The Blog of Pastor Mike Wilkins
"The long run" referred to in the title of this blog is, in the first place, the many years Mike Wilkins served as West London's solo pastor, and then its Senior Pastor, since he and his wife Deb moved to London (and this church) in 1984.
In these past few years (beginning November 2011,) Mike's various health challenges, particularly a serious and ongoing case of cancer, has added another layer to the "long run" metaphor, and lots to blog about. Mike is currently on an extended Sick Leave, but generally worships with the church family on Sunday mornings.
With the publication of a book he wrote in 2016 entitled "Glory in the Face" (now available electronically and in paperback from Amazon.ca, and other online venders), Mike has just launched a new website, which will serve as a sort of scrapbook for readers of the book, with relevant background photos, for example, of That Last Final Solo Canoe Trip in May, 2011, as well as additional information about the book, and--coming soon--a new set of blog posts, mostly about the peace of God and the joy of the Lord and the face of Christ and the strength to face anything. You'll find the new website now at www.gloryintheface.com.
Aug1FriAugust 1, 2014
Just about fourteen months ago, a bright young oncologist met with one of his new cancer patients (and the sick guy's beautiful wife) to explain just how serious a case of cancer this was, and how slim was the likelihood of the sick guy's survival. To explain, the kindly doctor pulled a pen out his pocket and proceeded to mark up the paper that covered the examining table. As the doctor saw it, the man with cancer had six necessary major medical adventures ahead of him, namely, three sets of chemotherapy (The first with radiation) and three major surgeries.
Finishing his art work, the doctor looked up and compassionately but clearly made his point. "All these things," he said, "need to go really well for you to have any real chance of getting through this." In fact, it was his professional opinion that I had something like a 10% chance of survival. These fourteen months later, I still remember that conversation. I also remember that the oncologist was the first person to call these medical experiences "Things."
Yesterday afternoon, Deb and I met once again with that same oncologist. Of course, between that first meeting and yesterday's, the three of us have met a number of times. It was at one of those meetings that he explained that the first four "Things" in fact all DID go SO well that Thing #6 (The 3rd surgery) was now cancelled.
Yesterday he told us -- and for this I give great thanks to our great God -- that partly for the same reason (How well Things #1, 2, 3 and 4 had gone) [AND also because my "resected" liver is still pretty puny and so not yet really up to extraordinary challenges], an additional twelve weeks of chemotherapy, known in these parts as Thing #5, is now also cancelled. "Unless you insist," he added. But Deb and I had already prayerfully decided to go with his preferences on this call. So yesterday's appointment turned out to be a very happy thing. And I can now be described as "a cancer patient whose treatments are over." Or better yet, "a man whose cancer is in remission." Or even better, "a former cancer patient" (although the oncologist plans to keep a pretty close eye on me, especially for the next two years while the chances of the cancer returning are pretty high.)
So here I again express my very sincere thanks to our great and merciful God, and also to the West London church family (as well as many other people we know and love) for all the prayers prayed for us and all the love shown to us over these many months.
My plan is now to re-enter West London pastoral work, incrementally, over the course of the next few months, with the goal of being basically "back to normal" by January.
My hope is that the Lord will provide me with the strength to accomplish this goal.
Deb's hope (and the doctor's hope too, actually) is that I don't get stupid and jump back in too quickly. [All this being said, perhaps it would be for the best if you would continue to pray for me! And if you are so inclined, please also join us in thanking God for the great "things" he has accomplished in my life.]
Psalm 68:20 ESV
Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.