Saturday, June 30, 2012

Seeing Jesus...

Per Joe on FB: Rest in peace my beautiful son! He is in eternal glory resting with his lord and savior:-). He passes away in no pain and in such a peaceful way.

Thanks everyone for praying for this precious family. Andrew now sees with his eyes what his heart had already known and our grief is dwarfed by his joy.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. -2 Timothy 4:7-8

In His Grace,

Peter & Kim


For those of you praying for Andrew and his family. I cut and pasted below Joe's latest update on his blog. You can visit it HERE and leave an encouraging comment if you wish.  May the peace of God guard their hearts.
I hope you can understand why I haven't blogged in the last few days.  I am sitting here in the room alone with Andrew as he is heavily sedated and on his last leg of his journey here on earth.  The past few days have been an extremely emotional and physically draining.  Relatives have started coming in from all over the country.  Yesterday, Uncle Chan Soo, Aunties Jeannie and Cindy came in from the west coast.  And of course my brother and Andrew's favorite, Uncle Albert and Auntie Jennifer and cousin Margot came in as well.  Many tears were shed as they said there final hellos and goodbyes.

Today, was the toughest day.  This morning Jennifer and I had the difficult task, that no parent should have to say to their children, to tell Andrew there is nothing else the doctors can do and that he is dying.
Andrew was semi lucid and opened his eyes ever so slowly to hear us.  We asked if he understood the situation and whether he knew he would go into the arms of Jesus as passes from this ever so temporary earth and go into eternal glory with God.  He nodded yes.  We knew going into transplant that Andrew had given his life to Jesus Christ and understood what John 3:16 says in the Bible:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.    

Andrew understood where he was going.  He may not have had a lifetime to grow in his faith, but he acted out his faith in so many ways!  I will elude to this later.
We later asked if he was scared and he nodded and told him to not be.  We told him Jesus is waiting with open arms and he would be smiling in his perfect body glorifying God in eternity!  We told him not to hold on for us and that his family would be okay.  We told him we didn't want him to suffer and that it was okay to goto Jesus.  He nodded!

Andrew was being so brave as he tried to hold off more pain meds to stay somewhat lucid to "see" his friends and family.  That's what kind of strong boy he is!  Jenn and I believe he has hung on so far because of others!  With that being said, he had his Hinsdale Central boys come by: Ryan, Cameron, Andy, Marc,  Jonathon and Ritchie.  The next thing that happened blew me away!!!  We told Andrew his friend from Central were here and from his eyes being closed, HIS EYES FLEW WIDE OPEN AND HE SMILED!!!  HE HASN'T SHOWN ANY EMOTIONS BUT PAIN ON HIS FACE THE PAST MONTH IN ICU AND HE SMILED TODAY!!!!!  
Andrew smiling at his friends!

The emotion was palpable and real.  The tears shed for Andrew were of sadness because they were losing a selfless and wonderful friend.  I eluded to Andrew's faith played out in his actions, well we heard the stories of Andrew helping others and making people smile.  As a father, I am so happy to hear the impact he had on others!  It's been unbelievable the testimonies about Andrew making others smile, feel comfortable and just helping others out!  If you look closely at Andrew's chest in the picture, it is the medal Ryan (his best friend and part of the Park Family) won in his huge regional soccer tournament, which was dedicated to Andrew before the tournament!  The energy required to keep his eyes open and smile for the guys, considering he is heavily sedated and medicated, is incredible.  He also tried lifting his head to greet them!  I explained to the boys, although they are sad for Andrew's imminent passing, that Andrew knows where he is going, into the arms of Jesus.  I told them regardless of their religious beliefs, my hope would they would find the peace and grace that comes from knowing Jesus Christ.  It was wonderful as we joined hands and prayed in Jesus Name Andrew would be at peace and comfort, void of fear and worry.  
The next surprise came when Andrew woke back up after the boys left and looked at me.  I asked Andrew for a kiss and he puckered up, I kissed him and he SMILED AT ME!!!!!!  I will never forget that kiss and smile.  It was as if Andrew was saying Dad, it's okay, I will be okay.  He proceeded to pucker up for Grandma and Grandpa, Jennifer, Yun and his sisters.  He was so cute as he lied  there with his lips all ready to smooch.  He made everyone's day!  The Park side of the family all showed up: Auntie Sunny, cousin Sophia, Auntie Tina, Uncle Dom, Baby D, Uncle Richard and Auntie Jeannie and baby Anderson.  Andrew so loves his Aunts and Uncles!  He loved Baby D and the little cousins! But the Uncle and Aunt he loves the most is Uncle Albert and Auntie Jennifer.  The blessing of what those two have done for the kids over the years cannot be repaid!!!

