Wednesday, August 08, 2012

August 8, 2012 Dunson Diaries

Dear Praying Friends, Thank you so much for your prayers for our family here in Porto Alegre, Brazil. We are enjoying a relatively mild winter here, although the weather is not nearly as warm as many of you are experiencing in the States! Please continue to pray for Cam’s health situation. Since January, she has been experiencing severe pain in her joints, in addition to stiffness, swelling and inflammation. It has gotten to the point where she virtually unable to get up without help, is extremely limited in her movements and activities, and is all but bedridden on her bad days. After going through a wide battery of tests with numerous doctors and specialists, they have finally decided that it is some sort of relatively rare auto immune disorder. The best guess of the rheumatologist is that it is Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Disease (UCTD), although the lab results do not line up completely neatly with that diagnosis. The doctor is telling us that treatment can take up to six months to begin to show a difference, if indeed this is what she has. She started taking medicine for UCTD a few days ago, but is not tolerating it well and has been told to stop for a few days to see if her system can recover before she starts back on it. The mission doctors have advised Cam to also seek treatment options at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Her records should be arriving there in the next day or so, and their team of doctors will examine her case to see if there is anything they can do there that she is not receiving here in Brazil. If that is the case, they will schedule an appointment, which could be from one to three months from the time she is accepted as a patient. We ask you, first and foremost to ask God to bring complete and total healing and freedom from pain and the other affects of this disease. Please pray as well that if she is supposed to be taking this medicine, that she would not have any more side effects. Also pray that the doctors here, at the Mission, and at Johns Hopkins will have wisdom to know what is going on and to know if she can be helped by going to the USA. If so, we are looking at taking a medical leave from the mission and we are asking for perfect timing on when appointments are scheduled, flights, etc. We firmly believe that through whatever means He chooses, God is going to heal her completely and that He will be glorified as a result! On the ministry front, there is a lot going on this month. Jeff will be teaching an intensive class on missionary strategy at the seminary, in addition to speaking at a leadership retreat, preaching at a couple of evangelistic services, and ongoing weekly Bible studies. Please pray for God’s Spirit to fill us and to lead as we minister. Also, the Ward family who are apprentice missionaries on our team will be going on medical leave next week to deal with some learning issues with one of their sons. Please pray that God would provide richly for them and that they would get answers on how to handle the situation so that they will be able to return soon and better than ever. September is fast approaching, and along with it, the Annual September Month of Prayer for the Gaúcho People. We will be sending out a daily prayer calendar along with our next Dunson Diaries in a few weeks. Downloadable bulletin inserts with the daily requests for your church will also be available shortly on the team website at As always, if you would like to see some recent family and ministry pictures, feel free to check Cam’s facebook page. We value your prayers more than you know – thank you so much! Jeff, Cam, Blake and Parker Dunson