Medical Treatments for Steve/Deaf Mission Work in the Philippines
Praise the Lord, God opened up doors for Steve to get some medical care in the Philippines. His cancer actually completely died there. He responded well to the treatment. One of the challenges that patients have when their cancer dies, is that they have necrotic tissue (cancer die-off) which is also life threatening. We are thankful that Steve continues to heal and the cancer die-off is leaving his body step by step. Over the course of almost one year and half, we have happily seen people be healed of cancer, while others we have seen pass away. God has given us opportunities to love others in their time of need and for them to love us. Please pray for the family members of all of the friends that we have lost.
In our journey to the Philippines, God opened up the doors for Steve and me to be welcomed to the Governor’s office at the State Capitol. Mama Coring, my Filipino spiritual mother (she formerly worked at the U N Philippine Mission in New York City) and her family (all DEAR to me like family) contacted government officials on our behalf to have the opportunity to share the gospel with the Deaf in the Philippines. We went to State Capitol, and we were heartily welcomed. The Governor’s office gave us a list of all of the schools for the Deaf in the region. At the State Capitol, they also delivered a set of DVDs to one of the local Deaf clubs. The Governor’s office has two Deaf employees. We were blessed to meet one of them. The Governor’s office encouraged us to visit the schools for the Deaf and sent their card with us. The Deaf schools were so happy to welcome us. We were able to give complete sets of our currently edited DVDs (19 in all, not counting the ones that we made in conjunction with Deaf Missions). When we visited one of the schools for the Deaf, we were able to share the full gospel in the classroom. The students were very eager to learn. The teachers were very warm and welcoming. We were so over whelming blessed.
We also visited the Cebu Bible Seminary and presented them with a set of DVDs and extended a challenge to them to learn to sign. We would love to partner with the Bible seminary next year when we do a MATA Deaf exposition and a Deaf school out-reach from January 30 to February 14, 2018. Please pray for God to bless the Deaf who see our DVDs. Please pray that God will open up more doors to share the Gospel with the Deaf there next year. We are praying for God to bring together a team for this outreach event. We are thankful for the Policarpio/Eustaquio family who God used to open up doors for us to share Jesus there. Please pray for the Deaf in the Philippines and the outreach there next year.
Medical Care and Deaf Outreaches in Las Vegas
On July 14th, Steve, Selah, Nate Massey, Cloudi, and I traveled to Las Vegas for health body scans. It was really good for all of us. Since I had just been scanned at the end of April, I chose to not have a scan in mid-July. This scan showed that Steve’s cancer was dead. Nate, Selah, and Cloudi received a lot of great information from their scans to help them move towards better health.
The Crossings Church graciously allowed Steve, Cloudi, and me to stay at their mission house for 11 days. This was so helpful as the doctor was able to continue treatments and periodic scans. Selah returned to Bonham, and Nate returned to Dallas after the weekend. While in Las Vegas, Steve really made improvements because of the treatments. We were able to share a two-hour Gospel program with the Las Vegas Deaf Senior Citizens group. Steve even shared a dog show featuring Luna teaching that God wants us to love and OBEY Him. We so enjoyed meeting and sharing with the Deaf Senior Citizens at the Cambridge Recreation Center in Las Vegas.
We also had numerous opportunities to witness to Lyft drivers and we welcomed all of them to attend the Crossings Church. One of the Lyft drivers is a famous international professional basketball player. When he found out that Selah and I were going to Belize, he made calls to get assistance for us. He even contacted a friend in Belize to help us get on Belizean TV to be more effective to reach the Deaf while there. Meeting this wonderful man thrilled my heart, as I could see that God was moving us to reach out in Belize.
As Steve, Cloudi, and I prepared to leave on July 27th, I noticed that my abdomen was having issues, so I decided that I should have another scan. The doctor found a large cyst. Many aspects of the cyst seemed to be harmless, however the size of it and couple of other factors made it have some concerning traits. The doctor in Las Vegas insisted that I go home and have another special sonogram. The next day after arriving home to Texas, we went to an Emergency Room. The ER found that it was indeed a large ovarian cyst.
