Sunday, March 28, 2010

God's Incredible Timing

Quick Update on CJ:

CJ endured chemo on Friday like a trooper. Actually, more like a warrior. He was struggling on Thursday, but by Friday morning he was determined to get it done and have one more chemo behind him.

I reminded him on the way to the hospital that he lost a bet to his nurse and it was time to pay up. The last time she saw him, the nurse who draws his blood each week, bet him that his counts would be up and he would get to go on the cruise. He doubted it. She told him if she won she would get to pick the band-aid he worse the next time she draws his blood and he would have to wear it all day.

Needless to say, CJ lost the bet and walked around with a pink band-aid on his finger that day. He wasn't too happy about that and I noticed before we left he managed to conveniently "lose" it. Chemo went well as far as chemo can go. His port access was a little more painful than usual but he had great blood return and his counts were good enough to increase his doses again.
God's Incredible Timing:
Today, we were scheduled to speak at a local church. Pembroke Pines Baptist Church has been a strong and faithful supporter of CBC. When they heard about what CJ is doing for his birthday they were very impressed and decided to allow him to come and personally extend the invitation to the church. They felt it was time to put a face to the name of the non-profit so the church would know who they were supporting and why. They also wanted to lift up our family and the ministry of CBC in prayer. So we gratefully accepted the invitation.

Over the past week I prepared the basics of what I wanted to share before CJ spoke and extended his invitation. This morning, as I was getting ready I was finalizing my speech and asking God for wisdom and guidance. I realized I wanted to share at least two examples of how their support has directly impacted these families. I immediately thought of one. I knew I would share about the mom and dad whose 3 year old boy was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, and due to the families circumstances and the changes the cancer would bring, they immediately found themselves homeless. Yes! Homeless! Nowhere to live, no car, and no money. Since it would take a while for any social assistance to kick in, and other non-profits had lots of red tape before the funds could be released, the hospital contacted us and asked if we could help. Thanks to the generous support we have received, we were able to place them a small efficiency near the hospital where they would be close by for their son's treatment and get them started with the down payment they needed to get settled.

I began to think of all the possibilities I could share as a second example and I just could not decide how to pick or what to share. As I began to ask the Lord what I should share that would adequately describe what we do, my phone rang. I hesitated in answering a number I did not recognize because I only had 20 minutes before I needed to leave to make it to the church on time. It rang again. I answered.

It was Yvonne; the grandmother of sweet little Andrew who we helped at Christmas time. I knew as soon as I heard her voice say, "Hello." I knew! I held my breath because I thought maybe it wouldn't hurt as bad when she said it. I knew she was calling to tell me Andrew had passed away, but what floored me was what else she said. Through tears she shared, "Dawn, I was just calling to tell you Andrew passed away this morning. I wanted you to know and I wanted to thank you for all you did for him and for our family." Thank me! What?

I was crying and my chest felt like it would burst. I kept thinking how awful the timing was and wondering how was I going to speak to a church full of people I have never met? How would I get through it? God spoke to my heart and said, you will get through it because you won't be speaking....I will. I just told you the second thing I wanted you to share. It was so overwhelming and yet so crystal clear that I was to share how their support enabled us to support and encourage this remarkable family at a critical time in their lives.

If you don't remember beautiful Andrew just scroll down to the blogs I Want to be a Separatist and The Real World and you will see him with CJ and how we were able to bless this little child with a day of joy. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! to the Miami-Dade Mortgage Fraud Task Force for all you did to make this day amazing for this little guy and his family. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to the president of The Collection, Ken Gorin, who showed up with a Ferrari on a flatbed and unloaded it to take Andrew for the ride of his life. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to each and every one of you who supports CBC through the chemo bags, bracelet fundraisers, and other donations. YOU are the ones that Andrews grandma is really thanking today. YOU made it possible for us to come alongside this family at this time and impart a small blessing and support.

Furthermore, we went to the church and we shared what God called us to share. Amazingly, this was the song we sang just before I was called up to speak. Read the lyrics! It took every ounce of my being to sing and worship. I prayed myself through every line and cried like a baby through each and every verse. Notice the last verse! Powerful stuff my friends. God had me completely humble and broken before him before walking up to that stage and taking the microphone....

Blessed Be Your Name:
Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name When I'm found in the desert place Though I walk through the wilderness Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name On the road marked with suffering Though there's pain in the offering Blessed be Your name
Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away You give and take away My heart will choose to say Lord, blessed be Your name!

Sweet Andrew!

