Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Almost Christmas

Dear friends,
     It is getting close to Christmas and the family is making their way home. Jesse got home last Friday. On Saturday Charlie came. Charlie is the dog of Jesse's friend. He is a wonderful and well behaved dog. His owners have gone to visit their dad/husband who is stationed on the western side of the state and is not allowed to leave. Charlie is here for 10 days and our kids are calling him a Christmas miracle for our family.
     Allison bega her journey to Spokane from Ft. Lauderdale on Thurday with Tyler. Tyler is her boyfriend. They drove to Durango, CO, stayed for a while with friends there, and then drove here. They arrived about 11 p.m. on Sunday night. Smooth sailing the whole way. We are enjoying getting to know Tyler- and he is getting to know us!
     Allison and Tyler went to Seattle yesterday and stayed with his extended family. She had a job interview today at 2:00 with a high end nanny placement company, and she went to meet a family for a possible nanny job right after that. I haven't heard yet how that went. They will come back here tomorrow.
     Laura got home on Tuesday late afternoon after 25 hours of travel from Bradford, England. She traveled from Bradford through Amsterdam, to Detroit, to Batimore, to Salt Lake City, to Spokane. And she arrived only one hour late. Airports closed and opened all around her arrivals and departures, but her flights were on time. She is getting over jet lag, but has managed to stay awake until 8 tonight. She and I did errands today and noticed something wrong with the car. We were able to get to the garage to get it fixed and caght a ride home with Greg. I leave in a few minutes to get Jenni.
     So with Charlie, Tyler and Adjua added to our 6, we have a happy 9 for Christmas. My brother Paul, Madelyn, Alex and Kim are coming Monday for a few days too. They leave on Thursday and Thursday night Heng Hua, our friend from Taiwan who is living in San Jose, will come for a few days. Laura leaves on the 31st from here to Baltimore, and then from Baltimore to Bethlehem, Israel for the 1st half of the year.

More later... Jesse and I are off to the airport for Jenni. Sorry for the gap between postings. Angel tree and other responsibilities were running rampant across my path! Blessings- Nancy

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My trip to East Asia

Dear friends,
I will share with you about my trip, and how your prayers have been answered. It was an amazing trip in every way. So I will pick up where I left off at the San Francisco Airport...

My flight to my destination was fine. I got up and walked a lot during the flight to avoid blood clots in my legs. When I got there I was met by M. who took me to my hotel to drop off my luggage, and then to eat an early dinner. She was delightful. That week was a week long national holiday similar to the 4th of July. She was amazed at the few people walking on the street. Almost everyone gets the week off and goes out to the country. It turns out that the people from this city were traveling to another location and those coming here hadn't arrived yet.
I started to learn about ordering Chinese food and didn't try a thing I didn't like. She kept me awake until 7 and I went to bed early so I could get over jet lag.

Kimberle arrived in the early morning and was up for b-fast at 7:30 looking like a model! We ate and then went out exploring. We walked to the subway and had an adventure. A girl from England named Laura helped us learn how to get tickets, etc.
At 2:00 we met with our 2 training hosts. We shared our schedule and materials and made specific plans for starting times and extra topics to integrate. We all clicked well and then we had a time of prayer. We had this meeting in our hotel room so that we would not be overheard.

We were free until 4:00 and were asked not to go to church that morning. We didn't want to get on anyone's radar. So we took a taxi and went to the Summer Palace. It was at 10:00 that morning that we figured out that everyone heading to our city for holiday had arrived- and they were ALL at the Summer Palace! We enjoyed seeing the beautiful buildings, but the people-watching was even better. So many pampered children! And we didn't see even one pregnant woman! M. told us later that they are extremely careful when pregnant and don't go out much. Doing some sight seeing was a good idea so we could be noticed doing it.
We went to a restaurant and met our students. We ate in a large back room with the doors closed. The 25 of them came from 6 areas of the country, some having traveled for 14 hours by train, and almost half of them were from our city. This was a meal to remember! Meat balls, pepper beef, egg plant, 9 other amazing dishes and then my favorite, sesame balls! They were soooo good! And all of it with chop sticks! The lazy susan went round and round slowly while we ate off the various plates. They each introduced themselves and Kimberle and I did the same. They shared what they hoped to get out of the training and I took notes. We went back to our hotel and reviewed our plan for the next morning.

Our training was being held at a small hotel that was mostly filled with the students from our training. Kimberle and I were staying at a different hotel where foreigners were allowed. There are only some hotels that are designated that way. We learned that we would probably be fine if we stayed in the back of the hotel and didn't draw attention to ourselves. We were in the training room or in one of the hotel bedrooms all day for those 3 days. If someone had complained about us, the manager would have had to call the police. So as long as we kept a low profile, we were OK. We had a plan of which page to open to if anyone came in to question us. There were just educational principals and nothing about the Bible on that page.

This is where the rubber met the road. Kimberle and I took turns presenting. We covered topics like "essentials for effective ministry to children," "the ministry of a teacher", "What children need in order to learn best", "motivating children to learn" and "techniques of teaching a memory verse". We had them out of their seats frequently as we taught them and they then practiced what they had learned. They played Bible memory verse games and got the idea that we have to teach the LIVING Word of God, not kill it by teaching it badly or in a boring way. We left them to present Bible memory verses to each other using the techniques we taught them. We heard the next morning that they laughed until they cried, it was all so funny and fun. They did a great job.
Kimberle and I went back to our hotel and worked together until 10:00p.m. getting ready for the next day. Then I was up until midnight going over lessons I had never taught before. I was excited at what the Lord showed me in those hours of preparation. I had prepared at home, but had a much better understanding once I had watched Kimberle teach, of how to make my lessons better.

Kimberle and I taxied over to the other hotel and were ready to start at 8:00. I taught about children in the Bible and what God says about them. At the end of that we were looking at each other humbled and with tears in our eyes, some crying, as the impact of the Word soaked in. It was a powerful Holy Spirit moment. Then we prayed- our translator repeated it for us. What touching prayers asking for forgiveness for how we haven't loved the children who are difficult, but have seen them as problems. They asked the Lord to see them as He sees them, as valuable and precious in His sight. I know the Lord worked in my heart, too.
Kimberle and I did a demo Bible lesson for them, and then described the parts of an effective Bible lesson. Then we had THEM write their own! They worked in the groups from their same ministries and got very creative. Each group came up and presented and again it was translated for us. They did an amazing job! I taught my lesson on using object lessons and felt like I hadn't done the best job because it seemed a little confusing in places. Then we sent them off to make one up in 5 minutes and they came back with the best ones ever! Kimberle pointed out to me that the goal is them learning, not us presenting perfectly. And by the ones they demonstrated, they absolutely got the concept. So again, to God be the glory!
We also had them get together in their groups and do a community assessment. This is a picture of the life of children touched by their ministries. These were excellent! They shared them with each other and I took pictures of them. They showed the things that are tempting or harmful in their community and what they were doing to provide help for the children. Kimberle and I went back again to our hotel to prepare for the next and last day. We were told to bring our luggage with us in the morning since it was time to switch hotels. The PI director there didn't want us staying too long in one spot.