The Dr. from Las Vegas conferred with me on the phone, and encouraged me to go on my mission trip/ mother-daughter trip with Selah to Belize (Cloudi was not interested in going at that time as she is studying to take her Texas State Massage License. We are thankful for Jeanna Mead who is a hard-of-hearing woman who is coaching her). We were able to get round- trip tickets for $200 dollars each. So 3 days after finding out about the cyst, Selah and I went ahead and embarked upon our trip to Belize to reach out to the Deaf and to visit our missionary friends in Belize. The doctor told me to be careful to not vigorously exercise or eat too heartily as we did not want the cyst to rupture. The doctor said that this was such a wonderful opportunity with my daughter that we did not want to miss it, so we were encouraged to go and be cautious. I went on a heavy regimen of supplements and prayer, and told to return immediately after the trip for another scan. With confidence in the Lord, Selah and I happily went to Belize.
MINISTERING TO THE DEAF IN BELIZE: BELIZE IS UNBELIZEABLE!
Selah and I were excited to go visit Mark and Deborah Bloomer, missionaries who are starting Christ For the Nations Bible Institute/Seminary in Belize. We were so thankful that although the Bloomers had just moved there, they helped us with housing, transportation, and assistance in our Deaf mission outreaches. We had been friends with the Bloomers in Texas. Steve had attended a men’s Bible study at the Bloomers house in Allen, Texas, for couple of years. Steve and Mark enjoyed friendship and fellowship in the Lord. Whenever our family visited the Bloomers in Texas, we were always encouraged. The Bloomers helped us to recruit Samantha Smith as a volunteer/intern with Expressions of Emmanuel. So it was exciting to visit with them again. We also hoped that this trip would open up doors for more outreach in future (when Steve and Cloudi can come as well). We are so thankful for the Bloomers. Please pray for their outreach there.
We first went from Belize City to Placencia. There we were able to meet a Deaf man and share the gospel with him. His boss was so impressed with his Deaf worker. The boss said, “He is my best worker! I love him. He is like family to me. I have been praying that someone would come and share the gospel with him. I want him to know Jesus!” We were able to use a tract and share the gospel with this dear Deaf man. He was eager to learn of the love of Jesus! We left information about our website and YouTube Channel. The boss (who had a large lovely home) said that he would allow his Deaf worker/family member to just spend time watching the Bible lessons, testimonies, and songs on our YouTube Channel and website. Praise the Lord! Please pray for this man, Ed.
After Placencia, the Bloomers took us to stay at their rent house in Spanish Lookout. There we met with a minister with the Deaf at the local Mennonite church. We gave one set of our DVDs to the Cayo Deaf Institute and another set of our DVDs to the local Mennonite Church. We enjoyed visiting two Deaf ladies, Sandra and Teresita, in the area. We enjoyed sharing Biblical truths with each other. We enjoyed visiting with a lady, Rosella Plett, a foster mother/employer for them. She loves them like her family. This dear woman and her family were very encouraging. We had some great times of fellowship and we gave a set of DVDs to the Pletts and they will be a lending library to the Deaf in the area. Selah and I also interpreted for a worship service for these Deaf ladies. Please pray for these Deaf ladies and the Deaf in this region.
Surely the Lord opened up the doors for us to share in a big way in Belize. Our new friend from Las Vegas, Alex Carcamo, made contacts with his friends in Belize who arranged for Selah and me to be on a morning interview TV show, Open Your Eyes Belize! (similar to Good Morning America). We were able to share about our faith in Jesus, to explain about the mission work of Expressions of Emmanuel and the need of sharing the gospel with the Deaf in every nation, to share our desire to reach out to the Deaf in Belize, to encourage the audience to know that Deaf people CAN DO, and to challenge families, friends, and communities to learn sign language. It was also wonderful that we were able to have Deborah Bloomer join us so that she could offer her research information about the Deaf schools and the need in Belize. It was also great because she was able to share briefly about starting the Christ for the Nations Bible Seminary. God blessed our time with the interview. Afterwards we were able to leave a set of DVDs with the Deaf school in Belize City where they said that they would certainly use the DVDS! Praise the Lord for opening these doors!
