Sunday, July 24, 2011


JULY 29 UPDATE: There is an edit at the bottom.

Thank you for all the prayers and love. I can't tell you how much the prayers have touched my heart. As of 2pm today (Monday the 25th) I'm out of North Shore Hospital in Auckland. I will be leaving campus shortly to live with my host family once more before returning to America.

On Monday the 18th I started having a strange fever without any flu symptoms. By Wednesday, I arrived home from a trip with friends to Whangamata and then slept for 14 hours. The next day I told Laidlaws nurse about a previous blood condition and how I was feverish etc. I went into the Doctor Thursday and then took the lab tests on Friday morning.

I had only told a few people before this week that I have a blood condition called . My mom told me 8 months ago that I had it, after it was suspected that I was only a carrier. I didn't tell anyone about this because I figured there was no reason to as I have had it for 25 years without issue. What happens when I get sick is that I get real sick, like my summers at Firwood in the infirmary. Over the last year, my urine had been smelling funny and when I sweat it smelled like toilet cleaner, even my eyes and skin could be yellowish at times. This week changes everything and now Im sharing about the condition.

On Friday night, I received a distressed call from the Doctor telling me to come in, I wasn't expecting a call from them until Monday or Tuesday so I knew this was bad. As he read the list to me of what was in my blood and the possibility of having leukemia etc, I had to fight off tears. He told me to go right to the hospital immediately as my blood count was dangerously low. I was admitted into the the emergency room at 9pm Friday evening, to receive blood as my bone marrow decided to stop producing blood as a result of the parvo-virus/ anaplastic crisis / anemia / and a bunch of other big words that I have. They monitered me all night, scanning, poking prodding etc. The next morning they had me sign a waiver to receive blood. At 12pm saturday I had a "vasovagal collapse" after attempting to talk with my mother on the phone. When I woke up, I had 6-8 (4 doctors)  staff hooking me up to every conceivable machine, pumping blood into me for 8 hours and fluid etc. After that episode everything settled down. Sunday was uneventful but they wanted to keep me to watch me, I had so many visitors it was a great time. They let me out today and I'm abit week as well as having the understanding that I could drop again. I go in for more blood testing Thursday to make sure I have enough blood to fly sometime after.

On Friday night ALL the funding came in for school via a phone call from the school principle in the emergency room. AMAZING, praise God, but now I feel that it's wise to go back and have my spleen and gall bladder removed, the source of my problems. My mom, uncle, cousin etc (all having the disease) have all had these two things removed and then there blood problems went away. My mom has live some 30 years without these things and still has been healthy. My previous plan before this week was to finish the year at school then come home in November to have those things removed. Everything has change now and this needs to happen sooner than later. I thank you for your prayers (I got to share Jesus in the hospital) and please continue to pray that I'm kept safe as I fly back to America for a unexpected visit. Life is changing so rapidly. Pray that I make it through this week and that the infection/virus(s?) on top of my hereditary condition subside some. God is with me, He is good.

-----------------------------July 29 Update-------------------------

Thank you for the prayers and love, it has been truly overwhelming the love poured out. I arrive in Seatac on Saturday. If you would like to pray for my journey across the ocean my flight times are:

 ‎(All times are listed in American time zones) I fly Friday 7:30 pm to Fiji, with a 4.5hour layover until 3am, arriving in LA at 1:20pm then flying to Seattle at 4:15pm arriving at 6:55pm Saturday.

 Those times might sound bad, but from the Kiwi time zone  they are quite pleasant (flying out of Auckland at 2:30pm on Saturday in my actual time zone. I leave Auckland on Saturday and arrive in America on Saturday because the flight crosses the international date line), matching my sleep cycle well, so the journey shouldn't be so bad. I had another blood test on Thursday and it was discovered that my blood (in certain aspects) is getting increasingly better. I feel the strongest I have in a week today (Friday). Thank you for all the prayers, prayer does change things. This is a bittersweet time, I'm excited to come home, but feel I will miss home in NZ.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

$3417 USD

That is the amount needed 5 days from now on the 25th to continue studying at Laidlaw. Please pray for that number as well as my health (fever and aches). Trusting God fully.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Status Update.

Greetings from Auckland. Just enjoying my break, pursuing much needed exercise (cycling+boxing) as well as reading through Henri Nouwens 'Wounded Healer' and Paul Copans: 'Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the OT God.' It has proved to be a most refreshing time, I almost feel ready to start writing essays again : ) Copans book was extremely helpful to help close some of the gaps on my understanding of OT tribal ethics/law in there wider cultural context, the Ancient Near East. Nouwens 'Wounded Healer' spoke to my heart in a beautiful way, a book which I recommend for any church leader/lay person.

For those that have been praying for my finances or have supported financially, I'm deeply grateful. Currently I'm more than halfway towards my current expenses for semester two, having raised nearly $4,000 NZD with the total required amount being 7,750 NZD. I see that as a complete miracle how much support has come in, I feel amazingly blessed. When my parents told me of how much support had come in, I fell on my face in praise, and spontaneously started crying. Luckily I was in my room and no one saw me... what, me cry?

  I now have 10 days left to secure the $3,750 NZD ($3,157 USD) before class starts. I'm still not sure how it's going to work out in such a short time, but I'm completely confident in what God is doing, and I know I will be attending school semester two. The next "hurdle" will be getting a visa or visa extension in a record 7 days as my current one expires on August 1st. As always, I can't apply for student visa until school is paid for, and I can't attend school without a visa. As I shared earlier, knowing how far God has taken me in this process, I have full confidence that the visa will fall from the sky so to speak and it will be exhilarating to see just how that happens.

Again the number and dates to pray for is: 1) 3,750 NZD by July 25th to attend school. 2) Visa by August 1. 

If you are interested in supporting financially for my second semester at Laidlaw please contact my parents Mike and Deanna at 360.681.5154. After this semester I will be 2/3 of the way through my Bachelors in Theology, with a double major in Pastoral Care and Bible.

Grace and Peace to you.


 Above: Piper Armstrong? Not really, just wearing the US Team Jersey. Enjoying a sunny winter day cruise with friend (and Iron Man) Jeff Lange.

Above: Jesus Culture playing at the sold out Life Church, Auckland Venue. A friend of mine just happened to have a extra ticket after his brother couldn't make it.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Freedom, in more ways than one.

Happy 4th everyone.

The semester ended for me on Tuesday night after being given a two day extension on a project. Since then I have learned that I passed my Hebrew exam which was an amazing shock. Thanks to everyone who prayed for that.

I was able to sneak away from all of my normal duties Thursday evening and retreat to Laidlaws beach guest house at Piha. It just so happened that I picked the most amazing 3 days to go in winter and I leave that experience refreshed and somewhat tan. I swam in the surf, read my Bible and watched movies. I haven't been alone for months, so this weekend was a beautiful experience, I can't describe how much it was needed. Thank you Lord.

Tonight I'm going out with a few friends to attend a free lecture by Iain Provan from Regent College in Vancouver (on the OT), followed up by a July 4th celebration with a fellow American in downtown Auckland at a authentic NYC Pizzeria... life is good.

Above: Friday evening
Above: View from my study. 

Above: View from my front yard.
Above: View of the beach from my bed. 

Above: View from my face looking at the nice gash on my foot from the reef.