Kimberle talked about communication including some very convincing drama by yours truly, Kimberle and some of our students... They got a session on networking that Kimberle had never taught before. They have already been working on their network since the training! We taught them how to involve children practically in the Bible story (again with some fun drama), and how to do Gospel presentations with children- maybe a dozen ways.
One of my favorites was Kimberle having one of our students who is an artist draw a picture on a while paper bag. It was beautiful. Then she filled it with candy and we went in the courtyard and had a pinata. Blindfold, candy and everything. They were allowed to hit it 3 times each. After it was done and the candy flew, they picked up the candy and immediately began to offer it to each other! Kimberle held up the torn bag that had been so perfect, and compared it to Christ who was beaten for our sins. Wow. It was a powerful way to share the Gospel.
Then Kimberle talked about counseling a child for salvation and I taught on discipleship- another new topic for me. I had stayed up late once again the night before fine tuning my lesson. Kimberle said I did an excellent job- the best she has ever seen, and she has done these trainings overseas over 30 times! So there is another example of God coming through BIG TIME! Then we blitzed them with many classroom activities and drama ideas for getting kids involved in the lesson. We gave them a one year lesson guide and ended with testimonies.
The entire 3 days we had been giving them objects to place in a plastic bag to remind them of the principals we were teaching them. Glow in the dark stars to remind them that the Lord will shine His light through them to their students, a cotton ball to remind them that God even looks for the one lost sheep, and MANY others ended up in their zip lock bag, which itself also represented ministry to a child.
Kimberle lit a re-lightable candle for the testimony time and used it to communicate that even when we feel burned out, the Holy Spirit is there to re-light the flame of passion for teaching kids well. They gasped! They had never seen such a thing! We laughed later because the package said, "Made in China."
Their testimonies were so encouraging. Over and over again, they said they learned that God's love for children is the thing that needs to underlie their teaching. They loved using what they learned right away, so they would know how to do it when they got home. They were excited to know how to write their own Bible Lesson curriculum and want to share what they come up with with each other. Their questions were all answered. They were amazed the Kimberle and I worked together so well since we had never worked together before.
The PI director was outside the room listening to the testimonies at the end. K. and I sat and had translation for that part. What a privilege to be there and to see the Lord move in such a huge way! There is more material to teach them, but we will have to wait and see what they do with what they have learned. So far we have heard that they ARE using it and have been teaching others- and networking. Yahoo! I tentatively asked Kimberle if she would ever consider doing this with me again and she said, "In a nano!" (Nano-second) I almost cried, that made me so happy! Maybe we will get to go again and do phase 2 with these folks and do phase 1 in a different region of the country. Kimberle and I are both game!
So this was the teachng part of my trip. Wednesday night Greg arrived back in the city from Indonesia and we moved to the hotel with the round beds. I will write about that next time. I am currently unable to put pictures on this blog, but I have posted some on facebook that are accessable by anyone. I will post the address as soon as I can put my finger on it. I will be adding more pictures to it anyway.
Blessings- Nancy Fritz

Thursday, September 30, 2010

On my way!

I am sitting in San Francisco Airport waiting for my flight to the other side of the world. I am tired! Very tired. My lessons are ready, our pet fish and Adjua are staying with friends while we are gone.I think I will take a nap!
God Bess,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The world here and going there!

Dear friends,

Full Guest Rooms...
It has been over a month since I have written. So very much has happened! We finished the new guest room where Jesse used to be and so far 2 missionaries from Ch!na, Jesse, Allison's friend Tyler, and Steve J. from Partners have all stayed up there. I am resetting the two X-tra long Twins into a King size bed for Rene and Faustine from Senegal (Jesse's African parents from last year) who will be up there later in the week. Downstairs the guest room has had several occupants as well...Jenni came home from CA for 5 days before returning to school for her sr. year. Then Allison and her friend Dominique stayed there and this week Susie from Partners was in there. Next comes Pastor Matt from the Gambia, and then Donna and Karen from CO.

Pastor Matt will be traveling and speaking around the US, but is starting here. It is his first time in the US and we get to host him! I am very excited. We just might have to take him to Cabella's to see a moose and to Coeur d'Alene on Sunday after church. He will be speaking at an event here in Spokane on Sept 30th, but Greg and I will be in Ch_ _ a by then and will miss that. He is one of the favorite partners of everyone who meets him. He was a Muslim and became a Christian. He has a very effective ministry of sharing Christ with Muslims in the Gambia. Jesse said Pastor Matt is one of the most amazing people he has ever met. He has huge respect for him. Jesse worked with him last year while on his West Africa experience for 5 1/2 months.

After he leaves, Donna and Karen are arriving to stay in the bonus room and Faustene who is here to learn English for a month will move downstairs to Pastor Matt's room. I get to have her for 1 1/2 weeks and hope to bless her and help her practice her English. She will move to another place in town when I leave for Ch_ _ a on Sept. 30th.

Mission ConneXion Inland Northwest NEXT WEEK!
We have been planning this conference for over 2 years. 75 workshops, 15 tracks, special music and plenary sessions, plenary speakers, fantastic workshop presenters, a missions bookstore, and attendees- hopefully a LOT of them! Tonight our steering committee will be stuffing 2500 folders for those who come. Since the conference is free, we have no pre-registration and have no idea how many will show up. We have done every kind of promotion and publicity we can think of and now we just have to see what God does and let Him bring those He wants to be there. We would love for you to join us in prayer for this conference to help Spokane to become more a part of the Great Commission both here in this region and to the ends of the earth.

I will be guiding a 3 hour pre-conference intensive for Children's Workers. My hope is to have many children's directors come together and establish an unofficial fellowship association. We would like to create a way for us to share ideas and resources between ourselves. Again, if no one shows up, this will not work very well. Please pray for folks to come. I also am teaching one workshop and am overseeing the Teaching Missions to Children track. I planned 6 other tracks also and have a few more details to work out on a few more workshops. Please pray for the details to come together. The intensive begins at 1:00, and the conference begins at 5:30 on Friday the 24th and ends at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday the 25th. Greg leaves for Ch_ _a on the 25th early in the morning. Then I leave for East Asia on the 30th early in the morning.

Three of My Kids Were Home
We totally enjoyed our time with Jenni before she left for her last year at Grove City. She learned a great deal and received great feedback from her summer internship and hopes to find a job during this school year. She could see herself going back to CA if God opens the door. She has a ready made family at the church she became part of this summer. She will be picking up Laura's car soon to use while Laura is overseas. (More on her a little further on.)

The next weekend, Labor Day, Jesse came home for 2 1/2 days. We had such a nice time visiting with him. He saw friends, ate good food, went to church and visited with us quite a bit. It seemed like enough time even though it was short. He doesn't know yet, but will probably be recycled on his last cycle of training- have to redo the last month. The instructors are civilian interrogators and are being recruited to go to Afghnstn to actually do their job there instead of training new soldiers in this skill. The idea is that doing this may end the war there more quickly. 120 of these trainers were layed off in the last 2 months and Jesse's instructor knows he will be layed off soon. He decided to take his vacation time while he still could. Soooo...he has been missing from the classroom more days than not during Jesse's month of training. He has had to teach himself mostly without the benefit of input from an instructor. Technically he didn't pass, but knows what he was supposed to learn. The last test will show if he actually did learn the information. They may decide he could go on, but he doesn't know yet. He will probably know soon. If he gets recycled he will finish in AZ in mid-November. If they pass him, he goes to Monterrey, CA at the end of Sept. to begin his Arabic training. We would appreciate prayers for him. People die at this AZ base too sometimes. One of his friends was stung 6 times by a swarm of killer bees and that almost killed him since he already had another health issue happening. And it is HOT there and they are still using live ammo for training and accidents happen. Thanks!

So, in the meantime let's switch to Allison in FL. She is nannying and just moved in to live with her best friend's family. Allison and Dominique decided to visit a friend, Tyler, in Seattle Labor Day weekend. They ended up coming to Spokane after a concert at The Gorge. They arrived late and surprised Jesse. They slept and we all had a big breakfast. Allison's friend from FL, Derrick, is attending Moody Bible Institute here in town, and he also came for breakfast. We visited until noon and then they returned to Seattle. So nice to be with all of them for even just a little while.