We are so thankful for the Bloomers, the Pletts, Alex Carcamo, William Neal, the OYE staff, and you! Our prayer warriors/ financial supporters make this possible. See the 30 minute broadcastClick Here
Another saying about Belize is…. “You better Belize (believe) it!” We did have an unbelizeable time where a MIGHTY GOD showed His power. It is our desire to return there and do more outreaches in the future. Please ask God to bless the DVDs that we left to be tools to help people know Jesus more. Please pray for the Bloomers as God is leading them into an amazing work there. Please pray for us to be able to return and share with about the Love of Jesus!
31 Countries! Praise the Lord!
Selah and I were able to go across the border from Belize to Guatemala too. We hope one day to visit some Deaf missionaries there too. We want to be God’s servants I rejoice that this summer marks a milestone for me as I traveled to my 31st country in missionary efforts. The praise goes to God! He has led me and used His people to send me and pray for me. Thanks for being a part of God’s work by supporting me and my family to share Jesus every place we can! On my first mission trip (at the age of 19 to Europe). I had NEVER before flown. Does this mean that we have tons of funds? Absolutely NOT, but God always makes a way to get us where He wants us to go and sometimes His provision comes in the strangest ways, but it just shows that God is so AMAZING! We cannot put God in a box! He is limitless. My desire is to continue to serve Him wherever He wants and whenever He wants for as long as He wants! I can envision myself serving in some way as a 100 year old! Why do I mention this milestone? To put badges of honor on me? NO, but to say PRAISE THE LORD!!!! HE uses quirky girls like me and He can use anyone. So let’s keep serving Him until He comes again! I also make mention of this milestone to say a roaring “THANK YOU” for your partnership in the gospel, my family and I could not serve without your financial support and your prayers! GLORY TO GOD!!
Texas/Oklahoma Homefront : Steve Continuing to Improve
While Selah and I were in Belize, Gene Kirk (the son of Ladell and Sharon Kirk, friends and EOE advisory council members) stayed at the mission house. We are thankful to have had him there to take care of things. We also had him stay so that he could search for jobs in the area as he had been laid off in Oklahoma.
When Selah and I were flying to Belize, Sharon and Ladell Kirk were taking Steve and Cloudi to Grove, Oklahoma to stay while we were gone. Sharon and Cloudi helped to take care of Steve and keep him on all of his supplements. There are just so many aspects of detoxing that it is good to have a team work together to get rid of the cancer die-off (necrotic tissue) Sharon did some wonderful Gluten Free cooking. We are trying to fatten up Steve as he lost a lot of weight. Slowly but surely, Sharon and Ladell saw Steve get better. We are so thankful to Bob and Carolyn Plunk who allowed them to stay with them at their lovely home. It was just a relief for me to know that Steve was being monitored and cared for by such wonderful people while I was in Belize. The Trinity Baptist Church in Grove was so kind to Steve and Cloudi. Trinity Baptist has been great prayer warriors for us too. We are thankful for all of our prayer warriors and supporters!
When I arrived home, Judy Denman drove me straight to Grove from Dallas so that I could visit my Bible translator missionary friends and EOE supporters, Gregory, Rondalyn, and Annalyn Ohrenberg. We just had a couple of hours in Joplin and I was exhausted, but it was a DELIGHTFUL visit! Afterwards, we rushed to Grove so that I could see Steve and Cloudi and get some much-needed rest. The Plunks were so kind and even took us to breakfast as we were leaving town. We hurried home to Texas where we packed to leave at 4 a.m. for Las Vegas. Around 8 p.m on Friday night, August 18th, this dear young man, Nate Massey came for a visit. He talked with Steve and me for around two and half hours and prayed with us for 30 minutes. We were up until midnight, (and we had to leave at 4 a.m.) but it was glorious! He asked us a special question to which we gave him a hearty “YES!” (Stay TUNED to find out what we answered!)
