(Note: this post contains Laura's thoughts...going forward hopefully this blog will include more entries from her and maybe from Luke as well!)
There are soooooooo many people praying for us that I can't even count them all. I think about Abraham standing under the night sky while God told him, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” (Genesis 15:5) There are many prayer groups and Bible Study groups who have found out about Luke through one of our friends or relatives and are praying daily for Luke. I have a group of internet friends who are spread around the country who have their families, friends and entire churches praying for him. There is even a church in Sarajevo that is praying for Luke. We are so touched and encouraged to hear that so many very young children are praying every day for Luke as well. My eyes begin to well with tears imagining these innocent, pure-hearted little ones praying for Luke's healing from this terrifying disease. I think of these people, all ages, from all walks of life, from all around the world, praying for Luke and I am humbled and overwhelmed with gratitude.
We’ve also gotten hundreds of letters and cards from people who are praying for Luke. A couple of months ago we received a card from a church group in Illinois who are praying for Luke. There were several personal notes and signatures to him on this card. I read through all the names hoping to recognize one. But I did not. It was a mystery to me. A couple of weeks later my best friend Rhonda asked me if Luke had received a card from her dad (who I had never met). I began trying to remember such a card and then she said it was from his church and I finally put the pieces of the puzzle together. The card we received from Illinois was from him! Last month Rhonda's father was visiting her family and specifically paid a visit to Luke because he wanted to encourage him in person. We are incredibly touched to know that more strangers than we can imagine are caring about and praying for our son!
Yesterday when we arrived home from the hospital, after a 5-day chemo treatment, there was card and decorated jar waiting for Luke. I was floored to read that there is a book club in a town 30 minutes from the Lansing area that sent Luke this card and jar full of money to Luke. We’re not sure who actually delivered it to our house because we were at the hospital for the past 5 days. The card read: “Each month we collect a little bit of money with the plan to encourage someone at Christmas. This year, Christmas 2015 Jar’s hero is….YOU! May it encourage you, bless you, and bring a smile to your difficult situation.” It certainly brought a smile to Luke’s face! There was over $130 in the jar. That's a lot for a 15 year old boy! But even if the jar had only had a few dollars in it, it would have blessed us, just knowing that these strangers were thinking about Luke and wanting to encourage him.
The list of blessings from friends, family and strangers, just in the past few days is even longer. The grandparents of another patient on Luke’s floor at the hospital wanted to treat everyone to lunch, so they gave each family on the oncology floor a gift card to one of the restaurants in the food court near the hospital. My good friends made Luke a banner that has Romans 8:18 printed on it, and it's hanging on the wall above his bed. We've had Christmas goodies and MANY trees (!) delivered to our home. Last night yet another dinner brought to our home, this time by an apartment of college students who are studying for finals.
So, “I thank my God every time I remember you...with joy.” (Philippians 1:3-4) Thank you to friends and strangers for blessing Luke and our family with your kindness and generosity! Please keep praying for God to heal our boy.
Grace and Peace,
(for James, Sam, Jay & Luke)