About a year ago our SIM Niger family went through a difficult time as two of our family members struggled with serious health needs. We asked your prayer for them at that time and they and we were encouraged by prayers on their behalf from around the world. So, I thought maybe you'd like an update on how they are doing and have a chance to give God the glory for His goodness and faithfulness.
As you will remember, Andrew suffered a seizure, resulting in tests that showed a mass on his brain. He was medically evacuated to Australia where further tests showed that the mass was cancerous. He underwent surgery to remove the mass and then radiation treatment. It has been a long, difficult road for Andrew and his family. In October, Andrew and his family returned to Niger for a short visit, to sell their belongings, and to say proper good-byes. It was a very difficult decision for them to end their ministry in Niger but felt it was not wise to stay because of the lack of availability of MRIs and CAT scans which are necessary to follow up on Andrew's health. They are currently seeking where God wants them next....possibly in a ministry in Australia.
In December Andrew wrote: "December 21 we saw the Neurosurgeon as a follow-up to the MRI that I had on the 1st December. Again very good news. There was only a slight change to the surface around the brain where the tumour was located, which they believe is the result of the radiation treatment. My next MRI is in 6 months time..... Let us all rejoice and live lives of thankfulness for these great gifts, therefor serving him with all our hearts while we have life and breath."
As you will remember, Yoko is our sister who had a hematoma on the brain after a terrible car accident. She was operated on in Niger and was in the hospital for a long period of time and then a long convalescence in Niamey (she works in Galmi). When she was well enough to travel she returned to Japan for a period of rest and recuperation and further medical care. She was able to return to Galmi and to her work there!
Yoko is 65 years old and runs circles around many people half her age! She recently retired and has returned to Japan....not to sit in her rocking chair (or whatever elderly people in Japan sit in) but to work as a SIM representative in Japan. Some of her co-workers wrote tributes to Yoko after attending her retirement party. You can read (and I highly recommend that you do!) these posts at:
As Andrew reminded us....let's rejoice and live lives of thankfulness, serving Him with all our hearts while we have life and breath. We felt that death came close last January and we are so thankful to God for what He has done for Andrew and Yoko.