Getting Help for Health Concerns! Praise the Lord!
At 6 a.m. on August 19th, we departed to Las Vegas to have more scans for both Steve and me. It was determined that my ovarian cyst had not shrunk, but instead grown, so the doctor said that when we returned home that we needed to immediately find a gynecologist to operate and remove the 11.5 cm cyst.
While in Las Vegas, Steve received three days of treatment which helped him greatly. We returned home to Texas and on August 22nd, Steve had an appointment with a surgeon to see if he should have surgery to remove the remaining cancer dieoff. He had an MRI and we are awaiting the doctor’s response as to whether that would be wise or not.
Also on August 22nd, I met with a gynecologist who said that surely, I should have my ovaries removed. He did a special blood test (CA 125) which is cancer marker for ovarian cancer. The next day, his office called and said that my tumor marker reading was quite elevated so that meant that I would have to be referred to a gynecological oncologist. Cancer is not the only reason that a CA 125 test is elevated, but does warrant enough concern that the surgery must be done even more carefully to avoid having the contents of the cyst seep into other parts of the body. On the 24th, I met with the GYN oncologist and he said that I would need to have a radical hysterectomy. My hysterectomy is scheduled for September 5th at 9:30 a.m. I have had problems with anesthesia before with smaller procedures. It appears that many of my family members have had anesthesia challenges. Please just pray for a smooth surgery, recovery, and for complete healing. Frankly, this is a great challenge for me, but with your prayers and faith, and the love of God, I will let them take me into that operating room on Tuesday. I was just talking to Sherry Lococo, dear friend and one of our EOE advisory council. I told her that my confession is “I will trust the LORD COMPLETELY! “ Of course that makes me think of Proverbs 3:5-6 “ Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways ACKNOWLEDGE Him and He will direct your paths.” Sherry said that God was really teaching her to acknowledge God to recognize how good He is, and to look for what God is doing. Romans 8:28 says God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” So Sherry and I agreed God is working in our lives… we have to stop and recognize Him and seek to see what
He is doing! In sign language it is so important to acknowledge that you are paying attention to a Deaf person.. by head nods or a “Y” Hand-shaped sign, “OH I SEE!” So my challenge to you and to myself is to ACKNOWLEDGE God… notice Him and seek to see what He is doing and trust HIM completely. Sherry and I laughed as I said… we have to remember…. Proverbs 3:5-6 says that HE (God) will direct your paths… so when they put me on that hospital gurney (moving bed)… I will have to let them take me off to surgery. Sitting still is hard for me, so surgery… 4 to 6 weeks of recovery seems challenging, but I trust that the Lord is willing to meet me there and it will be good. I have much to study and read. I pray to write a lot. I want to spend a lot of time in prayer and listening to the Lord. The song by Newsong, “Before the Day” has been an encouragement to me as I prepare for surgery. My heart is seeking to focus on Psalm 46:10 “Be still and Know that I am God and I will be exalted above the nations.”
We were also so thankful that last Sunday, minister, Mike Crow, and Hillcrest Christian Church prayed for me as I prepare for surgery. Also David Bradley, friend and minister of Whitewright Baptist Church came with a couple of the men to our home to pray for Steve and me. The Alexanders were with us and they also joined in prayer with us. Thanks to all for your prayers! God bless you! Holy Hugs!
HEARTACHE: HURRICANE HARVEY HURLS A HEAVY HAMMER!
