The Story of a Man’s Faith
I want to take this time to share to you one of the most encouraging stories I have seen this year. It might not be the kind of a story that has a happy ending yet, but when I started reading the thread in Ardy Roberto’s Facebook, I asked him if I could blog about it and hopefully encourage everyone and even call us (the readers) to action to help someone who has helped thousands of people through his books, trainings and ministry. I met Ardy when he invited me to take part in Project Author that actually made me decide to finish my book that hopefully will be published next year but anyway this is their story not mine.
Ardy’s wife Tingting is suffering from Lupus. Lupus erythematosus is a name given to a collection of autoimmune diseases, in which the human immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissues. Symptoms of these diseases can affect many different body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, heart, and lungs. ( from wikipedia)
As of this writing, Tingting has been in the hospital for 40 days mostly in the ICU. Ardy decided to make a journal in facebook of their journey to see God’s grace and healing. Here are some of the entries of Ardy regarding their situation.
November 23: I know you’re not a gadgets kind of girl and you don’t like jewelry – just hang on there my Swato. we’ll get all those attachments off of you very soon! We’ve got a very good medical team and a great great God that is holding you in the palms of His hands. Love you honey!
November 24: My bed at Ting’s ICU. I just imagine that I have a business class seat on a flight to NYC when I sleep and all is well. 🙂 Ting is recovering well and we should be out of danger and the ICU by tonight and into a regular room, God willing. Thanks for all your prayers and gifts! P.s. Don’t send any flowers as her doctors won’t allow any inside the room since these could carry viruses.
Day #27 at Asian Hospital. December 6
My son, Joshy and I talk all the time about what’s happening to his Mom. But the other day, I didn’t know what to say when he asked me this:
Joshy Boy: “Dad, why does Mom need to have lupus?”
Ardy: “………………….I don’t know, my son…. …But let’s keep trusting that God has a purpose and let’s keep on praying that Jesus will heal her.”
Day #28 at Asian Hospital:
In the midst of all the craziness, calls, doctors meetings (Ting now has 13 doctors), and looking after Ting, I need to take some quiet time, breathe and pray to our One and only mediator… “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men…” 1 Timothy 2:5,6
Lord, thank You for hearing our appeals for mercy and healing for your child, Tingting. I’m praying for Your good and perfect will in our lives. We’re off to the OR in an hour!
Day #31 at Asian Hospital:
Thanking God for all the blessings of being in this “refinery” called the I.C.U.
Yes, Lord, I – C – U! I see You in the midst of the dreariness and darkness and the smell of sickness and death (so far three of our neighbors have died) in this place. There is joy and happiness to be found here:
~ I thank You Lord for leading me to befriend Jocelyn and her 10 year old daughter Rose whose Dad, Mat was confined here at the ICU unit opposite ours. What a joy to pray with them and witness a comatose Mat say “yes” that he had accepted Jesus as his healer and savior by squeezing the hands of Rose and Jocelyn. And thank You Lord that you actually woke him up the next morning and gave him a few days of clarity before You took him to Your house in heaven.
~ I thank You Lord for the doctors (all 14 of them) you’ve sent to Tingting. Your healing works through them. And thank You Lord for giving them wisdom to discern that even if Ting’s tests show that her platelets and blood counts are dwindling again (which led to another transfusion today), she’s well enough to be transferred to a regular room by tomorrow!
Thank You Lord for refining us (and giving us suits of asbestos called “grace”)!
“See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.” – Isaiah 48:10
Day #33 at Asian Hospital and Ting’s first day out of the ICU!!
Whooohoo! God is good. 🙂 On our way to recovery!
Please pray that Tingting takes well to her rehab and starts standing and walking again. Her eyesight has been affected too by the past seizures, so please pray that her vision returns even better than before (but not 20/20 or else she’ll see that I’m not that super handsome after all as she’s been telling the single nurses that they need to find and pray for a husband like me :-).
She’s been laughing more too and I praise God for answering our prayers.
There’s still much work to do… But when we pray, they say that God works too. How true.
My reading for today, Jesus said to the religious of his day after the healing of the sick man at Bethesda:
“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes.” – John 5:21
Thank You Lord for giving life back to my Swato! Just a week or two ago, I thought you were calling her to Your home. And now she’s back! I praise You Lord! Thank You so much!
Will bring Joshy Boy to visit his Mom later after I pick him up from school. At least now we can bring home cooked food! I’ll also surprise my Swato and wear a suit when I come back..and make her laugh.
The day is almost over and finally Ting is sleeping and trying to get some rest after an aborted dialysis procedure. How I wish I could just lift her up and carry her home now.
Everyone on the team is tired but glad that Ting is starting to use her hands to feed herself. I thank God for yaya Lalyn—she’s just 17 years old but she has matured way beyond her age as she took on the task from being Joshy’s yaya to Tingting’s yaya.
Yesterday, after bringing Joshy Boy up to visit his Mom, I finally mustered the courage to go to the billing department to ask for a breakdown and running total of our bill. I had a nice chat with the lady in charge, Nica, who has a 3 million-peso smile and demeanor– which helped me not fall of my chair when she handed me the bill print-out.
