Tuesday, April 16

Fire-Hot Love

Mark: Surgery Results -- from Pastor Jeff King

The doctor is very pleased with the way the surgery went.  Right out of surgery, Mark was
able to talk, communicate, interact with complex ideas, understand the gospel, father his children, husband his wife, ask us to read Psalm 100, and speak God's truths to others. God and His angels were looking after Mark and granting us our desires and more on this front. For this, we do not hesitate to give God praise!

Spiritually, I say in all earnest that God has His obvious hand on our dear brother and sister. Mark and Anna possess a fierce, undeniable faith. For me, walking with Mark and Anna closely for the last several months of this unfolding tragedy has afforded me front row seats to a man and a woman who are being given abundant daily grace to walk in faith and grow in Christian maturity through the most intense physical trial I've personally seen a person endure.

Throughout this trial, Mark has shown me more of Jesus than I can express. His fierce love for the Lord has consistently overflowed to his family, doctors, and passerby's to his life, increasingly.  If ever there was a time in a person's life to be self-centered and consumed with the things on his own plate, it would be now. Instead of being self-consumed, I've seen Mark pour himself out in service for others, prayers for others, concern for others, and love for others.

On top of all this, Mark's lion-hearted love for Anna and his children has been equally fierce. I've seen in Mark what Solomon penned, “For love is strong as death, jealousy as fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.” (SOS 8:6-7) To see the look in Mark's eyes when he talked to Anna in the initial moments of waking up from surgery is to see a man with fiery love for his wife! Such love could never be faked or produced by man. This love comes from none other than the fires of God's steadfast unrelenting love!

Anna too is being given peculiar grace! Anna fiercely loves Mark. That is undeniable! Her honest, deepest desire through all of this has been that Jesus would be honored, exalted, and treasured. Anna has expressed a yearning that “Jesus would be seen as worthy.” Oh that we would all possess that kind of tender, vigorous, real, desperate, honest, fierce, gripped love for our Savior!

Mark and Anna, we love you guys and will keep praying that God gives Mark many decades to proclaim how worthy Jesus is of our praise and worship. May God increase our affections for Him as He has certainly given you a fire-hot love for Him and for one another. Thank you for pointing us to Jesus so well through this trial! We will keep praying hard on your behalf!

Monday, April 15

Great News -- Keep Praying

Mark: Surgery Update -- from Pastor Jeff King

Mark is now 2 1/2 hours into surgery and Anna has received two phone calls from the operating room stating, "thus far, all is going well." This is great news, but please keep praying!!  We sense that the body is praying for Mark and Anna lots!

Always By My Side

Mark's surgery has begun...thanks SO MUCH for your prayers!  More info can be found here Brain Mapping.

Below is a song that Ali recently shared with all of us through a text.  Such great truth as we lift up Anna and Mark to our faithful God!!!

Whom Shall I Fear (God Of Angel Armies)
---Chris Tomlin

You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory

Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I'm holding on to Your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the hold world in your hands
I'm holding on to your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful
You are faithful

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

Sunday, April 7

A Different Kind of Race

This time last year Mark and Anna were trained for and ran the Kentucky Derby mini-Marathon together. A year later they are in a different kind of race, fighting an aggressive brain tumor.  Mark (age 33) was diagnosed days following Christmas 2012. Mark is a St. X and U of L graduate and Anna is a Texas Tech graduate who moved to Louisville to graduate with a Masters in Biblical Counseling from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (and to meet Mark).  They have been married 4 years and are wonderful parents to a beautiful, energetic 3 year old daughter, a precious 1 year old foster son they are in process of adopting, and a newborn son, who came into the world on February 15th, 2013 -- not long after Mark’s diagnosis. Mark’s medical team in Louisville does not have the tools necessary remove the tumor so he is going to the University of California San Francisco for surgery in mid-April to remove the tumor.
Susan Ward (Mark's cousin) is dedicating her Derby Festival mini-Marathon race to Mark to help raise funds to offset the burden of his medical expenses. Below are two ways so you can help, too. Support Susan's run by making a donation. Every little bit raised will help--- 
  • Online: There is a Donation option on the right side of this website. Click the button and make a donation to GronotteFund@gmail.com.  At the bottom of the Paypal screen select both: personal and gift options so NO fees will be incurred!  100% of the donation will go to Mark’s medical expenses.  
  • Checks: Make it out to the Mark Gronotte Donation Fund and mail it to c/o Susan Ward, 10610 Taylor Farm Court, Prospect, KY 40059.  
In addition to the race, you are invited to attend a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser on Friday, April 26, from 6-10pm at Susan and David Ward’s Home (see above address).  There is no charge for dinner. Give what you can.  Feel free to bring friends and children!  All money donated will be given to the Gronotte Fund! RSVP to Susan Ward :: susangriffinward@yahoo.com :: 502-802-0667 or Rebecca Gronotte :: coralou23@yahoo.com :: at 502-802-8112.

