Saturday, July 3, 2010

Heading Home - with Gratitude

I didn’t realize I was feeling the pull of home until last night. It suddenly hit me “ I sure miss the USA, and Texas, and Ennis”, so getting up at 4:00 AM this morning wasn’t all that bad. Our Panama flight went to Miami first , and that’s where we are now, so I’m 1/3 of the way home – in the USA but still looking forward to Texas and Ennis.

This has been a tremendous trip – not just to get the stem cell treatment but to see how much more they are doing with stem cells. The SCI does not guarantee anything to the patients, but there are some patients who have had some truly significant progress with MS, autism, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, and others diseases while some patients have seen only slight changes. The doctors don’t know right now what causes the different responses, but obviously if you don’t try it, then you won’t have much chance or hope.

Hope is what motivated me from the very beginning to seek other treatments because I knew where I was headed if I continued what I was doing, and that outlook wasn’t very hopeful. As I have reported, I have seen some very small improvements at this stage - ones that you probably won’t even recognize, but they are real and I am very encouraged what the next 3 to 6 months may bring. And this encouraging outlook is thanks to you.

Once I decided that I wanted to pursue these stem cell treatments, that hope motivated me to seek fund-raising help, and WOW, how you great folks responded. As I have said before it was very overwhelming and humbling to have so many wonderful people send funds, send encouraging letters, and offer so many prayers. Then came the benefit in Ennis for Steve and me, and to have so many people put that huge event into motion was unbelievable and humbling as well. I will never be able to express my thankfulness and gratitude to everyone, but please know you are true angels to me, and I hope I can be that to some of you in the future.

I mentioned Naaman (2 Kings 5) in an earlier blog because I can really relate to that story. God could have healed Naaman’s leprosy without Naaman leaving his country or going to the muddy Jordan or washing in it 7 times, but He asked that of Naaman. Although reluctant, Naaman followed the directions of Elisha, God’s messenger, and Naaman was healed. Why did the healing take all of that work? God doesn’t need our help or muddy water or seven trips into the water, but He does want our faith and commitment. I didn’t have to go to Panama, stay there for four weeks, and get spinal shots that some people don’t believe in, but God may be testing my faith and commitment as well.

Don’t be afraid to look into some of these possibilities if your Hope candle is flickering – maybe an angel of God is causing the flicker.

Love you folks, Sam


  1. Sam, so glad and thankful to hear you are so encouraged as we all are at this point. May the future months be so much more than we can ever imagine. Our God is so good! By the time I am writing this I pray you have had a safe trip back to Ennis. I know your family will be so glad to see you. We'll keep praying for you and will pray that only the best will come to you in the future. My love, Betty Jo

  2. Sam!! I'm so excited that you are in the US and on your way to Ennis!! Your post while you were in Miami is exactly how I feel towards all of my supporters. I know they have helped both of us out in different ways, but the overall point of it is that God gave us so many loved ones who if, like you and I, are weak, they are the strong ones for us to lean on!! Ahhh, I'm just so happy, and small steps are the way to go, as I have been taught such patience through my process that is still in progress. Jake and I love you very much Sam, and as I said before; I love reading your blog b/c your wisdom and complete trust in the Lord just makes it easier for me to do the same and keep on pushing and fighting for His glory!! As a professional fighter said in an article I read "Jesus didn't tap."

    Hope to see you soon!! Love you!!

  3. Sam,
    Just got off the phone with Kathy. Welcome home! I have no idea what the future will hold for you with this stem cell treatment. But you are so right: you have to take the step of faith. In Ukraine there is a saying: "Hope is the last thing to die." That could be interpreted as negative, but it is actually very positive. It keeps you going when all else fails.

    Thank you for your example of hope and faith. I pray God's blessings over you. May you come to know his healing and more importantly may he continue to use you as a witness to the world around you.