We are the Champions

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

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Well completed

The well in Guinea is finished! For me this is the perfect Christmas gift, something that is a blessing to others. I had been thinking lately a lot about how we give gifts to each other for Jesus birthday, and again to ourselves for our birthday. So this is, for me, the perfect present - something that shows the love of Christ to others.

I would also like to take this opportunity to say


I have not had the energy to send Christmas cards this year, but I truly do wish each and everyone a wonderful Christmas filled with joy, the joy that comes from knowing our amazing God. Even though this has been the hardest, most heart breaking year imaginable - I have still seen the goodness of the Lord. He has sustained me and my family, and most important, it is because of the birth of Jesus, and the salvation that His coming brought, that I know without any doubt that John and Chris are with the Lord. They both loved the Lord. I can't wait to be with them, but until that day I will do my best to serve Him.

Blessing to all of you, and again Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Your not shaken

I am sinking in the river that is raging
I am drowning
Will I ever, rise to breathe again
I wanna know why
I just wanna understand
Will I ever know why?
How could this be from Your hand?

When every little thing that I have dreamed would be
just slips away like water through my hands
And when it seems the walls of my beliefs are crashing down
like they’re all made of sand
I won’t, let go of You now
because I know, oh, You’re not shaken

I am trembling in the darkness of my own fear
All the questions with no answers
So grip me while I’m here
And I may never know why
Oh I may not understand
But I will lift up my eyes,
and trust this is Your plan

When I am in the valley
of the shadow of death
You’re not shaken

You're right here beside me and
You have never left
You're not shaken

Sunday, November 29, 2009

He held back the rain

As we traveled to Oregon to spend Thanksgiving with Dan and Nisha, it had weighted so heavy on my heart the other task at hand. It was time to take John and Chris's ashes to the San Juan Islands to spread them. I had felt it was time to do this, and even though it seemed foolish to try and do it on such a short trip (we covered over 2000 miles in 5 days) somehow I knew it was the right time.

God showed up in a magnificent way, at least for me it was like He spoke His peace and approval over this sad and painful task. For many days the San Juan's had stormy weather. It had been raining continuously through Thursday, but on Friday as we traveled from Portland to the Islands, it seemed as if the clouds parted as we went. I thought, God, will you really grant me this request, that it be a wonderfully beautiful day. It had seemed in so many ways that God had been silent to my prayers, the reason for this trip being evidence of that. As we arrived to take the water taxi to the Island, the sky continued to clear, by the time we arrived it was so clear hardly a cloud was in the sky. The place we were to spread the ashes is a small rock island visible from my father-in-laws cabin, which overlooks the ocean. As we arrived on this small rock by boat, it was truly a beautiful sight. Dan, Nisha, Miheala, Chuck, Sue, Carolyn and myself walked the area spreading their ashes. When it was completed, although like Dan said, it was hard to believe we were there doing what we were doing, there was a gentle breeze that seemed to breath God's love and peace. As I looked around I realized that God had spoken and was speaking, it was a personal love message that it was alright, He has been and was listening to my heart.

That night the rain and wind came once again. I know God cleared the day just for us, He answered the desire of my heart for that time, and then further proved it was Him by bringing back the rain when we were done.

Plaques are down the hill from Chucks cabin, a place of remembrance. I hope I never forget just how faithful God was as He held back the clouds and rain so we could have a beautiful day to remember such wonderful men of God, who we miss so much, but know we will see again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Well

It is not usually my desire to share about how my family has given, John and I always felt very strongly that if we gave it would be anonymously. It helped us make sure our hearts were in the right place and that all the glory would go to the Lord. But I am going to make an exception, and share about how the money Chris had saved is being used by the Lord to be a blessing.

Chris was an amazing saver, he had a significant amount of money in his bank. Many years ago he had felt through the words of another the call to go to Africa, and especially to be somehow involved in "water wells". We did not know what the meant, but thought he would use his engineering skills to possibly help to one day drill wells somewhere in Africa. In some ways that made his leaving us before this was accomplished confusing, but God has a way of redeeming. This week the beginnings of that desire of Chris's is being lived out.

A village in Guinea, a African country our fellowship has adopted as a ministry, and where Mihaela went last summer, has begun drilling a water well that will be funded from Chris's savings. This village did not have a well of its own, they had to obtain water outside the village. I do not know all the details yet but I do know the people are very excited, and I am too. As much as it hurts, wishing Chris was doing this himself, I can see how God is using him to bless others in His name. The people will know it is because of Jesus and a young mans love of Jesus, that this well is being drilled.

I share this mostly so that you will pray for this well, that it will come in with clean water, and that when the villagers drink of it, it will be like the water that Jesus tells about, the water that is salvation. They will turn to our Lord and desire to know Him, the one who loves them and used His child Chris to be a blessing to them.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Let the Waters Rise

This song is beautiful and so accurately reflects my heart.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Quiet, that is the word that describes my heart right now. I know it has been along time, over a month since I have posted, honestly I have just not been able to really articulate anything. I have felt a need to just be still, to try and hear the Lord's voice in the midst of my rambling mind. Even though my body has been quiet, my mind has been a whirl of thoughts, memories and sometimes overwhelming confusion. But I feel OK with that, I think for the most part it is just part of the process. Our pastor has equated what our family has gone through with Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome, I think there maybe some similarity, not to in anyway minimalism what our brave soldiers encounter in the war theater.

Earlier this month I visited Dan and Nisha in Chicago. They were there to take care of some business Nisha had with her apartment. It was such a wonderful time. I really enjoyed being shown around Chicago by Dan, we visited Museums and other "tourist" attractions. I had never had the opportunity to spend time with just Dan, and I found I so enjoyed his company, it was in many ways like I discovered my son in a new way, the man he has become. I think it brought some healing for us both also, just being able to casually talk about things and encourage each other. We took in a couple of shows, Jersey Boys and The Blue Man Group. Both were a lot of fun, Blue Man Group was very strange, very abstract.

