Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Test Results

We haven't forgotten all you out there wondering how things have ended up for us here with Jack.  We did get back from Singapore and have just today gotten all the results back from the tests.  We wanted to wait till they were all in before we wrote. 

We have good news and not so good news.  The good news is that Jack does not have Celiac's Disease.  The bad news is, we have no idea what's wrong.  All the tests came back negative, including parasite tests, allergy tests and the CD test.  That puts us back to square one with no concrete direction for figuring out what is causing Jack to have diarreah and loose weight.  We are baffled to say the least and frustrated too.

We have been talking with our field leadership, praying a ton, reading the Word, asking God for His clear direction and have just tonight asked our Pastor and leadership at our home church to give us counsel.  We have asked the doctor in Singapore if there is any more she can do to help us and her answers have been very vague, giving us the impression this is where she has to stop.  We are now wondering what is next.  Please pray with us as we seek God and His will in this. 

Again, we'll keep you posted!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

No results yet

It's Friday morning, January 25, my 33rd birthday and I am so happy to be home with Joel and Owen again.  It was a long 9 days but amazingly restful too! 


Jack had his endoscopy and biopsy on Wednesday morning and all went well with the procedure.  He was a champ!  The doctor said that it didn't look like any damage has been done to the lining of his intestines yet so that is good news.  The results of the tests, both blood tests and the biopsy won't be back till next week so now we wait, once again.  In the meantime, Jack is on a no cows milk, no gluten diet.  Already the diarreah is less than it was a few days ago. 


Our minds are desperate to jump ahead and figure out the outcome of all this. What if he has celiacs, what if he doesn't?  Where does that leave us?  So many questions and no answers yet.  The only thing we know to do is rest in the sovereignty of God.  That is so hard as a human being.  Every hour I change my mind about it all, questioning myself, my resolve to rest.  Joel is the same, we've had to just let go and that's not easy.


Jack and Joel both have colds right now and aren't feeling at their best so please pray that they can get the rest they need and recover quickly. 


Again, and again, and again, we are so thankful for your prayers and encouragment in all this. 



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Entering into His Rest

My mom reminded me today that we haven't posted in a few days so here's an update from us...

Jack and I, Bethany are still in Singapore, staying with some other NTM Reps here. We feel a bit like we're on vacation or something as we're just waiting around for the endoscopy that is scheduled for Wednesday this week. The place we are staying at has a really really nice pool and playground so we're roughing it by hanging out at the pool everyday. Rough, I know! Since we have put Jack back on a regular food diet, his diarreah has returned with a vengence. I'm more and more sure it's something to do with food and the more I read on celiac's disease, the more I think we're on to something there. Today we went to IKEA and had fun window shopping. I love that place. For those of you who know it, don't be too green with envy. I didn't get much that was too exciting. A stuffed animal for Owen, a plastic bag holder thingy, and a surprise for Joel! He'd have drooled his way through the store if he were here. Made me miss him so much more.

We are both, Jack and I, saying several times a day, "I miss Daddy and Owen". It's been a week now and with 4 more days away, it's feeling too long.

Joel and Owen are doing well at home. Joel says Owen goes into Jack's room each day and just sits there looking around like he knows something is missing. Did I mention yet that he's pulling to standing on anythign he can? Watch out world, this little guy is on the move - at 8 months!!! Joel is keeping up best he can with language study while we are gone, having friends over for coffee and being fed well at other friends' homes.

God is really taking good care of us through this whole process. I had a great talk with the lady I am staying with the other night. And I've come to the conclusion that even though I don't know what tomorrow holds for us and everything doesn't fit in to nice little compartments, I can rest in the Lord and his grace and take each day as it comes. I am done looking ahead and trying to plan. I get no where doing that. I am entering in to His rest and enjoying the comfort he gives there. His yoke is easy and His burden is much lighter than mine! It's a good trade, I think. Thanks for praying still.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The First 4 Steps