***I have been asked about the difference between donating here and donating on Caring Bridge's site.  Caring Bridge offers a great service, allowing friends and family to keep up on medical updates online. All donations given to Caring Bridge's Website are used for their operational expenses.  His People Pray blog is run by Anna's sister who is blogger and able to service this website at NO cost.  ALL donations given through this site are used solely to offset the medical expenses incurred by Mark Gronotte!

Thursday, March 28


Greetings Everyone, 
It's been a long time with no update from us, but we will try to catch everyone up on the latest for our family. It's been a busy season; not always easy, but it has been full of much joy.
First of all, we are really thankful for the support and love we have been receiving. Your gifts, prayers, words, and actions have been powerful to give us real grace in the last 3 months. Family, friends, church body, and some strangers even have been great in both donations and prayers. We are blessed in this and please keep up the prayer to the great God. He is a holy God who is three in one (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). He is able and loves to answer prayer, for His name's sake! 

Secondly, our baby Oakley David Gronotte (see picture above!) was born February 15th at 4:05am! He was 8 lbs and 5 oz and 21" in long! Every prayer we prayed surrounding his birth were answered by our faithful God! Such an encouragement from the Lord all around! All praise to Him for this new little life. He is a gift, and we pray this baby boy would be an 'oak of righteousness' for God's glory.

Thirdly, we have big plans as we head into April. The Norton team has been a great hospital here in Louisville, but they do not have the tools we need in order to get this cancer out of my brain through surgery. It is a serious tumor that needs to be removed from my brain, if God permits.  A California hospital in San Francisco called UCSF has the technology and doctor skills to get in there and remove the cells that are cancerous.  

We love you all so much and we thank the Lord for your kind graces and prayers. Please keep us in prayer for the Lord to receive all the glory and in if He wills, to bring healing and great comfort to our family as we wait upon our good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, to lead us as His sheep.  All for God’s glory we pray! 

Peace to you all,
Mark & Anna

P.S. This is a good word that the Lord has helped us with to understand His kindness and power through this suffering.
PSALM 100:3 "Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his:
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture."

Wednesday, March 27

God's Faithful Provision

I get lots of emails, texts, and phone calls asking how Anna and Mark are doing!  They are so loved and without a shadow of doubt, they know that your prayers and love is totally God's grace!  Their hope is that God would be glorified in their suffering!  This chapter of life isn't easy, but their hope is in the Lord and 'Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.' Lam. 3:23
Mark and Anna's babies are doing great!  Three kids under three is busy, but they're totally enjoying each moment!  Baby O is putting on the pounds really well!  Little J has a smile that can brighten a room!  (Continue praying for the courts to finish the paperwork soon so Little J can officially be their forever son!  There will be celebrations worldwide when the adoption is finalized!)  Big Sister M is doing great, too!  She loves having her Daddy home lots and is a sweet little mommy to her babies, just like Mommy!  
Anna recently put together a 'Thankful Bulletin' to continue directing her and Mark's heart towards all that God is providing for them each and every day!  When my sisters and I unpacked their house a couple months ago, we were amazed at the mass number of verses jotted down on scratch paper, note cards, and post it notes...verses were tucked in every drawer, book, and crevice in their home!  Such a testimony of the love we should all have for the Word of God!

Through Mark's sweet sister, some new medical options have surfaced...keep praying that our Faithful God would give Anna and Mark great wisdom and peace!

Tuesday, March 26

Garage Sale Results

The Garage Sale was bigger than we ever could have imagined!
We had some serious early birds and from 7am until 4pm this was the street--

It was SUPER COLD, but thankfully not a drop of rain!
There was far too much to display on the tables so shoppers made themselves at home on the ground and did some serious digging for treasures!
We were blessed with lots of sweet, sweet friends that helped run the garage sale. 
Ali and a friend spent at least an hour pricing the items before they realized that even if they spent an entire week pricing there would still be tons left to do.  We opted to go the route of telling shoppers the price when they asked.  Never could we have made it without so many awesome helpers.
With exception to a few breaks to show off the 'worm' dance move and play a little playmobile, the kids were all about helping with the garage sale and bake sale!
And at the end of the day when we counted the money brought in from garage sale proceeds and donations of sweet sweet friends...we were totally amazed that God raised $4500 for Anna and Mark!  Doesn't that totally rock!
 Matthew 6:26 -- God is watching over Anna & Mark with such lovingkindness!
A HUGE thanks to all who helped this garage sale become a huge success.  It wouldn't have been possible without the awesome donations for the garage sale, the generous monetary donations, and the unbelievable gift of time to all who labored long and hard throughout the huge sale!

Monday, March 25

Garage Sale Countdown

Sometimes God tells you to do something and it's a little messy, but in the end He gets a whole lot of glory! Like this garage sale that my sister offered to host as a fundraiser for Mark's medical expenses. Throughout the process, her home totally looked like the home of a hoarder (such a servant, right).
For two weeks she collected donations around the clock from over forty super generous families.
And then the day before the BIG DAY arrived....the day to get all that stuff on the curb ready to make some big money!
Mark and Anna's nieces and nephews in Texas were a huge help!
Friends and neighbors helped a ton, too!
Each of us must have carried at least one hundred arm loads out of Ali's house...amazing how generous our friends were!
 That little table found a good home (I bought it and love it).
Even the youngest little guys carried loads!
And smiled the entire time because they were happy to play a small part in getting their super fun (silly) and strong (black belt) Uncle Mark healthy again!!!
Garage sale pictures and more updates coming soon...

Monday, February 18

Holding My World

I chatted with my mom this morning.  Her and dad were on the way to get ingredients to make spaghetti -- their grand kids' request.  Oakley is an awesome little eater -- but he'll stick to milk!  Anna and Mark are doing well -- tired, of course, but good.  Trusting that through the power of Jesus' sacrifice, they can lean on their God who...

'Will never forget all of His goodness and all of His promises!  He's holding my world in His hands!'

Update:  The yard sale will be in Fort Worth on March 2nd.
  • Donate in Fort Worth: text or call Ali.
  • Donate in Dallas: text or call April.
  • Donate in McKinney: text or call Aimee.

Friday, February 15

Squeals of Excitement

Let's start off with the BIG NEWS and then go from there...

Baby O was born early this morning, February 15, 2012!   So do you want to know how awesome God's timing was!?!?

Last weekend, Mark's friends at work gifted their family with tickets to the circus.  Mark's parents and sister went with them and it was a really fun time!  This last week, they also learned that Baby O was sunny side up and started praying for him to turn. 

On February 12th, my parents arrived in KY and together they deep cleaned and did typical "nesting" things.  On February 14th, Valentine's Day, Anna and Mark spent the day together...an all day date!  Awesome, right!

Anna started having serious contractions in the middle of the night on February 14th -- a little less than a week early.  At 3am they went to the birthing center.  He was no longer sunny side up and by 4am, she birthed Baby O -- a good sized baby boy!  Totally God's mercy!  I've seen the pics...Baby O is good looking, Mom and Dad are GLOWING!  J & M will be at the birthing center to meet their baby brother in just a bit!  God is so good...thanks for your ongoing prayers!

Wednesday, February 6

Yard Sale Donations

Please clean out your closets, kids rooms, kitchen, playroom, attic, and garage to raise funds for Mark and Anna!  We'd love to accept your donations Friday, February 22nd and Saturday, February 23rd ...we'll price them and get them ready to go for the sale.  Text or call Ali to set up a drop off time.  We'd love you to donate any items you are no longer needing.  We're also accepting baked items (cupcakes, cookies, Little Debbie snacks) water bottles or can sodas that we can sell at the garage sale.