CJ, on the other hand, was incredible! After I shared, he gave the invitation to his birthday which he has generously donated to raising awareness and support for children battling cancer. It appeared that the Lord strengthened me with humility and strengthened him with confidence. I guess He knew just what each of us needed to convey the message.

If you have not heard already, CJ is donating his 11th birthday to raising support and awareness for kids like himself that are battling this disease. Instead of a party, he is hosting a fund-raiser and each and every one of you are invited! Actually, it will only be a success if you all come out and support his efforts. (Those readers in S. Florida of course! For those out of state please feel free to participate by making a donation to CBC in honor of CJ's birthday or get creative like CJ has and host a fundraiser in your area)

For those of you who are local, the owner of the Denny's located in Davie has generously agreed to allow CJ to invite all his guests to dine at this Denny's on his birthday, Monday April 5th, between 5pm and 8pm. Anyone who comes to eat and mentions CJ or CBC, they will donate 20% of the check to Children Battling Cancer! The owner of this Denny's also has a child battling cancer. His name is Noah and you can read about him on our website at under CBC families. He was the October child.

CJ will be there at the Denny's the entire time and he plans to entertain his guests with magic tricks as a way to say thank you for coming. We will have face painting and other activities planned for the kids that attend. We have been told there will be some surprise guests from the Miami Dolphins and you just may get to meet the most incredible person we have ever met in our entire lives. Her name is Lotsy Dotsy! And she is the Lord's clown. That's right! A clown, set apart for the glory of the Lord. Come see for yourself.

Please share this with all your friends and family so it will be a huge success! We want to pack that Denny's out continuously between 5pm and 8pm that night. How often can you eat a meal at a restaurant and know that a portion of the check will go to a great cause? It is the day after Easter so everyone will be nice and tired and ready for a relaxing meal out. This is one of those opportunities to make an impact in the lives of kids like Andrew.

WHAT: CJ's 11th Birthday donated to charity
WHEN: Monday, April 5-8th from 5pm to 8pm
WHERE: Denny's in Davie 5645 S University Drive Davie, Fl 33328
To raise awareness and support for children battling cancer

Reminder: Don't forget to mention CJ or CBC when paying the check that night.

Special Note:
If you have been making cards for TEAM CBC Cards for Cancer Day in support of Spirit Jump, you can turn them in at the Denny's that night as that is the final week for collecting! Thank you to all who participated in making cards for kids with cancer!

CJ and Andrew in November of 2009

Andrew and Ken from The Collection.
Ken said, "He giggled the whole time."
What a smile!
Enjoy heaven cancer free sweet boy!


Janet said...

Dawn, once again, you made me cry. God is so amazing! Thank you for sharing, my friend.
We look forward to supporting CBC at Denny's next Monday.
Praying for the Georges....
the Sedanos

Anonymous said...

WOW! Dawn, you have been so blessed! Thank you for making the time to share. God is certainly using, CJ and all your family to love others. You are a wonderful example.
Thank you,

Anonymous said...

wow! I don't know any 11 year olds who can get up and talk in front of a bunch of people like that! CJ, we are sooooo proud of you and your mom!! Love,Aunt karen

CeCe said...

You guys really inspire me. I thank you for your posts. I'm always praying for CJ.

Unknown said...

God Bless Andrew! He is definitely in a better place and we will one day join him and play with him..He had the most adorable smile! I am so happy you guys got the chance to know Andrew and his family and have an impact on each others lives.

I really enjoyed playing games with you guys today. For me that is a pure joy! Thank you for that.

We never know what tomorrow holds, or even the next five minutes. Those of us who get to "live like we are dying" are the ones that really live... We all will die! Some of us just don't seem to really get it! We will all go, our only choice in the matter is where will we go? I know where I want to go! I want to be in Heaven with Our Heavenly Father and all of you guys playing endless board games and worshiping Our Lord and Savior. Maybe Andrew will be there picking people up as they get there in that red hot ferrari! I hope he gives me a ride!


Aunt Jackie

P.S. Being your sister and Allie, CJ, Brett, and Corey's aunt brings me such humility and joy! I love you guys and am beyond thankful that Our Lord would bless me with such an amazing family..

Sonia said...

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name. Happy birthday CJ you are the best battler.
And for sure Andrew is in peace with the Lord.
Lots of love,
Sonia, Antonio, Andrea y Alejandra.

gathering said...

Its so wonderful to see the smile on CJ's face. I'm with Janet on the crying thing. Thank you for sharing how these kids and parents are being encouraged. You know, I was just thinking....prayers are being answered...lives are being touched...and nothing will ever be the same again. Thank you for shining Gods love so brightly.

Love, Alexa