We are having a baby!
We are overjoyed with this news, as we had been told that natural conception was almost impossible for us. As we were beginning to look seriously into adoption, suddenly God gave us this precious gift. Every day I thank the Lord for this miracle – almost like a dream to us. I was so excited and was blessed to have my dear friend, Wendy Holdsworth, do my first ultrasound. I was also very blessed to have Jack and Margie Boor take care of me throughout the first few weeks of my pregnancy. It was great to share that time with close friends and family. I do wish I would have been able to tell more people when we were in the States, but because this is considered a high risk pregnancy, we decided to wait for awhile. Now that we are at 15 weeks, we feel confident in letting you know! We continue to share the joy each day as we are eagerly learning – reading about and researching the baby’s progress each week. The ultrasounds continue to amaze us, as we both rejoiced to see Baby Curtis move for the first time! We still don’t know if our baby is a boy or girl, we are excited just to have a baby! In this month’s newsletter, Steve talks about “second generation” in relation to the ministry; we are also blessed to know we will soon be having our very own second generation who, Lord willing, will also be committed to work for His kingdom.
Our New Home
While we are very excited, I am currently being monitored by high risk doctors in the Philippines, due to the nature of my illness. We finally decided to move to Manila. The hospital in the province wasn’t able to handle the rest of my pregnancy. The doctor in the province recommended that I seek medical treatment in Manila, so we moved here just before we left to go to Cambodia. We live close to a church and, while Steve was away on his three week trip, I was able to connect with some members, attend Bible studies, and slowly begin to get involved. I met a couple of local friends from church who have been a great blessing to me. While Steve was away, these girls have been checking up on me – one even brought food for me during a time when I wasn't feeling great. God provided me with great company! Even though I cannot travel with Steve right now, I certainly feel that the work for the Kingdom will continue for me here. I will continue to write the Knowing God children’s edition for Burma, using the same model as I used in Aringa. I may also adapt this children's series to other places where Steve is working.
I was fortunate enough to be able to make the Cambodia trip, as I was still in the first trimester of my pregnancy and my doctor gave me approval to travel. It was a blessing to be able to go for this trip. Steve was supposed to meet with another pastor, who suddenly fell off the radar just as we were getting ready to travel to Siem Reap! Right before we were about to leave, however, we were invited by a couple who have been missionaries in Siem Reap for several years. The fellowship with these new friends was simply amazing. The couple, Jimo and Lila, is originally from Northeast India, and they run a ministry teaching English to children. Siem Reap is still largely closed to Christians and churches and ministries still do not have the freedom to demonstrate their beliefs openly due to the strongly socialist, Buddhist government. We met with other friends of Jimo and Laila from Korea, China, as well as Cambodia. I was blessed with the work Lila is doing with the children and was encouraged by this couple who continue to work to spread God’s word.
While worshiping at the church in Manila the Sunday before we left, the local pastor played a video describing a very unique ministry that currently operates in Siem Reap. The ministry is called “Blossoms” and it started because the founder has a passion for making cupcakes! We visited the store and had the chance to meet with one of the owners. Ruth, the founder of this ministry, runs a training school to help women who have been rescued from the human traffickers, teaching them baking skills. Ruth’s ministry currently blooms all over Cambodia using cupcakes to rescue these women. While meeting with Ruth’s partner in Siem Reap, we were told that the government is not happy with their work rescuing these girls and sometimes officials stop by to hustle their business, seeking under-the-table money. Please pray for this ministry; their work is amazing and it was so dear to me, as we have seen the wonderful work they are doing with these girls – not just teaching them skills, but also sharing Christ with them as their lives change for better.
Due to the nature of my illness, I did encounter some minor setbacks. Upon returning from Cambodia, I had blood work that revealed a clotting tendency and I was immediately put on self-administered heparin shots. Nine days after beginning the shots, however, I had a severe reaction and had to undergo more blood work. I really did not want to return to the heparin shots because I was showing the signs of joint inflammation, which I had during the times when my lupus was active. I was taken off the shots and – praise the Lord! – the blood work revealed that the clotting tendency had miraculously improved. I am now off the shots and praying never to return to them.
Other than that, Baby Curtis and I are doing great! I feel healthy and well overall, with no morning sickness or any other serious problems. The only issues I face seem to be connected to the medications that have been given to me, which cause all kinds of reactions. I really would like to go drug free, and I am praying that I will be able to do so throughout the rest of my pregnancy. My prayer request is that I wish to carry our baby to term and that my health setbacks remain minor, with nothing that will be life threatening for me or our baby. I believe that God is in control, and I continue to be amazed by the precious gift He has given to us. Just want to thank those who are constantly praying for us both - oops, I mean the three of us!
Now you can go back to the newsletter and read about the great "growth and expansion" in the ministry of Timothy Two!