this was not so. We are so filled with joy in the Lord's provision. All the concerns were obliterated under the mighty hand of our God. We truly believe it was the prayers of all of you, His saints, that moved the hand of God. What a testimony to the power of prayer. We hope you are all encouraged in your faith knowing it truly was your obedience to pray that brought God's help to us. We have no doubt about that!

The surgeon, himself a believer listens to Christian music while he does his surgery. He himself said that the many miraculous things happened during the surgery. He was obviously pleased when he finished.

Right now Chris is in a lot of pain. But he looks good, it will take some time but we know God is healing his body as we speak. We covet your continued prayers for complete healing, especially no infection - always a concern with such a big surgery.

We will continue to keep you updated. Praise the Lord! He is GOOD!!!
Blessings ~ The Champions - all of us

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Prayer and Fasting Warfare

I invite those who are able to join us in fasting on Friday, the 25th during Chris' surgery. As I was seeking God for His comfort I was led to read in 2 Chronicles 20:1-4 how Jehoshaphat when he was faced with a vast army coming to destroy him, he called upon all of Judah to pray and fast for God's help. We need God's help! We are in a battle that is spiritual and a corporate group of people who come together in fasting and praying is a powerful spiritual weapon. We need to break the hold of the enemy over this situation.

Some Key prayer points:
1. That Chris' leg would not be removed! I believe his "feet" are to be used to spread the gospel of peace. Chris is a servant of the Lord - not to be maimed by the enemy.
2. That the lymph node would be easily removed. The femur would be clear of any cancer and the remaining bone removed easily. All cancer would be removed, completely and forever more.
3. Strength - the surgery is scheduled to last 8 hours.
4. That in all God would be glorified, VICTORY, VICTORY!

Father God, ruler over all the earth, We come to You, humbling ourselves before Your throne. You are great and mighty, clothed in splendor, sitting high above all creation. We bless your name, the Name above all names. We confess our sins against You and Your Word, and we cry out to You for forgiveness, cleansing, and mercy. Lord, our prayer is that You will bring the victory in the middle of our battle. We trust You and You alone to fight for us. We fast and pray to hear Your voice, acknowledging that you along can win the victory for us. There is no other God besides You, who hold the world in His hands. So Lord, we put our faith and our trust in You. In Jesus' Name.

Monday, January 21, 2008


It is funny, in the Fall when we took Chris to Cal Poly we were sad, sad knowing we would miss him, but at the same time excited for him as he embarked on a whole new phase of his life. That made bring him home yesterday that much sadder. It was so difficult packing his room and seeing him say "goodbye" to the wonderful friends he had made. Not fair really, but then we are learning that life in this world just isn't fair. Praise God we can look with eternal perspective, although that was little help yesterday when our emotions were barely in check.

Chris will have the surgery this Friday, the 25th. We ask for your prayers, that Chris would be so completely protected, there would be no surprises and that all cancer would be removed. That the doctors would have the wisdom of God. But especially that we would have total peace of God, trusting Him and not doubting or being fearful. Lord grant that we would be Salt and Light!!

So often I wish we could just see into the future ~ the earthly future. But thankfully the Lord does give us the eternal future. It is already known, may we glorify His name as long as we are here.
Blessings, ~ Dawn

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I am your hope...

As I sat and praying this morning, "I am your hope..." was the overwhelming word I got from our Lord. It has been one of the most unsettling weeks of our life. We knew going into it that there was going to be huge challenges emotionally. It is hard to believe after living through each day that today we can still find joy.

Yesterday, Wednesday, Chris had his doctors appointment. It was filled with disappointment and praise. Disappointment that the cancer has returned, praise that it is not in his lungs and that we will not have to amputate his leg. To get a clear picture it is best to read Chris's blog at www.kooseefoo.com. We are so grateful for the strength that Chris has going into a new challenge. However make no mistake, until the surgery, we will still be contenting for our God to intervene and bring about complete healing. He is Jehovah Rapha

Today, Thursday, John had his appointment, remember I said this is quite the week. Unfortunately the new chemo he was doing over the last month was totally ineffective. So we switch to a new one again. This is of course a big disappointment also, but the praise is that the new chemo is reported to be easier to take. We pray that will be true.

Now for a huge blessing in the midst of all this. First, before Chris went to his appointment, a group of wonderful friends came to pray over Chris. It was a beautiful time of intercession, next several ladies stayed with me almost all day and we prayed in earnest for Chris. And then today, I received a call from a team here in town that want to come and pray over Chris and John for healing. And then later I got a call from one the young people who has been part of our "family" Brooke, she and many of Chris's friends want to do a fast and prayer for Chris tomorrow. I am so humbled that these amazing young people know just where to go on behalf of their brother, to the throne room.

And what is most amazing for me is that in the midst of all this, I do feel the peace of God. I know that Chris and John have a destiny of service to God and that the enemy can not intercept that. So we continue to trust, trust because God is our hope...

~ Dawn

Thursday, January 03, 2008

We wait for the victory

It has been awhile since we have posted. Time just seems to slip away. We are still in the midst of the battle for victory in our family.

Over the last month John has been doing a new type of Chemo, he has had to take pills for 21 days and now has a 7 day break.

The immediate pray need for us is for Chris. During the Christmas break he noticed a lymph node in his groin area had enlarged. There is concern that it is a recurrence of the cancer. We of course are rebuking that and praying for complete restoration. However scans are showing something is not right.

This is discouraging for us, we are struggling to keep our faith strong and believing God for his healing promises. The enemy is certainly trying to fill us with despair. Chris goes to see his surgeon on Jan. 9, where we will get some answers from the doctors perspective and John has his monthly scan on Jan. 10. It will be a stressful week. We covet your prayers, that we would remain steadfast in the Lord, seeking Him with all diligence, would believe Him for the victory and not allow the enemy to steal our joy.

May you be blessed, John and Dawn

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Psalm 103: 1-4