Michael and Melodie Stoligrosz

Have you ever experienced a major detour that you did’t know where the road was taking you? January 2022, is the beginning of our “Forward Journey” dream, to retire and serve the Lord volunteering our time with faith-based non profits across the USA, for as long as the Lord would allow. So we’ve sold everything bought a used RV and hit the road. Some might think two 66 year old people what… this is crazy but, we’ve prayed for several years about the next season of our lives. At the end of February, Michael started having stomach issues which on the road can be tricky to get a doctor to see you. Finally we found a GI to see him, and we thought it was just a  large polyp and inflammation, which he had removed, so we continued down the road serving Jesus. It was suggested that once we got to Illinois in June where we would be visiting our daughter and her family for a few weeks, to do a follow up just to make sure the inflammation was gone, which we did immediately.

June 7th we arrived in Plainfield, Il., and June 8th we were sitting is our first of many doctor’s offices… the journey took a major U-turn and from there, endoscopy’s, CT scan’s, ultrasounds, blood work and yes now chemotherapy to shrink the tumor. What we thought was just a polyp is aggressive Pancreatic Cancer, (adenocarcinoma). The tumor is located on the head of pancreas, which of course this diagnosis is devastating, but then again we serve a mighty GOD and nothing is too big or too small, for His healing hands. As only God can do we have found ourselves in the hands of an incredible team of doctors at Edward Elmhurst Cancer Center, and a doctor who specializes in this type of cancer and the removal of this tumor with major “Whipple” surgery. The doctor’s have let us know we will have to be here for at least a year for treatment and recovery from the surgery, so we’ve had to make some major decisions, which includes putting the RV in storage, and renting an apartment close to the hospital.

Obviously the cancer, the apartment, and medical expenses were not a part of our plan, but like I said nothing is too big or too small for God, and this is not a surprise to Him. We are His children and he will never forsake us on the detour. The Lord never promised us that we would not have storms in our lives, but He does promise He will be with us in the storms. So after 38 years of marriage, a beautiful daughter, son in-law and two grandsons we wait with great anticipation for His will to be done. We know there is something we need to do on this part of the journey for HIS glory to be seen, and that’s our prayer that we would not miss the divine appointments that He has for us.  We know the “Forward Journey” is not over and God is just getting started. So please pray with us for tomorrow and the days ahead.

Psalms 103:1-5

Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

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