But praise God that I did not get a heart attack! Instead I experienced what the apostle Paul calls, the “peace of God that transcends all understanding…” I have to believe that my God is bigger than the biggest bill this hospital can throw at me. God has already provided and will provide. He’s promised that His children will never lack anything good. And that thought is as soothing as a cup of chamomile tea.
When we got home, I told Joshy that we should take a walk and shake off the hospital fog from our bodies. The wind was refreshingly cool. Perfect for a father and son walk and talk. But instead Joshy wanted to run and play the “pretend-that-the-T-Rex-is-cha
After a good sweat, we settled down into a slow pace and we both remembered how his Mom loves to walk in this kind of weather and how much we both miss her.
When we reached the neighbors house at the corner, beautifully lit with Christmas lights and decorations, Joshua said, “Dad, I wish our house had so many lights like that.” I remembered that I promised him before that we would light up the outside of the house for Christmas.
“Joshy, I need to talk to you… You know that your Mom’s hospital stay is costing us a lot of money. So we need to budget for that…”
“I know….But what about my birthday gift, Dad?”
“Oh, of course my boy, I’ve budgeted money for Mom’s hospital AND for your birthday gift on Monday! Don’t worry about that honey. We can’t budget for Christmas lights and decorations around the house this year…but anyway we have Christmas lights on the tree…So let’s be content with that.”
“Oh yeah, Dad! You’re right! Okay! Let’s play! Run! There’s another T-Rex! Run, Dad!”
I praise God for our Joshy Boy and his attitude. God has also used this trial in our life to develop his character as well.
God is truly amazing. And funny. Look at these two little miracles.
(1.) After praying for some “margin”, I got an email from my bank saying that I had won in their raffle draw some supermarket GCs worth P24,000. I’m not the type who wins at raffles, so this is such an incredible and funny thing for me. (And no, my bank is not based in Nigeria.)
(2.) After reading my post yesterday about Joshua’s birthday coming up, an executive from McDonald’s is sending Ronald McDonald to Asian Hospital tomorrow to surprise and treat Joshua and cheer up Tingting. That’s going to be a blast. Thank you McDo! Love ko kayo!
…And there are more little miracles that act as God’s “heart candy” for my moments when I can’t help but get down and depressed for a few minutes. (Just being real here.) The continued kindness of friends (and some from pals I haven’t heard from or seen since High School!) and family assures me of God’s love and lifts me and my Swato up.
Will sign off with this verse that our friend, Boom, posted to encourage us:
” Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20, 21 NKJV)
Looks like Tingting is not going home tomorrow, her 40th day. The whole day practically got spent talking to the finance/billing dept and trying to audit and update her account, plus meeting with her different doctors — cardio, nephro, psych, and rheuma — lupus is such a complicated illness. It’s not like a tumor–where you can just focus on taking that out. It involves the entire system, that’s why it’s called Systemic Lupus, I guess. Basically, the immune system goes into overdrive (just the exact opposite of AIDS) and “flares” by attacking the body’s different organs.
There’s mild lupus and then there’s life-threatening. Ting has the latter. A couple of weeks ago, lupus was in the headlines because the daughter of NBA Hall-of-Famer and current Houston Rocket’s coach, Kevin McHale, died of lupus complications. Her name was Sasha McHale and she was only 23. At the time of her death, Ting was in the ICU so the news made me shed tears for the McHale family and think about Ting’s mortality at the same time.
Tingting will undergo another dialysis session tomorrow. Her nephro told me that she wants to keep Ting until at least Sunday for more tests — and until she can stand and walk independently. Then Ting’s rheuma also has another chemo session scheduled for her.
Haven’t told Tingting yet. She’s slowly regaining her strength though and is very positive. (She also had a surprise visit today from a dear sister in Christ that really uplifted her spirits.)
Time to look for a Christmas tree that will fit her room?
Am leaving the timing of Tingting’s healing and homecoming to the Lord. I know that He’s in control. So I’m going to chill and trust in Him with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding. I’ll just be thankful and count our blessings; and acknowledge that Jesus is her Healer with every breathe of prayer…
In Ardy’s December 4 update, he captures the heart of faith and love:
A dosage of just one of Ting’s many medications: P90,000
Our hospital bill running total: …Enough to make you want to run away to the moon!
The sweet smile on Ting’s face when I came back to her ICU bedside this afternoon and how she greeted me (“O my handsome husband! I’m so happy when you’re here..”): PRICELESS!
I hope you can take time to pray for Ardy and Ting Roberto. Also for those interested to help financially, you could call Joyce at 8132703/32 or 0922-8396203. You can also send funds via PAYPAL just use the email email@example.com or deposit funds to Salt and Light Inc, BPI CA #3211-0837-85
Also check out there Facebook Bazaar: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151189664264141.459989.701469140&type=1
To Ardy, thanks for keeping the faith. Your life is truly an example.
To Ting, we are praying for you and believing for a supernatural move of God!!! Keep the faith!!!!
I hope we can spread this story in the internet. Feel free to share and retweet.