Isaac’s Journey, Going Home                                                                                 February 2018

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.                                Hebrews 12:1-2


On August 8, 2017, Isaac Barry Ambrose White born July 20, 2001 in Bangkok, Thailand entered heaven after successfully running the race that was set before him. The last leg was tough. His eyes filled with tears as he took his last breath; the next moment he was face to face with the author and finisher of his faith. He made it! Hallelujah!


For our light affliction, which is for but a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.              2 Corinthians 4:17


From the time he was diagnosed with cancer at the end of August 2014 Isaac accepted it with courage and faith like a good soldier. There are easy missions in life, and there are hard ones. This was the hardest. As difficult and painful as it was, however, it was only momentary compared to eternity. We are certain that when Isaac passed and stood before His Lord, all doubts as to whether it was worth it disappeared.


And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’                                                                                                                      2 Corinthians 12:9


Ruth, in a year-end post, wrote, “There is no denying that 2017 was the hardest year of my life… my best friend finished his race and made it home. I miss him more every day, it doesn’t get easier. But God helps me through every day. I miss you little bro.” There is not a day that goes by that we don’t shed tears when we think of Isaac and God’s goodness through it all. All of us would give anything to have one more good Isaac hug, see the twinkle in his blue eyes again, or laugh at one of his crazy jokes.


Before Christmas, the day we left for Holland, Barry returned to Cincinnati Children’s for the first time since July to give DVD’s of Isaac’s celebration service to a couple of people. Our favorite receptionist Tracy said “This must be really hard for you,” It really wasn’t. In fact, it was a time to remember and be thankful that God walked with us through the valley of the shadow of death. Ultimately, although it took its toll on all of us, Isaac’s 3-year battle with cancer was just part of his life, an opportunity to live out what we believe and to experience God’s sustaining grace that kept us going beyond any strength of our own. We were blessed by the thousands all over the world who prayed and joined in the battle with us.


But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.                                                                                                                                                                                   Isaiah 40:31


It is a miracle that Isaac was even able to walk by the end of his life. His spine, brain, and body were full of cancer. We remember back to the time after his first surgeries and the freedom the famed golf cart gave him. It transformed his mobility and is perspective. Then, after much hard work and physical therapy, he could walk on his own and finally, he ran. What joy that brought to his family.


Last February, during a great family getaway in Florida, Isaac and sister Sarah went parasailing and ascended hundreds of feet over the Gulf of Mexico. The view was spectacular. Just before that trip, his youth group gave him a drone and the ability to soar a ¼ mile up into the sky. Again, he was able to see the world from a whole new vantage point. It did not take long before he mastered it and was making beautiful video footage of the surrounding area. We even talked about him starting a business. The clips that his brother John put together to music for the celebration service still bring tears to ours eyes (See Isaac White’s Journey on YouTube). Yet none of that compares to the perspective that Isaac has now. The most beautiful place on earth is only a shadow of heaven and can’t begin to approach the glory of God.


Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.     2 Corinthians 4:16


Beginning a year ago, Isaac’s body slowly deteriorated as the cancer filled him up. At best, the last two chemo regimens only slowed its progression. By last spring, for the first time, Isaac needed narcotics because of cancer pain. He didn’t want to go there but had no choice. We all became expert at rubbing his back, legs, and feet. Sadly, we were happiest when he slept because that meant the pain had relented. Finally, on July 19th, the day before his 16th birthday, he had a severe headache. A CT scan revealed that the cancer had spread to his brain, and his doctors gave him only three weeks or so to live. At Cincinnati Children’s they said their goodbyes, knowing they would never see him again. His usually reserved oncologist put his hand on his shoulder and said “I love you, Isaac.”


Yet, in the midst of that year, we had indescribably good times with Isaac that we look back upon with great thankfulness. July, the month before his death, stands out.