I have been starting to seek the Lord on what is next for my life. I just started volunteering in a first grade class room in a neighboring town. I think I am going to really enjoy it. There is something about knowing that your helping children be successful. They are mostly Spanish speaking so need a lot of help with reading English. I loved their smiles when I would compliment them on how well they did reading to me. I've also been working on some much needed freshening up of the house. Painting the inside and also some of the outside. I love how the inside is looking, a little bit of color really makes a difference.

I want to thank everyone for caring so much about our family. Our journey continues, as does yours. Our God is amazing, in the midst of the hardest things you can imagine He is there, using it for His glory, giving His comfort and bring us through the storm. What is next here on this earth, I don't know, but I do know what is coming! Life eternal with those that have gone before us, and especially our Lord. I can honestly say I can't wait, but until that day, I will praise His name.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Emily's Quilt

Emily finished her first quilt. She started it as a project to do with Chris, however he was never able to really help her. She finally finished it to take with her to college.

Sequoia Park

Dan, Nisha and I took a day trip up to see the giant Sequoia Trees. It was a fun day, driving the BMW up the curvy road and enjoying the wonderful smell of the forest. I have attached a couple pictures of Dan and Nisha. It was such a delight to spend the day with them.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A word from Chris

I found this word from Chris in his wallet and thought it would encourage.

"I believe God has a purpose for me. I believe He takes all things and uses them for Hs purposes. He sent His son to takes man's punishment so one day we can be with Him. He is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. He never fails.

Purpose is important to me. The sanctity of life. Having something to value above myself. Having something greater than myself to be a part of. It is important to me to have something I'd give my life for." ~ Chris Champion

So very hard

This will probably not be very encouraging, but I guess it will be honest. It is so very hard, living itself it such a struggle. To wake up is to wake up into the "darkness" of life right now. It truly is something I think is impossible to understand unless you have walked in it. The loss of someone you love, but not just one person but two of the most important people of your life.

I am realizing that I have never been able to properly grieve the loss of my precious John, and now to add to that the loss of my dear and sweet Chris, well it is hard to even put into words. Tears are a constant companion.

Last week we went with Dan, Nisha, Myself, Mihaela, Emily and a couple of Chris's closest friends to spread some of his ashes in a special place he and Emily had. It was beautiful to do, Nisha and Dan sang the song they wrote for Chris's celebration of life, and it was even more meaningful there.

I miss my "family" so much, my role as a wife and mother, my purpose. I know someday it will be better. I know I will find a new purpose, I truly just want my life to glorify the Lord. I do find joy in seeing how John's and Chris's life have made a difference in others. Sometime I think I can almost feel their presence around me, but it always so fleeting.

Dan and Nisha are still here, probably leaving on Friday. They are such a delight to me. I have enjoyed them so much. They are taking a trip to Chicago to take care of some business the beginning of Sept. They have invited me to come - I think I might.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Celebration of Chris's Life

There will be a celebration of Chris's life next Saturday. The details are below. As hard as it is, I remember how much Chris enjoyed when we celebrated his fathers life. Chris said that all he could do was smile seeing how many people loved and admired his dad. It gave Chris great joy. I pray for the same celebration in the midst of the sorrow. All are welcome of course, there will be time to share if you desire to.

Chris Champion Memorial
Saturday, August 15th, 2009 2pm
The Oaks Community Church
10200 Campus Park Drive
Bakersfield, Ca 93311

In Lieu of Flowers please send donations to:

The Way Fellowship
Chris Champion Memorial
Missions Fund
PO Box 10717
Bakersfield, Ca 93389

Friday, August 07, 2009

What Happens When I Don't Pay Attention in Church.

This is a blog Chris wrote in November of 2007. I wanted to share it again, it speaks of what he believed and his heart during the storm.

So, today I went to church...
And, after the pastor said one thing during announcements, my mind was off on a tangent the rest of the morning. (As it is now... I'm forcing myself to pay enough attention to write this).
Oh. Text message.
And another...
Okay, so the pastor was talking about a prayer event that the church had earlier in the week. During it, it came out that one of the men in the group had cancer. So, they started praying for him.
And I started to wonder... if given the opportunity, what would I say to him?
And that was where my thoughts wandered for the rest of the morning. The pastor was talking about stuff in Acts 11... I remember bits and pieces of it, but I really don't feel guilty about that at all.
The first thing that I thought I would say to this man is that God has a plan for everything. Throughout the last year, that is one of the greatest things God taught me - sometimes, he chooses to use things like that to have a profound impact on those around us. There is no way that, without such a high-profile struggle, the people around me could have seen God's provision for me and my family and the strength that He gives us. I had countless opportunities to tell people that I wasn't doing anything special - that God was helping me keep things together. That God was the reason I didn't become depressed, or a total basket case. That God was the reason I am still alive.
And that was even echoed in the people around me. My whole family's struggle through things has done wonders to unite our church - given people opportunities to be the body of Christ - to do his work by showing his love and compassion. To pray for each other and support each other. It truly did intensify the sense of family with our church.
If everything in life stayed nice and perfect, there would be no need for God to support us. We wouldn't need him to lend us His strength. We wouldn't need His provision for us. We wouldn't need His mercy. In essence, we wouldn't feel any need for Him. Likewise, we wouldn't need the prayer and support of the people around us. They would have no opportunity to come together without any reason to. Without struggle, there would be no opportunity to build our faith and character in Christ and no opportunity to unite as a family.
I remember... a long while back... praying that God use me however He wanted to. I meant it too - whatever the cost, whatever I need to do - that He would give me every chance he could to do His work.
In hindsight, I'm thinking that probably wasn't the greatest idea.
I often wonder if this last year was a direct result of that prayer. God is up there, "Well, you asked for it." When I said that prayer, I didn't think about any possible permanent damage. Maybe being a bit embarrassed, messing up a bit, making a fool of myself, or whatever. But losing some physical abilities... never thought about it.
Although, I suppose the use of the word "permanent" in that last paragraph was fairly silly. There was only one real permanent effect of all this: the people whose lives were permanently changes. The people who might - just might - have seen a glimpse of God and His glory. The people who could have come to understand who Christ is, grown closer to him, or might have just had their heart softened just a little bit. That is permanent. Losing some function of a limb - who cares?
So, if you ever feel tempted to say that prayer - asking God to do whatever he can with your life - I'd suggest you rethink it. Do you really mean it?
What do you think you could lose? A bit of reputation? Some time? Some money?
What about having to leave everything you know? What about losing all security in life? What about losing your life?
So, before you go to God and say something like that, I really challenge you to think: do you mean it? Are you just saying that because it sounds good, or do you really mean it? Are you just being lukewarm, or do you honestly mean that you are ready to give up your life for whatever purpose God has for it?
I remember one of my first prayers after being diagnosed: "God, you better have some huge plans for this. Otherwise, I'm going to be pissed." I suppose he didn't give me any reason to be angry. The effect I've already had on people's lives is enough to make me honestly say that I would do it again, if given the choice. And I can't wait to see what else God has for me and my testimony.
I do mean that prayer. Every word of it. I hope you do too. After all, this life is only temporary.
Oh yea. I need to study physics. Exam tomorrow. Probably not so bright to be writing such a huge blog post right now. Eh. Who cares.
Look - another text message.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