There was some levity as well during the day.  We talked about Andrew's taste for Cheetoes and how he always had a stash of chips, mints, gum, candy and gatorade always at the ready in his back pack. We spoke of how Andrew would have as much Hooter's wings in heaven without he fear of pancreatitis.  Most of the family's funny and heartwarming stories were always associated with food!  We talked of how Andrew and his Grandfather (ha-bah-ghee) would be able to play unlimited golf in heaven and have as many 10th hole foot long hotdogs;-)  We tried to laugh and celebrate his life today as well.  But I know it was particularly tough for my mom and dad.  I have never seen my dad cry like he did!  You just don't see first generation Korean men do that.  It showed how much my dad loves Andrew!

More visitors came and left and Jennifer and I are exhausted!  But with the help of my best friends Dan, Don and Pastor Michael, I made it through this incredibly difficult yet joyous day.  These men understand that you need not speak to a person that is grieving, but  just be there for them.  Just be.  

Again, no one should have to tell their kids they are dying, but on the other hand, I have the honor to pass my son to his Heavenly Father who has and always will love him more than I could ever have.  So with that reality, I have a modicum of piece in my heart.  Again the peace that Philippians 4:6-7 speaks of:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understandingwill guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As I am looking at my sick child, I have divergent feelings.  On one hand I am sad that Andrew is suffering and broken, but on the other hand, I am glad he will be in eternal peace.  I know there will be many day ahead after Andrew is gone where it will be painful for our family, but I know God will not forsake us or leave us.  Hebrews 13:5:

“...Never will I leave you  never will I forsake you.”
One of Andrew's friends asked why Andrew?  And I replied why not.  Andrew lived a "full" life in his 17 years here on earth.  I believe he was put here to bless others.  I don't know if you remember, but one constant prayer I have had for the kids throughout their lives is that they would bless others!  Well, Andrew did that.  

Prayer Request:

-Pray Andrew would be at peace as he goes to Jesus.  Pray he would feel no pain!

-Pray for Jennifer, Yun and myself that we would have the strength to be there for Bry and Emily and that we would be able to grieve in a healthy fashion.

-Pray for my parents and family as they grieve and try to process Andrew's imminent passing and ultimately his death.

***As far as funeral arrangements, Jenn, Yun and I will decide on how to celebrate and memorialize this life.  Please respect the decisions of our family.  We will try to have a intimate gathering for family only and then a celebration service for the throng of loved ones of Andrew.  

Love You All!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beauty & the Beast: Seeing Jesus in the Story

I know the final chapter ended with a long-awaited wedding and those of you who followed the long-winded story (read HERE) are left concluding that we have lived "happily ever after" and while that is true to some degree it is also patently untrue. I feel responsible for giving some people out there a false hope - that if you find LOVE you will find ultimate happiness and have fulfilled your purpose in life. This is only partially correct.

French novelist, George Sand once said, “There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.”  Amen.  Sand recognized that we all have a profound instinct to love and be loved and I believe God, in His goodness, designed us in this way that we might seek Him - the one who is love (1 Jn 4:8). And when we love Him and when we are loved by Him to echo John Piper – we are most satisfied and the Creator is most glorified. Sadly, most of this world is deceived into thinking that ultimate love can be found in a person instead of God Himself. This view will only result in massive disappointment. No matter how happy the union - no marriage can bear this gigantic burden. The earthly marriage was only meant to picture and project the divine union - not redefine or replace it. (Eph 5:31-32)

I think our universal longing for a transcendent love becomes more obvious when you observe the striking similarities between secular love songs and spiritual worship songs (see video below). You will find there is very little difference between the two – however one is a misplaced hope in a person and the other is a living hope in a loving God. Each recognizes the need for love – but only one holds the ultimate solution.

The Bible tells us that in the beginning we were in a perfect love relationship with God and nothing was lacking. But alas, that perfect love relationship was broken by sin. In essence, Adam and Eve did not believe that God loved them, and they sinned and we have all inherited that sin. Therefore, we are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners. This is now our very nature - and we are utterly lost and broken and we cannot approach God in our sin. We would be consumed in an instant in the awesome presence of His holiness.

But there is hope. Since that day, God has been on a relentless quest of love. He pursues us. He pursues us with an unbreakable and an eternal love, and His end desire is to restore that perfect union that was lost in the beginning. But unlike my pathetic love story, He did not produce a single amaryllis to prove His love – every plant and planet and all of creation stands as proof of His great love for us. He did not scrounge together a scrapbook over a few years to testify of His enduring love – He provided 66 books spanning thousands of years as a testament of His enduring love. Contrary to popular belief, the Bible is not a book of “do’s” and “don’ts”, it is ultimately a story of love. A story about a divine love for you and me. 

