Update on Trichelle

On July 26 I posted a prayer request for my niece and her husband. Here is another update from them.

Trichelle continues to heal from her surgery Tuesday.  We are thankful that she is healing quickly.  She even went the following day for a MUGA scan where they scanned her heart for monitoring purposes during chemotherapy.

Today we had a meeting with our oncologist. Our oncologist was surprised at how quickly Trichelle is healing from surgery. The tentative treatment plan is to give a few weeks’ time for Trichelle to heal from her surgery and then begin chemo treatments. Chemo treatments are penciled in to begin the week of September 16.

These plans are subject to the pathology report.  We meet our surgeon this coming Wednesday to discuss the results of the mastectomy and we are praying for cancer-free margins.

We are thankful for many who are praying for Trichelle.

We are also thankful for the excellent medical care we have had so far on this journey. Looking back at the recent past, Trichelle has had two surgeries, many mammograms and ultrasounds, a bone scan, a liver scan, lung scan, heart scan, and many other miscellaneous meetings and appointments. The care, concern, and professionalism of all the medical people has been amazing. When I ended up in surgery the day before Trichelle, the hospital staff seemed to go out of their way to ensure the two of us had a private “double occupancy suite” during our five-day hospital stay.  In hindsight (although I admit to being frustrated at the time), it was a special time to be together, bed-by-bed, hobbling around with our matching IV poles.

Thanks again for your prayers, cards, meals, visits, babysitting, and general care shown to us.

Dave & Trichelle

Update on Trichelle Beeke

On July 26 I posted a prayer request for my niece and her husband. Here is another update from them.

Dear Church Family and Friends,

On Saturday we had an important meeting with our surgeon. The results were mixed. Here is an update.

We were disappointed to hear that the Lumpectomy did not have cancer-free margins, so another surgery (mastectomy) is booked for Tuesday, August 20. The lymph nodes were removed and 9 of the 17 were cancerous, which is not an encouraging sign.

The bone, liver, and lung scans do not show any ‘hotspots’ which was very encouraging to hear. Our surgeon cautioned us to ensure that we understood that the cancer is on the move through the body, but it has not established enough in those areas to be detected. We regard this as an answer to prayer, as we were both concerned about the results of those scans.

So for now, we are both healing from our surgeries and preparing for Trichelle’s next surgery Tuesday.

Thanks so much for all the love and concern shown to us, especially for your prayers on our behalf.

Dave & Trichelle Beeke

Update on Trichelle and Dave Beeke

On July 26 I posted a prayer request for my niece and her husband. Here is an update.

Trichelle was discharged from the hospital on Sunday. The surgeon had to remove all of her lymph nodes on one side. We now wait for the lab analysis of the marginal tissue and Trichelle’s healing from surgery. If there is no trace of cancer in the marginal tissue, Trichelle will begin chemo treatments as soon as her body is recovered enough. If cancer is found in the marginal tissue, then she will likely require more surgery before chemo can begin. Trichelle was encouraged by Sunday evening’s sermon from Psalms 42 & 43, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why are thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”

Dave was released from the hospital Monday. He is slowly regaining strength. He will continue his antibiotics by medicine instead of intravenous now.

Both Dave and Trichelle are now in their own home recuperating. Both Moms are helping out. Different families are taking turns caring for the children. Friends are now signed up weeks in advance to help with meal preparation. Trichelle is already starting the recommended healthy exercise and diet program. Dave is eating and walking more.

We trust that the Lord will provide the grace needed day by day.

Thank you so much for all the love and concern shown and for all the prayers.


Jim & Ruth

Pray for David and Trichelle Beeke

David and Trichelle Beeke

David and Trichelle Beeke

Please remember in prayer my 28-year-old niece, Trichelle Beeke, together with her husband David, and their children: Breyden (6), Quinten (3), and Emilee (1), as well as their parents. Trichelle was diagnosed with cancer last week and is undergoing a flurry of tests. Here is an update from David’s parents:

Dear Family and Friends,

Trichelle had her detailed mammogram this morning and she and Dave met with the surgeon this afternoon.  They were thankful for the surgeon’s experience, communication skills and patience.  The surgeon spent an hour and a half with them explaining test results and options. The cancer is ductal invasive carcinoma.

