Hello! We would love to tell you a little bit about us! Neil and I were married in 2003, right out of high school. We met in a small church in Dayton, OH. We live in Dayton for a while, then moved to the Indiana border. We always had a heart for ministry, but had trouble finding our place.
When I was 16, I felt that God had called me to missions. Unfortunately the church I attended did not have much involvement with missions, so all I knew to do was to pray that God would send me. I had a Voice of Martyr's map in my closet that I prayed over often.
Neil was not interested in missions at all. But had a great heart to preach the Word of God and do outreach in the city. He preached in many of the local churches. And also spent many Saturday nights on the streets witnessing.
We had two children, Nehemiah in 2006 and Anabelle in 2009. Truly God's blessings!! After Anabelle was born I experienced some hemorrhaging in my body. I was rushed to the hospital Christmas Day in 2009. They did emergency surgery and removed a mass. I was told things would be better. That week I was seen by several doctors. Finally I received an answer to the problems I was facing. As I stood in the doctor's office alone, with a very cold answer I was told I had cancer.
Our world came crashing in. We thought that we were living in the will of God. We were good people. Maybe not the best, but we went to church a couple of times a week. They had to start chemo immediately since this cancer, called choriocarcinoma, was one of the fastest growing cancers. I started a 30 minute dose that day called Methrotrexate. We did this on a weekly basis and they checked my numbers each time to check the growth. The cancer was measured by a pregnancy hormone, HCG. A normal women's HCG levels are supposed to be under 5ml. At this point my levels were around 30,000. I began the treatment and things were going well. Each week they would drop tremendously. At the sixth week, we were getting so low that we thought the treatments were nearly finished. We were expecting great news, but that's not what we heard.
In our seventh week the doc said "remember, these numbers are supposed to be under 5ml" "Unfortunately, yours are at 70,000ml now." We were crushed! They had to transfer us to another Doctor, who specialized in women's cancers. Now the whole regimen would change. I started a regimen called EMACO. These five chemotherapy drugs were combined to fight the cancer. They were much stronger than before. I quickly began losing my hair, and became very weak. At times family and friends had to take my two precious babies because I was unable to care for them.
I took this Chemo for 6 months. Finally we reached a point of the last couple of treatments. One morning Neil came to wake me up. When he touched me the fever was so high he couldn't stand it. I started to vomit. Neil called the doctor and they told him to bring me in immediately. But I couldn't make the hour trip. Eventually the doctor said to take me to the emergency room closer to the house.When we arrived my heart rate was 167bpm and my temp was 105 degrees. I had five different infections and had to stay in ICU packed in ice. I could not finish my chemo because I was too weak. The doctors could not help me anymore. One doctor pulled Neil aside and gave him some harsh words, that I may not make it. Neil was so afraid of having to raise two kids without their mama. I spent more time in the hospital in the month of May, then at home. I begged the doctors to let me go home to see my babies. They would allow me and then within a day or so, I would be right back.
My prayers suddenly changed, I found all I wanted was to raise my babies. Nothing else mattered. Sure, I loved ministry, I loved life, but I found that my babies needed me more than anything else. And so I cried and often sung to the Lord praises.
One night as I laid with no hair, sleeping, wrapped in ice with a temp, Neil began to talk to God. He did not understand how things could get so bad. He did not understand why we were even facing this. He spoke out of anger. But then God spoke back! The Lord began to revel himself to Neil. He revealed Neil to Neil, his heart and motives. He quickly learned that he did not love God as much as he thought he did. He learned that he wore a mask, and tried to impress others. Neil surrendered that night, then went on to sleep.
We did not know the extent of the Lord's working that night. Little did we know what He had done in my body! That morning as the nurses came in to check vitals, my temperature was normal, blood pressure, normal. All the swelling in my limp nodes had went down. I had not ate in two weeks, but suddenly had an appetite again! As then begin to check my numbers for the cancer they also found, everything was normal! God had completely healed my body!!! I went home and never returned for cancer again! Glory to God!!
God also dealt with Neil about missions. And about four months after my healing, He took his first mission trip to Kenya, Africa! On that trip he also met a lady that worked in Nicaragua. She invited us to come live and work in Nicaragua. March of 2011 we visited Matagalpa, Nicaragua and then moved there in August of that same year.
We seen so many wonderful things there and enjoyed it so much. We stayed in Nicaragua for about a year and a half. Then we were invited to work in Guatemala with Abundant Life Missions International.
This is where we are working now. We moved here May 29, 2014. We are the directors of the four established churches and others that are growing. We are so excited to see all that God will do here! We know that the Lord is faithful. And hope that you follow us in this journey and please cover us in prayer. God bless you!!
"May the Lamb that was slain, receive the reward of His suffering!"