This is why the Bible opens with a marriage (Gen 2) and closes with a wedding (Rev 21). This is why in the prophecies of Jeremiah we see the despair found in the brokenness of a divine marriage and in the poetry of the Song of Solomon we see the unadulterated joy found in an earthly one. This is why in the book of Hosea we see a man and a woman play out a heart-wrenching story of unrequited love, and in the book of Ruth we see a man and a woman play out a heart-warming story of unconditional love. This is why a wedding is the site of Jesus’ first miracle and the setting of his last parables. 

Make no mistake, when Jesus begins his ministry on earth he clearly presents himself as the bridegroom, to pay the bride-price to redeem us by dying for our sins - in order to restore that once perfect union with Him. Marriage literally begins and ends as God's idea. It is God's creation, God's institution, and God’s glory.

And if we enter into his promised covenant of love by faith, then what was lost in a garden on earth, will be fully restored at a wedding in heaven. Our joy will be complete because we will truly understand what it means to “love and be loved” and we shall "know him, as we have been fully known" (1 Cor 13:12), and “God will be most glorified in us, because we will be most satisfied in Him”.

This is why “Beauty” [JESUS} became a “Beast” [lowly man]. (Phil 2) This is why beasts [mankind] can be made beautiful [like JESUS]. This is why the Gospel is the greatest love story ever told.

In His Grace,

Peter & Kim

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Urgent Prayers for Andrew

Dear Friends, below is an update from Joe (Andrew's dad) on the CT scan. Things look very bleak right now for Andrew and they are preparing to say "good-bye". Please pray. We are still praying for a miracle but if the Lord should choose to take His child home please pray for comfort, hope and the peace of Christ for Andrew and his family.
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FROM JOE PARK: It's with an utterly broken, sad and grieving heart that the c.t. scan showed Andrew's lungs are worse than 3 weeks ago.  The scan shows more murkiness and there is a an absence of tissue in the lung that may be indicative of an infection or a healed one.
The team basically said they have done whatever they can to help his lungs.  Dr. Sonali said he has little chance of surviving and we need to focus on his comfort.  I asked if we are at the point of letting him go and there are no other option and she said that if we let go know, it's a acceptable decision.  Basically,
Andrew will need a miracle!  Sonali brought up putting a tube in his neck, so he could be more comfortable than the breathing tube down his throat.  Being on a breathing tube down his throat for such an extended time gets uncomfortable.  It also may allow him to be more lucid and communicate with us.  It will possible allow his loved ones to say goodbye.  It also can give him time to turn around, although unlikely.

I met with Jim the chaplain and we discussed what is best for Andrew and the possible things we will need to do before we say goodbye.  This is all overwhelming to say the least, but these questions and scenarios need to be addressed.

I ask you from the bottom of my heart that Andrew is at peace, comfortable and not scared.  I don't want my boy to be this way.

I have asked my brother and close family members to come as soon as they can.  I will tell you when it is appropriate for people to visit.  Until then, PLEASE DO NOT ASK IF YOU CAN COME.  PLEASE RESPECT OUR FAMILY IN THIS TIME OF GRIEF.  

I can't reconcile what is going on, but I trust Jesus is comforting Andrew as I write this!  If I have to let go, I know he will on to be with the Lord and rest in eternal peace.




Seeing Jesus in Biking

I had the privilege of spending half the weekend with the good folks at Global Harvest Church in Dallas, TX and got to share our cancer story and lead a marriage seminar. It was pretty last minute as my good friend Thomas Kim was supposed to speak the entire weekend at this conference but he asked me to come and split the time and we were both blown away at what the Lord is doing at that church. God is good. I even got to meet and pray for a couple members in their church that were also battling cancer and hear their story. Please continue to lift up Andrew and Connor - (see blogroll on side for updates) - Andrew is getting a CT scan on his lungs today to see if there is any improvement and they are still fighting for their lives. Please pray that the nearness of the Lord would be more real to them and their families now more than ever before.
An excerpt from Tim Hansel's book, Holy Sweat. I came across this a few years ago and accidentally stumbled upon it on my computer recently. It struck me then but it resonates profoundly with me now. A great word-picture summary of our last few months...

The Road of Life
At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong so as to know whether I merit heaven or hell when I die. He was out there sort of like a President. I recognized his picture when I saw it but I really didn't know Him. But later on when I met Christ it seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride, but it was a tandem bike and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.

I don't know just when it was when He suggested we change places but life has not been the same since. When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable. It was the shortest distance between two points. But when He took the lead He knew delightful long-cuts; up mountains, and through rocky places at break-neck speeds. It was all I could do to hang on. Even though it looked like madness He said, "Pedal."

