My family has always believed it is important to celebrate milestones, anniversaries and to remember their significance. I am commemorating my tenth anniversary of my cancer diagnosis of June 2010. It was days before Peter and I left on a speaking tour of Europe. I remember being grateful for that excursion as it gave me time to pray, plan and put life into perspective.
No one wants to hear the dreaded “C” diagnosis. The stigma attached to this feared disease is significant and it sends shock waves throughout most families. But God is never taken by surprise. He numbered the days I would spend on this earth while I was being formed in my mother’s womb. It is up to me to make each day count.
My cancer journey has certainly given me a different perspective on life. It has taught me to appreciate family and to cherish each day we get to spend together. In our case, there are nine souls living on our property here in Cape Town. Peter and I, plus three of our children live in the main house and Andrea and Hunter plus their two sons live in a 2-bedroom cottage on our property. This in itself, is already significant, in that most of our peers have no family in South Africa anymore. Life here, with its incredible unpredictability, means that most young adults are searching for greener pastures in other corners of the globe. So, the bulk of our friends have no adult children, or grandchildren, near them. I have ALL of them right here! God knew what I needed and that I longed for the blessing of children and grandchildren all around me.
My cancer experience has included three stages. The first was the original diagnosis, which involved radical surgery and chemotherapy. Five years later, there was a relapse as my Oncologist found 6 positive glands. Months of radiation and chemotherapy ensued. Another four years later and metastasis to the bones was discovered. ‘Bone mets’ is generally considered a better diagnosis than organ involvement. I am grateful for this, as it keeps me keeping on and staying positive about the fact that my visit here on this earth is not yet over.
I enjoy sport very much and have had to make some adjustments as to what I can participate in. Keeping physically fit is part of the routine that keeps me up-beat and able to be strong enough to cope with daily life in a busy household.
Sadly, both of my dear parents have gone to be with the Lord now and I miss them more than words can convey. I still keep thinking ‘I need to tell Mom about this or that’ on a regular basis. My oldest sister Debbie has been my strength and support as we waded through all of the legalities and practical implications of losing our folks. Our family is spread across three countries and three continents. But it is due to Mom and Dad’s Missionary legacy that I followed in their footsteps and joined Frontline Fellowship here in Cape Town, 32 years ago. Now, our oldest daughter and her husband, Hunter have committed to life in Missions as well. I am beyond thrilled that I get to watch them as they aspire to serve God with their whole being on a full-time basis. These days this is a far greater challenge, in that deputation work is much more laborious and the economy is so much weaker.
So, in the last few months, I have celebrated 10 years since the kidney transplant for our son Christopher; 32 years since moving to Cape Town and now 10 years since my original diagnosis of Cancer.
God is a God of order and not chaos. The fact that an illness can send you into a tail spin does not mean He is not in control anymore. It never means He overlooked that aspect of my life. He cares about each minute detail and I endeavour to commit to serving Him in obedience, in spite of my frailty.
The advent of the Covid lockdown has propelled our ministry in to much more online work. Peter is inundated with radio interviews and has had a tremendous opportunity to point out to a worldwide audience the revolutionary strategy that the enemy is employing in this situation. For Peter, who has lived through several revolutions and wars it is quite crystal clear. The needed response too is clear. I was able to join him for a Church planting project up our West Coast in a very cold and wet rural environment.
Thank You friends, for your friendship, support, trust, love and encouragement you all provide as we navigate turbulent times here in South Africa. We are grateful for the work the Lord has entrusted us with. We are indebted to Him for allowing us the privilege of service in this manner. We trust Him for our support and for the provision of so many needed and essential projects. All in His perfect timing.
Take a look at www.FrontlineMissionSA.org for some of the things Peter has been up to lately. You can also listen to some From the Frontline radio podcasts that Calvin, Andrea, Hunter and I have helped with.
With love and a grateful heart, here is to at least Ten more years…….
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa