Easter Sunday, Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan—The thing about cancer is that you cannot flee it. Cancer gives you one choice: How will you deal with it?
I was diagnosed with cancer at Thanksgiving, just after my last trip to northern Iraq. I go regularly for my job working with religious and ethnic minorities here, an effort that is a constant reminder of our need for hope. As you might imagine, my diagnosis brought to a screeching halt our plans and hopes for the future. Most difficult of all was imagining our five children, ranging from one to 8 years, without a father.
For seven years, we had been unable to have children. Having tried everything else, we prayed. God then gave us five kids in seven years. Our last child, Jonah Robert, had been born less than a month before my first trip to northern Iraq in October 2014.