To the Regions Beyond...
Greg is scheduled to leave for East Asia on Sept. 25th and will be attending Partners leadership meetings there. He will then go to other locations in SE Asia for several days and when he gets back to Be!j_ing, I will be just finishing up with a Children's Ministry training. He and I will visit several Partners Intl. ministry partners in that region of that country. We come home on Oct. 13th.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to do some training with our brothers and sisters in that area. There will be about 40 of them. The church is started, but the work with children is now gearing up and there is a desire to make it better. They have tweeked a curriculum they were given by someone 4 times and don't know how to adjust it again. We will teach them how to develop their own curriculum. Story telling, verse memory, discipleship, object lessons, etc... We will have 4 days together. The "we" is another more experienced trainer and me. I look forward to learning from her. She has literally done this all over the world. Please pray that we would be excellent listeners and effective teachers of teachers. This training can freely be used and passed on to others, so it is strategic. Pray that we can connect effectively with each participant and for them to connect with each other. We have already sent the parts of the training that have previously been translated into their language. We will be sharing 'student centered' teaching rather than the 'teacher centered' teaching they are used to. Pray as I finish preparing for the sessions I will be teaching.

I am expected to raise the money for my plane ticket to and from East Asia. It is about $2000 and if you would be interested in helping with that, please email me at and let me know. I have an account for this at Partners International and can explain how to give tax-free if you write.

Medical Update...
I went to the surgical oncologist and had an ultrasound of some areas with scar tissue that are constantly changing. The ultrasound showed only scar tissue since there was no blood supply to the enlarged lumps. If there is cancer growing, there will be blood flow, I was told my Dr. Moline. So praise God for that!

My wrist received a shot of cortizone and is now fine. The nerve test said I was shy of carpal tunnel by one tenth of one decimal point, so my hand doc decided on this treatment. I haven't had one incident of numb hand since the shot. He said it would probably work for 6-18months and may actually cure the problem in my wrist permanently. I am so grateful for this too, since it was really bothering me a lot, and it will be easier to travel without a numb hand.

My scar tissue gets to be more and more of an issue as the years go by since radiation. It has been 4 years and my left side is so very tight that muscles attaching to my arm, back and neck are all restricted and causing trouble. Dr. Moline sent me to a physical therapist who is specially trained in radiation scar tissue treatment. I met Barb on Monday and we started working on my left armpit area. I learned some gentle movements and massage techniques that I am attempting to do every half hour during the day for 1 minute each. I am setting the kitchen timer today to remind me to do it. I am already noticing a loosening of the tightness. I will see her one more time before I leave. After years of this I am excited to find someone to help me with it. She said in 2 weeks I will have noticed a huge difference.

Barb suggested that it seems that I have callogen issues in my body in general- knees, hernias, shoulders, bladder, etc. I will talk to my other doctors about that when I see them, but I think they have a clue from the other testing I did earlier in the year. I will deal with these issues more when I get back from my trip.

Guess what? My oldest daughter left on Monday to be a missionary! This has been her ultimate goal for her whole life. It is why she has chosen what she has studied and done with her life since I can remember. As a 3 year old she told me she needed to tell people about God's love through Jesus Christ. She is currently in Bradford, England for the fall. She is learning by doing how to share Christ with Muslims. She plans to come home for Christmas and after New Years, to fly to Israel to work with one of our partner ministries there for all of next year. She is going out under Partners International and has a ministry account. She has only a fraction of her support so far, and you can let me know if you are interested in being part of her team as well ( I will get you the information you need. She is living on savings for the time being. She will be in the Carltons' home for the fall since they will be traveling quite a bit. Greg and I are so proud of our daughter and are excited that she has found her niche in reconciliation ministry.

I am unable to put pictures into my blog currently. There is something technically wrong and I am not smart enough to fix it. I am on facebook where I have been putting pictures if you want to look there. Back to lesson preparation and conference packet stuffing... God bless you! Nancy Fritz

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer stuff

Dear friends,
Summer is moving by at a fast pace. We were done with the townhouse cleaning and prepping for our Moody BI girls and decided to take the opportunity and go camping this past weekend. We left Adjua home (as per her preference!) and took off for Huckleberry Mtn in Idaho. We ended up near there and found a secluded spot to turn into home for 2 nights. Off road camping is our favorite way to camp. No fees, rangers, or noisy neighbors. You just bring who you want to be with and put up as many tents as you want and park as many cars as you want. If you want to go with us some time, just come on!
Our friends joined us Friday eve and spent Sat. with us. Hiking and huckleberry picking filled our day, although with 4 people picking, we sure didn't find too many. It just isn't the best year for them. Greg and I saw my 5th moose on the way there, but the highlight was star gazing both nights. On Friday we layed down on the ground to watch all the stars uninterrupted by any city lights, with the excitement of a shooting star shower. On Saturday night is was so nice out that we took the top cover off the tent and had only screen between us and the galaxy. It was such a treat!

Jenni comes home on Friday
Jenni is finishing up her internship with Stellar Solutions in Huntington Beach this week. She has learned a great deal, and so totally plugged in with her church there that they have already had 2 going away events for her! She has been living in the RV of a Calvary Chapel pastor and his wife, and has been attending their church. She has been on the worship team and I think has been at church more nights than not all summer. She is totally connected to that part of God's family. Isn't it amazing that a Christian can feel at home so quickly and have an instant family like that?
We will have her for 5 days before she goes to Laura in Baltimore. Laura is house sitting this month and is still living off her savings. I think the latest is that she is making arrangements to go work with one of our partners in Israel for a year doing reconciliation ministry. Reconciliation is something she is good at naturally and believes that the Lord has unfolded this discovery to her through her job at AT&T and her travels earlier this year. I know she would appreciate your prayer. I think she will need to raise support for this also- something else to pray about. Anyway, Jenni will be with Laura for a few days before flying up to Pittsburgh and her senior year of college at Grove City.

Next week I will see one of my oncology doctors to get a check up to make sure everything is clear. I am also getting my left wrist checked for carpal tunnel. It has progressively gotten worse and I have already met my deductible for the year. My right one is so much better since being repaired last year. My knees are doing pretty well. I think the shots did help. I wish it was easy to go swimming for exercise. The Y is pretty expensive and we have no pools connected to where we live. I miss that about Colorado. Oh well...

Mission Connexion Inland NorthWest conference
On Sept. 24 and 25th we will open the doors on our first ever regional missions conference. I have been on the steering committee for 2 years and it is finally happening. Yahoo! This is the push for publicity time. I especially am trying to connect with Children's workers from churches in our region. I want to help start a network of these folks that will benefit all. This first meeting will focus on missions education, but the sky is the limit. I am excited. I am also overseeing 7 tracks at the conference out of the 15 we have. We are finalizing all that currently. Then just lots and lots of details!

My guest rooms
The mom of an MK from Ch!na will most likely be staying with us later this week. Her story was so amazing. Her daughter wanted to come to MBI, Spokane, but Jenny, her mom was not comfortable with her coming to a place where they know no one. Then she got on line and saw Berea housing- our townhouses for 36 girls close to campus. Better, but still, they didn't know anyone here. THEN she shared about all this with their team in Ch!na and her team leaders said they knew someone in Spokane. And guess whose names the team leader said? Yes, he was the best man in our wedding! That broke the dam and the tears of relief and answered prayer broke loose. God is so good. So we probably will have 3 Jenny's in our house this week (Adjua's name is also Jennifer).
After Jenni, Pastor Matt from the Gambia and Faustine and Rene from Senegal will be here with Faustine staying until I go to Ch!na at the end of Sept. Karen and Donna are coming in September from Denver to speak at our conference and will stay with us. AND, Jesse is coming home for Labor Day weekend- arriving from AZ on Friday at noon and leaving early on Monday morning. Then he will have only one more month at Ft. Houchuca before going to Arabic school in Monterrey. This month he is learning top secret stuff and next month he will practice interrogating people in a pretend village up on a mountain on the base in AZ.

Well, I have some more posters to deliver to some churches up here on the north side of town. Then my own workshop to prepare and then my lessons for my trip to Ch!na in Oct. Not many dull moments in my life! Please pray for stamina. I seem to run out of gas and need to rest after spirts of business.
Nancy Fritz

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Dear friends,

Jesse called tonight to tell us that he passed his test! There are 223 in his company and 11 made the same mistake he did on his first test. He basically made a typo- left out a heading on his preparation documentation last week.

Yesterday they did the preparation for the second go into the booth to interigate, and today was to be the interigation itself. It was his second chance to pass before being "recycled" to repeat the 2 1/2 months of training- or being sent to the infantry! So these 12 were pulled aside this morning and told that they passed and didn't have to redo the interigation. They had passed the part that they missed last week.

He said that about 1/3 of the 223 had passed as of this morning, and the rest would find out after dinner tonight. His battle buddy (best friend) was finding out tonight. He sleeps in the bunk above Jesse, was in the same company at basic training and is also from Jesse's unit here in WA. I haven't heard yet about him, but Jesse really wants him to pass so they can stick together.

On Friday afternoon Mike and Linda Fish arrived in Spokane after driving for 2 days from Denver. Their goal was to visit us, see the office and our rentals and our chuch, and to help us out with projects and be a blessing to us. So guess what?! Linda and Mike and I worked on making over Jesse's room- the 13 x 26 foot bonus room above the garage, into a very cool guest room. It isn't totally finished, but it is almost ready to go. I still have to get 2 XL single beds that can either be separate for singles, or put together to make a king for couples. I hope to post pictures on facebook soon.

Also, Mike helped Greg get done with the hardest part of building out his office in the basement. Our house came framed only in the basement. Greg and Mike put in a door to the room and one to the future closet. Mike also helped Greg install the needed electrical outlets since there weren't enough. Mike helped Greg finish our basement and other projects in Denver, so they already knew they were good work buddies.

We have had a lovely time together. Lots of laughter and conversation. Linda talked for 2 1/2 hours while picking raspberries at my friends' farm on Saturday morning. We picked enough to cover about 8 cookie sheets for flash freezing. Mike and Linda also helped Greg do some last touches on getting the town houses ready for the 36 girls who will begin arriving next week. All in all, it has been a very special visit and so appreciated to have friends come and share their strengths with us. I am so much better doing a project with a friend, and Linda is my special work buddy! And as well as we know each other after living in community together in Pasadena at Marengo House, we learned new things about each other. Thank you Lord for Mike and Linda, and thank you Fishes for coming to share your vacation with us!

To the rest of you...Come in over! We'll leave the light on for you! Blessings- Nancy

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jesse is retesting Mon. and Tuesday

Dear friends,

Jesse told us yesterday that he was unable to get in to see the commander yesterday- Monday to appeal. He went ahead and began taking the test again. Yesterday was prep and today is the booth. Last night he felt like he was passing so far. Your prayers would be appreciated so much today. He will get the results after dinner tonight. Only 40% pass this phase of training and it will seriously hurt his career if he doesn't pass this time. I will let you know when I know!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Jesse's Test

Here is an update on Jesse's test I told you about last night...

Jesse just called to let us know how the test went. He says "Well I got just about as close to a perfect score as you can get... but I
forgot to put the title on a requirement that needed the number and title...
hundreds of hours of work down the drain. And yes, retest is on monday, then

Recycle means repeating 2 1/2 months of training. It also would mean that he is no longer in the top 10%. Loosing that distinction is very costly in opportunities later. Also, he is sure they would recycle him if he failed again, but technically they could put him in the infantry and send him to Afghanistan or wherever they want. All contracts are off at that point. No Arabic school, no college...He is going to talk to his commander on Monday and ask him to reverse the decision to fail him because of that one little technicality. He is afraid that he might do something else wrong and fail the test again. The mistake didn't influence his interigation results in any way, and the Army surely doesn't want to waste resources making him do it all again. Maybe his "soldier of the cycle" will help him out.

So please pray for the commander and for Jesse if he does have to retake the test on Monday and Tuesday. Two guys tried to commit suicide this week. One the night before the test and one the night in the middle of the test. They were discovered and taken to the hospital. The pressure is very high. Thanks for praying if you are so inclined!
Blessings- Nancy P.S. Mike and Linda arrived safely today. Yahoo!

VBS, Mama Hannah and thoughts of mortality...

Dear friends,

I wrote this entry for over an hour and it just deleted itself! THAT is FRUSTRATING. My friend David says that the second time it will be faster since you already practiced...

VBS ended tonight. We did 4 mornings and ended tonight. There was a huge croud tonight of parents, church family and 275 kids. I did the missions focus on Ghana. We had a different giving project every day. Seeds, Christmas party of kids in our adopted village in northern Ghana, a sewing machine to be a small business for someone and finally a group of 4 animals- cow, pig, sheep and goat. They met each giving goal and tonight topped it off and brought in $565 more to get the animals. The family pastor got slimed with gooey stuff and the kids loved it!

I go by Mama Hannah from Ghana during VBS. I wear Ghanaian clothes and act goofy and love on the kids. I set up the Ghana Hut on the church lawn. There are instruments to play which we brought back from there last summer. I teach them about the culture and give them activities to do each day. I already wrote extensively about this and just can't do it again. I really love the connection I have with the kids. I guess I am kind of "famous" in a VBS kind of way, and they are all feeling special when I interact with them. I love that they are learning about cultures and people living in different places.

He is being tested tomorrow for this phase of his training. He said that only 40% pass this time. If he weren't to pass, he would ahve to redo 2 1/2 months of training. He interigates one of his instructors and then has to write a report on what he learned. Mistakes can be easily made. Jesse said that on Monday he passed his practice test- finally. That is encouraging. I am praying hard and am eager to hear what happens tomorrow! I am sure he would appreciate any prayers you would like to send his way.

Our friend Lance and his tumor...
While we were in CO, Lance discovered that he has a brain tumor. He has had two surgeries and the lastest is that he has a year at the outside and his cancer is very agressive. He finally got to come home I think yesterday. As Lance and his wife and college aged daughter process his prognosis and treatment plan, those of us in our/his growth group are also processing our steps of help and encouragement. We all have different gifts and are doing different things. This is new for all of us, so we are all kind of in shock. We are praying for him and welcome your prayers for him too. Besides Lance, another friend of mine just found out she has a breast cancer recurrance. And my neighbor 2 doors down has metastasis all over and has been fighting cancer for years. I don't think she is doing well. I need to go see her.

Here is where I am thinking aobut mortality...It might sound self-centered, but as these things happen to those around me, the thought pops up in my consciousness that it could likely happen to me also. It already has twice- 11 years ago and 4 years ago. I check for new lumps and try to discern if they are new, or are they just the same old or new scar tissue? This could happen to me at any time, but really I have plenty to do in my life right now. I can dwell on these thoughts, or try to stuff them neatly back into the back of my mind, where they don't overwhelm me. I have to make a choice frequently about what to do with this reality. I told Lance before I knew his pathology was so bad, to not borrow trouble from tomorrow. His tomorrow is now here and it is time for him to deal with it. My today is OK, so that is where I have to choose to keep my focus. This probably sounds like rambling, but I know this is true for so many cancer survivors. This struggle with the what if's. It is in some ways both harder and easier to know what would happen if it did come back. You know the treatments and side effects and there is comfort in the familiar. But there is also knowing what is coming, and not wanting to experience it again. But then comes 2 Corinthians 1 where we can empathize and comfort because of our past experience. I think that is the way I would rather focus. My help for these friends can be practical since I know what it is like.

Friends arriving
Tomorrow Mike and Linda are arriving for a visit. We are excited about this! The guest room is ready and plans are on the burner. We enjoy company and we have known these guys for over a quarter century! So that is what I am going to focus on for now. And picking raspberries and strawberries and tomatoes in the back yard.

I am going to post this before it deletes again. I hope you are having a great summer! Blessings, Mama Hannah

Friday, July 09, 2010

2500 miles down the road and home!

Dear friends,

We are back from our trip to Colorado. Adjua, Greg and I left as scheduled on Tuesday, June 22nd. We drove to Buffalo, WY the first day and drove up into the National Forest to put up our tent for the night. It was dark when we got there. I saw something white on the ground, thinking it was a paper towel or something left by other campers. It was snow! Well, we woke up to beautiful mountain pasture views and a buck with a big rack. We also realized that Adjua's mattress had gone flat and she had been cold all night. It didn't make her a fan of camping to put it mildly!

We arrived in Highlands Ranch on Wed. at about 5:00. We enjoyed dinner with Janet and Sean Willcox, our hosts. Lots of laughter and instantly feeling at home with these dear friends. We settled in.

The next day Greg began his 3 day participation in the OMF board meeting. While he did that, Adjua took advantage of shadowing our former family doctor in Littleton- Rich Valenciano. She really enjoyed her two days there. She has to log over a 100 hours shadowing many different kinds of doctors as a prerequisite for med school.

While they were busy, I connected with friends. It was such a blessing to spend quality time with these supporters and friends. I attended a few OMF board dinners with Greg and on Saturday evening, we hosted a dinner party get together with friends and family at the Willcox's. We had fun catching up as well as seeing many of them connecting to each other for the first time...The Body of Christ at work.

Sunday we went to Cherry Hills Community Church and hugged many friends, had lunch with our old support group and relaxed for the evening. Monday morning we headed for Rocky Mountain National Park with Julie, Hannah and Andrew as well as Adjua. We knew our other friends were already camping there and planned to surprise them. It was a gorgeous day. We invaded their campsite and waited about a half hour for them to return from their morning outing. They worried when they noticed someone in their campsite. When they realized it was us, they were ecstatic. We climbed boulders by a waterfall, had lunch and dinner together, went to see the elk up close, and had Adjua'a first campfire and some'ores. We drove home watching the stars and recounting all the day's fun memories.

Tuesday we caught up with everything and went to dinner with Gene Kissenger. It was excellent to catch up on things at CHCC and at Partners. Gene is a gift to us from the Lord. We might be able to connect in Asia when we will all be there in October. At 2:20 a.m. Jenni arrived at DIA from Huntington Beach with me waiting to bring her home.

Wednesday and Thursday Greg lead 2 days of Partners meetings in Highlands Ranch. I picked up snacks for them and caught up with Jenni. She and Adjua and I hung out. Jenni caught up with her best friends after we went to Castle Rock to meet Greg's sister, mom and cousin for several hours.

Friday morning we left for DIA to get both Allison and Jesse who were flying in for the weekend. Jesse had a 4 day pass for the first time. Allison also had those days off and had a free ticket from being bumped on another trip. We had a great time greeting them both and hearing about Jesse's interrogation training. He has bulked up and is excited about what he is learning. We went to Idaho Springs since the freeway was too congested to get to Breckenridge for the day. We watched Ghana play Uraguy in the World Cup at BeauJoes. That was exciting since we had a Ghanaian with us. Then we went to Evergreen and paddled around the lake there. It was our 27th anniversary that day!

Saturday morning we took off for Shelby's (Greg's sister's) for our nephew's wedding. They got married with Pike's Peak in the background in their front lawn. It was a beautiful wedding. We talked a mile a minute and caught up with family that evening and the next morning. The cousins and friends made a movie that night and had a great time.

Sunday night we arrived back in Highlands Ranch for dinner and fireworks with friends. It poured, so no fireworks. But lots of fun was had as we remembered old stories and made new ones. The kids went to the airport in the morning- me taking Allison at 4:30. We packed and left about 9:30 to head home. We camped in the same area and this time woke up in a cloud! Adjua slept in the car that time!

We arrived home at 5:15 with 1135.7 miles from this leg on the odometer! God is so good! It was all we had dreamed and hoped for our trip to be. Thank you so much for praying for our trip if you did.

I am off for the chiropractor now so I need to get going! God bless you- Nancy

Monday, June 21, 2010

Driving to Denver- the Adventure Begins

Dear friends,

On Tuesday morning at 7:45 a.m., Greg, Adjua and I are planning, Lord willing, to leave in our Mazda MPV for Denver. Mapquest has this trip coming in at 1119 miles- each way. We plan to stay in the national forest in WY on Tuesday night. Adjua has never stayed in a tent before in her life, and she hasn't been out of Spokane since she got here last August. This should be an experience packed trip for her!

We wrote a letter recently that we would be happy to send to you upon request. (Just email and ask.) It will give you our schedule. Basically, travel for 2 days. Greg will attend a board meeting on Thursday- Sat. noon for OMF. Adjua will shadow a family practice doctor in Littleton for Thursday and Friday. We hope to visit with supporters on Saturday evening and see other friends on Sunday as well as visit Cherry Hills Community Church. We are really looking forward to that!

Monday-Tuesday next week we hope to go to Estes Park and show Adjua the elk and beautiful mountains. We might stay over if we can figure out the camping arrangements and weather permitting. Tuesday night at midnight, Jenni will fly in from Huntington Beach, CA where she is doing an engineering internship for the summer. Greg has Partners meetings in Denver on Wednesday and Thursday while the 3 of us girls visit friends and maybe teach Adjua how to swim. On Friday morning Jesse is scheduled to fly into DIA at about 9:30. There is a slight chance Allison might be able to come Friday morning also with a free ticket she got from being bumped recently.

Family time on Friday and Saturday we go up to Woodland Park for our nephew's wedding. We'll stay there overnight and have some time with Greg's sister's family and his mom. On Sunday we plan to head back to Highlands Ranch for the fireworks with long time (like more than 20 years!) family friends. Monday morning we drop Jesse and Jenni (and maybe Allison) off at the airport and head back to Spokane on the 5th and 6th.

You might be wondering where Laura is...Currently she is in England visiting former Caleb Project co-workers. They have known Laura since she was 8 years old and she is 25 now. They are doing ministry with Muslims as well as mobilization ministry with imigrants from all over the 10/40 Window. Laura is looking at what is going on there in light of her own future in missions. She flies back to the States on the 3rd of July.

Phew! Oh yeah! On the 1st of July, my breast cancer support group is meeting and I am hoping to be there for that. I sure miss those ladies! There is nothing like that in Spokane...yet.

Did I mention that the reason we have to leave at 7:45 on Tuesday is because I am scheduled forthe last of 3 shots in my right knee? I have to be downtown for that at 8:30. Those have gone pretty well and so far seem to be helping. I will share more of the medical updates later since it is so late. I am noturious for trying to get way too many things done when I have a trip coming up. I need to get some sleep so I can help with the driving and be rested, so I will sign off now.

Please pray for safe travel for all of us. Pray for Jesse who has a tough 2 weeks of training before he gets leave on the 2nd (our 27th anniversary). This is a crucial stage. He has to do well or he may have to leave to do some other training. He really likes it and wants to stay. Pray for Laura as she makes life decisions. Pray for Adjua to enjoy her vacation. She works and/or studies all the time, so this should be memorable for her.

God bless you,

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jesse Graduated from Basic Training with Honors!

Dear friends,

I am back from an 8 day trip to South Carolina and Baltimore. Jesse told us a few months ago that he understood if we couldn't come to his graduation from boot camp. He said there was one other guy from his platoon of 50 who didn't have family coming either. So Greg and I decided that one of us should be there. Greg had to teach at Moody Bible Institute, Spokane the day of the graduation, so we decided that I should go. We used points to pay for my ticket.

At the end of April Jesse phoned and told us he had been interviewed because he was being considered as "soldier of the cycle." In a call a few days later he told us that out of the 250 soldiers in his company, he was chosen as the soldier of the cycle. That meant that he was the top overall soldier. They counted points for physical fitness, marksmanship skills, leadership and military knowledge. Others were honored in the first 3 of those categories, but Jesse received the overall recognition. This was a huge honor, so we started to think and pray about Greg going. He still had to teach, but a week before, the president of Moody asked Greg if he would go if someone could cover his class. Greg was able to find a flight with miles at exactly the time he would need to get there. That was a miracle!

So I flew to Laura in Baltimore, and as a mother's day gift, she drove herself and me to Columbia, SC where we stayed with Bill and Debby Jones. Bill is the president of Columbia International University and gave Laura and me a personal tour of the campus. Greg was delayed and arrived the next morning at 8:40 after flying all night. Laura dropped me off and then went to get Greg at the airport. Thursday was family day and the soldiers had to stay on base that day.

