Yesterday, I spent a lovely few hours with Sergey and Svetlana at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. It was so good to see them again: they really are a precious couple. Bless her, Svetlana had taken food and some Aussie dollars early in the morning for me, as she knew she wouldn’t be able to get to the hospital until about 5 pm due to work.
For someone with a ‘death sentence’ hanging over his head, Sergey looked remarkably well – the fruit of their collective faith, hopefully some of mine(!), and the prayers of many people in many different nations around the globe. That fact alone blew them away – that they could see even on comments put on my Facebook timeline comments promising prayer from so many different places. Sergey and I talked and talked – I wanted to pray with him when Svetlana was there, so it was great to catch up on their history. I thought they were Muscovites (people from Moscow, if you don’t know!), but they’re in fact from Tomsk, one of the oldest towns in Siberia (yes, really -40C in the winter!). Their daughter, Mary, is 11, and – to make them even more special(!!) they have my favourite dog: a golden retriever, Eve!
I caught up, too, with what had happened after we’d first met in June: Sergey had cancer then, and wasn’t really able to eat, experiencing a lot of vomiting and nausea. For the few weeks AFTER our first meeting, he said that he hadn’t felt so well in a long time, and was eating, put on 5kgs (nearly a stone for us Imperial measuring Brits, and 11 pounds for Americans), was playing tennis, doing a lot of bike riding. Then, as so often happens, a check up and tests told Sergey & Svetlana that the cancer was increasing, had become much more aggressive, and diagnosis and prognosis saw to it that, once again, he couldn’t eat, and was taken into the hospital mentioned, and the ‘death sentence’ was shortened…. 🙁
BUT – for a couple from a Russian Orthodox background, a religion that wouldn’t have any concept of healing, and probably relatively little (if any) of the power and work of the Holy Spirit, they HAVE faith, though the prognosis knocked them back considerably, especially Svetlana. So our regular messaging on Facebook proved to be invaluable in replacing hopelessness with Biblical HOPE, and that’s why they me if I’d come here. It’s a humbling thing to be invited right into the ‘heart’ of a family’s ‘vulnerability’, and it’s being, even after a few hours together, such a blessed experience.
There was a wonderful presence of the Holy Spirit in that hospital room yesterday as we prayed together. And peace. What an amazing gift Jesus left for us! John 14:27-28 –
- “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.…”
And, though Sergey still looked tired (it’s so hard to sleep in hospitals for noise, the 3-4 hourly blood pressure/blood tests/temperature’ routine, etc), there was a new sparkle in his eyes that was lovely, and he said he felt much better. I’m looking forward to seeing them in a few hours’ time! My prayer – my hope – is that Sergey will go home this weekend…. and then, when the NEXT oncologist visit comes, and the resultant tests/scans, he’ll get the all clear…
A friend, Michael Gerner, put this video clip on my Facebook page yesterday morning, a video from Mahesh Chavda (whose ministry has had a significant – direct, personal – impact in my life), and a man with terminal stomach cancer being wonderfully healed. Here it is – it’s only about 1½ minutes long:
So, what will I find today…. 🙂