I worried and was anxious and asked, "Where are you taking me?" He laughed and didn't answer and I started to learn to trust. I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure and when I'd say, "I'm scared!" He'd lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed; gifts of healing, acceptance and joy. They gave me gifts to take on my journey - my Lord's and mine. And we were off again He said, "Give the gifts away. They're extra baggage - too much weight." So I did to the people we met and I found that in giving I received and still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him at first to take control of my life. I though He'd wreck it. But He knows bike secrets, knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners. Knows how to jump to clear high rocks. Knows how to fly to shorten scary passages. And I'm learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places. I'm beginning to enjoy the view and the cool breeze in my face and my delightful constant companion Jesus Christ. And when I'm sure I can't do anymore He just smiles and says, "Pedal".

In His Grace,

Peter & Kim

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Seeing Jesus in Eagles (Part II)

ANDREW & CONNOR UPDATE: I got this text from Joe today "Andrew is not well and his prognosis is not good. Please ask your friends and family to pray. It's very bad". So please lift him and his family up if you would. Connor is thankfully back home now and waiting to see if there are any donor cells in his marrow that might replicate - the doctors aren't expecting anything but please pray for a divine miracle. You can check their respective blogs on my blogroll for more details.
I just drove back from Northern Wisconsin where we spent much of the week with Kim's side of the family doing beautiful outdoor activities like boating, horseback riding, camp fires, and the like - it is so amazingly beautiful out there. Yesterday Kim asked Caleb which he enjoyed more Disney World or Wisconsin better and to my surprise he said, "Wisconsin". Apparently the best man has to offer,  still cannot compare to what God has to offer.

I snuck out early this morning and sat in front of a large lake behind the house we were staying at reading The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning. I was on chapter five and it was feeding my soul so I'd like to share it:
"We get so preoccupied with ourselves, the words we speak, the plans and projects we conceive that we become immune to the glory of creation. We barely notice the cloud passing over the moon or the dewdrops clinging to the rose leaves. The ice on the pond comes and goes. The wild blackberries ripen and wither. The blackbird nests outside our bedroom window. We don't see her. We avoid the cold and the heat. We refrigerate ourselves in summer and entomb ourselves in plastic in winter. We rake up every leaf as fast as it falls. We are so accustomed to buying prepackaged meats and fish and fowl in supermarkets we never think and blink about the bounty of God's creation. We grow complacent and lead practical lives. We miss the experience of awe, reverence, and wonder. Our world is saturated with grace, and the lurking presence of God is revealed not only in spirit but in matter - in a deer leaping across a meadow, in the flight of an eagle, in fire and water, in a rainbow after a summer storm, in a gently doe streaking through a forest, in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, in a child licking a chocolate ice cream cone, in a woman with windblown hair. God intended for us to discover his loving presence in the world around us." (pp. 89-90)
You'll find this funny but right before I got to the part about "the flight of an eagle" I looked up from the book and guess what I see? A bald eagle flies about 30 feet in front of my face and soars over the lake. When I looked back down and read one sentence later "the flight of an eagle"  I just started laughing. Only God could do that! It was the only bald eagle I saw all morning and the timing could not have been more perfect. As it flew off I just started reciting one of my all-time favorite verses....Isaiah 40:31:
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

A couple months ago I wrote a post called "Seeing Jesus in Eagles" (see HERE) and I was reminded of all the things the Lord wanted to teach us about ourselves in and through his creation of eaglets and eagles. I also just happened to get an email from a friend (whom I've never met) who has followed this blog and faithfully prayed for us with a link to an article from the late Chuck Colson's Breakpoint called "Rescuing Hope". It speaks about the difference between hope and optimism and what it means to hope IN the Lord. Please check out the link HERE if you have a moment and are struggling to find hope.

Praying that Andrew and Connor and their families find strength as they hope in the Lord. I pray that each of you will as well.

In His Hope,

Peter & Kim

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beauty & the Beast: THE FINAL CHAPTER

ANDREW & CONNOR UPDATE: Please continue to lift up our friends Andrew & Connor in prayer. Andrew is still in critical care (see HERE) and Connor's bone marrow transplant still appears to have failed (see HERE). We are praying for a miracle. Please consider serving them by registering to be a bone marrow donor HERE or see the Bone Marrow tab above. If your read Steph's blog (Connor's mom) linked above I think you will be very moved to join the registry - it's a must-read. What a gift it would be to be one of the few who can give someone the gift of life!
Well, here it is. The FINAL chapter of this series (Start HERE if you're new to this). If you think reading each chapter from week to week was difficult imagine living it out from year to year. No writer, no matter how gifted, could convey the ashes that I have tasted and the beauty that has since risen. Only my fellow geeks who have married cancer-beating models know what I'm talking about - and we are an elite group.  I found it ironic and yet fitting that the week I'm writing the last chapter of this series I just happened to be at Disney World. After watching Beauty & the Beast live on stage at Hollywood Studios I just couldn't resist getting this souvenir (pictured on right) for our home. It now sits on our fireplace mantle commemorating what has symbolized for me both the "thrill of victory and the agony of defeat."  I hope you've enjoyed the series as much as I've enjoyed....well, i just hope you enjoyed the series.
I thought I was about to blow everything when after 5-10 minutes I was unable to pick Kim out from the mass of moving commuters  – my proposal was about to go down the disposal and then just as I began to lose hope...I spotted her! She didn’t see me, nor was she expecting to and so she was a bit startled when I grabbed her arm and told her we were going out for dinner. We grabbed a cab to “the Hancock “- the second tallest building of Chicago’s beautiful skyline where I had booked reservations at The Signature Room – the restaurant on the 95th floor.

Now going into the night I only had two goals in mind. The first was the obvious one – GET HER TO SAY “YES”. The second was a bit more ambitious – GET HER TO CRY. I’m not talking about a lone tear drop a la Denzel in "Glory" or even a few token sniffles – I wanted to see a veritable waterfall. I mean she put me through three years of torture – I felt I was entitled to see some tears of happiness from this woman. Therefore, I named my mission....“OPERATION: Niagara”.

But in order to keep things a surprise I didn’t want Kim to suspect that this was THE night and so I reiterated to her that this dinner was just an early Christmas present. I had to be very clear with this disclaimer because up to that point fine dining for us meant "Old Country Buffet" or on the most special of evenings the unparalleled....Olive Garden”.

So we got our menus, Kim balked at the prices and I balked at what I was about to do. Nervous doesn't even begin to describe it. The ring was in my pocket but it wasn’t in a box. It was on a string. My fool-proof plan was to put the ring in her glass while we prayed for our meal and surprise her when she reached for a drink. But while we prayed, I suddenly had this horrific thought.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Seeing Jesus in Fatherhood

ANDREW UPDATE (from Joe's Blog): An amazing thing happened just a few moments ago!  I just got back from a quick birthday dinner for Jennifer, yes it's her birthday, and when our nurse Nicole was asking him if he was okay, he opened his eyes.  I quickly got up to see Andrew trying to open his eyes a bit, albeit in a drug induced stupor.  The next thing sent me over the edge!  I asked if he could squeeze my hand, which he has failed to do over and over the past 13 days since he has been sedated and on an respirator, and to my surprise...HE SQUEEZED MY HAND AND HE SQUEEZED IT STRONG!  IT LASTED A COUPLE OF SECONDS, BUT IT WAS A MANLY SQUEEZE.  IT WAS A SQUEEZE SAYING I AM HERE DAD! It was if he was telling me that he is fighting and he still remains strong.  I asked him if he wanted me to  stay and hold his hand and he nodded gingerly, barely noticeable if I wasn't looking at him. THIS SIMPLE ACT, MADE MY DAY!!!!!  ---  Thanks for praying everyone - please continue to lift up Andrew and Connor! God is good.
We recently heard from some praying friends of ours at Entrusted With a Child's Heart because they wanted to see if they could re-post something I wrote a few months ago regarding fatherhood on their blog for Father's Day.  It was an honor to be asked because this is a great ministry and one of the best biblically-based parenting books out there which we have benefited from so if you have a minute check out their site and book - it's a great resource for parents. You can find their blog HERE - but I've also posted the content below as well. Happy Father's Day weekend everyone!

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named." -Ephesians 3:14

God was a father before any of us ever were. So when He describes Himself as a Father in the Bible He did not create the divine example to explain the earthly one - the heavenly Father was, is, and always will be. Rather, I believe He created the earthly example to reveal to us the divine one. And although, due to sin, every father on earth is a broken picture of our perfect Father in heaven, through having fathers and being fathers we are given small glimpses of the ultimate Father we were designed to long for and love. A good earthly father blesses us with a small taste of this divine love, a bad or absentee father elicits a profound longing for a better and greater father. Therefore, we should praise God for our fathers regardless of how good or bad they were, because I am convinced that both were ultimately given in God's providence to lead each of us to Him - our heavenly Father.

I know I'm anything but a perfect father and my kids would be the first to agree. But I've learned much about God from being a father myself and despite all of its many joys this has been fatherhood's greatest reward. Below is something I wrote over 6 years ago which shares some of what I've learned. Wishing everyone a happy upcoming Father's Day.

A Father's Love - written on Feb 28, 2006


Thanksgiving 2011

Sometimes the deepest truths are learned through the simplest means. A dear friend once told me a long time ago, that when you become a father it will open up a new chamber in your heart that you didn’t think was possible. I couldn’t really understand what he meant – but I’m beginning to now.  You are given a capacity to love that frankly you didn’t know you were capable of.  