I don't have much time this morning to write but wanted to fill you all in on what we found out yesterday at the Doctor's office.  Doctor Aw is a wonderful sweet gal, my age (mid 30's), I'm guessing, who was eager to figure this out with us!  Praise the Lord!  She has ordered some tests to be done starting with a stool sample test for a parasite (again - #5), then today a skin prick allergy test.  We go in at 9am here to have it done.  Then I am to feed Jack whatever he likes this week till next Wednesday so that we are reinserting the possible offending foods into his system again and this will allow her to see if injury is being done to his intestines by them.  This test is called an endoscopy (8:30 am Wednesday 23 January). She'll be looking for several things in this biopsy, one of which is to see if Jack has celiac disease.  She is not 100% sure it's that but she wants to be sure.  Celiac disease, as i understand it now is an "allergy" to gluten in wheat. She will also be checking to see if there are signs of other irritation to the gut by other food allergens and also to see if there is a parasite there.  Please pray that she can see what she needs to see in this procedure and that the answers are clear.  At the same time as the endoscopy, she'll take a blood sample to run a smattering of tests. 


We decided to have this all done at reletively one time as our time here in Singapore is limited.  We hope we have covered our bases well and that one of these tests will reveal something.  It is actually a bit complicated how all the tests work together in this and if you want more details, please write me. 


I do have access to email here.  Your prayers and words of encouragement to us are overwhelming.  Thank you!




Saturday, January 12, 2008

On To Singapore

We got the email we were hoping for last night!  There is a gastroenterologist in Singapore that will see Jack on Tuesday morning.  She will do some tests of her own and examine him and then we'll go from there with allergy testing.  Thank you again for your prayers up till now, and please pray that we can figure this out once and for all. 

Friday, January 11, 2008

Walk on in Faith

We have been contacted by a doctor there in Singapore today that he is in touch with a gastroenterologist who will see Jack.  She will examine him and then go from there if he needs to see an allergist or tropical medicine specialist.  I will still ask that he see both once we get there.  It seems things are underway but we just lack dates.  I have checked on tickets for Monday so we'll see.


Owen is still fighting a fever and is obviously not feeling well again today.  The fever is lower than yesterday so that is good and the medicine seems to be helping the fungal infection.  Thanks for praying. 


I must give praise to the Lord for the house helpers He has given us.  They are a big help to me and I feel that even though I am leaving Owen behind with Joel, they will do a great job loving and caring for him so that Joel can continue to study while I'm gone.  That was a prayer request on our hearts before we came back here and God has given us our hearts desire. 


I will share with you a poem I read today in a book I've been going through.  There is no title and the author is unknown.  It was a huge encouragement to me today.



Child of My love, fear not the unknown morrow.

Dread not the new demand life makes of thee;

Thine ignorance doth hold no cause for sorrow,

For what thou knowest not is known to Me.


Thou canst not see today the hidden meaning

Of My command, but thou the light shall gain.

Walk on in faith, upon My promise leaning,

And as thou goest, all shall be made plain.


One step thou seest: Then go forward boldly;

One step is far enough for faith to see.

Take that, and thy next duty shall be told thee,

For step by step thy God is leading thee.


Stand not in fear, thine adversaries counting;

Dare every peril, save to disobey.

Thou shalt march on, each obstacle surmounting,

For I, the Strong, shall open up the way.


Therefore go gladly to the task assigned thee,

Having My promise; needing nothing more

Than just to know where'er the future find thee,

In all thy journeying –I GO BEFORE.



So in the second half of today, I see the step before me and I'll walk in it till He reveals the next.  FFFHeeeewwww, this faith thing sure is easier said than done!



Thursday, January 10, 2008

another prayer request

I know it is beginning to seem like all we do in this blog is write about the health of our boys but right now that is what is in the fore front of our minds.  Today Owen has been running a fairly high fever, it got up to 104.2 an hour ago.  Thankfully there is an American doctor who lives here in town and so I was able to take him there to make sure he's ok.  The doctor said it is a virus and to just keep him on tylenol but the tylenol is only taking it down about a degree for an hour or so and then it goes back up.  So again, from this mother's heart, I ask you all to pray for our little guy.  Add to that a fungal infection in his diapered area and the poor guy is miserable!


It looks like Jack and I will be going to Singapore on Monday if all goes as planned and then he'll see some doctors beginning on Tuesday.  I am hopeful that Owen will be through whatever this virus is by then so I can go with peace of mind that he and Joel will be ok here by themselves.  Thank you once again for your prayers. 


