That's right, Easter 2010 is right around the corner! Every year, Emmaus Road has enjoyed celebrating Christ's Resurrection with a great potluck brunch at New Horizons following worship. David Beckwith has volunteered to be our Brunch coordinator this year; please contact David - 605-295-0143 or Thirstybaby@gmail.com - and volunteer for the following tasks:
Food Contributions; a member volunteered to provide a ham; we need other hot dishes and baked goods.
Under the heading Renewing Communities Together, a story is told about how the cluster of Christian Reformed congregations and "church plants" are involved in their Seattle neighborhoods. The emerging ministry known as Dust in South Lake Union is a neighboring sister church to Emmaus Road in Belltown.
Here is a link to the story in the February 2010 issue of the denominational monthly magazine, BANNER.
The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, known to denomination insiders as the "CRWRC," has had a presence in Haiti for many years. Here is a link to a recent update from some of those in the field today.
Struggling to Return to Ordinary Life in Luitor, Haiti CRWRC Newsroom | March 18, 2010
Prior to the January 12 earthquake, Luitor, Haiti was a peaceful and productive village--although poor. The villagers farmed sugar cane, corn, beans, potatoes, plantain and peanuts. Some were fisherman and tradesman; some families owned chickens and goats. Children attended public or private schools nearby. Life in Luitor was enjoyable and few children left to seek their fortunes in the big city.
An update on how our friend is doing following his March 2 surgery.
From Lori, March 17: It is two weeks after brain surgery and Anthony has been recovering well. He got the staples out last Friday. The incision is healing up quickly, and he is not in any pain. Everyone who has seen him post surgery is amazed at how great he looks. The body is truly amazing!
The goal of the surgery was to restore some function to his left hand. During the past two weeks of recovery, he has had good days and bad days. So, the jury is still out on whether surgery helped his hand. We are definitely holding out hope for improvement over time.
The results of pathology are in.
There were five samples in all submitted for review. Two samples were from the frontal cyst, which was mostly blood and fluid; however, the cyst wall contained some atypical cells that were suspicious. The next samples were collected from the corpus callosum tumor, which revealed there is viable tumor present. When compared with the biopsy from 2005, the tumor looks very similar except there has been a significant change in one area called MIB-1 Labeling Index. The MIB-1 index is used as a marker of cell proliferation in tumors. The lower the percentage of cancer cells in the evaluated area, the better. For Anthony's tumor, the MIB-1 index has grown from 2% in 2005 to 12%, which means the tumor has been upgraded from a Grade II to a Grade III. The pathologist did comment that it was difficult to assign a grade, but felt it was consistent with progression.
Obviously, this is not great news, but the neurosurgeon feels that we don't need to do anything wild yet because the tumor has been acting fairly stable since progression was noted on MRI last June. It certainly isn't behaving as an aggressive Grade III.
So, what's next?
Anthony will continue on oral chemotherapy for now. He will get another scan in a month and take it from there.
Anthony is already back at work part time this week and last. Next week, he will resume working full time, and start riding his trike to work. Luckily, the weather is getting warmer and it is staying light longer--something we can all rejoice in. We are looking forward to a trip to Cancún at the end of April for a week. We continue to feel grateful everyday because each day is truly a gift.
In the winter of 1997, we began as a small team of about 10 people, committed to gathering and growing a church that would connect with others like ourselves; people interested in connecting with God, in the person and work of Jesus Christ, but disconnected from the activity of many mainstream congregations. With the financial support of a larger church organization, our pastor was able to work full time with the team in planning, leadership development, and meeting people in the community.
Our first meetings were open discussion forums. We talked about prayer, scripture, spiritual discipline and the issues with which we all struggle. As friends talked to friends, the first group expanded and we multiplied into two.
Inspired by the journey process as a metaphor for spiritual growth, we searched for a name which would reflect that idea. In the resurrection narrative of Luke 24, we found our name "on the road to Emmaus."
After our first worship event on Good Friday of 1997, both groups began to gather together for worship once a month. In various coffee shops and rental spaces, we gradually increased our worship times to twice a month, and in September of 1998 we decided to gather every Sunday. Since the beginning, numerical growth has been gradual but steady, most often through the personal contact of friends talking to friends.
Today, several small groups continue to meet for open discussions on prayer, scripture, and the process of encountering God in daily life; we all gather for worship each week.