My good friend Jonathan Mark has been struggling with cancer. Last summer they found a tumor in his intestinal track and removed it. They then started chemotherapy for two different types of cancer - stomach and small cell cancer. This past Monday night they performed an intestinal bypass operation at Mass General to allow Jon to eat. They found a large tumor in his abdomen. The doctors don't seem to think Jon has too long to live.
I have known Jon since early 2002. He was a faithful member of Covenant Fellowship Church but decided to leave his wonderful church home and family to serve us as we planted King of Grace Church in fall, 2002. Jon has worked hard to serve the church faithfully as our sound tech guy and just as a good brother. It was my joy to see him meet and later marry his lovely wife Julianne in April 2007.
I have many great memories of Jon but what comes to mind more than anything is how faithful he has been. Jon has been faithful to serve our church amidst a life-disrupting relocation to Massachusetts. He has been faithful to support and pray for our church through the many trials of church planting. He has been faithful to care for his wife as she dealt with some serious health challenges. Faithfulness characterizes my friend.
And now - he has been faithful to keep his eyes on Christ and His glory through a life-threatening disease. Monday night as they wheeled Jon into his room after surgery and as he experienced some serious post-operative pain his words were not about his pain nor did they contain any hint of complaint. He was focused on others. He was trusting in Christ. It was actually pretty funny as he lay half asleep and interjected technical advice for us as we discussed how to get an internet connection in order to find a hotel. We had some sweet time together in prayer.
Jon and Julianne are my heroes. They have continued to pray and look to the Lord, asking for healing and receiving whatever God deems right for them. They have made the most of many opportunities to tell family, friends and chance acquaintances of God's goodness and their hope in Christ.
We are asking God to heal Jon. We have seen Him do this sort of miraculous healing before, we know He will do it again. Please pray with us for healing and for strength to continue to trust Christ and shine for Him. But whether God chooses to heal Jon or take him home we will trust God in his wisdom and bless His name together.
And I know, by God's grace, my friend will continue to shine for Christ and will remain one of my heroes.