Life is a Gift - 15 September 2009

 

Dear Friends and family, and Brothers and Sisters in Christ

This world is standing on the doorstep of eternity.  The events unfolding around us indicate that Christ's coming is even at the door.  The urgency to prepare ourselves as a people, as a church, for this event has pressed heavily on my heart, and in the last 2 ∏ years, I have done my utmost to spread the truth of Jesus' soon return. 

We have seen the Lord's leading, as He has opened many doors for our ministry.  The messages He has asked me to carry have spread across the world in a very short space of time with such power and urgency that we know it was not of our doing.  Today however, as I write to you, the Lord has engaged me in a new battle, this time on the home front.  I have to periodically take my eye off preaching God's Word, and trust that what I have done over this short period has been enough-for the moment.  My focus now changes: time with my family and the battle and hope of survival are now paramount.

Due to the overwhelming response of people reacting to our situation and the incredible kindness we are being shown from so many sides, I feel it is my duty to share with you some details about what is going on.

On Friday evening 11/09/2009 I was diagnosed with multiple tumours, indicating possible and probable terminal cancer.  On Tuesday prior to this, I went to the GP here in town to ask him just to check me over, as an area of my vision was periodically being blacked out.  Over a period of about 45 minutes this would then slowly rectify itself.  This happened the first time about 2 months ago and has recurred about 5 or 6 times since then.  While travelling in Australia and New Zealand it also happened 3 times and I always put this down to extreme exhaustion and possible burnout.  It happened again while I was mowing the lawn at home and I also noticed that I did not have the same strength I had previously when I had done the same job a few weeks before.  I also had a slight persistent headache which did not go away, so I decided to go to the doctor to ask him to see if he could see anything.

His examination did not highlight anything, but he referred me to a neurosurgeon to also check just to make sure.  On Friday we met with the neurosurgeon and he confirmed that he believed there was nothing wrong except that I might have a lack of blood reaching the brain due to an old neck injury.  Against his normal judgement, he decided to send me for an MRI brain scan, just to make sure. When the MRI was done, immediately the senior radiologist was called, and a colourant was injected into the vein which helps highlight any abnormalities in the brain.  With this injection, Retha (my wife) and I realized that something was wrong.  Having received the scans, we went back to the neurosurgeon, and he was shocked to confirm that there were in fact 2 in fact tumours on the brain, both of which are bleeding internally.  There is also a lot of swelling visible around the tumours.  The bleeding indicated to the neurosurgeon that the tumour was a secondary tumour, and that the original must be sitting elsewhere in the body.  He therefore sent me to have a CT scan done on the entire torso.

  Naturally, finding out you have 2 brain tumours comes as quite a shock, and although I felt confident I would and could beat it through the power of Christ, it still hit home very hard.  Trying still to figure out how this happened and what to do next, we received the results of the CT scan which indicated that the problem was actually much, much bigger.  The second scan highlighted the presence of 5 additional tumours.  There are 3 tumours in the lung (one which is against the heart), and one on each of the 2 adrenal glands.  The tumours range in size with the largest being one of the lung tumours which is about 4.5cm in diameter - just bigger than a golf ball.  (I have attached 2 images for those among us who want all the gory details)

As I am sure you can imagine, this floored us completely.  I am 34 years old, living a healthy lifestyle, I have a beautiful wife and 2 small children, between Friday morning and Friday evening, although nothing had changed everything had changed.  Considering the way the tumours have spread across the body, the manner in which the tumours on the brain are bleeding and the size of the one tumour in the lung makes the doctors believe that this is malignant cancer of the worst kind.  Because of the size of the problem, the doctors have no idea how to stop it and using chemotherapy and radiation would be like trying to shoot a dinosaur with a peashooter-it would just make it angry.

So, the long and the short of it is that science doesn't have answers for the problem.  As human standards go, this is where hope fades and the future looks very grim.  As a Christian however, this is where our hope only starts.  The opportunity for Christ to perform a miracle is greatly increased by the severity of the problem.  In other words, when something is impossible for man, then God says "can I have a try?"

  This is where we are at the moment.  I have multi-faceted terminal cancer, possibly and probably a type of cancer that is termed 'small cell' cancer which is the most aggressive kind. (This must still be verified by biopsy)  Survival rate of this type of cancer is around 20% after 2 years, but in my situation about 2 to 3 months. http://www.cancersupportivecare.com/smallcell.html.  Basically, I and my family are at a point of human and scientific impossibility, which this means we are at a fantastic place-a place where only God is powerful enough to work.

We made a decision on Nov 19 2005 when we were baptized that "... as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Jos 24:15).  When the Lord called me to carry the responsibility of being an evangelist, I accepted the burden based on the following passage that He gave me at the time: "There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.  Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Jos 1:5-9)

My beloved, the Lord is with me 'whithersoever I go', even if He leads me through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil Psa 23:4.  I have taken my calling very seriously and I can say with confidence that I along with my wife have put our hearts and souls into calling people to Christ.  As a result, the Lord has blessed our efforts and people all over the world have not only been touched by the message, but are literally walking into the churches and accepting the Truth for what it is.  I am deeply humbled by seeing this happen, and I know that He has heard our pleas in the past.  Based on this I can now say with absolute confidence that I know my Redeemer liveth, and if it is His decision that I should be laid to rest, then, although it is difficult to understand, I accept this as His will.  I must however say that I do not believe my work is finished, in fact I believe it is about to start.

As with all illness, this cancer is without doubt a satanic attack and an attempt to limit or stop the work we have been doing.  As stated, I do not believe my time is finished, and I know that the Lord can take any situation and change it that the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby (Joh 11:4).  I and my wife have asked the Lord to use my situation to strengthen and bolster His work.  Amazingly, He is already doing so because the doctors have stated that they can't believe that I am still alive, never mind functional, and that the strict diet and lifestyle I have maintained helped me survive.  If it had not been for the health reform as taught in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, I would have and should have long been dead.  This in itself is a fantastic testimony to the truths I have been preaching.  Added onto this, the most amazing movement has happened in only 3 days where people from all walks of life, people from different church groups and even enemies have put their differences aside to focus on a common goal.  I believe that the Lord is testing His church to see if we are ready and willing to die off the dead Laodicean spirit and allow the Philadelphian spirit of brotherly love to grow in our hearts.  I can say that the response to our plight has been unexpected, and that we have literally received thousands of phone calls, sms's, emails and faxes wishing us well and telling us that people are praying for us.  The kindness and love we have been shown has just been phenomenal. I believe more than ever before, the Lord is uniting His church worldwide for the final movements.  I also believe that His name WILL be glorified from this situation.  If we have had some small part to play in that, then we feel humbled and forward all honour through to Him.

Although it is very hard to consider, especially when I look at my wife and my little children, I can say today without reservation "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..." Job 13:15  because "I know that my redeemer liveth..." Job 19:25.  "It is time [now] for the Lord to work" (Psa 119:126) because "My loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh." Psa 38:7)  But I know that ... "in thee, O LORD, do I hope: thou wilt hear, O Lord my God." (Psa 38:15) "Forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me". (Psa 38:21) Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation. (Psa 38:22)

My question remains: ... If God be for us, who can be against us? Rom 8:31 

In a couple of hours time (Wednesday morning) at 10am South African time, we will be holding an anointing, asking the Lord for healing.  I know He will answer with a positive response.  He will heal me, but it remains His choice and will if He heals me spiritually and physically or just spiritually.  I selfishly solicit your prayers for this time, and ask that you petition the Lord to show His mercy upon us and heal me physically as well so I can be allowed to continue working for Him.  If however, the Lord wills that I am not healed physically, then we will accept that and deal with the next situation as it arises. 

In the mean time the doctors have scheduled me for an intra-lung biopsy for Thursday 17 Sept 2009.  There is a good possibility that they will take a look and ask what happened to the tumours as they have disappeared, but if I am not healed tomorrow, the biopsy should give an indication of what type of cancer we are fighting.  By the way, it seems that the cancer has been in my body for a number of years but my healthy 'Daniel' lifestyle has enabled me to continue on as normal and maintain the toughest schedule.  From some of the tests done so far, there is an indication that the cancer could have come from the Epstein Barr virus.  This is something one picks up in the same way you catch the flu, so there is no knowing where or when it started.  There is therefore no need to think sinister thoughts about the cancer being planted, although this is a possibility.

Please feel free to pass this email onto anyone who might be interested, especially those who want to know the full story from 'the horse's mouth'.

In closing, the words of the last 2 verses of my favourite hymn "Abide with me" are close to my heart at the moment:  I need Thy presence every passing hour. What but Thy grace can foil the tempter's power? Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be? Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me. I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless; Ills have no weight, And tears no bitterness Where is death's sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if Thou abide with me!

Lord, if you find it in your grace to heal me, I will accept.  If you find it in your grace not to heal me, I will accept; but what I do ask is that You please allow Your work to benefit from my situation.  Your people have been protected for too long, and it is now time for us to stand up and be counted so you can come and fetch your people.  Lord, if you do not heal me, I pray that you will raise up others who will carry this message even further, as I am no longer able to do so.

Father, Lord in Heaven, forsake me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.  Make haste to help me, O Lord my salvation.  This is my plea.  I need Thy presence every passing hour, please Father please, abide with me.

Kind regards

Mark Woodman
(HomeBase Alliance of Biblcal Facts)
Eden Life Ministries

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