On the 4th we celebrated the official birthday of our nation with all of our children, including Isaac’s brother-in-law Peter. He shot fireworks, played games, and ran. Barry wrote in his journal, “It was pure delight to see Isaac sitting around the kitchen table with all of his siblings and Peter. He was laughing, engaged, and carrying on with the others as if he had not a care in the world. Thank You, Jesus!” On the 5th, he spent most of a day turning his first object on a lathe – a lovely wooden chalice. On July 8th, God gave us wisdom to have an early birthday party (we celebrated John’s 26th as well). The highlight was the lighting of a huge bonfire with gasoline and an Excalibur firework. It was spectacular (and no one got blown up!). Isaac finished the day worn out but content in front of the last of the burning embers. On the 16th, after a very bad morning, Barry convinced Isaac to go to friend Ashlyn Liddle’s birthday party. They loaded Isaac with pain meds and the UTV with chairs and headed out on a lovely evening. Isaac felt free behind the wheel. Upon arrival, friends from his youth group rushed out to greet him. Soon, he joined in the party, and to the delight of everyone present, he even won at corn hole. On the 24th, Barry and Isaac reminisced about their ministries in Cambodia. On July 29th a battle-weary Isaac said he was looking forward to heaven. On the 30th, Isaac gathered the family, including his Granny White, around to apologize for no longer being himself. “Isaac is gone,” he told us. Through tears, we all assured him that everything was OK. He asked the Bible to be read and then hymns to be sung. It was a good catharsis for everyone. On July 31st, Barry sat next to Isaac while he stretched out in a hammock between two oak trees. Everything was idyllic – the temperature, the breeze, the sound of birds and bugs, the peacefulness… Both agreed that it was just a little taste of heaven.


Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.                                                                                                                                                                                                        James 4:14


We take great comfort in knowing that three of our children are safely Home, waiting for us to join them. We praise God that life on earth is short and that eternity with Him is forever. Unfortunately, most people make earth their heaven. Randy Alcon said, “The best of life on Earth is a glimpse of Heaven; the worst of life is a glimpse of Hell. For Christians, this present life is the closest they will come to Hell. For unbelievers, it is the closest they will come to Heaven.”


And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”                                                                                                                                                                                  Job 1:21


Whenever God takes away from His children, he always gives back more. Isaac is gone from us. In his place, God has given us a closer relationship with Himself, a better understanding of who He is, bigger and more tender hearts, a better ability to empathize with those who have lost loved ones, especially children, a greater determination to live our lives for Jesus and to do our reasonable service, a very large platform from which to live out and give the Gospel to others, closer relationships with our other children, more thankful hearts, more ability to suffer in the face of Isaac and Jesus’ examples, new friends, deeper relationships with old ones, a better appreciation of memories with Isaac and the good life that he lived, the comfort and peace of knowing that he is safe and suffering no more, a clearer idea of the brevity of life, more of a longing for heaven where Jesus awaits us, less of an attachment to earthly/temporal things and a new sense of purpose.


And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.                                                                                                                                                Revelation 22:3-5


We greatly appreciate your prayers for our family. Please do not be sad for us. Isaac is serving and worshiping God in Heaven. We have been blessed beyond imagination as we have experienced God as never before. People are hearing about Jesus and entering into a saving relationship with Him because of Isaac’s life and testimony. Others have recommitted to live their lives for Jesus because they have seen Isaac’s example. Isaac would not want to come back neither would we want him back if it meant losing all that we and others have gained because of what God did through a young man’s reasonable service and obedience to what he was asked to do. So, rejoice with us, live your life like it is your last day, make it count for God’s glory. That’s what Isaac would have wanted.

Isaac’s Journey, Part 4…                                                                          January 2017

... Behave courageously, and the Lord will be with the good.                                                      2 Chronicles 19:11

This verse is nestled into a passage about King Jehoshaphat, one of the kings of Judah in the Old Testament, and recounts how he and the nation were confronted by an overwhelming enemy.

This is where Isaac found himself on the day before Thanksgiving when his doctor, after his scans were done, announced the bad news that the small nodules noted on the August scan were now huge, there were more nodules in both lungs, and there were new lesions in his spine. In the car on the way home Barry asked Isaac what he was thinking; he responded without hesitation, "It is better me than someone else. I don't how anybody without Jesus would respond to such news." He behaved courageously when others would have buckled under the strain.

Much has happened in a year. Last January Isaac was recovering from his second major leg surgery, on crutches, and six months into remission. Everyone was thrilled with his progress. By March he was off his crutches. A couple of months later he was walking without a limp. At the beginning of May, he had another lung surgery that he flew through with flying colors. Isaac had a wonderful summer and looked and felt great. Life had new meaning for him. (Please see enclosed September 2016 update) In October, after over two years of waiting, Isaac ran again. What a joy to watch him lope across the yard without anything hindering him. Praise the Lord !

Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, "A great multitude is coming against you..."  2 Chronicles 20:2

Although an August CT scan found a few lurking nodules, Isaac's oncologist decided to wait and see what they would do. "Go and enjoy life," he told Isaac. Then, the Thanksgiving news. He was under attack from a multitude of metastases. At the end of October, Isaac coughed up some blood. His back and body ached. He started to feel bad and lose his appetite. The findings on the CT and PET scans explained it all. He was now facing overwhelming odds.  

And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord.                                                           2 Chronicles 20:3-4 

Some silly person once said, "When all else fails, pray." Jehoshaphat knew better. "Before anything else, pray." Burdened by the news of the multitude that now invaded Isaac's body, we asked people to pray and fast. For his family, much of it was through tears. 

O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?"                                                                                                                                            2 Chronicles 20:5-6 

We must think according to Truth. The way things look are not truth. Statistics are not truth. Facts, science, and medicine are not necessarily truth. Real Truth is changeless. It is only found in the Eternal God and His Word.

Like Jehoshaphat, we looked to the Truth, and the Lord led us to this passage in 2 Chronicles and many others because we needed to be reminded of who He is. Many of you have sent us Scripture to encourage us and help us to keep our eyes on Jesus and not our circumstances. We have had to acknowledge our weakness and proclaim His strength; we have had to admit that we have no answers and that He is all wisdom. "For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chronicles 20:12) 

In early December, Isaac's surgeon put in another chemo port, this time on the left side. His ninth surgery. The next day they began more chemo. By the second course, Isaac was suffering from the side effects. Within three weeks his hair came out again, he lost any body fat that he had, and started getting oral thrush (yeast) infections. Sadly, for everyone, he had to give up his Greek class, homeschool co-op, and the biology lab he was taking at Asbury University. In fact, he is presently doing no school. He just doesn't feel good and lacks the energy to do much of anything. 

Yet, God in His kindness gave us a wonderful Christmas season with unseasonably warm weather. With his brother John and his friend here, Isaac got out and played bow golf (a game of our own invention similar to disc golf in which you shoot an arrow at various goals like trees, stumps, and fence posts). It was good to see him outside and a joy to get beaten by him!

Thus says the Lord to you: "Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s....  You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you."                                                                                  2 Chronicles 20:15,17 

On January 26th after two months of the new chemo, Isaac had a repeat scan to assess the effects of the treatment. The official radiology report was shocking and much worse than we first thought. The right upper mass that was causing him to cough up blood was smaller. The other mid right lung nodule was a bit larger. Worst of all - the bony lesions in his spine were, in fact, larger. (The full written report made note of enlarging lesions in his manubrium (upper breast bone) and left humerus (upper arm). It is in other bones as well. This news was like an unexpected blow to the belly and took Isaac and his Dad's breathe away. They were stunned yet showed little emotion. Barry said to the nurse in the hospital room, "You get used to bad news in this place." 

In short, the enemy has launched a major offensive and the present chemical weapons are not doing the job.  

The oncologist has decided to start a bisphosphonate, a medication that works on bone cells. He also has a "few other tricks up his sleeve" that we can try if this also fails. He was clearly disappointed by the progression of the cancer in the face of strong poisons. On the ride home from the hospital that day, Isaac was quiet and pensive. 

From the beginning of Isaac's battle with cancer our trust has not been in the chemotherapeutic agents that the doctors have given him even though he is being treated at one of the top three children's cancer hospitals in the U.S. (We are very thankful for all of kind, professional care we have gotten at Cincinnati Children's.) While the present situation looks quite bad, we proclaim like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego of old, "...our God whom we serve is able to deliver us..." (Daniel 3:17) and with Job to the Lord, "I know that You can do everything and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You" (Job 42:1). The results of the battle have been and always will be in the hands of the Almighty. 

And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord.... And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: "Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever."                                   2 Chronicles 20"18,21

Before we knew the results of the Thanksgiving scans as described above, a woman who goes to church with us came to the front counter at Barry's office and said she had to tell him this story: At church there is a Thanksgiving tree on which people hang a leaf on which they have written what they are thankful for. When she asked her 9 year old son what he wanted to put on his leaf, he responded, "God has healed Isaac."  

Like this mom whose eyes were brimming with tears, Barry was also moved. He was tempted to protest, "But Isaac still has nodules...we don't know if he is healed." But he didn't. He smiled and thanked her for sharing. 

Like Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah, this young man unknown even to himself was thanking God in advance of answered prayers in the battle. Later in the evening, upon reflection through tears, we realized that the young boy was right - Isaac has been healed! While his physical body is under attack, his spirit is alive and well and free. Hallelujah! "But He (Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people af Ammonh, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.                                       Chronicles 20:22

The Lord caused the enemies of Judah to fight against themselves, and they all died without Judah lifting a finger, "So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped" (2 Chronicles 20:24).  One good friend wrote this brief prayer, "Dear Lord, You are able. Make those cancer cells destroy one another."  

Yes, the cancer has increased considerably despite powerful new chemo, attacking much of Isaac's body, and it mocks us saying, "'There is no help for him in God." Yet, thousands all over the world are crying out to the Lord who hears our voices and knows our needs. Like King David who wrote Psalm 3, we believe that it doesn't matter if "10,000" enemies fill Isaac's body, we are still trusting God to destroy them all and restore him, in any way that He sees fit. It is testing our faith to hold the course and stay in the battle. So far, Isaac is not wavering or giving up. He is keeping a bright and positive attitude. We know that God is able to save him! 

And on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, for there they blessed the Lord; therefore the name of that place was called The Valley of Berachah until this day.                                   2 Chronicles 20:26 

"Berachah" means blessing. The White Family dwells each day in the Valley of Blessing. Each day, the Lord provides us food and clothing, another day with Isaac, and most importantly, Himself. "With God", the Bible tells us, "all things are possible." And as Job said, we know that God can do everything. We are praising God in advance of what he is doing and will do through this cancer in Isaac's life and in the life of his family and all those around him. 

Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies. So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the Lord.                             2 Chronicles 20:27-28 

Thank you so much for praying for us and being in the battle with us. It is far from over despite how things might appear. Please be assured that God is at work, has a perfect plan, and will be faithful to complete it in us and all who trust in Him for salvation. Please pray that our eyes will be upon Him and that we will rejoice in what He is doing and will do in spite of how we might feel. Praise His name! 

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you.

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.                                           2 Corinthians 4:7-15


Trusting Him alone,

The White Family

Isaac’s Journey, Part 3…                              September 2016

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:1-5  

"It's Over!" roared the headlines the day World War II ended. Massive celebrations ensued throughout America and the Allied world. No more fighting! Peace!


Everyone likes to be on the winning side when a war is over. Clear, decisive victories like the Great Wars are the kinds we want. But cancer is often not like that. It is more Afghanistan or Iraq where the enemy hangs on, regroups, and refuses to give up. More often than we like, it is a Vietnam where despite bigger guns, it ends in defeat.


