Coffee with Uncle Reggie: A Good Cancer
与曾叔叔喝咖啡闲聊 : 合时的癌症
(张晓霓、林行易 翻译)

In my 10th year of the medical mission that I helped start in China, I was hoping to wind down my work. I had been traveling quite intensively for nearly 10 years, often 7 to 8 international trips per year, and usually staying away from home 2 to 3 weeks each time. So the toll on my family was quite serious; I had committed myself to the effort for 10 years, and felt it was time to return to serve at the Cincinnati Chinese Church, my home church. However, it was difficult to find a replacement, and so the matter kept being dragged along without clear resolution.

到了我在自己有分建立的中国医疗服务队里事奉的第十 年,我有了一个想要放松一下手頭工作的念頭。我已奔波了接 近十个寒暑,每年大概出国七八次,每次离家大约两三个星期。 因此我几乎顾不了家。我致カ为此努力了十年,感觉到是时候 回到我的母会辛城教会服事了。但是医疗服务队的事很难找人接手,这样,我想放松的念头就被拖延下来,并没有清楚的解 决方案。

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However in August of the 10th year, I discovered the news that I had prostate cancer. Normally a discovery like that might cause concern, but in my situation it was actually a great relief! The reason was that my father had died of prostate cancer and its spread, and so, I was always under a cloud, and knew that I would one day most likely develop the cancer also. I had been half-hoping that it would happen, so that I could get rid of it! So when the news came, I was truly quite relieved, because now, finally I could have it removed.

但是在第十年的8月,我发现我得了前列腺癌。这样的发现通常会让人忧虑,但是对我却是松了一ロ气! 原因是我的父亲是死于前列腺癌扩散,因此我知道自己很可能也会罹患癌症, 这令我一直活在阴影下。我心里有一半希望它成真,这样我就 可以摆脱我内心的阴影。因此当消息传来时,我真的松了一ロ 气,因为我现在终于可以切除它了。

Also, it seemed wonderful timing, since this was my 10th year, and a good time to move on. I uttered a word of thankfulness to the Lord, and announced it cheerily to the big chief of the mission. I indicated that I would like to step down from mission leadership, and get my cancer treated. I promised the mission that, in the remaining 4 months of the year, I would try to do most of what I had planned to do in the following year; so that by rushing many of the projects in the next 4 months, I could leave on January 1st, with a clear conscience. So over the next 4 months, indeed, I furiously finished off many projects.

再者,我感到这事发生的时间似乎很合适。第十年正好是我该走向人生的下一步的时候。我向主说了一句感恩的话之后便爽快地向服务队的主席宣布了这件事,并表示我想辞去我在服务队里的领导职位,去治疗癌症。我答应在剩下的四个月里,我将极尽所能将我下一年計画要做的事做完。这样我可以在来年1月1日安心离开。于 是,在随后四个月里,我 确实为此夙夜匪懈,完成 了许多项目。

You might think that it is odd to delay treatment for cancer, but actually I had done much reading about the disease, and had talked extensively with a wonderful prostate doctor, who answered all my relevant questions. It turns out that prostate cancer is a very slow growing cancer, and that there was really no hurry. He felt confident that delaying treatment till January was perfectly fine. So I made an appointment for early January to have it treated with radiation seeds.


My 6 weeks retreat

Since I felt that the whole process was providential, I decided to use the treatment as an “excuse”,and declared myself unavailable for any work or ministry, or even contacts with people, for 6 weeks. Actually the procedure took 90 minutes, and my recuperation was at most a few days. So I used the time in a wonderful way to commune with God, and seek direction for the next 10 years of my life. With prayer and bible study, I felt that God gave me the direction that I should focus on, and coined the vision “Youth For All Nations”,marrying my twin interests of youth and missions in a vision to bring “youth of all nations” together to have a vision “to all nations”.

因为我感到这整个过程犹如天意,我决定以治疗为由,向大家声明我六周内将不能做任何工作或服事,甚至与人接触。 实际上临床治疗只花了90分钟,而我最多休养了不过几天。 所以我用其馀的时间与神相交,为我今后十年的人生尋求指引。 随著祷告和读经,我觉得神为我指出了方向,并让我看见“万国青年’’的异象。这个异象结合了我对青年和宣道的热情,把 “万国的青年”聚集起来,给他们“到万国事奉”的异象。

Indeed, soon after the 6 weeks was over, I embarked on a renewed venture, to serve at church in youth and missions. It has been a tremendous opportunity to serve, as the youth group grew to more than 80 young people, and missions focus at CCC gradually solidified, especially in the sending and mentoring of young people to distant lands. That is another story!


Author’s note: Sometimes when things that seem “bad” happen to us, they may turn out to really be “blessings in disguise . Even prostate cancer can be a true blessing.

一点感想:有时我们认为是“坏”的事情,可能会成为“伪 装的祝福”,正如塞翁失马,焉知非福。即便是前列腺癌也可以是真正的祝福。