Health Update from Rich

So, it’s been two weeks since we shared that I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. And… you have been amazing. Your love, support, notes, and prayers have been overwhelming. I wish I could respond to each one more personally. I wish we could sit together over coffee so that I could share how meaningful it is to know that you are praying for my family. I wish we had time to talk about all the ways that God is already using this experience to heal my heart and remind me of his incredible, ridiculous, over-the-top provision in my life.

Some of you know I favor the phrase, “Unbelievably Rich.” Never in my life have I felt this wealthy. God is demonstrating his blessings in so many ways through each of you! He has given us an incredible oncologist, amazing caregivers, loving family, and a community of believers who are taking care of us so well. We are grateful.

In my last note, I mentioned that I’ll be getting chemo treatments every other Tuesday. My first treatment was nine days ago, and… Wow. My respect for those who have battled cancer has gone through the roof. Let me tell you, if you have friends or loved ones who have been through this, and they “breezed through it,” they are probably incredibly gracious people who just don’t know how to complain. I, on the other hand, am a complete baby and not afraid to admit that chemo kicked my rear-end—this time. We’re taking lots of notes and learning from others about meds and diet, and we plan to be better prepared for Tuesday’s regimen. The last few days I’ve been feeling great, and I plan to totally maximize these next five days before the next infusion. Please don’t stop praying!

Some of our staff spent the last few days with the most talented, creative, and gracious people you’d ever want to meet. The staff of North Point Ministries and the ministry teams from our 31 worldwide partners gathered in Atlanta for three days. We had some incredible moments of worship and discovery together. I was especially touched when all 36 of our campus pastors and several other NPM staff gathered to lay hands on me and pray for me and my family. I don’t understand how prayer works, but I know it moves the heart of God. I was so impacted as I listened to them pray for my wife and kids, for Access church, and for all the ways that God is going to use this experience for his glory. There is a fraternity among the men in that group that is difficult to articulate, and I was overwhelmed by their expressions of love and care.

Each hug and hallway conversation has been incredibly encouraging. I’m convinced that community is a powerful medicine, and I’m so grateful for each of you who have reached out to express that you are “with us” on this journey. Thanks for checking in, thanks for praying, and thank you for helping in very practical ways. If you’d like to help but aren’t sure how, please contact Kelly Witbeck, and she can make the best use of your time and resources.

Only 23 weeks to go!

—Rich (for Stephanie and the kids)