The end of August marked Isaac's 2nd year in his war with metastatic osteosarcoma which had begun in his left femur (thigh bone) and spread to his lungs.


For nearly nine months - June 2015 through March 2016 - Isaac was officially in remission without any evidence of recurrence. In March, by God's grace and the prayers of thousands he was finally off of his crutches and walking, active, and feeling good. It appeared that the powerful chemotherapy and numerous surgeries had done their work and victory was within reach. Then, two nodules, hidden enemies in his right lung, appeared on a routine scan.


On May 2nd, Isaac's surgeon at Cincinnati Children's Hospital went back into his right chest. Fighting scar tissue from two previous surgeries, it took her 5 hours to find the two small nodules that had probably been there from the beginning, starting out as only single cells before growing into killers.


Wounds, a chest tube, pain. Isaac had been there before. Rather than a week in the hospital as expected, Isaac pushed himself like always and, by God's grace, was able to be discharged in only three days. After a day at home, he was out mowing grass again. Amazing!


Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.     Philippians 3:12-14


At the end of May, Isaac was a groomsman in his brother John's wedding officiated by his father on our farm in Lincoln County. In early June, he went to camp for the 1st time. At the end of June, along with family friend Paul Assignon from Togo, Africa, John gave us a pre-opening tour of the life-size replica of Noah's Ark in northern KY. After standing on the top of it and looking out over the countryside, both Isaac and John took a titanium screw saved from Isaac's first leg plate and screwed it into the massive boat. What had been a part of him is now part of it! In July, Isaac and sister Ruth went to Idaho to visit friends. There, they climbed mountain trails and went down a river on a log. He has fished, camped out, helped put up square-bale hay, keeps most of the farm mowed, moves cows, and restarted homeschool where he is studying Greek and taking a biology lab at Asbury College. He is enjoying the life he has been given.



In all of his activity, Isaac has broken a foot (April) and a rib (August). Minor injuries for a warrior kid who has been through eight surgeries and the toxic effects of chemo!


In mid-August, Isaac had his first chest scan and leg x-ray since his May lung surgery. His leg graft looked super, and his orthopedist gave him the green light to start running. His oncologist, after hearing all that Isaac has been doing was also upbeat despite the fact that there are several small new nodules in his right lung. "We don't know what these mean, and they are too small to take out. So, since you are feeling so good, continue to live life to the fullest. We will recheck you in November and go from there." We didn't ask many questions; we didn't want to know what he was thinking. Statistics don't matter. Only God knows and controls the future. In all of it, He is shaping Isaac's character and making him into a man.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”     Isaiah 55:8-9


Why Isaac's cancer is not gone is a question we cannot fully answer, nor do we necessarily want to. It is enough for us that God's wisdom is greater than ours, that He has it all covered, that we can trust Him to do what's best because He loves us, and that His strength and grace are sufficient for any battle that we face. One night before sleep, when fear and anxiety reared their ugly heads, Barry reminded Katherine, "We have two choices: we can either worry or give God glory. We can't do both." Ultimately, that is the choice all of us have as we face the trials and pain that life throws at us.


Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.     James 4:14


In all of the events of the past two years we are being reminded that our lives are like the fog that covers our small farm down in the bottoms on these early Fall mornings. The sun burns brightly and by 10AM, it is gone. The greatest, nicest, strongest, healthiest, smartest, most famous, and safest people are only blips on the timeline of eternity. An illness, accident, or even a terrorist can take any of us out at any time. In reality, it is only by God's will that each of us takes our next breath. Life is very short. We better not waste it.


In light of that, we continue to talk about Isaac's future - life after the war: possibly college, a career, a wife, children... - but do not pin our happiness nor our hope on it. That is only found in a personal, saving relationship with Jesus Christ who promises eternal life for all who believe in Him.


For You are my hope, O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother's womb. My praise shall be continually of You.     Psalm 71:5-6


As we wait on God we appreciate your prayers for Isaac's healing, specifically that the nodules in his right lung & any cancer in his body will disappear and that he will soon be running again. Thank you.

