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  • "If I am bound to the belief that God is in control of the cosmos, and miracles can and do happen, then there is no 'hypothetical situation' wherein God's ability to perform miracles through the faithful actions of the merciful ceases to be a possibility."

    Joshua's above words continue to resonate with us, his family, friends and acquaintances seeking to live out that same belief. Though he is no longer with us bodily, we strive to faithfully remember and testify to Joshua's witness among us, through the establishment of The Joshua Casteel Foundation and other initiatives on which we will continue to provide update through this website. Thank you for joining us.

    "The just man, though he die early, shall be at rest." (Wisdom 4:7)

    Joshua was diagnosed in early November 2011 with stage IV lung cancer (adenocarcinoma), which ultimately took his life on August 25, 2012 at the age of 32. The many of us who survive and love him will continue to pursue the heavenly justice to which Joshua (in life, and now in death) testified.

Good News

I wanted to get back to all of you as to how Joshua is doing. His headache was pretty bad all last night until this am. with his strongest pain meds Dilaudid not helping at all. I remembered the Dr. saying he could take Advil (and thinking that would be useless if the other didn’t work), I thought what do we have to lose? Well, to my surprise it worked!! And we’re thinking it was probably because of the anti-inflammatory aspect to it. So that makes us think that maybe the physical therapy he had the day prior to the headache may have been a little too much and irritated the area causing some swelling. Then he went to pool therapy the am. he started getting the headache and said there were exercises he did that seemed to immediately make his head hurt more. We’re assuming he’ll have to take it a little slower with the physical therapy. But I’m just thankful it’s gone and there is some reasonable explanation other than the cancer spreading to his brain. So I breathed a sigh of relief…at least for a few hours. I was in the kitchen and he was napping, as was Naomi. All of a sudden I hear a moaning sound coming from him almost exactly the same as when he had his seizure. Now this has been my biggest fear and the hardest thing to get over…the recalling of that moaning. I flew into the bedroom to see him smiling and I asked him what in the world had happened? He said he’d had a bad dream and in it he was moaning and that woke him up. I couldn’t believe the timing and ‘coincidental’ similarity to his seizure episode. That one took me a lot longer to come down from. But of course I am very thankful and happy that there seems to be nothing, outside of the ordinary issues, wrong. So thank you for praying.

As for me, I am scheduled to see a counselor next week who specializes in post traumatic issues and uses a technique that has proven to be very helpful in enabling a person to get beyond the bad memories and reduce the anxiety associated with them. I’m looking forward to it. Whether it’s because I’ve been dealing with the same kind of crisis for 2 yrs. now or there are aspects to Joshua’s situation that are more difficult for me to deal with on a daily basis, it seems I need some additional help in order to continue to give him the stable support that he needs. So please pray that this counseling will be very beneficial to that end. Again, thank you so much. It’s very reassuring to just know that you are all out there supporting us and praying.

With love,
Kristi

January 20, 2012 - 8:17 PM

Micaela and Doug - We will pray for your time w/ the counselor next week. It was good to read today’s update. Signed, two Internet lurkers who rarely comment :-)

January 20, 2012 - 11:05 PM

Greg - Just sent a donation to Josh. Tickled to think that it’s going towards juicing supplies, as I myself am a big fan of juice! Hoping and thinking positive thoughts for Josh’s recovery.

January 22, 2012 - 10:32 AM

Doralyn Benson - Thinking of you and continuing to pray for your whole family daily.

January 28, 2012 - 5:42 PM

Eli Lavelanet - Hi Josh, Kristi.

The address above came back from the Post Office as invalid. Is there a correction? Thanks.

Eli

January 30, 2012 - 12:00 PM

Rebekah (Casteel) Latchis - Hi Eli — The address above is correct, but I have retyped it below: 285 34th Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403. Thanks! – Rebekah

January 31, 2012 - 4:01 AM

Jim Forest - Dear Joshua,

If all the people praying for you were gathered together, we just might fill a sports stadium. I had a crowd of similar size praying for me when I was awaiting a kidney transplant. There was no miracle in the sense the word is most often used, but I had the sense of being somehow upheld by prayer, like a sail being filled by a steady wind. Candle lighting remains a significant sign of prayer in the Orthodox church. We’ve not only been praying for you every night before going to bed but on Sundays lightning a candle for you at our parish in Amsterdam (www.orthodox.nl).

Are you able to read? Reading became one of the main consolations during sessions of dialysis in my own case, though it was tricky holding a book in a hand that had a couple of large, long needles inserted not many inches away.

much love,

Jim

February 4, 2012 - 7:51 PM

admin - Eli, Sorry it’s taken so long to comment back. We’ve had so much going on I haven’t been on the site at all. The above address of: 285 34th St. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403 is correct. You might try again or ask them if there is another address on file. I’m not sure what the problem might be. Call us if you continue to have problems. (Home 319-363-7171 or Kristi cell 319-350-1221 or Josh cell 319-360-6935) Thanks, Kristi

Important Prayer Request

I just wanted to ask you all to pray for Joshua tonight and in the coming days. This morning he woke up realizing that his neck hurt, as if he’d been sleeping on it wrong and then felt a headache, moderate but there. He went to his swimming PT and said there was a particular move with his arms that caused his headache to worsen. He took a nap this afternoon and we were going to go pick up my car and he said his headache was worse and didn’t feel like going. I called Naomi to come be with him while I went to get the car. Methadone wasn’t cutting it so I called the doctor and they said to watch for additional signs over the weekend and call back Monday. I told them he hasn’t had headaches since we’ve been home and if he still has a bad one tomorrow I’m going to call them. BUT, I’m praying that won’t be necessary and if it really is from sleeping wrong the headache and pain in his neck will go away. So that’s the request…pray that whatever it is that God will intervene. It’s all right at his C-2 vertebrae at the base of his head, so it’s really unnerving. Thanks so much everyone, I’ll keep you posted. Oh, we’re supposed to go to Chicago Monday for his first session at Columbia, not great timing! This really is a ‘battle’.

Love to you all,
Kristi

January 19, 2012 - 11:48 PM

Chad - We are praying and hoping to see you in Chicago next week!

New Year…New Doctor…New Schedules…New goals

Hello Everyone,

I know it’s been a little while since our last update, but both Joshua and I have been under the weather with the Christmas cold that invaded our house.  He was the last to get it but he hit it quickly with apple cider vinegar and airborne and it never got a major hold. But he’s had to watch it more in terms of activity and naps.  He got over it the quickest…who said something about a compromised immune system?  We’re totally convinced on the change of diet regimen…he’s never felt better (in the midst of being very sick).  I on the other hand am still trying to get rid of my 6 week long cough and get my energy back…I’m not juicing yet because of the cost factor but I think we’re going to change here soon and I’m going to add it to my morning regimen.  And I’m going to the Dr. tomorrow to see what we can do to get me healthy again.  I suppose it doesn’t help that we both wake up 2 or 3 times a nigh,t so the sleep factor is not the best yet, but we’re working on that as well as getting to bed earlier.

Joshua went to physical therapy for the first time today and so after discussion with the doctor they will decide a good exercise strategy for him…stretching, swimming etc.  He’s starting to put more time working and preparing for his class which begins January 23rd…a Monday night once a week.  We’ll take the train up on Sunday, stay with friends and come back Tuesday.  Please pray that this will go smoothly as it is SO important to him.  I’m a little nervous, but then every new thing makes me a little nervous until I see that it’s going to be ok.  So far extra physical activity does seem to take some toll on him so we’ll have to figure out a way for him to get rest in the middle of the trip.  It’s tricky figuring out how much is too much and what he’s really capable of doing without compromising his healing.  (He still thinks he’s a bit of Superman, ready to meet any challenge),  I can blame Naomi for that as she bought him a Superman blanket after he finished radiation.

He’s getting much more of a rash on his face this week (which he’s not extremely excited about…but you know him, he doesn’t complain).  We understand that’s supposed to be a good sign that the Tarceva is working so we’re looking on it as a positive.  His fingers are still very red and sore, another side affect, but he’s taking pretty good care of them with hydrogen peroxide where he lances them and bag balm to keep them moist.  It’s pretty painful if he hits them up against anything but he’s functioning with them quite well.

Well, for all you College Football fans, I imagine you’re either very sad (LSU’s tragic loss) or very happy (Alabama’s total dominating win) if you watched it tonight.  We watched it with a friend of Joshua’s which was a lot of fun and ate a lot of Joshua’s homemade organic guacamole and chips (organic of course).  It was yummy and I ate most of it.  We’re both trying to gain weight as we’ve  lost more than we need to for sure these past two months.  So if anyone has some organic healthy fattening recipes (using only flaxseed oil for fat) send them on to us…we’re very open.

One request…please pray for wisdom about my car decision.  It looks like the cost to fix it is going to be greater than what it’s worth…totaled.  So that means another car, which Joshua is not sad about since he didn’t like my car for me because of visibility issues and he’s convinced I need  a car that has  no hands off the steering wheel features to keep my driving simplified.  I have to admit that my last couple of years, have proven to be full of distractions and a lot on my mind to make driving less than optimum in the safety department. (I have to mention, however, that the accident I just had was not my fault…:-)  So I am willing to consider something more simplified and safe, but it’s a big decision and the timing doesn’t seem to be what I would have picked but I have to trust that God knew that when he allowed that young girl to turn in front of me.  And I feel badly because she is a single mom who says she cannot afford to get her car fixed and says she has no family in the area to help her. (I learned this by 3 rather harassing phone calls she made to me (by text to phone) after the accident.  I’ve considered calling her to see if I think she is legitimate in her claims, despite her bad tactics in letting me know.  I’d hate for that to be true, when we’ve been showered with love and support in our crisis.  Please pray for wisdom in that decision as well.  I know, my life right now probably has more than you might have time to pray for…but there are a lot of you, our friends, out there, so you can pick and choose.:-) On a more serious note…

People ask me all the time how I (we) are doing and it is a very hard question to answer truthfully at times.  For me at least. While I am overwhelmed by the constant love we have and are being shown and I see God answering prayers which I am so thankful for, the very real struggles, physical and emotional drain, and pain He does not spare us from.  That’s a very real part of his real work in our lives…so the suffering is real.  Some people are comfortable hearing the first reality and some are comfortable with the second or both. The best way I can describe it at present comes from a book entitled, ‘Heaven is for Real’ by Todd Burpo about his 3 year old son who almost died on the operating table, and in the next few years shared more and more about his experience of being in heaven while he was under. (I know it sounds astonishing or maybe very doubtful but he was able to account for things he could never have known as a 3 yr. old…it’s a great book and a quick read).  But, people often made the comment to his dad that it must be so wonderful to have had that experience with his son and that his family was so blessed.  And his response was, ” In the sense that we’ve had a glimpse through the veil that separates earth from eternity, they’re right.  But I also think, Blessed?  We watched our son almost die…It’s fun talking about the things he saw there and the daughter we lost (by miscarriage) that we will see again someday.  But it’s not fun to talk about how we got there.  Recalling those terrifying days when we watched Colton cling to life still brings tears to my wife and I.  To this day, the miraculous story of his visit to heaven and the story of almost losing our son are one and the same event to us.”  And in thinking about writing the book they were somewhat tentative because as he stated, “A lot of people love his story because of all the details about heaven.  We like that too.  But then there’s that hospital part when we all walked through terror and misery for what seemed an eternity.”

When I read that I immediately identified with what he was saying.  There is a very real paradox  in the truth that God is or becomes most real in our times of crisis and suffering, (many times it’s in our reflection back on the events or times in our lives) but  going through it can oftentimes or maybe even most often resembles a kind of hell…or at least it feels like it at the time.  At the very least it is oftentimes agonizing, trying, hard, anxiety producing, painful, confusing, frightening etc. depending on the trial. And the positive truth of how God will use these times in our lives or even the times we experience His presence and answered prayers doesn’t take away the other reality.  We may learn that it most surely makes it more than worth it, and sometimes get to experience that in this life.  But there’s another reality that some suffering will bring it’s result in the next life and it is faith that gives us hope to hang on.  All of our answers are not always provided this side of heaven.  Nor does our knowledge that someday they will be answered take away the present suffering.

When I think about God speaking to me to trust Him for a miracle for Joshua’s healing I am elated and re-grounded.  And then I live through a seizure, days of uncertain symptoms, my own sickness that doesn’t want to go away, and little sleep.  Then we get cards in the mail with words of love and encouragement, gifts to help us survive financially, and friends offering to bring produce from the store in Iowa City or it comes through the mail.  Then I find myself anxious as I see Joshua losing weight faster than me, I have more on my desk than I think is possible of finishing before summer, and I get into a car accident which feels like another whole crisis in and of itself emotionally and I total my car.  Then I read wonderful  caring posts on Caring Bridge and get four more cards in the mail and someone calls or e-mails Joshua to let him know they’re praying for him.  So, how am I doing?   Good/bad…peaceful/frantic…thankful/worried…depressed/happy…and all of the above.   That’s reality!

So, that’s why and how ‘love’ can make such a difference in our suffering.  Why Jesus says, “Weep with those who weep”.  Why he cried when he heard of Lazarus’ death, even knowing He planned to resurrect him. Why he said, “Comfort those with the comfort you have been given”.  Why He said, “Faith, hope, and love…but the greatest of these is love”.  Faith is good…hope is essential…but love is the greatest…and the most powerful.  Because amidst the craziness of life and the pain of suffering love is the only thing that brings deep and lasting hope and faith.  A strength that endures.

So,Thank you all again for the continued cards and notes of support and to everyone who has sacrificed to give to us financially. I can only say that WE are flabbergasted and so humbled each time we receive financial assistance or see on Pay Pal all of you who have so willingly and lovingly given of yourselves in that way.  As I have said many times…there are no words to adequately express how much you all have impacted our lives and what a large part you play in keeping us moving ahead with hope.   We can only pray for MUCH blessing to come your way and pray that your lives will be enriched.  (I want to write a book someday about the unbelievable power of love…and if I do I want each and everyone of your names to be in there…we love you all so much.)  As Naomi mentioned, it is all being put to good use in buying the large quantities of food that it takes to keep his juicing and organic diet up,it would literally be prohibitive otherwise, medications not covered by the VA (special laxatives that cost $118 if you can believe that, just to name one), a juicer and a rice cooker for helping to keep the time factor lower for cooking and juicing as it all takes quite some time, his ongoing car and insurance bills and health insurance, the upcoming train rides to Chicago to teach his class etc.  (even though it’s only one class, it will help in the $ arena eventually which I’m sure he will feel really good about).  I’m telling you all this so you can know the very real practical ways your gifts are helping us sustain costs neither of us planned on or were prepared to take on, of course.  And to know that God knew all along what His plan was to take care of our needs.  What encouragement there is in that and I hope for you as well.

Well, that’s about it as of late in our lives.  Please continue to pray for healing, especially in the C-2 area of his spine, so that we can get a good report on his next PET Scan and flabbergast the Dr. with a miracle.  How wonderful would that be?!!

 Once again, our thoughts and prayers are with you all (we thank God and pray for you all everyday),

Kristi, Joshua and family,

January 10, 2012 - 8:47 AM

Julia Benson - Thanks for sharing your heart with us, Kristi! I’m a big believer in diet and nutrition for optimal health as well…although it does get expensive!! However, since I have made some big changes in the last year or so I can honestly say that I have not gotten sick even once…and that can be a miracle working in a school! (And I also have more energy than I have had in years!!) Praying for continued movement toward health, strength, patience, and endurance for you both (and the rest of the family) as you continue to walk this road!!

January 14, 2012 - 12:18 AM

admin - Thanks, Julia. Yes, the change in nutrition I think is as important as the Tarceva. And it can be nothing but good for both he and I. I am slowly seeing my likes and dislikes as well as what I get hungry for changing. That’s encouraging. So glad you’ve had such good success with the change as well. And yes, in a school surrounded by hundreds of kids, it is a miracle to stay healthy.

January 14, 2012 - 2:56 PM

Jeffrey J Weiss - Thank you for sharing; in the peace community here in Des Moines we are praying for Joshua and all of you, we send a shot of Love in your direction. As a cancer survivor everytime I read of the treatment and its travails my heart goes out to all of you even more.

God Bless all of you and know we are with you

Jeffrey

January 15, 2012 - 6:30 PM

Eva Usadi - Hello Kristi and Joshua,
Just wanted to share this with you – it is a campaign that went up, got picked up by Channel 4 news (I think) and raised $85,000 in 3 days.
http://www.indiegogo.com/marcdoty?a=324543

No joke. And they had only asked for $10,000 to defray medical costs. It is something I would encourage you to do and to enlist the help of Warrior Writers, the IVAW and/or Rita Brock to get you some immediate live coverage. As you may notice, my org. has an Indiegogo campaign that is quite sluggish (we are extending it) but, I just started a blog and did a post about Joshua http://healingourwarriorstrr.blogspot.com/ in order to drive more support your way. I know there are some technical problems with the blog which is why I haven’t linked it everywhere yet – I am getting professional help tomorrow!

Best to you both, let me know what you think about the blog and if you want me to change anything i am happy to do so and re-publish. No ego here, really.
Warm wishes,
Eva

January 17, 2012 - 4:01 AM

admin - Eva, thank you so much for your deep and sincere concern for Joshua and myself…all you have done and are doing is more than heartwarming, it is powerfully uplifting for us. We so appreciate everything. I checked out both sites and your site on Joshua is very good. I have a couple of thoughts of things that you might want to add and Joshua may or may not when he reads it (he’s asleep…you may notice that it is almost 4am and I have yet to close my eyes.) It might be good to e-mail to talk things over. In case you don’t have mine it is: kristicasteel@gmail.com (would you believe I don’t know Joshua’s?) or if you want to call Joshua directly his telephone # is 319-360-6935. The clip you showed I have never seen. Without wanting to sound prideful, I listen to some of his different talks, panels, etc. and I have such a strong feeling that he has so much more to do and to say. This crisis may serve to only strengthen his message. He has such a platform of experiences from which to do it. You probably know that there is a VERY strong likelihood that his cancer was caused by manning the burn pits in Iraq and his VA advisor thinks he has a very good case to win some kind of compensation eventually (it usually takes quite some time…maybe years), but that may be a significant point to add to his bio. He is not angry or bitter about it at all, in fact feels grateful that he can share in the sufferings of the Iraqi people who must be suffering the effects from the pits as well. And he also feels it will give him a greater platform to speak to the injustice of war that inevitably takes place. Thank you again, Eva, and please do contact us when you have the time. We’d love to talk with you.

A few Quick Things

Hello Everyone! No, there is no good reason why I am still awake tonight besides I am trying to get things done that have been hanging over my head for some time. It will feel good to have these things out of the way, even though I’ll be tired!

First of all, we borrowed a “hot spot” from someone to give us internet access and I thought I knew who it was from. Turns out I have absolutely no idea where it cam from, but I would like to return it since we don’t have a current need for it. If its yours, send an email to naominoelthompson@gmail.com.  Thanks!

Also, I want to give you a better sense of what your money is being used for when you make a donation to help Joshua. I’m sure some will be used for medication or doctor bills, but the bulk of the money is being used for his food costs to support his juicing. Just for him, (not including my mom), our estimate would be that they spend easily $800 a month, and that primarily covers just the produce being used to juice. Some of you may have seen a picture of my mom’s fridge and fruit platter that gets filled each week after grocery shopping. Its unbelievable. We are so grateful for your generous and faithful giving, as we feel the juicing has literally transformed the way he feels and the energy he has. He told me the other day that he can tell more of a difference if he hasn’t had his juice than if he hasn’t had his pain pills. Josh looks amazing! He’s lost over 50 pounds, and although we are really hoping that he plateaus here soon before his weight gets too low, he is doing extremely well.

Well, I will try to update more at another time, and I know Josh is in the midst of drafting an update about this whole experience  for him . But for now, I’ve got to get my bootie in bed. Morning is coming early!

January 10, 2012 - 10:23 AM

Carol Schoof Dutenhoeffer - Our prayers continue for you Josh, but also your whole family. Without family and our Heavenly Father where would we be. I had to have fusion of C5-6-7 on the 22nd of Dec., and low and behold Larry had a heart attack on the 28th. He had two stents put in and on the 28th needs one more. I could do nothing to help him. My family took over completely. God was really watching over us. Larry thought he was having sympathy pains for me so I finally told him to call the Dr cause it wasn’t going away. His appt was for 4 PM I called and talked to the nurse, told her his symptoms and she said get to the hospital. If we had waited he would have died. His heart attack was not like a man usually has. I told him later that it was his feminine side coming out. Kristi be comforted that only one set of footprints are in the sand, and until we are strong enough our Heavenly Father will carry us through all of this.

January 10, 2012 - 4:26 PM

admin - Thank you Carol, I’m so sorry to hear about Larry’s incident piled on top of a very heavy load already and as you’ve so rightly shared…there was no coincidence in the trial that God allowed to be added on. It is so obvious Who was in control. Wow!!! And yet you must have felt very helpless And shocked. Thankfully not so helpless that you couldn’t advise him to go in right away. He used you well in your weakness, didn’t He? While I know you both have some difficulties yet to face as you both recoup, I’m thankful for your faith which is obviously sustaining you. Just know that we are praying for you both also. Yes, we are being carried, there is no doubt…How does God keep us all from spilling over onto the sand? Big, Big arms. :-) Love to you both, Kristi

HOPE in the NEW YEAR

Happy New Year Everyone.  We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Years’ celebration with your family and friends.  We did.  I hope Naomi posted our ‘Christmas Card’ where everyone can see it…she sent it to  me via e-mail.  I’m assuming she posted it.  Now that was a trick to get all 10 of us, five of which are children, sitting, looking forward, not crying, and smiling when the camera is sitting on some piled up boxes and it’s taken by a delayed flash that one of the adults pushed and ran over trying to look calm and happy.  But after about 10 tries we finally came up with one that was at least presentable.  (Madeline had her crazy little face but that just shows more of her cute personality).  And you could probably not tell that at least three or four of the adults were sick with either cough, colds, or sore throats.  What you can’t see on the ‘surface’ of peoples’ lives, right?  And guess who was the most healthy individual of the bunch?  Yup, Joshua…all that good nutrition he’s getting from juicing and eating healthy is keeping him in great shape.  We’ll never discount the prayers, however, as being an integral if not the most integral part of his condition improving on a daily basis.  He needs his naps to stay healthy and he can really see the difference when he doesn’t get them, but for the most part he’s doing really great!  We’re so thankful.

We had a slight scare the other night with his eyelids starting to flutter (which was the main symptom before his seizure).  So as not to tempt fate and be proactive, this time we thought we would go into the ER before it got worse and potentially lead to a seizure.  As it turns out the doctor felt it could be a result of a long day of visitors and no nap and he was just tired.  So we’re trying to make sure he gets those naps in.  I still get SO scared if I think a seizure is possible (left-over from experiences with Rick I’m sure), but I am calmed down again now and attempting to not live in fear, but assume he is getting better day by day and not focus on what ‘could’ happen.  It is one BIG  goal to learn how to not live in hyper-vigilence when you’re caring for someone you love.  I sure hope the Lord gets me down the road on that one going through this again (round two).  If nothing else I will certainly have gained compassion and understanding for those who have to go through similar trials…hmmm, I think I’ve read that somewhere.:-)

Then as if there wasn’t enough excitement in our Holiday celebration, I managed to drum up a whole lot more and got into a car accident.  (At the intersection of Blairs Ferry and Center Point Rd.,a fairly busy intersection)  I was going through the intersection on a late yellow light and a young woman turned in front of me.  It was quite frightening also.  She spun completely around and we ended up hitting and landing side by side on the riders’ sides.  My car ‘may’ be totaled, her’s not so bad.  THANKFULLY neither of us were seriously injured.  I thought I was just a little sore the following day but the second day after, I moved wrong in trying to get out of bed and I couldn’t move at all without a searing pain going up and down my left side.  And I had a very bad migraine.  So Joshua now became the caretaker and he helped me to his bed (it can go up and down) gave me a muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory , migraine medicine, and I slept the majority of the day.  By that evening I was much better.  I’m still somewhat sore but the bad pain has not returned.  You know, someday, I’m sure we’ll look back on all of this happening at the same time with some form of humor, but right now I, for one, am ready for a little less of…everything!!  Except your prayers…:-)

Lastly, today we had our first appt. with the new Dr. and it went extremely well.  She was very attentive, involved and stressed her style as being one of working together as a team.  Just what we wanted and need.  We left feeling very strong confirmation that we made the right decision in changing.  It felt so good to leave feeling supported and encouraged rather than stressed.  So thank you for praying for us in this big decision.  Which also reminds me that I have some good news about Joshua’s C-2 vertebrae that has cancer present that I asked you all to pray about.  ABout a week ago, before going to bed we were praying and I put my hand over his C-2 and it was quite enlarged or swollen.  (I didn’t say much about it to him…just asked you all for prayer).  Several days later, I went to pray and put my hand on his neck and it was almost flat!  I had him sit a couple of ways to see if his position changed things in any way and it didn’t.  My only explanation is our prayers!!  He will have another PET Scan in February, so we will be able to more clearly compare the affected areas to the last scan.  We’ll know more specifics then. But thank you, thank you, thank you…and please keep praying.  Each prayer matters and I know is heard and answered in God’s perfect way.  As I said before, our prayers are that you will receive GREAT blessing as a result of your generous gifts to us and your prayer…really the giving of yourselves!  We are so blessed to have each one of you in our lives.

Prayers that we will ALL be filled with HOPE for the new year…

With Love to you all,

Kristi, Joshua, and Family