See you soon my precious Chris

Yesterday my dear and precious Chris left this world and graduated into heaven. I know he was greeted by his Lord Jesus and his father. But already it is as if there is a huge hole left where he was in my heart here and now. I can not wait until heaven, to be joined with John and Chris, and eventually our whole family and friends together. The depth of the loss is almost unbearable, Chris is such a light - no matter how bad he felt he would be so gracious, always thanking everyone who helped him. Each morning as I made him breakfast he always complimented me. Why he had to leave so young, I may never know, but I do know that somehow God will use it for His glory. That was Chris's hearts desire that if nothing else this would be used to glorify the Lord. As the word went out friends gathered to say "goodbye" to Chris. It was so special, with times of prayer and worship. I know Chris was pleased.

The last 3 months Chris was lovingly cared for by such devoted friends, who ensured that he was always comfortable, entertained, and especially loved on. I can not begin to thank enough those who walked this journey with Chris. It is strange this morning the quiet of the house.

Chris leaves behind his precious Emily, whom he loved with a passion and depth of someone far older than himself. I know his greatest sadness was not seeing the life they dreamed of fulfilled. They had made such wonderful plans for the future. But somehow God will restore these lost dreams in eternity.

I pray that God will give us strength as a family to bear this heartbreak. It seems like so much lose in such a short time, but I must trust God to be my families rock, to be able to rest in His arms until we can feel strong again.

Friday, July 31, 2009

As we continue...

For those of you who love and pray for our family, take the time to read about our struggles I guess it is time to post an update.

The last couple of weeks has been very heartbreaking, and especially the last week. Chris is now in a state of constant anxiety and often pain. It is apparent that he is in a place where he can not really share with us what is wrong which has made helping him that much more difficult. We have been trying various ways to relieve his distress, but really to no avail. Without the help of Chris's friends, Phillip and Brooke, I personally would have been lost. They have spent many nights and days watching diligently over Chris and lovingly trying to help him.

As I watch Chris and contemplate how this is where things are, I have to trust God at His word. That He will turn all this to His good, that somehow there will be lasting fruit from Chris's journey and our journey as a family. It is the only way to really begin to make sense of anything. Although it is hard to face, Chris's journey on this earth may be ending and his journey in eternity to begin. One thing that gives some peace is that I know John is there, and will rejoice in having his son with him once again. That this pain and anxiety will be forever gone and his wonderful smile and contagious presence will be full of life once again.

On another note, Dan is soon on his way home from two weeks in Australia. I am very glad he was able to make this trip, to spend time with friends from Doha days. As we recover from the loss of John and walk through the uncertainty of Chris journey - it is important to be able to feel free to do things that bring us joy in the midst of very trying times.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

49 Today

That is how old John would be today, his 49th birthday. One of the most memorable birthdays I can remember for John was for his 40th in South Africa. That is where the picture above was taken. We were in a wild life preserve when we celebrated it with friends from South Africa. It was a fun day.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Long Time

It has been awhile since I have felt up to blogging. As I sit and spend time trying to think of how or what to say, I look at Chris, laying in bed continuing to struggle. He is such a brave young man, he perseveres through each day with pain, discomfort and anxiety, his hope still intact. I am amazed by his attitude and faith.

The last week has been especially difficult, for some reason swelling in his leg has returned which has caused a lot of pain and his breathing which was improving has become very difficult again making him feel like he is "suffocating". As a mother each day is a challenge, with many hidden tears. I am so grateful for my special friend Rille who comes each day to support and help. God has put many wonderful and special people in our lives that have truly blessed us beyond measure.

Mihaela is off on her mission trip to Guinea. She called today and said they had spent their first day in the village. It will be fun to hear all her stories when she returns. Dan has made his move to Oregon. He sent pictures of his house which has a beautiful backyard, I had forgotten how green everything is in Oregon. He was quite happy to be able to get instate tuition to PCC. It is really nice to have him much closer.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Would be 28 years

Tomorrow would have been John and my 28th anniversary. I confess I am very sad that we were not able to spend many more years together. I still sometimes think John will walk through the door after work, I miss him so much.

On another note, Chris is slowly getting better. He has good days and bad days, but through them all he has a good attitude. We are starting to work on him being able to sit on the side of the bed. He is still so weak, but slowly getting stronger. I just give thanks each day for his life, for the opportunity to be available to help and love him through it all. We have been reading the devotion book "Heaven", and it has so encouraged us both. Especially missing John and knowing that he truly is in heaven and that we will one day join him for eternity. I am especially excited about the new earth, this earth restored to how God originally planned and created it. How wonderful it will be.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Let me touch Your tassels

It is hard to honestly know what to write. My emotions are raw, trying desperately to keep my hope and faith alive. How do you watch your son struggle, both physically and emotionally? I feel his despair as a knife that cuts through my heart.