At Peace,

The White Family

Isaac’s Journey, Part 2…                    January 2016

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
      Psalm 23:4

Many a soldier has looked death in the face. It is a scary proposition. For the last four months of  2014 and first six of 2015, Isaac passed through the valley. Were it not for the prayers of the saints on six continents, we are certain that he would not have made it through to the other side. Letters and notes of encouragement poured in. People were lifting us on their backs and praying. In response, all that has happened in our lives has been nothing short of miraculous. On August 26, 2014 Isaac was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of his left thigh bone. Within a week, tests confirmed it had spread to his lungs, and chemotherapy was started.

For months, three out of four weekends, Isaac lay at Cincinnati Children's Hospital as the yellow and red poisons were pumped into his young body. Within a month his hair was coming out in clumps and his skin color turned a pale green-yellow. Yet he tolerated it better than most and had minimal nausea. He even ate during chemo treatments! We would laugh as Isaac, like a pregnant woman, sent his Dad out for humus & lamb shish kabob from Mediterranean King, slices of salami from Kroger, KFC, or Egg McMuffins & hashbrowns for breakfast. It was good to laugh in the midst of such peril.

People prayed, God answered, and Isaac soldiered on.

By November, it was time to remove the tumor. It entailed major planning by the orthopedist, plastic surgeon, and anesthesiologist/ pain team. Early on the 21st, Barry and Katherine prayed with him and gave him over to their care - he was in the OR for nearly 9 hours. After the orthopedist removed 7+ inches of his distal femur and replaced it with a donor bone, the plastic surgeon took out Isaac's fibula (small lower leg bone) along with its arteries and transplanted it into a groove made in the donor bone. It was all kept in place by a long titanium plate. They inserted a line to drip local anesthetics into the wounds, sewed him up, and sent him to recovery. He was quite a sight: IV's, oxygen, pumps, monitors. It was overwhelming. He made it through, and our hearts were filled with thankfulness to God.

People prayed, God answered, and Isaac soldiered on.

There were nights of deep darkness when Isaac cried out, "Dad, Dad, I need help!" After prayer and reassurance, he would rest and fall back to sleep. Fear reared its ugly head, but God's Truth prevailed. Praise His name! Despite the pain Isaac pushed himself and in less than a week, he was able to go home in a wheel chair. With him sitting at the table, our Thanksgiving meal was extra special. He was alive!

People prayed, God answered, and Isaac soldiered on.

By mid-December Isaac started to get discouraged. Our active son was limited to the sofa and wheelchair and unable to do anything around the farm. We prayed for wisdom and God answered: "Get Isaac a golf cart." Barry put the word out and within hours people began responding. We were in awe. It was December 23rd. Homer Heater and Paul Perry generously bought the cart for him, and it arrived Christmas Eve. Christmas Day Isaac was up and running again. The transformation in his life was nothing short of spectacular. Now, he could go places! And he could take people with him, including dogs and cats!

People prayed, God answered, and Isaac soldiered on.

Next, it was the cardiothoracic surgeon's turn to go after the metastatic nodules in his lungs - first, the right side in mid-January 2015, and then the left two months later. Each time, the surgeon cut  a 4-inch incision in his chest wall and then ran her fingers through his entire lung until every nodule was detected and removed. Each time we were told that the nodules were cancer; each time the cancer was dead. The chemo had worked! The surgeries were brutal, and at times the pain was excruciating. Isaac persevered and pushed himself. He would do whatever the doctors asked and was always relieved to get the chest tube out. His efforts astounded nurses and doctors alike. God's grace and mercy were evident in his life.

People prayed, God answered, and Isaac soldiered on.

