Renewal and Cancer: Together with God

By: Wolfgang Vondey
Saturday, July 6th, 2013

healing_of_the_blind_manIn December 2010, Larisa Ard Jenkins, wife of Skip Jenkins and mother of four, was diagnosed with a rare, untreatable cancer (neuroendocrine). Surgery removed her kidney, and the doctors reported it had spread into her spine, liver, shoulder, and leg. For over 2.5 years she has been under treatment by a cancer specialist that has worked one-to-one with her using multiple methods to defeat this cancer. Under his care, she has already out-lived the prognoses of this cancer. He has suggested a new treatment that has been found successful. However, this treatment is not covered by insurance and would require her to travel away from home for at least a month. The cost of the treatments, and the expenses for her to travel and stay away from home is not possible for the family to afford after the 2.5 years of treatments, special diets, and supplements. Larisa’s last scan showed that without a successful method of treatment, the tumors will continue to increase and grow. How can God bring renewal to her life? Not without others.

The book of Acts reports many events of renewal in the life of the church. Yet, sickness, poverty, and many other diseases persisted. God took care of the sick, the dying, the lonely, and the forsaken, but it was the church that brought forth the ministry to the widows and orphans (Acts 6:1-7), the disciples who went to the sick (Acts 3:1-5) and the hopeless (Acts 5:12-16). Undoubtedly only the Spirit of life can bring life, yet healing and resurrection came at the hands of the faithful (Acts 20:7-12). Often, the care of the church was manifested not in dramatic headings but in consistent ministry. Renewal can be instantaneous; but frequently it is not simply one person who is the object of renewal. Frequently that one person is only a catalyst for a much broader renewal.

Larisa’s fight is not just hers; it belongs to all of us. Cancer is a lonely disease. Perhaps all disease is, yet this non-contagious undeserved sickness has become a plague for which there is often still no cure. All of our lives have been touched by cancer in one way or another, and we continue to feel helpless. Yet, if the fight against cancer is as much God’s as it is ours, then it is also “we” who need to do something. Obviously I am taking sides here by choosing to single out just Larisa’s cause. But that is my point! There is a Larisa in all of our lives where the fight against cancer becomes personal.┬áThe many opportunities where we can give to those suffering from cancer can be overwhelming; sometimes impersonal. That is why the personal knowledge of someone with cancer is where God calls us to enter with God into the fight for the renewal of life.

Consider supporting Larisa with prayer and financial help to make her new treatment option possible. Go to her Gofundme page and pledge. Or take the time today to consider how to help someone you know in the fight against cancer and for renewal together with God.

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Wolfgang Vondey
This entry was posted by on Saturday, July 6th, 2013 at 7:37 am and is filed under Church Ministry, Faith & Culture, Family Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

4 Responses to “Renewal and Cancer: Together with God”

  1. Gale W. Ard says:

    Dear Wolfgang,

    We are deeply touched by your time, love, and effort to write this article, and how true your words are. As Larisa’s mother and father, this journey has been one that no one would want to take, but through it, we have seen that every time the church prayed for her, reached out to her, the response was immediately positive. Just the fact that she still lives is a testimony of that effect. Thank you for sharing this. May God bless you and your family.


  2. Sarah says:

    Amen!! The church needs to realize they ARE the answer to prayer.

  3. Kerryn says:

    Beautiful words for a difficult situation. Thanks.

    Rest Ministries has been such a blessing to me during my illnesses. Everyone there has illnesses and they support each other in love & prayer in a most precious way. Praise God for His children that love others like Larisa. God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn