Sondergaard’s Letter January 2019

Dear Family and Friends,
We are writing this letter from Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Andrew is now three months old and is on his third hospital stay. Thursday of this week, we had an appointment with a pediatric neurologist who had several concerns with Andrew. After an x-ray and evaluation, the doctor urged us to bring him to Phoenix Children’s. Since being admitted, Andrew has had blood tests, an MRI, a CT scan, an EEG, and a lumbar puncture (his third). The primary concern for now is his head and arching his back. At one point it was suggested he had craniosynostosis (which would mean major surgery). We are thankful that was ruled out and instead he has plagiocephaly (which can be helped with positioning). At this point, we still have many questions as we wait for the results from the many tests. A secondary concern is for his eyes (which seem to have limited vision). On Monday, he has an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist. We plan to give a quick update after this appointment.

While in the ER waiting for Andrew to have a lumbar puncture (which is very painful), Naomi and I were listening to a recent revival service at Ambassador Baptist College. Before the message someone sang:

I trust in God wherever I may be,
Upon the land, or on the rolling sea,
For come what may, from day to day,
May Heavenly Father watches over me.
I trust in God, I know He cares for me;
On mountain bleak or on the stormy sea,
Though billows roll, He keeps my soul;
My Heavenly Father watches over me.”

In the last several months I have often challenged the people here to trust God no matter what happens in life. Now God is giving us the opportunity to do that too.

In recent months, the children at church have been very disrespectful, making teaching difficult. Our hearts are often heavy and burdened with prayer. A couple weeks ago, one of the twins wrote on his water cup, “I hate my life.” We addressed it and he broke down crying and said, “But, It’s true.” Jimmy is only eight! We took the opportunity to show our love and remind him that God has a purpose for his life. As we show compassion may God make a difference in these lives (Jude 24).

One of the ladies who comes faithfully recently asked Naomi to counsel her granddaughter. Sicily, a teenager, was recently expelled from school for anger and disrespect. Naomi has met with her once so far and expects to begin meeting regularly as soon as possible. Sicily is not saved but is open to talking about God. Please pray that God would open her heart to receive Biblical truth.
Rachel (the one who had her leg amputated) shared her thankfulness that God didn’t heal her leg but instead God chose to heal her heart. Her face radiated joy when she told us she was reading all through the Bible for the first time in her life. What a blessing to see God’s people hungry for God’s Word!

Our church building is made of two connected buildings. The main building is where we have the auditorium, restrooms, one classroom, and the office. This building was nicely remodeled a few years ago by several of you. The other building is where we have a kitchen, a nursery, two classrooms, and a large open area which is used for a
fellowship hall and children’s ministry. This building is an older modular with a flat roof. In the last year or so the modular has been showing signs of needing some major repair or replacement. Besides structural and electrical issues, there are several major leaks in the roof. A leaking roof isn’t too much of a problem in Arizona, but two weeks ago it was raining on Sunday morning and several buckets were collecting rain water. Please pray with us as we seek the best option for this building.

All for Jesus,
Paul and Naomi, Ruthanne, Nathan, Hannah, Aletheia, and Andrew Sondergaard

Prayer requests:
• Bill and Darlene: a couple we met in town and gave them a Gospel tract and invited them to church
• Healing and wisdom for Andrew
• Spiritual protection for our children (the church kids often bring inappropriate words, gestures, and attitudes)
• Ron and Diana Love (a retired couple) are here for the winter and have been a great blessing and help with the ministry
• We are so thankful for the Messicks and Loves who are graciously watching our children while we are in the hospital
• Many people who have been coming and responding to the messages (many first-time visitors or people who have not been to church for a very long time