I am trying to keep a positive attitude, but it is so hard when someone you love so desperately is in constant pain and is totally dependent upon those around him to do the simplest of tasks. Chris always has a good attitude, he tries so hard to give a smile and a thanks to everyone who does anything for him. Chris loves the Lord with all his heart, and is waiting upon Him to bring his healing. The other night he wrote this simple request to the Lord, barely legible on a paper. "Your word talks about touching the tassels on you robe, I have the faith, let me touch Your tassels." It was such a sweet and tender prayer. Please Lord let Chris touch your tassels, so that Your power will go out to bring his healing.

"As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. " Luke 8:42

Chris's request is that you pray for his anxiety, it comes and goes but leaves him very distressed. Thanks, Dawn

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

No place like home

Today Chris came home, this in itself is a miracle. There was many days when I wondered if he would ever come home again. It was just the reality of the severity of the situation. This morning we met with a team from the hospital and decided with the help of hospice nurses Chris would do better at home. He was very happy about it.

So this evening he came home, with lots of equipment to go along with him. But it is wonderful to have him home, a little nerve wracking as we figure out all the medications and how the various pieces of equipment work, but this is small compared with the joy of just having him home.

And one of the greatest things is we can start feeding him good food, he already had some pizza. As he eats we pray his strength returns. He also has a really cool new bed which we moved into the family room until he gets stronger. It is a tempur pedic with a remote that lifts the head and feet.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Faith like Potatoes

Each day has so many challenges. There is no doubt that it is easier to doubt God than to trust Him, at least for me it takes such a force of the will to see the situation as it is and in the midst of it chose to trust God. This afternoon I took my dogs for a walk. I like to take them to some harvest fields near the house and let them run, chasing each other and a rabbit or two if they find them. Today it was near sunset and the fields had been harvested for potatoes. I was reminded of a really good movie I had just watched about a man named Angus Buchan, who is a farmer in South Africa, the story is wonderful and true.

Faith like Potatoes is the title because Angus, during a drought in South Africa, and after praying for rain, plants potato seeds. Even though it does not rain he trusts God and waits to harvest the crop. Sure enough, when the time comes to harvest, under the ground, where Angus could not see, the potatoes had grown.

I can not see what God is doing, but I am going to try to have faith like potatoes and trust God is doing something where I can not see. One of the quotes from the movie is "The condition for a miracle is difficulty. For a great miracle is impossibility". Amen

My Heart Will Fly

A friend sent this to me, thanks Kim, it really spoke to my heart.

Holding On....

Chris continues to be stable. There have no real changes since he took his breathing tube out. Yesterday he finally did get some much needed sleep, which was a blessing. He is having trouble with anxiety. Giving him some anti-anxiety medicine seems to help.

We are trying to get him off of some of the pain medication as these we think are causing him to be at times confused and being in a bit of a fog most of the time. I don't think he has much actual pain just a lot of discomfort from being in a hospital for now 4 weeks. He is still in the ICU. Dan is still here which is such a huge blessing to me, and Chris's friends still take turns staying with him day and night, they are a demonstration of true faithfulness as friends.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Well Chris decided to take things into his own hands, literally. Yesterday morning he pulled the ventilation tube out of his mouth. I get a call from the hospital saying Chris has pulled it out, but that he is doing fine. And indeed, he has been doing fine. All his vital signs have been stable, unlike before where they were all over the place. His breathing is not labored. Yesterday he was pretty out of it as he came off the sedation they had him on. But today when I walked in his room he was able to talk. It was such a joy to hear his voice, it is raspy, but his voice non the less.

Today he was stable, working on coughing stuff up from his lungs. He is very weak and hopefully will be able to swallow soon and take in some real food. Emily stayed up all night last night with him, holding his hand and talking with him. She is amazing. The x-rays show that his lungs are improving. What can we say except Praise You Lord. We have no doubt this is only by His hand that Chris is recovering. To Him be all the glory.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I am going to use the words of my friend Rille again, she has done a wonderful job of summarizing what is going on.

The doctor today said Chris's daily chest x-ray had no change from yesterday and that the tear in the lung and collapse are corrected. Yesterday Chris had to have a chest tube put in due to a tear in the lung which was causing it to collapse. We take this all as good news. We will believe that even if the doctor can't see it, there is change going on as our God restores Chris. He said that Chris is not ready to come off of the ventilator, but they are keeping him in a state that is no longer paralyzed, just very sedated. He opens his eyes now and that is such a blessing to everyone. He can't talk with all of the tubes in his mouth leading down to various places, but he can communicate basic yes/no with a noise and a head move. Then he falls back to sleep, which is the best thing for him.

Emily reports that she slept very little as he woke up frequently in the night and so she talked to him instead of sleeping. To be honest, just seeing him peaceful and vitals improved is a relief and a miracle in its self. His resting heart rate had been anywhere from 120-160 for almost 3 weeks now hovers around 90! His fever is now completely gone. There are still lots of issues, but we remain hopeful. Everyone is pretty tired, but the mood here today seems peaceful. We just continue to put our trust in our God. He has it all in His hands.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Word from a friend

I am to tired to think to write what is going on so I am going to cheat and use the words of my dear friend Rille and the e-mail she has faithful been sending out.