I have been spending my mornings reading about what James has to say about going through trials in James chapter 1.  Endurance, perseverance and faith are the words I've that have been standing out to me.  HE is faithful and we will endure in faith.



Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Jack's Allergy test

Well, I took Jack in yesterday to the local allergy clinic and lets just say it was an all around experience.  The long and short of it is this:


The doctor thinks Jack is allergic to fish, cow's milk, eggs, wheat, soy beans, coffee (that can't be right – he's a Potter), tomato, peanut, house dust, dust mites, and pollen.  


WOW is all we can say right now. We are in a bit of shock.  But, the planners that we are discussed what we would do if either the tests came back that he wasn't allergic to anything or that he was allergic to everything or we felt the doctor was not as compotent as we'd like, and since the last two were true, we are heading to Singapore.  At least Jack and I.  I am awaiting word that the NTM missionaries there have contacted doctors who can help us and then we'll head there to hopefully see an allergist and a tropical medicine specialist to rule out that there is a parasite messing with him too, which is still very possible. 


Honestly, if these results are valid, this means a huge lifestyle change for our whole family.  Peanuts and soy are a huge part of life here and you can't avoid dust when everyone lives with dirt floors and yards (we have tile, thankfully).  Oh and the trees are constantly pollenating because we don't have seasons like at home.  Basically Jack can eat rice, fruit, vegetables, chicken, beef and pork.  Poor kid, no pasta?, no bread?  no cheese? no peanut butter? AHHHHHHHHKKKKKK!!!!!! 


Yet again, we are reminded that God IS IN CONTROL – I tell myself that hourly.  He does know what is happening and He controls what is happening and He is TRUSTWORTHY.  Whether this seems good or not we know he will work it out for His glory and that's why we exist.  We appreciate your prayers for us as we hunt for answers to our questions. Trusting is easier said than done as you all know.  


We'll keep you posted.



Monday, January 07, 2008

Update in the new year

Today finds us fairly well settled into our house and ready for Joel to begin language study this afternoon.  Our house helpers are working out well and will a little bit of time and further instruction will be able to keep us going when I begin language study next month.  We are really enjoying getting to know the newer families who are here learning language and have had several opportunities already to have meals with them.  I have gotten together with our language consultant several times just talking through what our next few months will look like and she feels like we will definitely be ready to move on in 6 months or so. 


The housing coordinator here in Salatiga let us know the other day that we will have to move into another house in late March/early April.  It's actually his house we will be moving into as he and his family are going on furlough and someone needs to live in it while they are gone.  And since we will be here a shorter amount of time than the other language families who are just starting out, the timing will be just right for us to live there while they are gone.  As much as we don't want to move again, we also realize that by doing this, we are helping out the team here.  Again, we know God has things for us to learn with each bend in the road and right now, if we aren't learning anything else, we are learning flexibility and to find our comfort in Christ not in our surroundings!


Owen seems to be doing better these days.  He is cutting teeth still and so he has good days and bad days but it seems the malaria has passed with all its side effects – Praise the Lord and thank you for praying for him.


Jack's health issues have worsened and continue to baffle us.  We did find out great news this week.  There is an allergy clinic here in town that does the food testing we want to have done and it's VERY reasonably priced.  I'll try to get him in there this week and hopefully we can get some answers to whether the diarreah is caused from foods or not. If not, we feel like we'll be at a cross roads and will need to take more serious measures to find out what's wrong.  There is the possibility that we would need to go to Singapore to have him tested more in depth.  Please continue to pray for us in this area.   It's so hard to see this happening and not know how to stop it. 


As we continue on each day here in Indonesia, we are more and more aware of God's power in our lives.  Knowing He left His heavenly home to come live here on earth encourages us when we feel so far from home and what we know.  He can relate to us in our struggles because He became a man and walked in our shoes.  To have Him as our strength day in and day out is what enables us to continue on.   


Thanks for continuing to keep up with us and all that is going on in our lives.  We are so blessed to have friends and family like you!


Bethany for Joel, Jack and Owen too