We have had long days of chemo. Last Friday was a 14-hour day at Cedars and today will probably be about ten hours. The reaction to the chemo is harsh. When we know that a chemo day is coming, when we are driving to the hospital, when we are waiting for the inevitable, we do our best to keep things positive and focus on God’s goodness and mercy. We talk about other things and wait patiently for God’s plan to be accomplished. We are praying through it all that God uses the chemo (or any other means He chooses) to chase the leukemia cells away. Right now, this is what we must do. We completely believe that God can use whatever means He chooses.

On the days between chemo treatments, Dave does his best to get out of bed for short stints of time, but his body is completely whacked. He is saving his energy for loving on those grandbabies and hanging out with his kids. They are his best medicine and they bring life and laughter to his days. His mind and his heart are constantly thinking about and praying for the church, the work of God at IHC, and the people there that he loves so much. He is very hopeful to be back with you soon.

It’s pretty bad when we are sitting right next to each other, but we’re communicating through text or email. Ha! That’s what happened with us today. (Admit it, you’ve done it, too!) I didn’t see his email until halfway thru the chemo treatment when Dave’s body was suffering from uncontrollable shaking and extreme nausea. I looked down at my phone and saw his email to me. Here’s what it said:

For we have no power to face this vast army (cancer) that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. This is what the Lord says to you: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army (cancer). For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:12, 15

That’s where Dave’s heart and mind are at today in the midst of this treatment, doing battle with this leukemia with the power of God. I believe that is a stronger and more powerful message than he could ever give on a Sunday in church. In the middle of the fight for his life, where we don’t know what to do and we have no power, Dave is keeping his eyes on God and His power. The battle is God’s and we don’t have to be afraid or discouraged.

Let Dave’s message speak strongly into your life circumstance today. I know there are others who need that perspective in their life right now. You may not be battling leukemia, but if you are in the middle of a battle of any kind, we encourage you to turn to God. It may be a relational struggle that is hurtful and overwhelming. It may be a battle with addiction that is so powerful that you are tempted to give up. It may be the fear of financial devastation. Whatever your vast army is today, we challenge you to apply that verse in 2 Chronicles. Don’t try to face the battle on your own. Let the battle be God’s and live in a way that He can do His work. Live with Him and for Him, surrendering your life in obedience to Him so that He can fight the battle.

That’s what we are living and learning today.

We love you and appreciate all of your prayers. We will move forward in the power of God’s healing because of your prayers. Thank you! 

Carol Stoecklein

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In the last few months, Dave has been making great progress and having some really good days. He has been out and about driving on his own, he has been able to teach at church, and he has been thoroughly enjoying those grandbabies. God provided a standing frame from a family in Texas (miracle story), and Dave had even been able to take some first steps with the aide of a walking frame at Project Walk. We were greatly encouraged and looking forward to the progress he would continue to make.

So it is with a heavy heart that we must tell you that the leukemia has returned. The doctors ran some tests last week to figure out why Dave was having headaches as well as hearing and equilibrium issues. Sadly, over the weekend, we received news that the leukemia has returned to Dave’s brain. This, of course, is very difficult news for our family. We are informing you of this news right away so that you can begin praying for him.

Dave is determined to fight this cancer and is fully confident that God’s still got this. God is our hope. He is our strength. We know He holds us in the palm of His strong and loving hand. Although the treatments are limited this time around, the doctors feel optimistic that we discovered it early. Dave has already begun chemotherapy treatments and will continue to do so a few times per week. We will keep you updated on the treatment plan and progress.

Thank you for being such amazing friends over these last few years. We need your continued love, support, and prayers. We will continue to turn to God and we know that your prayers for Dave touch the heart of God and make a huge difference.

Here’s how you can pray:

  • Pray that the chemo quickly destroys the leukemia cells and puts Dave back into remission.
  • Pray that his body is protected from the side effects.
  • Pray that Dave is increasingly encouraged by God’s faithfulness and strength.
  • Pray for healing and wholeness.

 Here’s why we can have full confidence in prayer:

“Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.” Deuteronomy 7:9

God’s got this!

The Stoecklein Family

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Hey Friends, 

The doctors were pleased with Jet’s progress this week and determined that he was ready to come home to Chino-land. The air has never smelled so good. The heat has never felt so refreshing. The sight of rain in the middle of summer has never felt more appropriate (sarcasm?). That’s right folks, we are home! 

Eat, sleep, poop… that is the new rhythm. Our world revolves around those three words. In fact, I would like to ask you to pray over those three things. First, please pray that Jet continues to eat well. As a premie, he needs to eat more frequent and gain more weight. Second, please pray that we all get enough sleep and rest each day. And lastly, please pray that Jet’s little intestines continue to work properly. What goes in, must come out. Parents understand what I’m saying :) 

We have been overwhelmed by all of your love and support. Thank you for the meals, gifts, diapers, and prayers! We love you much. 

Andrew 

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