Lumpectomy surgery is scheduled for next week Friday, August 2, the Lord willing.  The lump and its marginal zones will be removed as well as a number of lymph nodes.  These will be sent to the lab for detailed analysis.  The results are critical.  If the marginal areas indicate any traces of cancer, then further surgery will be required. If several lymph nodes are infected, this would not be a good sign.   If no further surgery is required, after some days of recuperation, Trichelle will commence treatments.  The nature of her treatments will be determined in consultation with her oncologist, after the lab results are known.

Please pray that Trichelle’s surgery may go well and that the results would be positive, indicating that the cancer has not spread further.  We covet your prayers and look to our gracious Lord and Saviour.  We plead for His compassionate heart and healing hands.

Thank you for your concern, love and prayer,

Jim & Ruth

Exciting Night for Our Family

Celebrating with My Son, Calvin

Celebrating with My Son, Calvin

Last night we attended a Start Gardens business evening to hear our son Calvin’s presentation for his business called G-Wraps, which provides personalized accessories on glasses. He and another Davenport University student, Tyler Essenburg, are co-owners of the business. Start Gardens, the brainchild of Richard DeVos, invests in promising entrepreneurial businesses. After winning the first level of support ($5,000) three months ago, Calvin and Tyler have been working hard to grow their business so as to win the next level of support ($20,000), which they accomplished, by God’s grace, last night. Three of the companies that presented last night won the support and three did not.

Calvin and Tyler

Calvin and Tyler

This is a huge step for them as it now gives them the financial backing they need to produce a good number of G-Wraps as well as some seed money to advertise. It was a fascinating evening hearing the six different companies present their businesses and goals, and then hearing Rich DeVos and three other business people respond as to why they will or will not continue to invest in each business.

Esther Back Home with Mary and Me

Esther Back Home with Mary and Me

After going out to eat with Calvin and Tyler and family members and friends to celebrate reaching this milestone, we then went to the airport to meet our daughter Esther, who is returning after home from Lithuania after studying there for sixteen  weeks. She had a great time there, and was able to travel to numerous places during her semester for short getaways (Athens, Rome, Paris, Moscow, etc.), but was really looking forward to getting back to her great boyfriend, James Engelsma, and us. And we were counting the days. Though the plane was delayed in Chicago (most other flights from Chicago were cancelled due to inclement weather), she finally landed in Grand Rapids at 1:30 a.m. It was sooooooo great to see her, and so wonderful to have her back home. It seems like she was gone a year.

Welcome Home Esther

Updates on Victoria, Conference, and PRTS

We covet your prayers as yesterday my niece, Victoria, and the family received discouraging news. The surgeons changed the dressings and were not pleased with how the new skin was developing. The dressings will need to be changed every day now and ointment applied. The family was so hoping that today Victoria would be able to return home for good, but this will now be delayed. We trust that our heavenly Father knows best and we commend Victoria and her family into His merciful hands.

My wife and I had a wonderful time this past weekend at Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Rockford, Illinois. God was in the midst of us. The conference went very well, and the 200 attendees drank in God’s Word eagerly. Their questions, love, appreciation, and book-buying spoke volumes about this church. Seldom have I spoken at a conference this size that radiated such a pathos of being in the Word and living on the growing edge of God’s grace. God is clearly blessing the work of their dear pastors, Dale Smith and Steve Tigner. Love abounds between the pastors and the flock, and also among the flock itself. It was so refreshing to hear the people tell us how much they appreciate their pastors and their church.

Last night Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary held its annual Fund-Raising Dinner. Chris Hanna, our Director of Development and Marketing, served as MC for the evening. He interviewed three of our students who gave testimonies of what PRTS has meant to them. Dr. Michael Barrett, our Academic Dean, gave a fitting address, based on Exodus 17, on “Advancing the Kingdom.” He stressed how that advance depends on (1) the unity of service, (2) on knowledge, and (3) on the power and promise of God—and applied the whole in a moving way to Bible-based, faithful seminary work.