Feel free to come and work the yard sale with us or stop by just to visit and shop!  The Fundraiser Yard Sale will be Saturday, March 2nd 8 am - 5 pm.  SPREAD THE WORD!!!!

Monday, February 4

Character Revealing

I was talking with a girlfriend (an oncology nurse) today and of course my baby sister and her family came up in our discussion.  She said, 'some refer to these type of situations as character building, but my mom likes to refer to them as character revealing.'  Isn't that so true!  When we're stretched...what is within comes out!

My mom and Anna had an awesome conversation this weekend --- here's a little recap!  1. A complete answer to prayer, Mark's eye sight has returned.  For the first time in a long time he's able to read again --- for curious peeps like myself, he spent a lot of time reading through John 1:1-18.  2.  Anna had another OB check up and Baby O is doing great (almost 38 weeks now).  3.  It snowed at their house this weekend and Anna, Mark, and M and J had a blast playing together in the snow! 

Anna said, we don't know what tomorrow holds so we're trying to focus on today and enjoy the time we have together! 
Isn't this how we're all suppose to live!?!?  Church isn't just something Mark and Anna attend on Sunday.  They have a deep, abiding love for Jesus.  Mark hasn't been able to work for quite some time and medical bills are obviously crazy high, but Jesus has given them both the promise of eternal life and that is the gift they cling to!  He has perfectly provided for them for the last 30+ years they have no doubt that He won't lovingly provide for tomorrow!  He's giving them moment by moment peace and the prayers of family, friends, and friends of friends is a huge praise and blessing that they don't take for granted!

Friday, February 1

Sister Chat

Anna and I had a fun conversation.  I thought my call would encourage her, but she ended up being a huge source of encouragement to me!  Here are some of the personal ways that God is caring for their sweet family.
  • Anna has made it to week 37 of pregnancy.
  • Baby O checked out great at his appointment this week.
  • Anna said her friends are bringing her such awesome meals and treats that the OB could tell she had been eating well.  (I'll never forget my end of pregnancy weigh ins).
  • Anna really wanted a wooden cradle in her room and a sweet friend has one that they'd love for the them to borrow.
  • Another friend has a real fun truck-themed crib bedding set that they're thrilled to loan Anna and Mark.
  • Mark still has his sense of humor!  Friends keep telling them how encouraging they are.  Mark's response to Anna, "Who would have thought that I could be more useful to people while sick than I ever was when I was well?!?"
  •  Mark has been blessed with an abundance of energy lately.  He's been up early folding laundry, cleaning floors...such a huge blessing to Anna at this point in her pregnancy.
  • Both sets of parents have affirmed them over and over that they will walk through this with them every step of the way.
  • They are extremely aware that they have a supernatural strength carrying them through this season and feel overwhelmingly blessed by the prayers, gifts, and words of encouragement from family, friends, and friends of friends!

Wednesday, January 30

Learning Contentment

Dear Friends and Family,
On behalf of my bride and I, we want to say a special thanks for all your prayers and gifts.  We are so blessed at this time and our Lord has been giving us continual grace through this season.  The letters, gifts, encouragements, and prayers that have been supplied are really keeping us strong and I know that we have such an incredible team in our corner.  All things are possible with our God!  

I remember a man once told me he put all of his trust in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."  I remember it being encouraging then, but like so much of God's words, the big picture of the passage is really where the secret lies.  The whole passage really lays out the eternal joy that is available to those who are trusting in Christ.  

Philippians 4:11-13:
"I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."

Certainly we have room to grow in all of this, but the kindness that we are receiving from you all is really helping us daily.  Your love and support points us to Jesus Christ who is the foundation of our joy in any circumstance that He leads us through.  May our God be glorified!

Thank for all your love,
Mark & Anna Gronotte

Monday, January 21

First Day of Treatment

I am so glad to write an update. Radiation therapy started today, and I've begun trying to get victory over this sickness by God’s perfect grace. I have received so much love from my beautiful bride Anna, my loving parents, her parents & family, my sister, our church leaders, old friends, new friends, and all the more people serving us in many ways. I am too blessed! Please keep praying and I am excited to see the Lord’s work in all of this. Remember our days are short no matter if it’s 80 years or far less, but eternity is never ending and my hope is in Jesus. We need to be putting our trust in Jesus who died a perfect death 2000 years ago for all sinners who desperately need forgiveness. I know I am a sinner that has been set free by the grace of God. I pray all of you will seek comfort in our merciful God who sets sinners free through His Son, Jesus Christ. May God be glorified!  Peace and Love to you all!