Dear Sweet Friends of Chris and the Champion Clan,

Even though so many of you who read and pray for this family, have never met them, you are indeed their friends. Your prayers and encouragement have been a sweet offering and they are mindful of them. For those of you who write, I have taken to reading some of these e-mails over Chris in the belief that he is encouraged by your words of hope and faith and love....
1 Corinthians 13:13 (New International Version)

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Although Chris remains on life-support he has survived the first 33 hours very well. He had 3 more procedures last night that added a multitude of tubes, tape and incisions. Its hard to see him like this, but his sweet face looks peaceful despite the medical horror of it all. He has a fever that brings a rosy flush to his cheeks and although not ideal, it remains under control. I enjoy holding his hand or stroking his cheek... something he would never let me do if he were awake... infact I wouldn't even consider it... sorry Foos! He is never left alone as one of his dear ones stands, sits or sleeps constantly in the room. The hospital which normally allows only 1-2 close family members at a time has granted us favor and sometimes there have been up to 6 of us in the ICU.

Please continue to pray, there are many who have received God's peace regarding his healing. I know his sweet Emily has. She diligently watches the many monitors, knows every number on the many screens and speaks calmly and quietly to Chris... never waive ring in her hope for a future with him. She usually will be found on the cot in his room sleeping soundly through the visitors, the nurses, the lights and machines.. then waking cheerful and ready to pray and encourage! Please pray for those of us called to minister to our friend Dawn. Her mother's heart is tender and so raw and she misses John so much. I really don't know how she manages to match her shoes in the morning, but she does. I know she is sad and I don't know how to help her really, you can pray for that... how do you support someone in such a long long struggle?

The nurses back up in the Step Down Unit on the 5th Floor all signed a card to Chris that came today. They thanked him for his Godly example to them during the nearly 2 weeks he was there and are all praying for him to return. When you leave the ICU, that is where you go (Step Down Unity) before you go home. It was really sweet... there are so many stories. Before Chris was unconscious, this was one of the e-mails I read to him. It came from a 23 year old friend of mine and in the middle of a struggle to breathe and mask on his face he said "Wow!"

"I am praying. My heart is heavy tonight, but trusting completely in the Lord. I have never even officially met Chris, but since you have started sending these emails, I have been praying for him, and I can honestly say that his life and faith have changed mine forever. May God continue to have the glory in Chris's life. How sweet and amazing it is that Chris is willing to sacrifice his health and even his life for God's glory. What an inspiration. I know I am only one of many many lives that have been changed by his and his family. I am praying that God holds you ALL close tonight--giving you ALL a peace that truly transcends understanding. Thanks for the updates."

Thanks for reading this rather long e-mail, but mostly thanks for being out there... forwarding it and praying.

With love,

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do not be afraid....

This morning Chris was put on a ventilator, although the staph infection has been conquered, the pneumonia is still there. Chris had been struggling with breathing for so long that he was exhausted and it was decided the best way to give his body rest was to let a machine do it for him. It was a very hard decision to make, he is now sedated so we can not longer hear his sweet voice. But the struggle to breath was causing him great distress.

I don't know where this is leading, but I do know that God has it in His hands. Chris is surrounded by a host of friends and family who are petitioning before the Lord. My heart is in pieces, but I know that God is good, and I have to trust Him with that which is most precious to me, my children.

Friday, May 15, 2009

God sized job

Chris has been in the hospital for 12 days now, and it has been a roller coaster, some days good some days not so good. Today though has been not so good. It is obvious in the natural that the infection is taking its toll on Chris's body. He has very labored breathing, working very hard to take shallow breaths. This is due to infection and the cancer in his lungs. It has been so hard during this time to keep focused on God and His goodness. Chris has been so tired he sleeps most of the time but when awake he maintains his good attitude. A testament to us all. He has amazing friends who sit with him day and night.

Only God knows what the future is, we are putting our hope and trust in Him, because despite what things look like He is trustworthy. He is in control and we will not waver in our trusting Him.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Long overdue update

Well I hope you keep track of the latest through Chris's blog. He has been good about trying to keep things current. Today he did have the port-o-cath removed, now we just pray that the antibiotics can finish their work of killing the bacteria.

Chris is doing pretty good, it is hard for a young man to be in the hospital not feeling well. But he always amazes me, he makes a point of thanking each person who comes in to treat him. He has been blessed with very good nurses, and a big private room with another bed so that each evening someone can stay with him. His friends have been beyond exceptional, they come and keep him company as soon as they are available. He even got in trouble one night for to many friends in the room at the same time.

I have been reading Psalm 20 over Chris the last few days. I just feel it has significant promises and especially "some trust in Chariots and horses (or the things man can provide), but we trust in the name of the Lord".

I know people around the world pray for Chris, all I can say is thank you, and thank our mighty God. As hard as it is, I desire more than anything to see Chris strong and healthy, glorifying the Lord, God continues to give me strength, each evening I am thankful that we endured.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Yesterday Chris was taken to the hospital. He had developed profound weakness over the weekend to the point that he was unable to even move his body. They ran several test, a MRI of the spine was clear, a CT of the head I do not know yet. He has weakness, very sore everywhere, even to the touch and is considerable pain.

They did admit him, I got a call at 2am to tell me they had moved him to a more intensive care area because he had a elevated heart rate and they could monitor him better there. Please pray, we do not know for sure what is going on. They are giving him antibiotics, his blood work shows very love White cells and red cells. We know God is in control and He is good. We look for His provision and strength.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Relay for Life

This year our church family is sponsoring Team Champion in memory of John. Chris has his own sponsor page. If you would like to support him I know he would be blessed. Although he has met his goal, all the support is such an encouragement to him and us as a family. You can see his support page at Relay for Life.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cyberknife finished

Today was the last cyberknife treatment. We are so grateful that Chris was able to continue with the treatments. Now we are trusting God to complete the process using it to remove all the cancer cells. Chris was able to blog on his own blog, which is an answer to prayer also, you can read it at www.kooseefoo.com.

We are so amazed by all of you who are praying for our family. It has truly overwhelmed us with the love and support. People from around the world are reading this blog, it is unbelievable to us really, but at the same time we hope that you all see the glory of the Lord through our journey. We truly wish the journey was over, pray for it without ceasing, but it is encouraging to know that hopefully as we wait upon the Lord, others are encouraged to persevere and to trust God for their own struggles.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Going Good

Well Chris has had two of the cyberknife treatments this week, he has one more to go tomorrow. He is doing well. Each day he is more himself and there is improvement in his right hand coordination. We give God the praise for this. He has been resting as much as he can, with his "crew" coming to keep him company each day. Chris has such wonderful friends, they have been such a support and have walked with him, and supported him, they have been a huge blessing.

