Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The kindness of strangers

Today was a good day, relatively speaking. We saw more of Kol today - more of his personality breaking through the fog of pain and morphine. And that has done our hearts good.

Today we were also graced with an unexpected gift of hospitality and friendship. We'd never met Kevin Wagner before, and he'd never met us, but today he called us up after having been contacted by our pastor (who he had worked with in Birch Hills) and one of my cousins (who went to LCBI with him). He's an evangelist, with his headquarters in Tulsa, and he came to visit us at our suite in Hospitality House after Kol's treatment today. After visiting and praying with him for a while, he invited us to come to his home for the afternoon. We had a wonderful time there, meeting his wife Nicole and his two younger sons (as well as his in-laws, who had just arrived that afternoon), but probably the biggest highlight of the visit was when his youngest son (14 years old) brought out some of his LEGO collection, including some Star Wars sets that Kol hasn't seen before. Kol's eyes completely lit up, and he got right down on the floor and started playing and comparing notes with the Wagner boy - and I have to admit, I was right down on the floor with them, checking out the new sets and geeking out about various Star Wars, LEGO, and other related topics. It was so good to see Kol getting excited, even if it did tire him out (he ended up crashing on the couch a little bit later). We're definitely looking forward to spending time with the Wagners again during our stay here in Tulsa.

Because of the connections we have (LCBI, cousins, etc.) it's hard to call the Wagners "strangers", but we have been blessed by strangers in the past couple weeks. For example - just before we left for Oklahoma, I went to the passport office to submit Kol's renewal, and while in line I ended up chatting with another person. It didn't take long before I was explaining to him why I was renewing Kol's passport and planning for our Oklahoma trip. As I left the office, he unexpectedly stopped me and handed me some cash - "to help with our expenses" - and got the address for this blog (if you're reading, thanks again Curt!) so that he could keep up-to-date. For another example, today one of the nurses at the clinic where Kol is being treated gave us a big bag of hand-me-down clothes that were Birgitte's size - again, totally unexpected, and very welcome (Birgitte had a lot of fun trying them all on tonight). All these kindnesses from people we barely know is humbling, and we are grateful and amazed at it.

And of course, the support we have from those who are not strangers to us - our families, our friends, our community, our church, and beyond - has been overwhelming and wonderful as well. Thank you all for that.

We're still trying to figure out accommodations and when the big girls will join us here in Tulsa, but I think we're close to a decision.

Please continue to pray for Kol's healing, that the treatments will be effective at reducing or eliminating the tumour, that his body will continue to recover from all it's been through in the past 18 months, that we will be able to find a way to get him the nutrition he needs without him hating us for it, that we will all get enough sleep, and that we will be able to maintain family harmony despite these many days in close quarters (in other words, that we will survive "cabin fever"). Thank you.


  1. It's so very great to hear you guys are doing ok down there. Absolutely love the picture of you three down on the floor so excited :) It's definitely fabulous to hear of all the random, unexpected extra touches that happen your way! Please keep telling us about them. I'm so glad the prayers are helping.
    Much love, more prayers, and many hugs.

  2. I wish I was there.. I would've loved to play with the Legos with the boys :)

    People are amazing creatures. Help is in the smallest corners..