James 1:2-4  “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trialsof various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Monday, January 14


Dear friends - thank you for your patience as I know many of you have been prayerfully awaiting this update. Mark and Anna, Mark's mom and dad and sister, and some friends from Immanuel met with Mark's neurological care team today. The meeting lasted for about four hours; Mark's doctors appear very competent and were both informative and sensitive during the meeting today. It seems as though he is receiving the best recommendations and care available. In time we will pass along more information.
Mark and Anna are trusting in the Lord. Please continue to pray for them and their families as they process what they learned today. Pray for healing for Mark and for peace for all of them. Pray that their confidence would continue to be in the Lord alone.

We know that many of you want to help, and we are so thankful for your desire to care for the Gronottes! At this time, we are only asking for help in prayer. We promise that we will make needs known as they arise, and that there will be an opportunity for you to serve our dear Mark and Anna. For now we simply ask that you be mindful of their need to take some time. Please continue to leave encouraging notes here and on Anna's Facebook page, but be mindful that too many texts could create a financial burden. The Gronottes are so thankful for all of your love and concern for them.

"But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds." Psalm 73:28

While Mark was having his biopsy, sweet M, Ali, and I ran ran some errands. In the car, this song from Sovereign Grace came on and my precious niece sang every word.  Anchor this truth in her heart forever Heavenly Father.

Saturday, January 12

Words from Mark

Mark updated his story on CaringBridge

Dear Friends and Family,
I want to give an update and also say thank you for all of the prayers and thoughts that you've shared concerning my situation. First, on the earthly level, I have a great medical team at Norton’s that has just begun the process of getting me better. There could be a variety of different treatment options, but for now the doctors want me to rest from the initial test; we will discuss the rest this coming Monday.

Second, I am so glad that I have such wonderful friends and family who are caring for us through this. Anna, my bride, has been incredibly brave. She is a gem to me, and I wouldn’t want to endure this without her. My parents, Anna’s parents, and all 3 of her loving sisters were here for the first days, unpacking our home and taking care of the kiddos. Incredible grace! My sweet sister Rebecca has been a gift of medical wisdom and care for us. Thanks to everyone at Immanuel Church. Our pastors have been on call and in touch to make sure we are provided for. Thanks to every one of my dear friends who have been more than ready to help and pray to our faithful Father! I can’t believe the care that the Lord is showing for us through all of you guys!

Most importantly, I am so glad to have God in Heaven who is faithfully protecting and guiding our family through this. I can have hope in the midst of this trial because my God sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, as a baby to live a perfect life in my place and walk joyfully to the Cross to die a death I deserve. Jesus rose again from the grave, proving He is greater than sin and death and is alive now at the Throne of God! I have a hope that will not disappoint me because I am secure in the Hands of my God through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for my sin. Most of all, through this suffering we want to see the name of Jesus lifted high and for many to repent of their sin and trust Jesus to forgive them and give them eternal life with Him forever. By God’s grace, He has saved me and has given me a new heart that wants Jesus to be glorified in every area of my life! “To live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).” I am being taught to wait for the Lord. Anna read Psalm 27 to me yesterday and it was a sweet word in a due time:

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Wait for the LORD!” Psalm 27:13-14 ESV

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!
Love & Peace in King Jesus,
Mark & Anna Gronotte

Friday, January 11

Gather to Pray

Dear friends, this Sunday night, January 13th, at 6PM at Immanuel Baptist Church (1121 South Clay), we will gather for a night of testimonies and a time of praising the Lord. During this time we will also pray specifically for Mark and Anna, their children, and their families. Everyone is invited to gather with us to plead with the Lord for our dear brother Mark! If you are not in the area, would you join us in prayer from where you are? As those who have trusted in the Lord, we serve a mighty God who is able to heal!

Mark and Anna have an appointment with the neurologist on Monday the 14th to get the results of his biopsy and hear the doctor's recommendation for treatment. Please pray for this appointment; that they would receive encouraging news, and that the doctor would have a clear way forward.

Pray that all of the Gronotte family would be healthy. They have all had an annoying little virus. Please continue to pray for their children, that he Lord would comfort them. And of course, please continue to pray for Mark and Anna; that they would continue to trust the Lord and that their eyes would be fixed on Him!

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Tuesday, January 8

God's Promise

TJ Wilson shared this and it was so helpful for me!  
John Piper shared, 'Why Isaiah 41:10 is the most commonly used promise in my fight of faith.'  Read his encouraging words about these strengthening words here.

Monday, January 7

God is Our Shield

Lisa Newport shared:
Shield -a means of defense; protection.  

Here are some verses about God as Our Shield:
Genesis 15:1-7. "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward." 
Psalm 3:3-"But You are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head."
Psalm 5:12-For surely, O lord, you bless the righteous; You surround them with your favor as with a shield."
Psalm 28:7-The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped."
Psalm 33:20-"We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield."
Psalm 91:4-"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."
Psalm 119:114-"You are my refuge and my shield, I have put my hope in your word."

Friday, January 4

Sisters Back to Texas

It's really hard for us to leave Anna and her family.  We came to unpack her home and make her feel settled.  We were able to do that and hugged on our niece and nephew lots.  It is such a huge blessing that Anna married a man with a really sweet family that are near to help when needed.  Last night we went up to the hospital and spent a little time with Anna and Mark.  As we left, my sisters and I gathered in a hug and prayed for God to care for every detail.  

Their faith continues to amaze me.  They feel honored and humbled that God would entrust with this trial and only want healing that comes with growth.  That doesn't mean they're not really really scared.

Sisters + Sweet Rebecca = Lots of Love

Thursday, January 3

Successful Biopsy

Mark came home from the hospital on Friday after a successful biopsy and overnight stay.  Mark's doctor said the biopsy was performed text book style -- boring and successful.  On January 14 the doctor will gather a team of doctors together to review options for Mark, based on biopsy results, and determine a plan for next steps.  Anna and Mark feel like they are really in good hands -- an answer to prayer -- with this doctor, who specializes on this kind of brain tumor. 
Please pray for this coming week as Mark rests and recoups from his recent procedure and together Mark and Anna make adjustments as they continue to place their trust in their living Lord, and are served by their church and family.  Pray also for Molly & Baby J. as they sense things are not quite the same, desiring love and comfort, which both Mark and Anna have abundance of for them -- drawing from the everlasting spring!  We all sense that our Lord will receive the praise throughout this entire experience, as the practical hands and feet of our Lord's body meets needs and provides care!

Wednesday, January 2

New Neurosurgeon

Dear friends - Mark and Anna, along with Mark's father and sister, met with a new neurosurgeon this morning. He proposed a different course of action, recommending a biopsy of the tumor be performed before any surgery to remove it is attempted. The biopsy would tell the doctors exactly what type of tumor Mark has, and would allow the doctors to treat him more appropriately. Mark and Anna have agreed with this course, and Mark will have the biopsy at 12PM tomorrow, Thursday, January 3rd.

Please pray for complete healing for Mark! Our God "is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20)! Mark will have an MRI before the biopsy - pray that the Lord would completely remove the tumor before then. And, if our Lord allows the tumor to remain, pray that Mark would be kept safe through the procedure and that Anna would have "the peace of God which surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7). Continue to pray also for their children and families - especially their parents and sisters who are serving them so faithfully.

Mark and Anna continue to be thankful for your love, support, and prayers!

Tuesday, January 1

Family Arrives

Poppy wrote:
Yesterday, my daughters (Ali, Aimee, & April) help set up Mark and Anna's new home that they had just moved into a few days ago. Mark is doing quite well, the family has decided to move Mark to a different surgeon that specializes in this particular kind of brain surgery. Mark will be checking out of his current  hospital today, seeing the new surgeon tomorrow, with the hope of having surgery in another hospital the end of the week. Everyone is feeling the weight of this experience, but doing well!  Pam & I have decided that I will not fly to China as originally planned, rather to remain here with Mark & Anna. Thanks for your prayers!