by Rod D. Martin
May 7, 2006

Dear Friends,

As you may have already heard, Sherri was diagnosed with breast cancer last week.

We do not yet know the fullness of the prognosis. We do know that the situation is sufficiently severe that she must begin chemotherapy immediately, preparatory to surgery, and begin radiation treatments thereafter as well. She’s going to be a very sick girl for a while. And she needs a lot of prayer.

I want you to know that her morale is very good, and she is, as she has always been, perfectly certain in the Lord’s faithfulness, perfectly content in His grace. It would be very easy for anyone to be shaken by this; in fact, it would be rather extraordinary for anyone not to be. But it is not merely husbandly affection which causes me to say that she is the most extraordinary woman I have ever known. No matter what life has thrown at her — and both the blessings and the adversities have frequently been like unto Job’s — she has pressed deeper into Christ, trusting without hesitation or fail that He would perfectly work His perfect plan in her trials and in her, all with a quiet assurance, the sweetest of spirits, and a beatific smile. And for His part, He has blessed her in all things, even the worst, without exception, just as she has trusted, whether this was obvious at the time or not. This will surely be no different.

Sherri would say with Paul that to her “to live is Christ, and to die is gain;” but from her and our limited perspectives, there is much yet to be done in this life, and we certainly could not contemplate a life without her. We will of course do everything in our power to make sure she has the best medical care available. Yet our fate is not in the hands of mere men, but of the Father alone; and while we would not presume to impose our will on His plan, we nevertheless ask that He would cure her — as quickly and painlessly as possible — and we ask you to mobilize all the resources at your disposal to pray for that as well.

It is not only for Sherri — her cure, her comfort, her morale, and all her other needs — that I ask you to pray. Those of us closest to her, particularly the children and I, need to be strong for her, and for each other. We need the sort of near-perfect faith she demonstrates to us every day, and we need to fill the many, many gaps which she would normally fill. We can do none of these things as well as she — and I least of all — yet we cannot afford the luxury of failure.

We are very grateful for the friendship of so very many of you; and our hope is in Him Who heals both the body and the spirit.

The covenant holds,
Rod, for Sherri, Dolly, Archer and Haley