Parent Portal

Taste and See

Barbara Hansen, Cor Deo Sixth Grade Teacher, with husband Steve Hansen

My student shuffled forward and greeted me with a card held high as if presenting me with a tasty meal on a fancy plate. I took the bright orange envelope from this dear student’s hand and opened it slowly pulling out the matching orange note. Unfolding it, I found forty-dollars and a short explanation.

Dear Mrs. Hansen,

I hope your husband gets better soon. I heard that you need money to send him overseas to get treatment. I hope that this gift helps you move towards this goal.

Tears filled my eyes, and I hugged my pupil. After school, the mother of this student told me that this forty-dollars represented a summer’s worth of hard work. The account was emptied for Mr. Hansen.     

On August 2, my families’ world turned upside down as the oncologist informed my husband, myself, and our four children that my husband, Steve, had intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct/ liver cancer). The doctor pulled up the CT scan on the screen and explained that the sixteen-centimeter tumor in his liver was surrounded with multiple satellite tumors. The cancer enveloped both lobes of the liver thus was totally inoperable, and incurable. It had already metastasized in other parts of the body.  As the doctor continued to explain the treatment options, our youngest daughter sobbed, while our oldest, the ICU nurse, shook, and our thoughtful boys looked stoic. Mark, the fighter-pilot son, ever practical, asked the doctor what the survival rate for this type of cancer is. We all could hardly take in her response, “median survival with treatment, one year.”

So much has happened since August 2.  Reflecting on the last two months, I can see all the ways God has been the caring author of this unfolding story. I would love to sit with each of you over a cup of coffee and tell you everything.  But instead just imagine these events as evidence of God’s hand of love:  thirty-four people showing up to paint our house and tear down outbuildings, people cooking and cleaning for us, God’s guidance in hours of research that I have done to find something that might not only extend Steve’s life but save him, many volunteers setting up my room while I was at oncology appointments with my husband, my daughter’s best friend with a marketing degree who offered to start a GoFundMe campaign, and my call to our talent agency and the professional videographer that came and made a video. I love to tell you over that cup of coffee about the beautiful prayers people have prayed with and over Steve.  But since I personally can’t meet with all of you, I just want to quote this scripture, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8

My sacrificial student presenting all that money as a love offering to someone she doesn’t even know, will no matter how long I live, be the sweet taste of the Lord’s incredible care for me during a difficult and frightening time. God is good, and whether my husband lives or dies, I will proclaim the goodness of God whom I deeply love. I want you to know, Cor Deo family, that my husband needs your prayers, and if you would like to help with the money to get him cutting-edge treatment, follow the link below. But most of all, I want you and all the children at the Cor Deo School to know that my husband and I have joy as we walk this path, and no matter what the outcome, we are worshipping him as God. Thank you, my forty-dollar student. I placed your bright orange note in my wallet, so I can pull it out and remember that my God sets a table before me and invites me to taste his goodness.

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