I love my sons. I love them more than myself. I didn’t think that was possible. When I go into Caleb’s room late at night – I’ll just sit and stare at him sleeping. Freaky - I know. Then I’ll tuck him in and whisper, “I love you.” I don’t think he ever hears me but I want him to dream about my love for him. I want him to know me…and I want him to know how much I love him. He can’t do much for me…he’s only three and a half years old. Perhaps grab a tv remote when I’m too lazy to get up, or a pair of socks – but nothing I can’t already do for myself. But he loves being around me and I love being around him. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Update on Connor & Andrew - PRAYERS NEEEDED

I had difficulty sleeping last night as our hearts are so heavy for Connor as we recently heard news that the doctors are saying that his BMT has failed. Please read Steph's blog HERE for a full update. It's so heart-breaking to read. Below is an excerpt:
We are living out our very worst nightmare where all of our efforts are all for nothing. Instead, our sweet baby had to endure 10 days of chemotherapy followed by 27 days of horrible tasting medicines, unspeakable pain, mouth sores, hemerroids, and terrible homesickness for what? I am still in SHOCK and just really don't understand how this happens?
But as dark as things appear there is still a small sliver of hope (see below) - although the doctors don't think so. We've seen miracles before and all things are possible with God. Please continue to pray that God, in His mercy, would provide a way and that the Lim family would profoundly sense the nearness of God during this difficult time.  
They are stopping all the immunosuppressant drugs (to prevent GVHD) and our one hope for a miracle is that there may still be a very small percentage of donor cells in his bone marrow and that they may be able to grow a little bit, they told us not to expect this to happen. They are also stopping the GCSF so we will see how much his counts go down and they will go down. We are not sure when we will be able to get home - we are just stuck here waiting and knowing that this has failed, it really is so hard to be patient and to endure all of this.
Andrew Park is also in need of a miracle as well. He is still in ICU and at this point the doctors are giving him a 50/50 chance of survival.  See excerpt from update of Joe's blog below - see full post HERE:
We found a huge open sore on his bottom from apparently not being ambulatory.  He remains totally helpless with Jennifer and I, mostly Jennifer, wiping him down in lieu of baths, wiping his poop when he goes and other things a normal healthy 17 year old should be doing.   I am glad that I came down a day early after hearing the 50/50 chance of survival. ..
Andrew's situation is grim but again not beyond God. As I wrote a few months ago, in 2 Chronicles 20, a couple of vast armies (Moabites and Ammonites) have decided to wage war against Israel, and King Jehosophat rises up and desperately pleads to the Lord on behalf of the people, for help in this great moment of need:

"For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you. -2 Chronicles 20:12

See the Lord's simple response:
"Fear not, this battle is not yours, but mine." 2 Chronicles 20:15

I know many have been so faithful in prayer and we appreciate it so much. Let us keep our eyes upon the Lord and continue to pray in faith. God has a plan in all of this - "He is good and His love endures forever"...and this battle is His. God help us.

In the meantime, if you have not registered for to be a bone marrow donor or would like to start a drive please visit the Bone Marrow tab above or HERE. Thank you!

In His Grace,

Peter & Kim

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Seeing Jesus at Disney World (Urgent Prayer Request)

Guess where we are?
Thanks to all of you who left encouraging comments on my last Beauty & the Beast chapter. All of them were great but this one really stuck out: "You must continue for the revenge of the nerds!"  How can I say "no" to the primal scream of a fellow nerd? I also found additional inspiration at a show I saw yesterday. 

Can you guess where we are? That's right - the "happiest place on earth" - Disney World! (By the way, for being the "happiest place on earth" there sure a lot of grumpy kids around here!) Anyways, watching "Beauty & the Beast" again at Hollywood Studios reminded me of why I started this series in the first place. So the final chapter will be coming soon - and I don't think you'll be disappointed. =)
Okay, there's another more important reason why I'm mentioning why I'm in Orlando right now. I don't typically like to publicly announce when I'm out of town (we'll be home very soon) but I've just got to share this "God story" and make an important prayer request.

Back around November of last year (about 2 months before the cancer hit) we had planned a family vacation to Disney World for mid-April. Everything was booked but obviously after the cancer hit in January - the kids not only had to deal with the fact that mom was very sick, but I also had to tell them we could not go to Disney World any longer. Kim's chemo treatments were going to extend through May and with me taking unpaid leave through August (which my company graciously agreed to) it probably wasn't financially prudent to re-schedule it either. 

Well, as many of you know not only have we asked you to pray for Kim - but for our two young friends Andrew and Connor who both desperately needed bone marrow transplants. We did not even know who Connor was until a few weeks after Kim's diagnosis and we used this blog to tell his story and get people to register and got to meet him and his family shortly thereafter. 