So many people have signed up and are fasting and praying for Chris. Each day there is someone who is intervening before God's throne for Chris. We are so humbled by this, and are also so grateful. Our God is so good, I know His heart is moved by the plea of His people for justice against this trial.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

There are bumps and then their are ravines

This has been a ravine week. The end of which has left us all exhausted and just trying to figure out what is going on. Chris had the first of his Cyberknife treatments on Thursday. Friday morning at about 5am he had a seizure. I had him taken to the hospital via ambulance. After being there for a couple hours, Chris had another seizure. This was of course very upsetting and disconcerting. It turns out this was the result of swelling that was already evident, which was made worse with the radiation treatment. Although very scary, we are grateful that Chris was protected from falling and hurting himself. We praise God for his protection over Chris. It has taken a couple of days for Chris to start to feel like himself. He has some effects from the swelling, but we are confident in our God that He will restore those things back. The main issue is weakness in Chris's right hand. Of course his Emily came from school, due to such wonderful friends going to get her, and this made things better.

So now Chris is on a higher dose of anti-seizure medications and steroids to help relieve the swelling. We are hoping to complete the last 3 radiation treatments this week so the healing can begin, the lesion will be obliterated and Chris can recover. This road is very hard, but God has been faithful. Sometimes it does not feel that way, but we know His word is true and His character is beyond reproach. God is good, He is faithful, He is above this situation and He will have the victory.

You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.

Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.

You will be secure, because there is hope;

you will look about you and take your rest in safety. Job 11:16-18

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Treatment set to begin today

The doctors the Lord has given us moved remarkable fast yesterday and have everything ready for Chris to begin the cyberknife treatment today. This is really amazing as usually it takes a few day for the plans to be made. I thank our Lord for the good things He blesses us with, even in the midst of the hard things. It looks like there will be 4 treatments.

Lord we just thank You and give you all the glory as you navigate us through this trial, our trust is in You and only in You. We are trusting that the ultimate victory will be Yours over Chris's body with complete healing and restoration to be proclaimed to your glory.

Thanks to everyone praying for us, a special thanks to the wonderful time of fellowship, food, worship and pray that we enjoyed last night as we lifted our petitions before the Lord on behalf of Chris. It was beautiful.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wisdom came

Today they decided that doing the cyberknife on just the new lesion was the best course of treatment. Chris and I were very pleased with this. This also keeps Chris on the list for the study in San Antonio that we have been waiting on. We thank the Lord for giving wisdom and confirmation in this treatment plan. It will probably be one treatment, maybe two, hopefully on Monday. The same type of treatment they did before and it was pretty easy.

Trusting God

John left us with the blessing of two of his teachings. One of them is entitled Trusting God, you can listen to it here. Go to podcast messages, posts and select the one that is from 6-10-07. It is very encouraging, it is especially wonderful to hear John's voice. It seems so appropriate today, actually it is everyday.

Having done all...stand

I can hardly write as my tears flow, that is just being honest. Yesterday, after an MRI of the brain we discovered Chris has another lesion on his brain, this time in a different location. This news has been very hard to comprehend. With all that he has endured, all this family has endured it leaves us speechless. There really are no words to describe our discouragement. But this morning The Vine, a devotion I get, helped.

The size of the prize determines the severity of the fight. The enemy knows your vulnerabilities and he'll push you to your limits. When he does, remember: "Blessed is the man who endures… when he has been approved, he will receive the crown" (James 1:12 NKJV). "Approved" means victory qualifies you for greater things. "Endures" means your staying power is being tested. So, "having done all… stand" (Ephesians 6:13 NKJV).You say, "How long will this attack last?" The Prince of Darkness hindered Daniel's prayers for 21 days (Daniel 10:13). Goliath defied the armies of Israel for 40 days and nights (1 Samuel 17). Your enemy is relentless; you must be, too. When it comes to prayer, your persistence overcomes his resistance. "You have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise" (Hebrews 10:36 NKJV).

We will continue to persevere and having done all we will stand. They want to do whole brain radiation on Chris, I am not totally comfortable with that. Another option we discussed and will discuss further is to do the cyberknife on the spot. It appears to have been effective on the others. The reason for whole brain is to get any other microscopic stuff. We need God's wisdom in this. Chris is discouraged and a feel defeated I think. The journey has been long and so hard, with lately bad news at every turn. But we will stand and wait for the promises of God to come to pass, complete healing and restoration of Chris. We will continue to endure...we will not give up.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bethany Center and Worship

Yesterday members of our church, The Way Fellowship, helped serve dinner at the Homeless Center. This has become a ministry that many members of our church feel called to help at. The first dinner is served to just single people who are staying at the center and those in the community who need a meal, the second dinner is served to families who are staying at the center. Only women and children can stay at the center together. It was such a humbling experience. Before going Kristina, our worship leader and I, decided to bring our guitars and play some worship with them. We had no idea how much God would use that time to bless the people there. As we sat and playing ( I let someone else play my guitar) and sang those staying there began to gather around and sit enjoying worshiping our Lord. It was so wonderful and probably one of the most peaceful times I have had in a long time. When we prepared to leave, the ladies asked in earnest that we would come back more often, that they felt so refreshed. What a blessing to them, but especially to us.

It was also so interesting to hear the stories of how many of these people end up at the homeless shelter. They are families just like everyone else who through a series of circumstances find themselves needing extraordinary help. For many the circumstances were not anything they could have avoided. May we be like the Christians in Acts and give generously of ourselves to love and help those who are helpless.

On another note, as for Chris, there is no news right now. We are waiting to hear back from San Antonio about the other clinical trial we hope he qualifies for. There is no doubt, waiting is very hard, but I know we just need to be still and wait upon the Lord. Look to Him and know He has everything in His capable hands.

"I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth" Psalm 121:1-2

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Chris

Today is Chris's 20th birthday. What a blessing he has been to my life and if his father was here, he would have such pride in celebrating his youngest son's birthday. It was fun to have his friends and family friends come over to help celebrate his day. What an amazing thing when you put it into God's perspective, he had created and known Chris even before he was ever born. My prayer is that Chris will continue to live his life for the Lord and that life will be long and bring Him glory.


Love you so much, Mom

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Door might not be shut

Yesterday Chris went to meet with our wonderful Dr. Cartmell and gave him the bad news about the clinical trial both he and Chris had hoped to get into. Dr. Cartmell was not pleased and is going to appeal to the drug company to still allow Chris to do the treatment as a humanitarian needs patient (I think they call it something else but you get the idea). So please pray for favor from the company for this opening. In the mean time Chris may do some radiation to one of the lymph nodes in his sternum that is growning. He negotiated with the radiologist not to do any of the radiation next week, he has more important things to do. (Emily is home for Spring Break) .The nodes in his lungs are currently not growing. So it is kind of a mixed bag of good things and well other things. But the good thing is that God is in control, our trust is in Him and His goodness.

Tomorrow Chris will go with Emily's father to pick her up from Westmont, he is very excited for that and being able to spend time together over the next week. A trip to Palm Desert is hopefully in the plans also. It is also his 20th birthday on Monday, so another thing to celebrate.

Chris also talked with Oxy today and is hoping to begin working with them on the 23rd of March. This would be wonderful for Chris, he loves working there and it will help him keep busy doing things he is so good at.

Well thanks for all the prayers, I know they are moving mountains. May they move the mountain of the drug company to have favor for Chris to do their treatment.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Don't ride the roller coaster

As we have gone through the last week, it has been up and down, up and down, especially for me personally. Without John everything is so much harder, but God is still in control. We had prayed for clarity for treatment options. We felt the first one was the one, but apparently that was not God's plan. It is sometimes so hard, feeling like you are on the right track, but having the door closed as Chris said. But we must trust that our prayers are being answered, that the right plan is still to come and that not being able to do the one we hoped is not a loss.

John used to always say we can not ride the roller coaster, that we must stay focused on the Lord and that He is steadfast, our Rock. I have to admit I have failed over the last week, I hope to do better. Several times I have heard the words, "be still and know that I am God". Lord help me be still, especially in my mind.

Door Shuts from Chris's blog

Well, just got the call from the guys in San Antonio.

Looks like the Reolysin (virus) trial is out of the picture. Because of the previous brain tumor I had, I don't qualify for that trial.

I've been added the the waiting list for another trial (option two a few posts ago). This is a growth inhibitor study. Unfortunately, I won't be able to start treatment for about four weeks.

I'm not sure what God is doing here, but we're going to continue to have faith in Him and trust that He has a greater plan for all this, and somehow it's all going to work out for His good.

On the bright side, I'll be in town for Emily's spring break!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Prayer for favor

Sometimes things are so disappointing they are almost crushing. Chris had spent the last couple of days frantically getting scans, bloodwork etc... done to get everything into CTRC in San Antonio so that he could be approved to start the treatment on Monday. It was important to him to hopefully get it started on Monday because they he would be home when Emily was off for spring break. Also his birthday is on the 16th and he wanted to be home for that. Well after two whole days he completed all that was necessary, it usually takes a couple of weeks. But unfortunately this afternoon they called and said they needed the drug companies approval because of the brain surgery he had in January. HUGE disappointment.

Chris is very bummed, but I know he will get his good attitude back. It is just hard, everything is such an overwhelming challenge. So we ask for your prayers that the drug company for the treatment will give its approval, that we will have the favor of God. It is so hard when things appear to be in the hands of other people. But they really are in the hands of God and we will trust for his favor and provision.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What we learned in San Antonio

We had a successful trip. Before we went God had pointed out the scripture in Exodus when God tells the Israelites, "See I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared." Ex 23:20. God went before us, we had prayed that the right treatment options would be clear to us, that the plan would be His plan. We felt peace as we left. My friend Rille went with us, she was a HUGE blessing, helped keep me centered and prayed as we met and discussed what was being offered. She really filled the place where John would have been. These things are so much harder without him, but God has provided.

You can read Chris's blog to see what how the visit to CTRC went at Two Doors .

We thank everyone who has been praying for us. Please don't stop...those prayers are what sustain us through our Lord Jesus.

Monday, March 02, 2009

San Antonio

We leave for San Antonio today to consult with some doctors about treatment options for Chris. If you have not read his blog, you may not know that the surgery on his lungs revealed the cancer had indeed spread there and to some lymph nodes. Not what we had hoped, but our hope is not diminished for God's complete healing over Chris. We are expecting our good God to do amazing and marvelous things. So off we go, praying for great wisdom.

Chris describes the details on his blog so you can check them out there. http://www.kooseefoo.com/?q=node/158

blessings to all of you. Dawn

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Next step

Tomorrow Chris is going to have another surgery. I will let you ready his blog as to what that entails. http://kooseefoo.com/?q=node/154.

I must confess that the last couple of days have been very difficult, it seems the weight of all that has happened over the last 6 weeks is finally crashing upon me. But having said that, it has also made me search deep, to find the peace that only the Lord can give. Yesterday I spend some time praying in the sanctuary of our church (the sending church of our church plant). As I tried to keep focused I really wanted to hear John's voice, to have his comfort. That has made much of this even harder I think, not having him to walk with me, feeling alone. But I could hear him tell me to "Place it in Jesus hands, He will take care of it all". It was not a audible voice, just a voice in my spirit.

So tomorrow we walk it to this surgery, placing it in Jesus hands, that's where it was anyway, and trusting Him to bring us, Chris through. With Jesus all things are possible, He is mighty to save.

