Thursday, April 30, 2009

An overall update...

Dear friends,
It is almost the end of April! Time is moving faster and faster it seems. I remember watching the clock in 4th grade and it taking FOREVER for the hand to move five minutes to the 12 and the bell for recess. Now the hours of the days fly by much too fast.

Since Easter I got done coordinating an outreach day for our church. We had 15 teams fan out all over the city of Spokane to spend Sat. morning painting, gardening, clearing trails at a camp, mending fences, washing windows, organizing ministries all over the city. It was a fun day. And now I can move on to my next project. Probably sending out a letter.

I had my last insurance paid Physical Therapy session yesterday for my knee. It still has a way to go, so I am trying to get it back to par. Marc, my PT, told me I only have a few month window to regain movement and strength in my knee, so I have been working hard on my exercises. My surgeon and PT said my quad isn't strong enough yet, so they suggested biking at a gym. I researched and found the least expensive one. Tomorrow I will meet with a trainer and learn the machines my PT wants me to use. I go almost every day to at least bike and I think it is helping.

My recent medical discovery was that my PT thinks scar tissue is pulling on the right side of my diaphragm and that is what causes the pain I get on my right side by my ribs. So the bad news is that scar tissue is causing that intermittent pain, and the good news is that cancer isn't causing it! That is always a plus for me. This scar tissue could be from my tram flap breast reconstruction. I see my breast cancer surgeon tomorrow for a check up and will ask her about it. She will be checking my ever growing scar tissue to make sure she thinks I am still clear of cancer. She is a very wonderful doctor. I have a scan on Friday for her too.

I am on a very strict diet to kill an overgrowth of candida in my intestines. I am also not eating gluten for a few months. There has to be a lot of creativity to figure out what I can eat. Greg is doing this with me since it is just the 2 of us.

I got my shots for Africa and am still alive. I went to Seattle for a Kidzana sponsored consultation with 18 others regarding the job of reaching all of the world's children with the Gospel. These consultations will be held internationally as well to get input from the 2/3's world. It was amazing to be there with this key set of leaders.

Jenni turned 20 on the 29th. Allison turns 23 on May 2nd. I am feeling very old and achy these days. They said on the news tonight, that they think someone in town has the swine flu. I hope all of you will be careful, and I will try to be also.

I will let you know how my visit with Dr. Moline goes tomorrow. Blessings- Nancy Fritz

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter and India!

Dear friends,

It is Easter and I wondered how the weather was in Denver where our church traditionally has an outdoor Easter service.

Thursday night's service included communion and foot washing, and on Friday night Greg and I watched The Passion of the Christ together here at home. Remembering the price He paid for us to have the ability to be in relationship with Him for eternity, is a healthy thing.

It was cloudy here today and rained in the afternoon, so no croquet this Easter. Fellowship at church this morning was excellent. The music, the message, the celebration of the resurrection of Christ... what a privilege to worship freely in this country! We had a wonderful dinner with our small group (16 of us) and watched the little ones hunt for eggs.

I left my phone at their house which I discovered after getting home. I went back to get it just in time to receive a call from the president of Partners International's wife, Anita. She wanted to know if I could come over (they live close by) and explain Kidzana to two Indian leaders who are staying with them. One is someone I have wanted to meet for a long time, Moses Swamidas, and with him is Rev. Promoth. Moses has connections to our church in Denver, and is also one of PI's partner ministries. He is a leader in the Dalit Freedom Network based in Denver who I have worked with on curriculum as well. Rev. Promoth was married a year ago and they are expecting their 1st child in 5 months. He also told us that he hosted 4000 people at his wedding! That is a serious wedding!

Anita also took the Kidzana training like I did, and she and I are praying for an opportunities to help provide this training to our partner ministries in the 10/40 Window. These men are working primarily with the Dalits of India and shared about the 200 churches planted and the 3000 children in their Sunday Schools and Christian Bible Clubs. They have a desire to do an excellent job discipling these children while they are young so they will grow up with Christ and have a firm foundation in His love and the truth of the Gospel before fatalistic Hindu thinking has taken hold in their hearts.