Well, as many of you know by the grace of God and after 5+ years of searching Connor found a match in early March. A few days after the awesome news I get an email from Connor's mom Steph telling us that they had booked a timeshare in Orlando in early June:
...since we will be in BMT [bone marrow transplant] and we either have to use it or lose it.  We would love it if you and your family could use the time share....It is Connor's absolute favorite place in the world....I hope you will think about it and we really hope that you will be able to go.  It would make us happy to picture you and your family there in June. We could help arrange the entire trip for you as well.  I can make all the arrangements - I love doing that stuff.  
When I got this email my jaw dropped to the floor. We had only met Connor's parents a few weeks earlier and they were kind enough to think of us and make such a generous gift along with covering all our Disney Park tickets! The funny thing is Steph knew nothing about my previous cancellation of our April trip (due to chemo) and here she was offering this to us in June  - which just happened to be the exact month doctors permitted Kim to begin traveling. I literally felt like Job. God was restoring everything we had lost before the cancer and more!

I know Steph is going to hate me for putting all this out on the blog and originally I had no intention of doing this but I'm sharing all this now for ONE reason. Connor needs your prayer. It's been over 25 days since his bone marrow transplant and it does not look like the grafting process has even begun yet which has the doctors concerned. They will be getting test results later today (Tues) to see whether the donor cells are grafting and so this is a pivotal juncture for Connor and family. Please go to his blog HERE for more specifics and please bless them as they have blessed us. And as always, please lift up Andrew who is still in ICU along with others in the Prayer Requests tab HERE - but today especially I am asking for special prayers for Connor. Thanks so much everyone. 

In His Grace,

Peter & Kim

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Beauty & the Beast: The Proposal (Chapter 14)

PRAYER REQUEST: Andrew and Connor both were successfully moved to the new building. Praise God! Please continue to pray for them though as they are both still seriously ill. Connor's body is still not grafting the new bone marrow and it must happen within the next 7 days and Andrew's lungs, kidneys and liver are not in good shape. Please see Joe's blog for Andrew HERE and Steph's blog for Connor HERE for more detailed prayer requests and updates.
Okay, so this is just about the last of this series. You can find any chapters you missed in the Beauty & the Beast tab above. 
This was it. After three years of prayer, two rejections, and over one year of dating/courtship in the words of Nacho Libre – it was time to get down to the “nitty-gritty”. It was time to propose. I was now 26 years old but more than that I had waited long enough and I could not wait any longer, *because when you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody – you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. (* from When Harry met Sally)

The only problem was I knew I was playing way out of my league. I mean to put it in baseball terms Kim was like a Hall-of-Famer in the Majors and I was the right fielder for the local little-league team. For a “guy like me” to end up with a “girl like her” would be unprecedented. I know (or perhaps “hope”) some of you out there are probably thinking I’m being too hard on myself but allow me to explain the reasons for my insecurities. As you can see from this picture (first shown in Chapter 3) I was your classic geek-boy. My geekiness was so profound that I feel compelled to stop and write a poem about it…
small eyes
Socially inept.
Hair uNkEmPT.
skinny and cute.
virtual mute.
I am…

Friday, June 8, 2012

Prayers Needed!

Friends, please lift up our friends Connor and Andrew today. From Steph (Connor's mom)- "his counts dropped from 160 to 100 today, not a good sign for engraftment. Please pray that he starts engrafting asap-he should have shown more progress by now. And he is still in extreme pain. We are at a very low point today."

Please pray for Andrew ( and Connor's) move tomorrow. This is a very delicate and complicated process due to their critical conditions. Please see their respective blogs on my blog roll for more details. Thank you!

In His Grace,

Peter & Kim

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nurse Kate's Testimony

HEALTH UPDATES: Sorry for the delayed update but Kim's PET scan results came in and although it showed large amounts of scar tissue...there were NO cancer cells. Praising the Lord and thankful for your prayers! That said, please continue to lift up Andrew and Connor. Andrew is doing better but is still in ICU and needs your prayers. Connor is in the hospital with a fever and in a lot of pain. Please pray for these courageous boys and their families as they go through this challenging grafting process. Also, if you are a prayer warrior please lift up the other requests found in the Prayer Requests tab above or HERE.
One of the greatest blessings of our journey with cancer has been meeting some wonderful doctors, nurses and health professionals along the way. But if there is one person that has really been a great joy to get to know it has to be Nurse Kate at NWCH. She's just one of those people that is a lot of fun to be around and sincerely cares about her patients. Seeing the Lord work in her life has been one of the greatest bright spots of our difficult journey and we're so thankful we met her and can call her a friend. She shared her testimony at Kim's Surprise Party and quite a few people shared how blessed they were by it and so I thought I'd share it with those of you that couldn't make it. Enjoy and God bless.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Seeing Jesus in Les Miserables

PRAYER REQUESTS: Please continue to lift up those that have requested prayer by clicking HERE. Some quick updates on Kim, Andrew and Connor. We are still waiting on Friday's PET scan result and will let you know if it's clean (Lord willing). Andrew was moved to the ICU due to complications from pneumonia, a high fever and kidney/liver issues. Connor has had a long and painful weekend as well battling hemorrhoids and bleeding gums. Please lift them up today if you could. Thanks. 
Unlike Kim, I'm never been a big fan of musicals, but if there is one musical that gets me every time it's got to be Les Miserables. As many of you probably know, it's a classic tale set to the French Revolution that has endured for 150 years because of its profound redemptive theme. In fact, it reminds me of  another story "the greatest story every told" (i.e. the Gospel) which has endured for 2,000 years. They both tell a riveting story of law and grace, sin and forgiveness, greed and giving, romance and redemption. I bring all this up because I ran across a movie trailer of the classic novel which will be coming out this Christmas (see below) - it looks very promising.

