For the past several months, James has anxiously been awaiting an opportunity to return home to see his family and to assure them that though he is not cured nor finished with treatment, he truly is okay. We have had tremendous compassion for his family, who we can only assume have been feeling hopeless in the face of James's diagnosis, grieving the imminent doom of their brother, and saddened by their inability to do anything to help from such a great distance.
This month, James finally got the go-ahead from his radiologist, oncologist, pulmonologist, and surgeon that he would be fine to return home for the holidays. (The holidays? Oh yes, the biggest celebration in the world is coming...Chinese New Year.)
Here's an excerpt from an email I received from him tonight, which brought me tremendous joy. I know that many of you have been praying specifically for James's family, that God would be at work in their lives through James's cancer. Be encouraged, and please keep praying for them.
So I made it home yesterday, and I am definitely glad I'm here. All my family are so anxious to see me, it reminded me of the first time you came to the village. When they saw me, my eldest brother immediately ran to me and hugged me and lifted me up. Third brother was stunned to see me doing so well, and he goes "Nobody would think you are an ill person at all, I have been wasting all my emotions." He just could not believe what he saw. Third sister-in-law said, "When we saw you on screen you always looked pail and puffy, we were just worrying about you." And everybody goes on and on. I have never seen them getting so excited. [Kristen's interjection - if you know Chinese people at all, I can assure you that James is not exaggerating.]
By the evening time the whole house was crowded with relatives and family friends. In front of 40-50 people I was able to share with them about how the Lord led me through this journey, they attentively listened for about an hour, many of them were weeping.
I am just so glad to be here.
Continue to pray - James needs sleep & he mentioned that his cough is worse than when he was here just a few days ago. Could be a mix of lack of sleep, an arid environment, dust, smoking...cancer. (wink.) I am sure that James will have many, many opportunities to speak with family and friends. Pray that he would be strengthened and would take advantage of the opportunities given him. Thanks, all - you're fabulous!