Go Home! part 2
A missionary returns home to Tanzania after successful cancer treatments in the United States.
By the time we met with a specialist in the States, the growth in Elisha’s abdomen had enlarged and become painful. A blood test revealed that the tumor marker AFP* was extremely high. “I am pretty sure this is cancer. You need to remove that mass as soon as you can,” the specialist told us. “I have a free spot for tomorrow morning. We should go ahead with surgery.”
When we requested some time to think about it, the doctor said, “All right, I’ll step out for one minute and you can think and decide.”
We prayed a short prayer for guidance and decided to go ahead with the surgery.
On the way home, I tried several times to call Eden Valley Institute, a lifestyle center in Colorado. Finally a therapist there called us back and assured us that Eden Valley had dealt with several cases of cancer, with a good success rate. “We cannot guarantee success for every person who comes to us, but we have dealt with cases like yours before. We have a cancer session starting in four days.”
Now we were confused. What should we do: a lifestyle session or surgery? Which would be more effective in Elisha’s case? “Lord, please help us with Your wisdom and guidance,” we prayed. At length we canceled the surgery and headed for Colorado.
The program began with a 2-day juice fast. Elisha went through fever baths, oxygen therapy, exercise and a special diet. Yet, at the end of the two weeks, the growth had gotten bigger. The idea was hard to accept, but with much prayer we went back for surgery, thankful that his immune system would now be built up and ready to heal from this invasive measure.
The day of the operation, the surgeon removed a 3-inch tumor from Elisha’s body. A CT scan performed a few days later detected no cancer cells in the lymph nodes. Praise the Lord!
The final diagnostic, the AFP blood test, brought good news and bad: While greatly reduced, the number still came in too high. “You probably have some microscopic cancer cells that could not be seen with the CT scan,” the physician warned. “In your case, chemotherapy is advised.” We wanted to give the natural treatments more time to work, so we asked the doctor if we could repeat the test in a few weeks. He agreed.
We continued with the diet prescribed at Eden Valley as well as water therapy, exercise, rest and lots of prayer. At the next blood test, the AFP level had dropped quite nicely, although not quite back within the normal range. We counseled with a few doctor friends and they advised us to continue what we had been doing, seeing that the Lord had been blessing our treatments.
With Elisha back on the road to health, another burden pressed on our hearts: our mission home in Tanzania. We had been absent for three months and really wanted to go back. After prayer, we decided to do one last blood test and then go, trusting the Lord to help us be wise and careful with our lifestyle in Tanzania. That final blood test showed another decrease in the AFP. We’re so thankful!
I noticed something throughout the ordeal: Elisha never lost his composure. One day I asked him whether he had been afraid when he received the diagnosis. He thought for a little moment and answered, “No, I was never afraid. I know the Lord is in control of my life and He knows what is best for me. Because He loves me and cares for me, I do not have to be afraid.”
That night I did not sleep. I kept thinking of the times when God had given me trials for my spiritual growth. I had worried, I had become anxious, I had blamed God and asked “why” and “why me.” I had taken myself out of God’s protective hands and ended up in the darkness of doubt, unbelief and dismay. In His goodness, the Lord had always managed to bring me back, but because I had not learned my lesson, the trial had to be repeated in some cases. Oh how I pray that I will learn to trust the perfect will of God so that when greater tempests come, I will be prepared to trust all the way through!
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3, 4.
* A fetal blood protein that is elevated when some cancers are present.
Nadege Vande Voort
Nadege and her husband
Elisha operate Eden Valley Foster Care Mission, a trade school for underprivileged youth in Tanzania. firstname.lastname@example.org; Box 17, Mafinga, Iringa, Tanzania.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Pray for Elisha’s health, and ask God to keep him and his wife in perfect peace as they continue their mission in Tanzania. They appreciate your prayers!
Give to Elisha and Nadege’s mission via Outpost Centers International, 5132 Layton Lane, Apison, TN 37302 or www.outpostcenters.org/donate. Please mark your gift “Eden Valley Foster Care Mission.”