Tomorrow we say goodbye to Archbishop Ben and Mama Gloria Kwashi. They arrived here in October expecting to have his cancerous colon tumor removed and then heal up for a few weeks and fly home to Nigeria.
During surgery, Dr. Madge Ellis found the cancer had spread to Ben’s liver and he was, shockingly, Stage 4. Ben definitely would have died had the Holy Spirit not rather miraculously told us to invite him to come here for treatment.
7 months and 12 brutal rounds of chemo later, Ben is healthy.
Ben’s levels of CEA (protein “tumor markers”) are within the normal range. In layman’s terms, the chemo was effective and Ben appears posed to have a much longer life!
Annette and I have been honored to share our home and our lives with them. We will never, ever forget them. They are dear to us.
++Ben and Mama taught us many things in the last 7 months. They are beautiful reflections of Jesus, they are wise, they are joyful. And they are also real. We have had deep, deep belly laughs and stunning meals together. Mama Gloria lovingly mocks me saying I say the same thing every night, “This soup is the BEST soup in the history of soups! . . .” or “This venison is the BEST meat on the entire planet!” And Mama notes that when I have cooked the meal, I really think it is the BEST!!
Some of the sweetest times we have had together are times of Bible study, worship and prayer. When life is hard and uncertain, you have two choices.
Withdraw from God and others OR engage.
That is it.
Withdraw OR Engage
The Kwashis and the Lawrences can give testimony that withdrawing from the Lord and the body of Christ is not a life-giving or even a realistic option, especially during a time of severe testing. We only experience shalom and joy when we open our lives to the Lord and other believers on a daily basis. (Acts 2:42, 1 Cor 12, Romans 12)
How about you? Is life hard for you right now?
What are you doing to navigate that?
I invite you to make a counter intuitive move and ENGAGE with your brothers and sisters in Christ and daily with the Lord. It takes a bit of commitment, but it is in the act of engaging that we enter worship. It is there we get the sweetest marrow! It is, ironically, the secret sauce that everyone is looking for.