So let me tell you about how Family Day started... I was in the stands sitting in VIP seating since Jesse was an honor grad. There was a man who sang patriotic songs like, "Born to Be An American," for about a half hour. Then, the sound went out for about 10 minutes. After a few speakers, Greg and Laura arrived. The man sang one more patriotic song. While he sang, there were firework sounding explosions in the woods and smoke billowed. Then out of the smoke emerged first flags and then 3 companies of 200-250 soldiers each. (See photos)

Then they were in formation in front of us and we were told they had to stay in formation until we went down on the field to get them. We split up and I found him first. He picked me up and hugged me and spun me around and we both had tears. He was very exited to see Greg and then Laura as well as me. We toured the base on a bus, and Laura and I went off base and got him a Starbucks drink while he hung out with Greg. We talked and let him tell us stories and he answered our questions and introduced us to his battle buddies. We went to a dinner on base with some of Jesse's buddies and their families. We saw his sleep bay and met a couple of his drill sergeants.

On Friday morning we were back in VIP seating again at 9:00 for the graduation ceremony. The soldiers marched over in formation with the color guard leading the honor grads. They announced Jesse's name and he was right in the front center. The honor grads went under a tent afterwards and the family members lined up behind each one. We are so grateful that we were there to stand behind him! Then the officers shook hands with each of them and as they did, they placed a coin in their hands. These coins/metals are a huge honor. You can see them in the picture.

We hung out with Jesse all day and drove to Charleston since he was allowed off base. We had a wonderful day. We left him Friday night and he flew to AZ for his next stage of training. He flew there with about 150 from Ft. Jackson. Out of all of those, he is the only one who has begun the interrogation training. The rest are waiting for several weeks waiting for a spot. Jesse's test today went well. He now is allowed to use his phone in the evenings. We were struck by how serious Jesse is about this job with the Army. He is very mature. And he says, "Sir" and "Mam" when he speaks. He had lots of stories.
Greg had a hard time getting home. He tried to fly out on Saturday morning and had to wait until Sunday morning to start and got home at midnight on Sunday night. He has a cough and laryngitis right now...I drove to Delaware with Laura on Saturday so she could catch up with her Bible study friends for a beach retreat. I was with them and headed back to Baltimore on Sunday evening. After spending 2 days with her, I flew back to Spokane on Wednesday.
Well, there is my soldier story. We are proud of Jesse and how he is taking hold of his future. I am going to sign off and get to bed. Blessings to all of you! Nancy

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Dear friends,

I have been busy since I last wrote! Last Thursday, after my second left knee shot, I headed to the airport and hopped my way across the country to Pittsburgh.

A while ago, we got a letter from Grove City College saying that Jenni was going to receive an award during Parents' Weekend and be invited to join the college version of the National Honor Society. GPA, leadership and service were the measuring standards. They had planned a breakfast for the students, and as a surprise, the parents were invited to attend and watch the award ceremony. Afterward there was a convocation for academic awards which I got to attend also.

I asked Jenni's godparents if they could attend on our behalf for Jenni, and they instead offered to give me a plane ticket to attend myself! Greg was unable to go because of teaching. I had a wonderful time with Jenni and got to meet her friends and be there for the first time during college. There was a luncheon for the New Grace, the singing group ministry she is in. That was a real highlight. They are amazing to hear!

While there I got a call from Jesse. He had some news. Of all the soldiers in this boot camp basic training cycle, Jesse has been named the top soldier out of 250. He will be presented with a metal on the 14th at his graduation. I am planning to be there and he said he will be sitting on the platform so I will be able to see him. He had to read materials, 50 pages or so, tell them his biographical information and answer questions during a two hour interview. At the beginning they told him they thought he was a smart alleck. The instructors and drill sergeants began to realize that he had leadership skills. While most of the others had one word or sentence comments from them, Jesse had a paragraph from each one. Jesse didn't think they even knew his name!

I met with the nutritionist at the oncology office on Tuesday afternoon for 3 1/2 hours. She was amazing. I am going to write details next time, becasue there is so much great stuff. In short, she gave me a lot of very practical help about diet and understanding the link between all the things going on with my bladder, leaky gut, adrenals and pancreas, etc. Where to start and lots of hope for healing. She is a treasure and blessing to me- a provision from the Lord. I really will share more about that later. Lots of great stuff. Blessings and good night- Nancy

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Medical tests done and results are in...

Dear friends,
I promised a medical update after I heard about the tests, so here goes...
My liver function tests have gone up above normal some, not much, but enough for my oncologist to order a CT scan which I did on Thursday. This was also because I have had some pain in my right upper abdominal area and some acid reflux. I haven't gotten the results yet, but since they didn't call right away, that is usually a good sign.
I'll tell you about my digestive track first. My intestines have some streptococcus bacteria growing in them which we are going to work on getting out. I am doing a three week digestive cleanse then I will be doing probiotics also. I have "leaky gut syndrome." This means the lining of my intestines is thin due probably to, most of my life, eating dairy products which I was allergic to. I only discovered this allergy 7 or so years ago and my life has totally changed since. If you wonder what the symptoms are, look for diarea, sinus drainage, acne, gas, abdominal bloating and sometimes stomach cramps. This test I just did also showed that I am allergic to dairy and that I don't have a gluten problem. My intestine is inflamed also.
The doctor on Monday agreed that I probably have a hypo-thyroid problem and agreed on my taking the meds for it for several weeks to see how I react to it. I just went to a full pill yesterday, so I don't know yet. Hypo-thyroid can explain my tiredness and being cold a lot (in between hot flashes).
"Stage 3 (out of 4) adrenal fatigue," is the next one. Cortisol is a chemical/hormone produced by the body. When working properly it is key in producing a chain of lots of other things that are essential. My body has apparently come under the impression that it is constantly stressed- like it would be if I had to run from a fire or lift a car off my child. The cortisol is in response dealing with that stress instead of doing it's usual thing of getting that chain reaction started and continuing. The result for me is that my body isn't making as much progesterone as I need and I am overloaded and imbalanced with an overload of estrogen. My cancer had receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. As far as I know, a balance of the two, keeps them both in check. I need to do some more research on this to make sure. SO, we are going to try and get the cortisol problem fixed so that my adrenal gland can get restrengthened. It being out of whack makes my body more prone to infections or things like not being able to fight cancer as well. I am on a med for this, and we are checking into whether I should take DHEA or not. This has possible implications for the receptors I mentioned above, and none of us wants to inspire cancer to grow again.
My total Antioxidant function is deficient, so I've added some supplements for that. My pancreas isn't producing enough enzymes- another supplement. I am also going to do a diet low on the glycemic index. That means I need to eat things that take longer to turn into sugar in my system. This makes me feel full longer and I should be able to loose some weight. I meet with the dietisian at the oncology office soon and she will give me some more guidelines to follow.
This Thursday I will have my 1st of 3 knee injections of Euflexxa. They say that this either works or doesn't for knee pain. My knee is very sore and can't be fixed, so this is the plan. I hope I am one of those it works on. My friend, Deb's, worked for five years! We can pray, right?
So that about sums it up. If anything bad shows up on that CT scan, I will let you know.

We are in the middle of our busiest week of the year at Partners. We have several dozen visiting from out of state and out of country. I love to hear the reports from the field of what our partners are doing, and this year is no exception. What amazing things are happening. I will be able to share more when we get the safe version of the reports. That way I won't jeopardize any of the ministries. Greg's team is having dinner catered by me on Monday night. Since there will be over 20, my friend has offered to host the meal at her house. I will try to remember to take some pictures. We are talking about a Kidzana training in Asia this fall which I am very excited about. More about that later.

Laura is in Baltimore continuing to seek the Lord's direction for her. Allison just bought a car in FL where she is interviewing for many nanny jobs and is working part time also. She needs a good fit that will also pay enough. Jenni is finishing her jr. year at Grove City and is still looking for an internship for the summer. Jesse is at Army Boot Camp and graduates on May 14th. On the 15th, he is supposed to fly to AZ for the next phase of his training.

Well, I need to feed Greg dinner before he dies of hunger. We have enjoyed the afternoon off and having the sun shine too. Blessings to you. Nancy

Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Laura is 25 today!

Dear friends-
A sunny Saturday before some more rain arrives tomorrow. I want to reflect shortly on Laura turning 25 today. She is my oldest and tallest daughter, and my most beautiful curly headed daughter. She was born at home with a mid-wife (as were all our kids) and she was beautiful from the get-go. Laura had a tender heart and an awareness of the Lord and His truth even at a young age. At the age of three, I recorded a conversation she had with me about telling people about Jesus so they could know God's love and go to heaven instead of living in eternal darkness. She continues to grow and mature in her faith and is one of my resources for spiritual counsel. May the Lord give her direction as she seeks next steps in her life.

The last blog I wrote listed some tests that I had done a few weeks ago. I got some of the results back on Thursday. Low in D and some of the B's, a little high on liver, and possibility of hypothyroid happening. I have begun a med that will help us figure that out one way or the other in the next 2-4 weeks. If that isn't helping, I may go see a rheumatologist (sp?) to rule out anything in that realm. On Monday I see my other doc for the rest of the results for 2 other big tests I had. I will tell you what I find out. Blessings- Nancy

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Doing better

Dear friends,

Hey thanks for praying for me if you did. I suspect that the last time I wrote, that I had somehow missed the med I mentioned last time (Effexor), the night before I wrote. It was sitting there, and I thought I took it, and didn't want to risk taking double. But after I wrote my last blog and took my meds that night, I started to feel better- at least the crying and dizzy part.

I saw my internist last Monday. Some of the labs were done and so far I know that my liver numbers are a little elevated and my D is a little low. My white count is up to 4 which is the highest it has been since chemo 4 years ago. 4 is a normal level. Mine has just been low and they told me that is common for some after chemo and radiation. Last week I also collected stool and saliva viles for my integrated medicine doctor and mailed them off. There are so many things they are checking for. I'll have to let you know what they figure out. I will be having appointments to get the results after they are all back in a week or two.

We are gearing up for the Partners International leaders from around the world to come to Spokane on April 13th for a week. We will have 2 ladies staying with us, and I am switching Jesse's room some to make it more user friendly and less teenage boy. Speaking of Jesse, we have gotten some letters with good stories. He writes one story to Greg and me and sends other stories to other family members and has us share them so he only has to write them once. He is working hard. Soon he will be shifting into the "white phase" and at that point will be allowed to use his phone. So we are hoping to hear from him soon. I included his address in my last post. He is asking for any mail anyone wants to send him.

So I am going to sign off now and head to bed. This is Holy Week for us Christians. Our church is having special services each day at noon. Thinking about Christ being made sin for us in our place- was the focus today. Wow. He paid such a high price for us. It is simple and deep at the same time. He knows us all intimately. He even knows my "secret heart" (Psalm 51). I don't even want to admit to myself what is in my secret heart, but He already knows and loves me anyway.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Not so great today...

Hey there,

First of all, please pray for my boy at Army Boot Camp. And if you want to write to him, he would LOVE to hear from you:

PFC Fritz, Jesse
C Co 3-60th INF, Regt (1st PLT)
Fort Jackson, SC 29207

He is doing OK he writes. He left here with a lingering cold and said that he is still dealing with that. He has written a few times. He is 2 1/2 weeks done with his 9 weeks.

It has been a long day. I went to see my integrated medicAdd Imageal doctor yesterday. He was top of his med school class at Harvard and has a practice that integrates traditional medicine with alternative medicine. He listened and thought and put pieces together and ordered a LOT of blood work. I just do not feel well at all. Today I went and had the blood drawn for the tests. It took 3 tries even though the ladies in the lab are the best. My veins were just not cooperating. We got done in about an hour and I was suggesting that I should start paying rent! 7 tubes are being processed. For example, he wants to make sure I didn't pick up some parasite in Africa last summer.

I have been crying on and off all day. Whatever else is going on, I am feeling very emotional. I feel like I do when I forget to take one of my meds (effexor). Ringing in my head. Dizzy and light headed. Feeling like I will pass out and very emotional. I have been crying on and off all day today. The difference is that I didn't forget to take my meds. I think my body is just imbalanced in some way. I will see my internist on Monday about my abdomen soreness, and by then hopefully at least some of the blood work will be back. Meantime, Greg is taking good care of me, and I am laying low.

I visited with a breast cancer survivor friend yesterday, and I told her about how I have layed off most of my supplements for several months. I think I was just burned out. She shared how she feels that way about part of her treatment too. Sometimes you just do all this stuff all the time and you just feel like you can't do it all anymore. You ask yourself what difference it makes anyway. So many doctors have told me they don't put any stock in supplements. Anyway, Dr. Corell is helping me set the "restart" button on my body and I hope to be feeling back on track soon. I would appreciate your prayers for that.

My hand doctor told me last Thursday that there is arthritis in the middle of my right hand that surprised him. It didn't show up in my x-rays in Sept, but it is definitely there now. The only treatment would be a radiologist putting in a shot of cortizone with ultrasound because of where it is. It would be tricky to get in there without bothering any nerves or veins, etc. We decided that we will hope that it just gradually gets better. I put some topical cream on it that I use on my knee, and it really helped....My gyno/urology doctor and I talked about bladder treatments, and if I got the implant that helps deal with the side effects of my interstitial cystitis, it would make any future MRI's for diagnosis impossible. I don't think it's worth it.

Our neighbor had a heart attack yesterday. Greg went to see him tonight. We'd appreciate prayer for Brian. He and Katie have 4 children and he is in his 30's.

Helen from the Gambia spoke in FL on the 17th and Greg told me tonight that the event was amazing. So many were there that the police had to come in and have some move their cars. The police ended up staying for the meeting too. Her story touched so many hearts. I will write more about her later.

Please pray for this country of ours. We are on a precipice. My heart is heavy. But God is in control and nothing can happen outside of His will. He tells us to pray for our leaders. Our growth group prayed for our nation last night. It was good to give our concerns over to the Lord.

God bless-Nancy

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

He's in the Army now!

Dear friends,

Well, my boy is now officially in the army now. He left us at 6:00 a.m. when he when into the courthouse downtown to start his enlistment. They gave him another physical, interviewed him to get information regarding his government security clearance, & planned his transportation to boot camp at Ft. Jackson, etc. Tuesday they flew him to Ft. Jackson, SC.

He called Greg for 3 minutes on Friday and told us that on Tues. he arrived at midnight. They processed them until 4:00 a.m. and sent them to bed- UNTIL 4:15! Then they got up and stood on lines until 10:00 that night! He sent me a postcard that said,"Hello! I'm good. Got my hair cut and didn't sleep. Gotta go! Jesse." His hair was very short when he left, so he must not have any now! Greg told him to remember the big picture and Jesse agreed that is what he is trying to do. He is also trying to stay unnoticed. Where he is, getting noticed means teasing and extra push-ups or some other "bad" thing. His birthday was yesterday and since we don't have his address yet, couldn't send him any greetings. He actually begged us not to. But we did think of him and thanked God for him. Adjua's 19th birthday is on Thursday this week.

We currently are enjoying a visit from Helen, one of our partners from The Gambia. As we met last evening and were getting to know each other, we realized that she had met Jesse when he was there last year. She remembered him. I get to have the fun of introducing her to America some before she heads to a big womens' event in FL next week. She has just begun telling me about her ministry. So far I know that she and her husband head up Inter-Varsity in their country and she is doing many facets of education and ministry related to HIV with women in the Gambia. What a privilege!

