EDITORS NOTE: On June 10, the Rev. Scott Ostendorf, the pastor of Midland Valley First Church of the Nazarene, got bad news from his doctor: A biopsy showed he had pancreatic cancer. Despite that, the pastor believes that God will provide for his healing. This is the second report from his blog at www.myjourneytoamiracle.com. He carries a prayer pager. To send a prayer, call (803) 510-4325 (HEAL) and enter 733 for "I'm praying for you." Outside the North Augusta area, call (888) 869-7914 and press 733.
MONDAY, AUG. 29:
Faith & Miracles
What do you believe is Christ's greatest miracle? Popular answers would be Loaves and Fishes, Water into Wine, and Walking on the Water. Many credit the Healing of Lazarus as His greatest miracle, and the grand finale. I encourage you to read that story in John Chapter 11. You will notice an interesting demonstration of faith by Jesus. When he arrives at the tomb of Lazarus, he gives thanks to God BEFORE the miracle. He believed that God would provide the miracle DESPITE THE EVIDENCE! ...
That's the kind of faith that I want! The "evidence" shows that I have cancer. The "evidence" means that I have no hope for a cure, and a life expectancy of 7-9 months from today! Should I give up hope? Should I submit myself to the evidence and give up? NO WAY! I am thanking God for a miracle!
THURSDAY, SEPT. 1
PUTTING THINGS INTO PERSPECTIVE
... We were notified of a church family with a 15-month-old infant in ICU at a local hospital. The prognosis: not good. If the Lord doesn't intervene, the baby will die sometime today. We began to pray for the baby and his young parents. We began to pray for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We began to thank God for His many blessings ...
MONDAY, SEPT. 5
LABOR DAY MIRACLE
Many of you have been praying for Xander Martz, a 15-month-old baby in my church. Early last week he was hospitalized and scheduled for major surgery. Prior to his surgery, his condition deteriorated and he was placed on a ventilator. The doctors tried to remove the ventilator three different times, and he was unable to breathe on his own. The young parents were told that he would not get better, and were advised to remove him from the ventilator and let him die. On his way to the hospital early Sunday morning, the young father stopped by the church and asked to be anointed for his son one last time before they removed the ventilator. We gathered around the altar, laid hands on him, and prayed for a miracle. At 2 p.m. yesterday they removed the ventilator with orders NOT to resuscitate if the baby stopped breathing. The baby struggled initially, but began breathing normally, and is now out of ICU and in a regular hospital room. His parents report that he is more responsive and alert than he has been in three months! The doctors and nurses are amazed, and God is getting all the glory! Be reminded that we serve a God of miracles! I am trusting in God for my miracle.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 6
... Thanks for your prayers today. ... I will not receive the report until I meet with my oncologist tomorrow at noon and resume my chemo treatments.
As I sat in the waiting alcove just outside the exam room, I was reminded that my life changed dramatically when I sat in the same chair three months ago. MY LIFE was changed. MY FAMILY'S LIFE was changed. MY CHURCH'S LIFE was changed. But here is the amazing thing: Everything has changed for the better! Yes, I have cancer. Yes, the chemo treatments are horrible. But my walk with God is so much deeper and more rewarding. My ministry is more powerful and anointed. My church is growing.
Please pray for me overnight. I am hopeful ...
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 7
CT SCAN RESULTS
I met this afternoon with my oncologist to receive the report from yesterday's (CT) Scan. The news wasn't bad, and the news wasn't great ... just fair. There were several areas of good news. First, the cancer has not spread to any additional organs or other areas of my body. Second, my primary pancreatic tumor has not increased in size. Third, six of the seven metastatic tumors in my liver have not changed in size. Fourth, I gained 7 more pounds the past two weeks!
The bad news is that the 7th liver tumor has increased in size. This means that my current chemo medicine is not working, so I am beginning a new cancer drug this week, which is taken orally.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 8
GOD MY HELPER
... Upon hearing the results of my scan yesterday, a few people have asked, "Why hasn't God healed you yet?" My answer is very simple. It is not His will to act on MY schedule. He is healing me, and I am thanking Him for the healing, but I am yielded to HIS PERFECT TIMING!
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 14
RISE AND SHINE!
... I heard the song Rise & Shine. It reminded me of days past when I would roust my daughters out of bed each morning for school with the same phrase. They didn't like it much!
This morning, before daylight, I heard those same words spoken from the Lord. He told me to Rise & Shine. He invited me for a predawn walk outside. ... We walked, and talked, and sang. I rejoiced in His presence, and thanked Him for coming to me in the "cool of the day" and taking a walk with me.
He reminded me of several places in the Bible where He invited others to Rise & Shine. Adam & Eve in the Garden; Moses on the mountain; Lazarus in the tomb; Jesus on the Third Day!
Nothing has changed! He is still calling out to His children, RISE & SHINE!