I then gave an update on the seminary’s present needs and our vision for the future. Presently, $2.3 million of the $2.8 million needed has been raised in gifts and pledges for the proposed addition. Though this is very encouraging, the Operation Fund is now low. ATS Accreditation hopes to be achieved by February of 2014, after which PRTS hopes to begin a Ph.D. program, God willing. We are most grateful for and humbled by God’s evident continued blessing on our seminary. Soli Deo Gloria!

NCFIC Conference, Asheville, NC

This year’s National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC) was dedicated to evangelism. Approximately 2,300 people attended October 27 to 29—mostly conservative home-schooling families from various parts of the nation. Conrad Mbewe, Paul Washer, Doug Phillips, Scott Brown, Kevin Swanson, and I were the plenary speakers. Forty men joined us for breakout sessions. I spoke two times: first on “The Puritans and Their Evangelistic Method,” and second on “The Profile of the Evangelistic Home.” As a plenary speaker, I was also called upon (1) to give a preconference brief message on what was “burning in my soul”—that is, what issue or issues did we feel burdened or moved about; (2) to be filmed for an interview on worship—in anticipation of the next year’s conference; and (3) to do a video with Doug Phillips and Scott Brown on a forthcoming 3-volume set of William Gouge’s Family Duties, which Scott Brown and I have been editing. The first volume should come out in February, the Lord willing. It will be great to have the greatest Puritan classic on godly family living available in an easy-to-read format.

Our book table again did extremely well at this conference–$17,000 worth of books were sold, including 260 copies of A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life. (Soon we’re expecting the second printing of this book at arrive at Reformation Heritage Books.) I enjoyed meeting a family from near Lansing, Michigan, with eighteen well-behaved children—sixteen of them adopted from several cultures and ethnic backgrounds with various needs. Only eleven of them were able to come to the conference, and only nine made it on the picture I took. What a happy bunch they are! The children were all so polite and kind—the grace of God and the aroma of Christ seemed to emanate from them.

Then there was lunch with a couple from upstate New York. This brother started teaching Sunday school decades ago. The church enjoyed his teaching so much that they finally asked him to be their full-time pastor—a position he has happily and successfully for nearly two decades despite having no seminary education. Other old friendships were cemented deeper and new ones were forged.

Update on Victoria (IX)

Five-year-old Victoria DeHaan suffered severe wounds after being attacked by dogs three weeks ago. I post this to keep faithful and loving prayer warriors updated on her condition.

Earlier this week Victoria had another sponge vacuum put in again and the doctors were amazed at how well things looked. They did not have to cut away any tissue this time and the infection is gone! For this, we praise God. The doctors are hoping that this procedure will not have to be done again. There is an area as big as a thumb print that has tendons exposed which still needs some tissue growth.  If this proceeds well, the doctors anticipate skin grafting to be done in the near future. Victoria was in good spirits; at times she is quiet and withdrawn. We pray that all may go well in the next days and that she may be given the grace needed as she comes to terms with her condition.

Update on Victoria (VIII)

We are so thankful to the Lord with the progress that has been made in the last few days. Last Friday, the surgeon placed another new vacuum in the wound on her leg to help with the infection; happily, she came out of this with no fever. By means of her wheelchair, she was also able to get some fresh air for the first time. At present, it appears that she will need surgery again tomorrow to have a new vacuum put in again. Please continue to pray for Tori’s healing and thank God for all the mercies that He has shown to this little girl!

Update on Victoria (VII)

Victoria is now out of the ICU. Her parents are now able to be with her around the clock. On Sunday they were able to get her in a wheelchair for some time and she was able to go into the atrium. From her floor in the hospital there is lots to see and she had lots of questions.

Yesterday the surgeon put in a new vacuum to clean out Victoria’s major wound and infection. The surgeon was happier with how things went and looked than previously; he did have to cut away a little tissue but not as much as on Friday. Thursday or Friday of this week, this procedure will have to be done again. Victoria does experience considerable pain and discomfort which is hard on her parents and family. Please continue to pray with us that the pain would be controlled and that her fever would not return. And thank the Lord for the progress that has been made.