Then, after a brief time of recovery, more chemo. By early May, Isaac was getting worn down. His blood counts dropped. He started to feel sick. And then, he developed a fever. He was sick, and the doctors were very concerned. We rushed him to Cincinnati where he was admitted, placed on high-powered antibiotics, IV's, and eventually IV nutrition. His stool tested positive for C. diff., a dangerous bacterial infection of his intestines. After several days of walking even closer to the shadow, he turned the corner and began to heal. We were at a low point with the end of chemo in sight. Once he commented, "I wish I had the luxury of worrying about things that don't matter."

People prayed, God answered, and Isaac soldiered on.

Finally, June 11th Isaac completed his last chemo treatment. He survived! He quipped, "What are we going to do now that we have nothing to look forward to?!" On June 26th the tests on his heart, hearing, lungs and body were all negative. He was officially "in remission." Hallelujah! His chemo port and a couple of plate screws were removed from his leg. He was free at last. In July, we celebrated with a trip to Florida to see his grandparents and go to the ocean. What a joy to see him swim and ride horses in the water, play putt-putt golf, and just enjoy life. His siblings were thrilled to see him be his old self again. Transformed.

Soon, thereafter, he was given permission to walk without crutches. In September he rode his bike, went to church for the first time in a year, and handled his dog in a hunting event. Then the upper part of his bone graft fractured. In early November, a 7th surgery was necessary. A new, longer plate was put in. Even this was a blessing, as it seems to be healing better than the 1st. As we start 2016, Isaac looks great. After six months in remission, he is active in church, homeschool, and PT with the goal of walking without crutches within the next 6 months. Every 3 months he will be tested for recurrence of the cancer.

While Isaac had to receive a few transfusions, had one serious infection, saw a dip in his kidney function, and had one other significant fever during his entire course of treatment, he did remarkably well. In fact, he was seen as a model patient. While we can attribute much to the fact that he was in good shape because of  outdoor physical activity playing and working before he got sick, ate healthy foods, kept a great attitude throughout, and had excellent doctors, we give credit to prayer and glory to God who kept him through every battle. Isaac recently gave this testimony for a homeschool group assignment:

"What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus."  That is what I believe and know to be true. I am not exactly sure when I was saved, but it was around the age of eight or nine. Since then God has definitely made a difference in me, and still is. You may ask me, how do you know that you have been saved? All I can say is that I have learned to trust in Him and leave every thing to Him, but I have also learned that it is not all trusting, but also obeying and praising Him. Having cancer has helped me to learn all of this, and I am very thankful for it.

We are especially grateful for Isaac’s sister Ruth who was incredible in keeping the farm going while we were away at the hospital; John who was always available to encourage his brother and family; Barry's Uncle Earl Wafford who often transported Katherine and Isaac to and from the hospital, provided special foods and distractions for Isaac during the most difficult of days, and stayed with Isaac in the hospital so his parents could have an evening away; Barry's mother Mary White who helped out everyone; Charlotte Abel who kept us encouraged; Barry's staff who heroically kept the office going in his absence; and those of you who have joined with us in the battles.

We ask that you keep praying as Isaac still has a long ways to go. He wants to run again. God will answer.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.    Ephesians 3:20-2

Content in Him,

Barry and Katherine for Isaac and all the White Family

Isaac’s Journey, Part 1…                    September 2014

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4.

On August 26th the radiologist called Barry at home to inform him that the X-ray of Isaac’s left lower femur (thigh bone) was bone cancer. The next day we were at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital seeing cancer specialists. Two days later he had a bone biopsy that confirmed the diagnosis; a week later a lung biopsy that confirmed that it has spread to his lungs. The following day the doctors took out his chest tube and on September 7th Isaac began chemotherapy that is to last 6 months. At the end of month three he is to have “limb salvaging surgery” to remove the tumor and then to go after every tumor that remains. That will be followed by 3 more months of chemo. The chemo is so powerful that it can affect his hair, hearing, heart, liver, kidneys, mouth, stomach, intestines, fertility, and, of course, his bone marrow. It will leave him at a lifetime increased risk of leukemia. 

He is now home recovering from the first round. He has lost weight, often feels nauseous, tired and discouraged. But, praise the Lord, he is at home!

Three months ago, 13 year old Isaac was walking in the jungle in Cambodia with his favorite hat and pack and exclaimed to his dad, “I love this!” He was also baptized by our Krung church leader friends in the same river where his sister Ruth was baptized 4 years before. Five weeks ago he first began to complain of worsening leg pain. Three weeks ago he was riding his bike and climbing hills. Now, he must be on crutches for at least 4 months. Life changes quickly!  

Why Isaac? People ask. We think Jesus answered it best in John 9:1-3, “Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God may be made manifest in him.’” Paul tells us, “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” That includes cancer. 

We believe that we have been prepared for this and are ready to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” with our Great Shepherd Jesus leading us and His Spirit giving us the strength and grace one day at a time. We have been through hard times before and those who know us understand. God is in the process of perfecting and completing Isaac and us and in the process making us better able to minister to others. We still see God changing peoples’ lives through the death of our Nathaniel and that was over 17 years ago. Praise His name! 

This story about Isaac should encourage and challenge you. Several months ago, Isaac recommitted to getting up early with Barry to spend time with Jesus. He would set his alarm for 5AM, get up and then fall back asleep with his Bible in hand. Barry jokingly called him “Peter.” “What can I do, Dad, to stay awake?” “Throw water on your face.” That didn’t work. A hot shower didn’t work. So, Isaac had his own idea. In the dark, he would ride his bike for 5 minutes in the cool, damp air on the road in front of our house. Success! Isaac faithfully rode his bike every morning up to the time he was prevented from doing so by the tumor in his leg.

We are dependent on others to make it through this. We acknowledge that we can’t do it alone. As one preacher described it, we will need to climb on the backs of others as they bow and pray for us. The danger is to think about what might happen, all of the complications, the costs, and the possibilities, including death. If we even let ourselves imagine for a moment a future Christmas without him or an empty chair at the table, we are flooded with tears. Rather, pray that we will think on the Truth and that can only come from God and His Word. We know that like manna from heaven, God’s grace is sufficient for each day. God knew about this before the beginning of time, that He is in control and that He will use it to change not only us but also those around us. Praise His name!

Please pray that God will be seen in the life of Isaac and his family, that we will think only on the truth that God will break up the hardened hearts of lost family members, that we will all be revived in our walk with Jesus and that His name will be lifted up. Please pray for our courage and endurance and that God will not only heal Isaac for His glory but that He will protect him from the complications including infections and need for blood transfusions. Right now nausea, fatigue and muscle cramps are plaguing him. While we are at one of the best children’s cancer hospitals in America, our trust is in God to do the healing. 

Please pray that Barry can balance his medical practice, farm work, and caring for Isaac and everyone else in the family. Please pray for Katherine as she takes care of him at home, continues to homeschool both him and Ruth, and that God will protect her from issues with her back and sinuses that have troubled her for years. Please pray for Ruth as she manages the farm and continues to do school while we are in Cincinnati for treatments. Please pray for Abie who is away at Western Kentucky University for college and can’t be here as well as Peter and Sarah who just recently moved back to Canada. John, Isaac’s “Pal”, thankfully, lives in northern KY and can visit Isaac easily while in hospital. This is a great encouragement to Isaac.

For six months we will live in relative isolation to prevent Isaac being exposed to viruses and bacteria that could attack his weakened immune system. That means minimal outings, including no church going.

Beyond praying, we encourage people to send Isaac notes of encouragement, especially telling him (and us!) how God is at work in your life and photos of your family. You are welcome to visit if you are not sick or have not been exposed to anyone who has been ill. 

In all of this we know that God is good and that He loves us more than we can imagine. We know “that the sufferings of the present times are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us” and that “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Hallelujah!

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”                    2 Corinthians 1:3-4


Barry and Katherine for Isaac and all of the White Family


























































































































































Isaac’s Journey, Part 1…                                                            September 2014