Lingo Update October 2020
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Dear Friends, Generally speaking, Americans are task-oriented and Latins are people-oriented. How does that play out in real life? If you are an American and you are invited to a baby shower in Colombia (during the Covid times, it would be on zoom), you would, as a typical American, get there right on time! Our Colombian friends may or may not get there on time. After nearly an hour of waiting, someone says, "we're waiting for my aunt to arrive." When the aunt finally gets there, she will go down the line of zoom pictures greeting everybody by name and making a big to-do of how each one has changed. By this time, the typical American is fuming, thinking, "she should be embarrassed at getting here so late!" And "she acts like it is nothing! When is she going to sit down and let the event get started?" As an American, you came to perform a task and, "we need to get started because I have other things to do!"
After all these years of missionary work, there are still aspects of this task-oriented versus people-oriented that we don't get it right. However, as Fran and I sat in Brighton, Missouri this last Sunday watching on zoom, a limited number of people from our church file into our opening Sunday after Covid, I could not help but sense the torture they were going through. Every ounce of their being was longing to reach out and hug, and touch cheeks and kiss the air, and get in each other's face to find out every detail of what has happened during these 213 days since they last met...but they could not! Masks, social distancing, limited conversation, no coffee, no snacks made it impossible to engage! A sorry substitute for a people-oriented society! But we will take it! One more Sunday, and then we can expand to 35% of our capacity. That means that with the Saturday and Sunday services, we will reach almost 200 people -- how we long for normalcy!
Speaking of normalcy, Fran and I are not in a normal situation: I had a PET Scan scheduled for September 8. So, we took a humanitarian flight back to the States on August 6. My scan came back positive. The cancer is back. It showed up in a couple of lymph nodes and reappeared in my abdomen. My oncologist promptly set up a new treatment plan. It involves chemotherapy by infusion for six months and extended oral chemotherapy that will last two or three years. Our schedule changed! We are just going with the flow until the infusion phase is over. Then we hope to be able to get into a rhythm where we can get back to Colombia. The oral chemo is a schedule of three weeks on and one week off. It is very costly and has exhausted my prescription plan for the rest of the year. Thank the Lord I received a call yesterday informing me that I now have a grant through the remainder of 2020! As you can see, we have no idea what normal is! Please pray for us as we attempt to hear God's voice each day.
How grateful we are for churches and friends who uphold us before the throne of grace. We certainly need and plead for your prayers.
Craig and Fran
Just a note: My cancer is follicular lymphoma. It is bone marrow cancer that cannot be cured but can often be controlled -- this is the objective my doctor wants to accomplish.
I WOULD SURE LOVE TO SURPRISE HIM WITH COMPLETE HEALING!