by Steven F. Deaton
The following will exhibit the faith and example of Christians. It concerns the Ing family, members of the Hebron Lane church of Christ in Shepherdsville, KY. Paul is a deacon and song leader who labors diligently and has helped many people—mainly by doing work on their cars. Missy is a loving, supportive, devoted wife and mother. Marissa (8) is a wonderful young girl with a sweet smile. Nathan (5) is a young boy full of life and joy. This could be any one of us and has been sobering.
On Wednesday night December 13 after services, the Ing family was at home getting ready for bed. Nathan was in socked feet play fighting on laminate floors. He slipped and hit the front left side of his face on the floor. He immediately vomited and complained of the back right side of his head hurting. Paul and Missy then took him to the local hospital. When they arrived, they had to wait thirty minutes before Nathan was taken back and given a CT scan. They immediately arranged for him to be life-flighted to Kosair Children Hospital, stating he likely had hemorrhaging of the brain.
Before being transported, Nathan became unresponsive and his breathing became diffi cult. The doctors at the local hospital had to stabilize him then sent him on the helicopter ride. At Kosairs, they did another CT scan and then an MRI (this was around 12:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Thursday) and informed the family that he had a large brain tumor. Surgery was to take place within an hour or two. However, the doctors came back and said it was delayed until the next day. The parents, family, and all of us were devastated. It was a time of helplessness. We could only turn to God.
Thursday they ran more tests and decided to operate on Saturday morning at 8:30. The family was told that Nathan was at risk for extensive blood loss during the operation there were many blood vessels running through the tumor.
The elders called members to a prayer service on Thursday night, less than twenty-four hours from the time we learned of Nathan’s condition (cf. Acts 12:4, 5). The congregation turned out en masse. We prayed and read Scripture (1 Pet. 5:7). It was emotional and strengthening. One person noted that Satan would try to use this against the faith of Paul and Missy (1 Pet. 5:8). We recorded the service so Paul and Missy could listen to it later.
Saturday came in what seemed like mere moments. Scores of brethren as well as many from Paul’s family (not Christians), gathered for the surgery. Fear and anxiety filled us all, especially Nathan’s parents. Thankfully, we had the large waiting room to ourselves and were easily able to pray and read Scripture as requested by Paul and Missy. It was during this time, a six-hour surgery, that Paul and Missy went off privately to listen to the prayer service. In response, Paul wrote the following that is worthy to be read by one and all.
To our brethren, I cannot put into words the love that me and Missy have felt in what I can easily say is the most diffi cult experience of both of our lives. I’m writing this even as the surgeons are removing my son’s tumor so I cannot yet say what the outcome may be. But this I do know and want you to know as well, Satan has no victory here. Though we are but flesh and blood we have found such strength that we could not have imagined possible. That strength comes from God and from all of you. That strength has enabled us to focus on the good possibilities and not on the bad that has occurred or may occur. Satan would have us to question our God, to blame Him in anger, to lie stagnant in our self pity. He has failed. Our faith is strong. Regardless of the outcome, we see that much good can come from this. Yea, much good fruit has already been produced. This has given opportunity for us to show our love to one another. My brother Chico, who has lived his life as a reprobate is looking hard at his own life. Even today he is moving back home to be reconciled to his wife. My brother Shane has been prejudiced against the Lord’s true church. The outpouring of love and support you have shown has touched him deeply. It is opening his heart to ask questions in a more honest way than ever before. These are only a few examples.
Missy and I are both convinced that if our son goes to meet our Lord in eternal rest good will yet come.
In Christ in love,
Paul and Missy Ing
What faith! Would You or I do as Well?
It turned out the doctors were unable to remove the entire tumor that day because of bleeding. However, they said, they believed the tumor was benign. The next surgery turned out to be Wednesday, December 20 and lasted about nine hours. The rest of the tumor was removed. The Lord had safely led Nathan through two very serious operations.
After lab work was done, the doctors came back and said Nathan’s brain tumor was malignant, not benign. The offi cial name is Choroid Plexus Carcinoma. It occurs in about 0.3% of childhood brain tumors. There are only about six cases where the children have lived long enough to receive treatment. Nathan is now undergoing heavy chemotherapy. The concern is that the tumor, being aggressive, will return soon.
At the time of this writing, Nathan has healed very well from the surgeries and came through his fi rst chemo treatment without any adverse side effects. His second treatment begins in a couple of weeks and a MRI is scheduled before the third treatment. He has had problems with vision in his left eye, likely due to one of the surgeries, that the doctors are unsure if it will come back. As a bystander, I must say the outpouring of love by brethren far and wide has been over-whelming—as it should be. We are here to comfort one another and weep with together (2 Cor. 1:3, 4; Rom. 12:15). Paul and Missy, as you can see from above, have held up well, maintaining their faith in God.
Sunday, the day after Nathan’s fi rst surgery, a sermon was preached with his situation in mind. Tears fl owed. Two members came forward to confess sin (Jas. 5:16). One of these then had the privilege of baptizing his daughter into Christ mere moments later (Rom. 6:3, 4).
Times like these remind us in a very real, even harsh, way what life is truly all about—fearing God and keeping his commandments (Eccl. 12:13). We have no promise of tomorrow, neither do our children. We may lose our life at any time. We may lose our loved ones at any time. It is hard to imagine how anyone could face such a time without depending on God. The thing is, do not wait until such tragedy strikes before turning to God. If it is your life that is lost, it is too late. If it is the life of one you love, you will regret not leaning on God sooner.
Please pray for Nathan, Paul, Missy, and Marissa. If you wish to send a message of encouragement you may do so by emailing Paul at email@example.com. I will be sure to pass it on to the Ings. If you want to send a card or help them in any way, please send it to:The Ings P.O. Box 854 Shepherdsville, KY 40165 Truth Magazine LI: 5 p. 8-10