Monday, August 18, 2008

Back from the Philippines!

Thanks for your prayers over the last few months. We've had some blessings in the midst of this struggle the past few months. One of my dad's bosses from Corporate Chaplaincy sent our whole family on a vacation to the Philippines. We also had a generous donation from our church family at the Bridge to help pay for it. We went from July 18 - August 10. It was a lifelong dream of my dad's to show us where he grew up and it finally came true. He was very excited during our time there and looked very alive showing us down memory lane! (This is in front of the house he grew up in!)

Unfortunately the disease is progressing and faster than the doctors had intially thought. He went for his third assessment last Wednesday at the ALS Clinic. They initially thought his breathing had gone from 100% (last June) to 54% but after a re-assessment they figured that it was at 70%. The doctor said that once breathing drops to 50%, no one has ever lived more than 9-12 months. A "normal" rate of progression should have left him at 85% by now so that it how we know it's progressing faster. He's also lost almost all the strength and mobility in his arms and hands. He struggled with walking and balance a couple of times on the trip but now stairs and longer journeys are tough.

When we returned from the Philippines, he decided that he would not be returning to work. He has been struggling a lot with walking and talking and he does not feel that he can serve the people effectively anymore. Please pray for him. My dad has always been very active physically and busy serving people. It will be extremely hard for him to be at home and lose mobility. His love language is acts of service so he is used to doing things for everyone else!

Please pray that God continues to provide for my parents at this time. He has been so faithful in the past. My mom is still completely trusting in him for the future. Please also pray for my mom (Kathy) and Emily. The two of them will be their primary caregivers. Pray that God would give them strength and daily renewal.

Please pray for the rest of the family. It's hard being away, especially for Ang as she lives 12 hours north. It's hard being here for us too. I start school in a couple of weeks and all I want to do is be at home!

Thanks for your continued prayers, encouragement and understanding during this time!