The song I Dreamed a Dream sung throughout this trailer is a haunting reminder that this world is utterly broken and it leaves us desperately longing for a more perfect world. It resonates deep within each of us because we all recognize this to be true. Something profound was lost in the Garden of Eden and we have all been searching for it since. C.S. Lewis said, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world."  Read the lyrics below...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Special Prayer Request for Andrew


I've included the other prayer requests from the "Prayer Requests" tab in case you missed it and wish to minister to others that have communicated some special prayer requests. Thanks. 
Prayers for Andrew Bone Marrow Grafting
UPDATE FROM JOE: Andrew's stem cells from the bone marrow transplant on May 16th are beginning to graft however, he has been very ill and now has pneumonia. Andrew has been moved to ICU for trouble breathing and his kidney and liver functions going into dangerous levels.Please pray the liquids retaining in his body, get released through the drugs. If not, it's dialysis. The biggest concern is a condition called  Hepatic veno-occlusive disease or veno-occlusive disease (VOD) is a condition in which some of the small veins in the liver are obstructed. It is a complication of high-dose chemotherapy given before a bone marrow transplant (BMT) and is marked by weight gain due to fluid retention, increased liver size, and raised levels of bilirubin in the blood. He does have a degree of it. And it can be fatal. We have been approved for an experimental drug to alleviate it. The next 24 to 36 hours are crucial! Please Pray! More details can be found in Joe's blog HERE
 Prayers for Connor's Bone Marrow Grafting
The last couple of days have been especially emotionally difficult for us.  All the effects of chemo have really started to take a toll on Connor's body and I think he is just physically worn down.  His hair started falling out in clumps and we had to shave his head, his platelets were extremely low so he had some minor bruising and red dots all over his body (petechiae) and mucositis.  The mucositis, big red and purple swollen bumps on both sides of his cheeks) is causing him pain and we are really hoping that it won't affect his appetite (he is not eating nearly enough). Connor  has endured it all well up until Wednesday night when he just couldn't take it anymore. More details can be found in his mother Steph's blog HERE

Friday, June 1, 2012

Beauty & the Beast: Full Court(ship) Press (Chapter 13)

PRAYER REQUESTS: Okay, so it seems that there are plenty of wonderful people out there that would love to pray for others that frequent this site. And so I am dedicating a separate page to log specific prayer requests and will advise you of new requests and also provide any updates as prayers are answered. Please go to the Prayer Requests tab above or click HERE if you would be kind enough to pray for other friends of ours who are desperate for your prayers. For this first round we have plenty of urgent requests from health issues, to a wayward child, to a troubled marriage. Please lift these dear friends up in prayer. God has been so faithful and I'm excited to see what He does in an through this. Thanks so much!
If you're joining in late, for previous chapters of Beauty & the Beast go HERE...
Two straight years of chopping what appeared to be petrified wood and suddenly I sensed the tree beginning to buckle. While this was now the third time that she agreed to "pray" about a dating relationship with me, this time things were different. In the past, she agreed to pray about things with the same enthusiasm of someone enduring a root canal, but this time she was the one who approached me.

Amazing. Just when I began to withdraw and "let her go" in a sense, the Lord had given her the courage to move forward. She began to open up more about her life and seemed more relaxed about spending time together.

One of our 1st official dates - we left room for the Holy Spirit
In March of 1999 she came down to St. Louis to visit. She stayed with a friend from school but we spent most of the weekend together. Up until that point she had repeatedly shared that her dream was to move away to some distant city near mountains and start life fresh. I deduced since St. Louis was in the Great Plaines of the midwest with nary a mountain in sight, it was pretty clear that she had no desire to be near me. (Just call me Sherlock Holmes) But now, for the first time, we began to talk about our futures and more openly expressed our desire to be near one another. Our long distance relationship was about to change. By the time summer rolled around I had decided it was time to leave St. Louis. I found a job in downtown Chicago and was set to move later that summer. I tried to not make it appear like I was moving up solely for her (and I wasn't) but obviously it was a BIG factor in the decision. I couldn't see things really happening between us if we were 300+ miles apart. In the meantime I was making more frequent visits to Chicago and we spent time at Navy Pier and some of the beaches on the north shore and our friendship started to really grow.