A New Season

We alluded in our last news post to a health issue that had we had become aware of with Steven our fifteen year old son. We thank everyone for their prayers for us in dealing with this situation. Steven was diagnosed with Latent TB diagnosis and since then we have spent much time researching the condition and praying about how we should proceed with treatment. We learned that Latent TB is not active TB, meaning Steven is not contagious and does not have any symptoms of TB. He was exposed to someone who has active TB in Ukraine (TB is epidemic there) and his body captured the germs and is "holding" them. At any time in the future, if Steven's immune system is weakened, his body could become unable to hold the TB germs and it would become active and not only would his health be jeopardized but he would then become contagious.

Latent TB is treated with a very strong antibiotic for 9-12 months. Since the antibiotic can cause liver damage including hepatitis, Steven has to have his blood checked every month to monitor his liver functions. After much prayer and investigation of medical options in Ukraine, Jeff and I decided that we could not risk Steven's health by returning to Ukraine where his treatment options are limited and where he would continually be exposed to people with active TB while he was trying to rid his body of TB germs.

Jeff returned to Ukraine and is working with a missionary team from Pennsylvania with the Mercy Truck. After the outreach, Jeff will remain in Kyiv to remove our belongings from our apartment and then will join us in the US. I have been scrambling to find rental housing for us, which is not easy with 9 children. God has provided for us through a ministry in St. Petersburg, FL that rents completely furnished housing to missionaries on furlough or in transition. The only house they have that is large enough to accommodate us was already reserved, but the other family decided that they were not going to have to use it. I found out a few days ago that we could move in this week. This is a HUGE blessing because we cannot stay with my mother any longer and no one in the general public wants to rent their property to our large family.

We are grateful for your prayers for us and particularly for Steven. They have been a source of strength and encouragement as we have faced this challenge. We ask for your continued prayers and support that Steven would respond well to the treatment and that he will be completely rid of the TB germs. Please pray also for the new challenges we face in bringing Jeff back to America, and in God's continued provision for our family in the US. We know that in all things God is in control and we rest in the knowledge that we are in His hands during this difficult time.