Publication date: 03/31/19

Spiritual Breathing

Sometimes this prayer letter is more of a “report” letter, a “thanks” letter, and an “implied prayer” letter. This one really is going a “request for prayer” letter. To explain that, I need to provide a little background on what’s been going on with us for the past month.

On February 26, I started seeing blood in my urine. We got an appointment with a urologist the next day. Only about 5% of his office visits lead to the worst diagnoses like cancer, he assured us. Nevertheless, a CT scan and in-office scope followup confirmed a tumor in my bladder. Surgery was scheduled quickly.

What was the pathology result?

On March 18, we received the best cancer report you can get: the tumor was “noninvasive papillary transitional cell/urothelial cell carcinoma” Stage 0a. We didn’t even know there was a Stage Zero! On the other hand, bladder cancer has a 77% recurrence rate. It’s said to average the highest cost per patient of any cancer.

What does the Stage 0a diagnosis mean for us?

It meant there was no need for chemo- or radiation therapy, just a follow-up cystoscopy visit in 3 months. (Scheduled for June 18th at 3:20PM - thanks in advance for your prayers!)

What does that high likelihood of recurrence mean for us?

This means that, even if there’s no sign of recurrence in June, I’ll need to have an annual cystoscopy for the rest of my life.

What are some other concerns?

Whatever lies ahead for our family, we’re so grateful to God for bringing prayer warriors like you who are dedicated to our ministry. One important way you can pray for us is that we look for God’s Kingdom purpose in whatever we experience and humbly ask for His Spirit to sustain us. Our most recent (February) letter was a “back-to-the-basics” letter on practical evangelism.

Evangelism Opportunity

My hospital experience gave me an opportunity to put evangelism into practice with Katie, one of my nurses. It flowed out of my acutely felt need for His power at the time for a simple reason: I was very embarrassed and in some of the worst pain of my life. As I asked for the Holy Spirit’s power, I sensed He wanted something from me. I began sharing my faith with her, beginning by asking if she had any kind of spiritual belief, and was she sure about her standing with God. When I asked if she would want to know if she was incorrect about anything she believed, that was all the permission I needed. I went through the Four Spiritual Laws and sinner’s prayer with her. Cindy and Luke were both in the room with me and we believe she sincerely trusted Christ when she said, “amen.”

wrecked-carI had been concentrating on my breathing as a technique to manage the pain—my “Spiritual Breathing” (as Bill Bright would’ve said). It’s centered around deliberately enthroning Jesus in your heart and mind, clearing out any thought or ambition that isn’t of Him, and asking to be filled with His Spirit. It’s a foundational part of the teaching of Campus Crusade for Christ, and part of how I knew I had “found my tribe,” as the saying goes, when I first began researching their core teachings.

ThumbnailPlease pray each of us can make Jesus our delight and find His power to navigate whatever His loving and sovereign choice for us may be. We know we couldn’t be in better hands! Thank you for serving Him through your faithful prayers and gifts in support of our ministry!

Love, in Christ,

Mike Skinner Cindy Skinner

One Day Closer!
Romans 13:11