Friends are asking me to share about my health, so I will give an update. My right wrist has been hurting quite a bit lately. It is the one I had carpal tunnel fixed in last fall. I saw the hand doctor after I got home from Denver and learned that it is very unusual to be experiencing any pain this many months out. The carpal tunnel symptoms are gone, but I have some swelling and other tenderness in my palm and wrist. Sometimes it hurts a lot. He had me go for an MRI last week and I see him Thursday to go over the results. The nurse said that the report showed a bunch of things, so it isn't a simple PT solution.

My knee is hurting again. The shot has worn off. My knee doctor talked about trying that new kind of shot in my knee that isn't steroids. My friend Deb said it worked for her knee for several years. I will be going to see him sometime in the near future.

I have a sore place in my abdomen. I am fairly certain that it is a result of scar tissue from my TRAM flap surgery 10 years ago. I will talk to my oncologist about it when I see her next month. I see my gyno-urologist next week. I tried taking a very difficult medication to help grow a lining in my bladder. It was hard on my body and had to be taken on a completely empty stomach, which meant 3 hours between eating 3 times a day. After 2 months I decided that it was taking over my life, and giving me extra headaches. My doctor has another treatment she wants to talk to me about. I will let you know more after I find out about it.

One conclusion I have come to lately is that all these little things that are going goofy in my body are mostly (if not entirely) due to the side effects of having chemo twice and radiation once (like the scar tissue from my TRAM flap surgery). One of my doctors told me that not that many women have lived for 11 years after cancer, so even the medical community is learning what the side effects are long-term from these treatments. So the bad news is that there are lots of medical issues to deal with now, but the good news is that I am alive to experience them! I am approaching my 11th anniversary of discovering my cancer the first time, and almost 4 years since the 2nd time. That is pretty cool! And I am pretty grateful!

Thanks for hanging in there and reading all this. I know that there are at least some of you who read this and let me know when it has been a while.

Helen just got home, so I need to sign off and learn more about the Gambia. Blessings- Nancy

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dear friends,
My Time In Denver
I just returned from Denver Sunday night. I got to be in my old stomping grounds for a week and was able to meet with lots of friends and family. I enjoyed a little snow and beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains. It was fun to back where I knew where to find what I needed and even ran into friends and former co-workers here and there. Such gracious friends gave me places to stay and helped me pick up cars to use. It was wonderful to attend our church in Denver. Seeing familiar faces and hugging old friends was a blessing. I heard stories of friends' struggles to find jobs, of others going to be with the Lord, and hearing what every one's kids are up to. (Here I am with Greg's sister and two Bible Blasters having fun last Sunday.)

I had lots of meetings and also did a program on the 14th for the Bible Blast kids about Ghana. That was the main reason for my visit. I wrote a lesson on the north part of the country where the Muslims live, and where our Partners International Ghanaian partner is doing church planting. The kids got to practice carrying things on their heads and babies on their backs, doing the Ghana handshake, playing a talking drum and other instruments, and praying for children there who have hard lives. They also go to stamp cards and fabric with Adrinkra symbols that I carved into stamps. They got to see pictures and learn about Fu Fu and learned their "day names." They also heard stories of witch camps and two fettish priests (witch doctors and 45 women accused of witchcraft come to Christ as their Lord and Savior. All these things were done both hours with a total of about 120 kids.

At the end of the second hour I was shocked when I was presented with a very large check from the offering of the Bible Blast kids. It was given with expressions of love and appreciation for our ministry and the blessing we have been to them. It made me cry! Wow, Bible Blasters! You have certainly been a blessing to us and our ministry all these years too!
What Happened Yesterday
Besides Greg having a birthday, we got a message from a friend from the mid-eighties Caleb Project days. We haven't communicated for a long time. She lives in TX with her family. She wrote:
"Hi Greg and Nancy,
I hope you're all doing well. I just want to send a quick note because I had a very vivid dream last night about your family. I woke up at 1:30 and took it as a signal from the Lord to pray for you. I went back to sleep and this time I dreamed that I randomly ran into you at an airport. I told you I had a dream about you and asked you how I could pray. There was an extra girl named Jennifer...I noticed in your pictures this morning (after having the dream) that your family has an exchange student named Jennifer. I am just going to go ahead and assume God wants me to pray for her as well... Beth"
It gave us chills to read this from Beth. Yesterday at 5:30 p.m., I was listening to the news and there was a report that they uncovered a plot to poison the food at Ft. Jackson. Jesse will be there in a week and a half for basic training! Did they uncover this yesterday- right after the Lord had Beth pray? And Allison, who moved to FL last week, is having a very difficult time with her new nanny job. She is making a decision about what she should do right now regarding staying or not. She cried on the phone on Wed with us for an hour. Laura is traveling over in N. Africa and Jenni has many tests and is in charge of a campus worship event tonight since the leader got very sick. Adjua (our other Jennifer) is working and studying very hard. Anyway, we are thanking God for this specific and very encouraging word from Him through our friend Beth. I hope and pray that I would be sensitive to hear God's voice that clearly!
Blessings to each of you- Nancy Fritz

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dear friends,

Things have been busy here...I went to Portland a few weekends ago to attend the Mission -Connexion Northwest Conference with 7 others from our Spokane steering committee. We are planning the first Mission Connexion Inland Northwest Conference for this September 24-25. We have been assisted generously by those who do the conference in Portland and we went to experience their conference to give us ideas for ours. I rode with a group and got to stay with my brother Paul and his family. We haven't seen each other for a long time. At least we got started on catching up, and I think we will get to do more of that perhaps this summer.

After Portland I road tripped with Greg to southern Washington where he taught a Perspectives class (Lesson 2). We got back very late and he taught the next night here in Spokane. I got to do the World View demo which was fun. Marti Smith updated it and it was great to give them the script while I was there so they can go and mobilize their churches too.

Laura is in Dubai in the Middle East for a few weeks and then will be in several other places checking out ministry opportunities for herself. She made some good contacts at Urbana and felt that a good next step was to do some visiting of teams she knows herself as well.

Jenni is back at Grove City. I do miss having her here playing the piano and singing a lot. We had good discussions too. Jesse leaves for boot camp on March 1st. It will sure be quiet here without him goofing around with Allison and Adjua. He is finishing up at Starbucks in a few weeks. Allison is going to Fort Lauderdale, FL to interview for a few jobs next Sunday-Tues. She might leave quickly after that if she gets one of the jobs. She would appreciate prayer for that.

I learned last month that I have a bladder condition called interstitial cystitis. Basically it means that my bladder doesn't have a lining anymore. So the urine is right up against the vessels in the wall of my bladder. There is supposed to be a gel like lining that keeps the acidic urine away from the vessels, but that is missing in mine. A year ago I didn't have this problem. During the year I have experienced more and more trouble with incontinence and frequency. It turns out that my bladder is acting as though it has a bladder infection all the time. Other than the actual presence of an infection. So there is inflammation, irritation and cramping that causes the other problems I have been having. Random pains can happen at different places around the abdominal area in varying amounts and for different amounts of time. So, this is rather a good thing. The pains I have been having have a cause that isn't cancer. There is medication I am trying. It is like Heparin, so I am not excited about it at all. It must be taken on an empty stomach (3 hour window) and doesn't work for 6 months. It is called Elmiron. I think that is the 7th prescription I am on. It is a chore to deal with this, but like I said, it isn't cancer.

My knee is gradually getting more sore, but is still at least 50% less painful than before the cortisone shot. My chiropractor is working on scar tissue in my neck from radiation. I am sore a lot but am able to keep up with a pretty busy schedule. When I don't have to be somewhere, I often sleep in.

I am currently planning a trip to Denver in February. I am planning a program on Ghana for the 100+ kids in Bible Blast on the 14th. I am excited about it. When I am done, Partners International will also be able to share the curriculum with churches we are connected with. I am going for a week so I have time to touch base with family and friends. I am going Feb 6th and returning Feb 14th in the evening (to see my valentine). Please be in touch with me about getting together if this applies to you. or 509-990-8465

Well, that is all for now. It is time to get to bed. Blessings- Nancy