Saturday, October 10, 2009

People of New City

Here are some of the peoples of New City Church of LA. Thanks Anthony for putting this together!

Solitude at LATC

I went to see Solitude last night at Los Angeles Theatre Center. It was in theater 3, where New City Church used to worship on Sundays. We are now in theater 1 to accommodate this play.
This play was awesome. I thought it was thought provoking, funny, and deep. It not only showed a glimpse of the struggles of Mexican-Americans, but also the common struggles of the human heart, our desire for purpose and meaning--for something greater than ourselves. Solitude is a state of being lost and being without purpose, and the only way to meaning, the play implied, was through getting involved in something bigger than ourselves in community with others--out of solitude.
I dare to say that the play was a spiritual in the way it showed the struggles of the human heart. I applaud Jose Luis Valenzuela who directed the play, and Evelina Fernandez who wrote the play.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Courtney's Brain Surgery

Let's pray for Courtney. Here is a letter from Courtney and Jason on Courtney's brain surgery. She has given everyone permission to share and pray for her.

Dear friends and family,

We wanted to let you know what is going on in our lives. Next week, Courtney is having brain surgery to have a brain tumor removed. This will hopefully be the end of a nearly 10-year battle with this tumor. The neurosurgeon, Dr. Keith Black, is at a top hospital in the US--Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, located here in LA. The doctor specializes only in brain tumors, and is incredibly skilled. We are grateful he accepted Courtney as a patient.

Courtney's surgery is October 8th (this upcoming Thursday). She will be in ICU for one day, followed by three more days in a regular surgical unit. Please pray for our family, as we attempt to be together, with our three-month-old, Norah, who will stay with us at the hospital after Courtney is out of ICU. Please pray that Courtney will recover quickly to be able to care for Norah when Jason goes back to work. The doctor says that she should be feeling herself two weeks after the surgery, though other surgeons have quoted us a recovery time of 3 months. Please pray that there are no complications--no bleeding or infection, no permanent neurological damage. Also, pray that Courtney would not need much physical therapy to regain normal fine motor skills (writing, walking, lifting, etc.). Thankfully, Courtney's mom will be here when we get out of the hospital to help with the transition back home.

Finally, we could really use your prayers for our finances. This neurosurgeon is not contracted with any insurance company. Our insurance will still help pay, but we estimate we will be paying $7-15 grand out of pocket. We have some savings, but we have been living as grad students with a small income, and this will probably wipe out all that we have. We think that it is worth it to obtain this neurosurgeon, but it is a big decision for us.

Thank you so much for your prayers. What has been one of the roughest years of our lives has been made so much more bearable by your support. You serve as reminders to us of God's goodness and love. Please join us in rejoicing that this medical battle is almost over. God has been good to us.

With love,
the Bilbreys
Jason, Courtney and baby Norah