2 Chronicles 20:7-9

7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 'If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.'

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Joy mixed with sadness

Yesterday was the memorial honoring John's life. It was a day of joy truly mixed with great sadness. Two totally opposing emotions, yet somehow it was exactly what our family felt. The service was truly a reflection of what John wanted and who he was. We began with some wonderful worship, which John loved doing, although for many maybe long, I know John was totally enjoying it from his heavenly vantage point. John's dad shared and it really touched our hearts. He of course loved his son dearly, but what I think blessed him was the full sanctuary of people who also admired and loved his son. That really spoke to his heart.

Our pastor from The Way shared a message and personally I thought it could not have been better. John's heart and desire was that his life would point to his Lord, and the message was all about why John was who he was, because of his great faith. Several people came up to share what John had ment to them, it gave us joy to hear how John was the same person at work as he was at home. Such kind things were said about him, it just made us prouder of the man he was here on earth. We ended with a couple of John's favorite worship songs, truly an anointed time.

When I looked up, three hours had passed. I must say I was shocked. The time had just flown by. Many people stayed and enjoyed a wonderful meal. Although for me the day ended one phase of my life and it was very sad, it was also a day of joy as I saw how much people admired, respected and love John. How his life had made an impact on the lives of others. Isn't that what we all hope - that our life has meaning. John, I know would have been totally surprised, he often struggled with not being able to openly share his faith, especially in a leadership role at work, but he did not have to, his life was a reflection of the God he had surrendered his life to.

If you came and I did not get a chance to meet and say thank you for coming, please know our family was so blessed by each and every person and we thank you for being a part of honoring John.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Until I see you again

Yesterday our family said "goodbye" to John. He passed from this life to an eternal one with our Lord. To me John was truly my best friend, we were a "team" in every sense of the word. I will love him all my life, and already feel as if part of me is missing. John was a wonderful father, he loved his children passionately, always putting his family first. John was a friend to many.

The pain of losing him is only made easier knowing he is with our Lord and I am sure having a wonderful time, whole again, singing praises, jumping and leaping for joy at being in the presence of our almighty God. John truly loved the Lord, and I know in the last days was anxious to be with him.

We will be having service to honor John's life, it will be on Tuesday, February 3, at 2:00 and The Oaks Community Church, 10200 Campus Park Drive, Bakersfield, CA

Thursday, January 15, 2009

He's doing great

Chris that is, is doing extremely well. He will probably be able to come home tomorrow. Which is a huge blessing. What is next, well we do not know yet. We are still waiting for the final results of what exactly we are dealing with. Then a course of treatment will be planned. But for now we are just living each day, knowing it is a gift.

Chris's Emily came in last night and that was just the right thing to give him encouragement. You could just see the joy he felt having her here to be with him. As they walk this path together I know that they are being refined and made stronger. God is going to use all of this for a purpose greater then they can imagine. I feel sadness about all that my son has endured - but look forward to how God is going to use it in his life. God turns all things to good for those who love Him and Chris definitely loves the Lord.

On another note, while waiting during the surgery in the waiting room, there were several of Chris's friends as well as some of John and mines. As we waited one of my friends, Rille, started us praying every 1/2 hour. After an hour one of the girls, Kristina, felt led to worship God in song,(she's a worship leader :-)) so she sang a beautiful song. This began a time of worship right there in the waiting room. It was so beautiful, our group singing and worshiping God. Today one of the directors of the hospital commented that people through out the hospital were talking about the worship they heard. Wow - God you are so worthy of our worship

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Out of surgery

Chris came through the surgery very well. They removed the tumor and the doctor felt good about removing all of it. The unfortunate news is that it initially appears to be the same type of cancer John has. This is not the news we wanted, but God is in control, He is on the throne and Chris's life is in His hands. All Chris's days are numbered by the Lord.

The good news is that we know a lot more about this type of tumor and can approach the treatment I feel more informed about various options. With John I felt we just followed the Kiaser standard treatment and I now know there are other options to go along side that. Chris's age is also a big plus. But the biggest plus is our faith and knowledge that we serve a good God and we will contend for complete healing and victory.


I write this at 4am getting ready to go to the hospital where Chris is going to have brain surgery. Shock does not even begin to encompass the emotions that goes through me. Chris had been having headaches, they got progressively worse and while at school at Cal Poly after talking with his doctor, he went to the ER there where they ran a brain scan. They showed he has 3 lesions on his brain. He was transported back to Bakersfield via Ambulance and is at San Joaquin Hospital.

The plan to is remove one of the lesions which is closest to the skull and find out what it is. From there a course of action will be taken. Chris is in good spirits, he had a large group of friend with him all day yesterday keeping him laughing and preoccupied. It was a huge blessing in the midst of truly an unbelievable situation. Chris is suppose to go into surgery at 7am this morning.

I place this all in the hands of my Father in Heaven, knowing He is good and that He will use all these trials and storms in Chris's and our lives to be turned to good. Meanwhile thanks for your prayers and love of our family.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Chris and Emily

Mihaela took this picture of Chris and Emily on a trip up to the snow.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

We will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

I get a daily devotional from "The vine" and this was part of todays. It encouraged me, I hope it encourages all of you who are facing trials of many kinds.

"We will reap a harvest if we do not give up" Galatians 6:9

Perseverance turns adversity into advancement. Paul writes, "Everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News" (Philp 1:12 NLT). Paul didn't give up - he rose up! How did he do it? He found the benefit to him personally that comes from every trial. One Christian author writes: "Today we're obsessed with speed, but God is more interested in strength and stability. We want the quick fix, the shortcut, the on-the-spot solution. We want a sermon, a seminar or an experience that will instantly resolve all problems, remove all temptation and release us from all growing pains. But real maturity is never the result of a single experience, no matter how powerful or moving." Growth is gradual. The Bible says, "Our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters… and we become like Him"

Lord please help us not give up...