Gerry & Ruth Gutierrez' Prayer Letter & Update
To our dear Praying Friends,
“This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
This doesn’t seem to be the kind of day in which I would want to rejoice. The skin on the sides of my face from below the ears up around the eyes is burned, red and blistered from radiation; and it itches like crazy. My broken femur leg is stiff and hurting, and the pressure I feel on my left hip every time I use the left leg to stand and get me from the wheel chair to the couch or the bed, warns and worries me that it could break from the debilitating radiation that continues to work its effects long after the treatments have actually stopped.
On top of these discomforts comes the dreaded knowledge that on Monday, the 16th I WILL start chemotherapy, that I will have to have a port placed surgically under the skin to receive the needles, that I will lose my hair, that I might develop neuropathy, that there could be a possible allergy that would show up during the chemo infusion and that Gerry will have to make the long trip into the hospital with me and have to wait several hours once or twice a week.
My biggest fear is nausea, which would totally incapacitate me, but Dr. Schlabach says treatments have come a long way since my first chemo in 1992 and that nausea is drastically reduced. My prayer to God and my petition to you for your prayers…is that the Lord will graciously deliver me from 6 months of nausea, that He will continue to grow my femur bone, that He will put His fingers upon my eyes – and that with His mighty power He would zap those tumors in the liver and free this body that is for His glory from all the evil cancer that wants to bring it down.
This may not be the kind of day in which I would want to rejoice, but the Lord commands us to be “overflowing with thankfulness” and to come before Him with singing and praise.
“He is the rock, his deeds are perfect. Everything He does is just and fair. He is a faithful God who does no wrong; how just and upright He is!” Deut. 32:4
And He gives us motive to praise.
The day is beautiful. Sitting out on our back porch my spirit “eats up” the creation around me: green trees resounding with the songs of birds, the woods beyond, from which nervous little chipmunks and feisty squirrels emerge – looking for food scattered from our bird houses, the sound of water cascading down the rocks to a pool where birds of at least 13 species come to drink and to douse their feathers in a waterfall that Caleb made for his mama. A bright yellow Finch sits on the same rock as a brilliant red Cardinal, while a Bluebird on a tree branch awaits his turn; and among the irises a bullfrog chortles his enjoyment of it all. Meanwhile, inside the house, Gerry has set up little (but powerful) speakers he got at a garage sale, and beautiful piano music from a friend is playing in the background.
Stacks of cards, letters, e-mails and calls assure us of the vast number of prayers ascending to the throne of mercy on our behalf – in the U.S., in England, in Peru , in Chile – and who knows where else. The oncologist says that that the cancer may have been stage four for years, and he is amazed that the liver is not producing more negative effects in me. The Lord has allowed me to disciple and teach the women, teen-agers and children these past years in our congregation in Huanta, but the work is not finished; and I’m longing to do it, and God has the power to keep me going for many more years.
Are we not enormously privileged to have praying friends like you? Are we not blessed? Are we not loved? Are we not cared for in every way? More than we can possibly express!!!!
“This is the day that the Lord has made. I WILL REJOICE and BE GLAD in it!”
Gerry & Rurhie Gutierrez