We along with the world have had our hearts heavy to see the effect of this hurricane. We were so thrilled that our dear friends, the Alexanders, from LaPorte, Texas, came to stay with us for a several days to avoid the storm. We enjoyed their visit and were glad to be able to house them. As soon as the roads cleared up well enough for them to find a safe path … they returned home. Selah had just had some pillows donated from a hotel to help with homeless ministry, so she was able to donate part of that to Hurricane Recovery efforts. We and a few others in our community were able to donate supplies to go with the Alexanders as they returned to the Houston area. They could only take what would fit in their vehicle, but they filled it up. The Alexanders said that already the supplies have been put to use. We have been checking on our Houston friends via FaceBook. We are thankful that our son, Andres, was not in the storm. He was just preparing to move to Houston to start a job with Amazon.com. Please pray for him to still be able to start this new job. (Congrats, Andres for getting the job!) Please continue to pray for those who have suffered and those who are going to help. Let’s pray for God to bring restoration to South Texas. Please pray for people of India who recently had a great tragedy too. Please also pray for Belize and other areas that could be effected by the upcoming storm, Hurricane Irma. May God bless Texas and the World!
Planet Deaf App Coming Soon and Church Scribes Website
We are thankful that we have a wonderful website that Web PRO helped design and maintains for us. This gift is a blessing as it enables us to reach out with a website, blog, social media, and YouTube channel. Please check out our website. We are also excited that other websites like Church Scribes uses some of our materials. Check it out: Colleen Delaney is seeking to start and APP called Planet Deaf where she will use our materials. We looked into getting an Expressions of Emmanuel APP, so that we could reach out to more people, But there is no way that we could ever afford to do that, so it was exciting when Colleen contacted us to ask if we would share our Christian Songs, Testimonies, and Bible lessons on the Planet Deaf APP. We happily agreed to freely share our materials, but still maintain the rights to our videos. Planet Deaf is still in the making, so please pray or God to help Colleen to be able to get this up and running as this would be a great spiritual and educational resource for the Deaf community. We are happy to be a part and have God answer our prayer to reach out to even more with the grace and love of Jesus!
A MOUNTAINTOP EXPERIENCE
High in the mountains of Colorado, a young man takes a young lady mountain climbing, and on the top of the mountain, he asks one of the most important questions of their lives!
WILL YOU MARRY ME? A VERY EXCITED SELAH SAID “YES!” TO HER WONDERFUL
YOUNG MAN, NATE!
We, the Hamilton family, are very happy and thrilled to have Nate soon join the family. We are glad that they will be a lovely couple (family) that is devoted to serving and loving God, each other, and others! Nate has a wonderful testimony and love for the Lord! He is attending Dallas Christian College while Selah is working at DCC (tutoring center) and Hillcrest Christian Church (youth ministry); she is starting her Masters in Psychology at Dallas Baptist University. Nate does supply preaching across the state. He is a wonderful preacher! The wedding date is still being determined. Enjoy the photos immediately after he asked her to marry him.
WILL YOU MARRY ME? A VERY EXCITED SELAH SAID “YES!” TO HER WONDERFUL
YOUNG MAN, NATE!
We, the Hamilton family, are very happy and thrilled to have Nate soon join the family. We are glad that they will be a
lovely couple (family) that is devoted to serving and loving God, each other, and others! Nate has a wonderful testimony
and love for the Lord! He is attending Dallas Christian College while Selah is working at DCC (tutoring center) and
Hillcrest Christian Church (youth ministry); she is starting her Masters in Psychology at Dallas Baptist University. Nate
does supply preaching across the state. He is a wonderful preacher! The wedding date is still being determined. Enjoy
the photos immediately after he asked her to marry him.
September 5 9:30 Radical Hysterectomy for Vonda Medical City Hospital, Plano/Dallas
October 8 Expressions of Emmanuel Advisory Council Meeting at Tim and Janie Huff’s Home, Sapulpa,OK
October 15 Expressions of Emmanuel shares at Mission Fair at Hillcrest Christian Church, McKinney, TX
November 15-19 International Conference on Missions, Expressions of Emmanuel Booth #703
Jan.30-Feb. 14, 2018 MATA DEAF Exposition and Deaf School Outreaches, Cebu, Philippines
Pictures Summer 2017
Governor’s Office Philippines
Deaf School Philippines
Handing out tract in Belize to ED
The Bloomers in Belize
Grove, OKLA – The Kirk’s,
Hamilton’s & The Plunk’s
Sharing with Rosella, Teresita, &
Sandra in Belize.
Vonda & Selah at TV interview in Belize.