Well, by the time our discussion was done, we were trying to figure out the best time for Anita and me to go there to train about 200 of their children's leaders. We have been formally invited. We would plan to teach those who would in turn teach other leaders of children. And then they would train others and the training would spread among the 200 churches and other church plants Lord willing, keep spreading and more and more children would get excellent Christian education and discipleship. So maybe in January Anita and I will go. Feel free to pray with us!

I am currently working on my preparation for Ghana this summer. I need to raise some of the money to cover my 2 week trip. The plan is for us to go to a city in northern Ghana and do a Kidzana training of leaders from all over the north. They will come in for the training for 2 days. After that we will go to 3 different villages and spend 2 days in each, do a children's program Kidzana-style so the workers there can use what they have learned with our assistance. We will also focus on women and men's ministry looking for long-term connections for our church. We are adopting this region and hope to find practical things we can do to help them with their ministry.

So, again, my heart is on the other side of the world dreaming of millions of children who will get to learn about Christ's love and be discipled and established in a solid walk with Christ. It would be a privilege to be involved with this. Let's see what God does! I have made some interesting medical discoveries this week that make a lot of sense in light of the medical issues I have been facing. I will tell you about that next time.

I hope you had an excellent Easter with those you love, and got to reconnect with the One who loves you most! Blessings- Nancy Fritz 509-990-8465

Friday, April 03, 2009

My 10th anniversary since breast cancer!

Dear friends,

A year. 365 days strung together. Each has a name, a tag that makes it special. Some of them become very memorable- your birthday, your wedding day, the day each of your children were born, and the days that you receive news that shakes your world. Sometimes great news, and sometimes hard news.

When April 1st rolls around every year, it brings with it an avalanche of memories for me. That was the day I began my cancer journey 10 years ago. April 1st, 1999, I went to the doctor so he could tell me the lump I was feeling was really nothing to worry about. A few days later I received a call from him. I was mystified as to why in the world he would be calling me. My mind started catching on when he mentioned my mammogram results, a 2 cm cancer tumor, and telling me to go see a surgeon in the next few days. I was in shock. I was afraid of the unknown and mostly wondered what this meant for our family. I still had our kids to raise. They needed me and Greg needed me. I didn’t have time for cancer!

Well, here I am still alive 10 years later. I have learned a lot- not just about cancer. I have learned that God is deeply in love with me. -That if I have to go through hard stuff, He is right there with me in the center of it. He is real and trustworthy. I have put my life into His hands and given Him the freedom to be the author of my days. He will decide how many I will have and how the journey will progress as I live them. He has done miracles for me.

I should have known better, but during the 7th year a biopsy of what seemed to be nothing, again resulted in phone calls from doctors. By then I had learned to clue in more quickly when the doctor calls me. That time it was chemo and radiation. Another 8-9 months of dealing with all that came along with that diagnosis. I didn’t have time for cancer that time either.

I haven’t physically bounced back from that year of treatment as well as I did the first time. I have less strength and other medical problems to deal with, but I can still enjoy the ministry the Lord is giving me to teach missions to kids. Greg and I have just entered the empty nest years (or at least months, until Jenni and Jesse come home for the summer). I am looking forward to a mission trip to Ghana this summer with our church to help train children’s workers in the north part of the country in how to do effective ministry and discipleship with the kids in their spheres of influence. It’s like shooting the Missions and Christian Ed balls into the corner pocket and winning the game. It is a God thing!

So after 10 years of living with death as a possibility from cancer, I have tried to live my life so that I make my days count. I am grateful for them and don’t take them for granted. That should be true if all of us, but there is some extra dose of reality about it when the questions of whether it will come back and when, etc., frequently lurk in the back of your mind. I for one, want to say “YAHOO! and Hallelujah!” to the Lord for these10 amazing years. I have friends who are already with the Lord, perfectly healed from cancer. For now I have things to contribute this side of heaven and I pray I will be faithful to do them well. In my weakness His strength is made perfect. What an amazing God. If you don’t know Him, it is probably hard to understand my perception of Him and think of Him as loving. I have learned not to ask, “Why me?” but rather, “Why not me?” David Jerimiah’s book, A Bend In the Road put into words what my heart has learned over the years. He also has had cancer a few times.

Well, I need to get some sleep, but wanted to let you celebrate with Greg and me on this special 10 year anniversary!
Blessings- Nancy Fritz 509-990-8465