A Priceless Gift
Mar 17, 2019 | by Nancy Newbrough
In 2016, my husband and I traveled to Rivne, Ukraine, with Michael Gott International (MGI), to teach conversational English and share the Gospel for two weeks. This Christian organization always partners with a local church whose members facilitate the teachers in countless ways. One of Grace Church’s wonderful volunteers was Julia, a godly wife and mother of two young boys. Her contagious smile and encouraging spirit made her a perfect “greeter” for the four classes held daily.
We returned to Rivne in 2017 and were assisted by the same church volunteers. Julia played a lesser role as she was expecting their third child. Yet her humorous and sociable husband, Yuri, helped greatly even though his English, as Julia said, was “Zero!” Later in 2017, Julia gave birth to another boy!
But 2018 changed their lives as 6-year-old Timothy was diagnosed with leukemia. Julia and Yuri were crushed. Rivne’s Grace Church and prayer warriors around the world committed to pray for this precious boy and his family.
Julia tells her story in this manner: More than 15 years ago, an ordinary girl fell in love with the Wonderful God and entrusted her life to Him. She became a wife and the mother of three noisy, but cute boys. With the coming of each child, she more and more comprehended the love of the Father and delighted in telling His little treasures about Him. Then one day she learned the sad news that her middle son had a blood cancer. And cancer cells spread so rapidly in the body of this six-year-old that 97% of the blood was already white blood cells. What does a mom feel when she finds out: Fear, pain, devastation? But she was an unusual mother – she loved and hoped in the Lord with all her heart. And the Holy Spirit ministered to her maternal heart in those difficult moments. She said to Him, “My Beloved, I understand that You know better what I need and my child. And you love him more than I do.”
The Ukrainian medical system could not provide the treatment Timothy needed. By God’s grace, he was accepted for treatment at an Italian Hospital and Yuri went with him until the baby was a bit older and the family could be reunited.
Because he was so very ill, Julia constantly sent updates and prayer requests to intercessors all over the world! We began forwarding them to The Fellowship Prayer Team.
The toughest phase of treatment began mid-August with infusions of a powerful chemo for ten weeks. September brought challenging times. Timothy was struggling with painful mouth sores, throbbing legs, and rapid hair loss. He would lie in bed crying most of the day and saying he wanted to die, to be in Paradise where there was no pain or tears. He stopped talking. Eating was challenging with the sores. A cough/cold set in as well as other setbacks. The mother expressed her angst to God: “If you decide to take him to Yourself, then do so that he does not suffer. And if You leave him still with us, then please do not let him suffer.” The Almighty Wise God heard the prayer and there was peace, a lot of perfect peace, which is above all understanding. And she was grateful for every minute with the child, for every breath he took.
Doctors remarked on Timothy’s strength. Julia gave credit to prayers being lifted worldwide and glory to God for managing every molecule in her son’s body. During the last week of September, Timothy improved enough to go home to the family apartment. With his strength increasing, he would try to run, but then stop with pain. The family cherished being together again, but Timothy’s body aches and nausea continued.
The last chemo infusion was October 24. On November 1st, an urgent prayer plea arrived. Timothy had been taken by ambulance to the hospital with a high fever. He was given platelet and plasma transfusions. Three days later, Timothy’s temperature was down and he was improving.
Then in late November, with great lab results, the maintenance phase began. In mid-December Timothy’s port was removed, and he enjoyed his first real bath in over a year!
February brought a multitude of praises. Julia continued her story: On February 14, the boy turned seven years old. Such a special date as a year ago, the mother did not know whether her son would have another birthday! And today he is healthy! God healed him! The mother’s heart has drawn even closer to God and her soul even closer to her sons. And her dreams remain the same! Let them know God! Let them become true followers of Him!
Timothy is doing well, has started first grade and is even helping with chores! His blood is currently clear of abnormal cells! The family will stay another year in Italy while he is on medication. Julia writes: “Timothy is a priceless, generous gift from heaven. I advise you to please love, accept and hug your family! Who knows the next time you can embrace them again! Never stop telling them you love them! Thank you for your sweet prayers and loving hearts. All glory to God!”
Brad and Carol
Carry each other’s burdens and in this way
you will fulfill the law of Christ.