(Sorry for being late. We’ve had a lot happen in the last week or so. Read PDF version here.)
And to us on the day of August 22, 2011, at 5:25 PM a son was born, Gianluca, our adorable and 6.8 pound Mestizo (as he is bred from best that Italy and El Salvador have to offer: yours truly, the Sforzas).
Lasting a full 45 hours, labor swiftly fell upon us on August 19 at 8:00 PM. We initially freaked (or at least Joey did) until we prayed and read Psalm 121. Where did our help come from? Only the Lord could calm us through the savage, practically untamable delivery experience.
Joey stroked Jenn’s hair; Jenn squeezed his hand and periodically rebuked him (for which she later apologized) until the grand finale when a dark purple, cone-headed being entered earth. Jenn assured Joey that Gianluca was his, not some kind of freak alien experiment.
We spent that night awake, as most infant’s parents do, loving and thanking God for our long-awaited gift. Enjoy his pictures. He really is a handsome cutie.
Hurled at us like an unexpected bomb in our midst, doctors found in our little niece Angelina a horrid 9 cm tumor on August 18, 2011, which they later deemed a malignant neuroblastoma. Nurses and surgeons quickly wired a catheter in our two-and-a-half-year-old princess’s chest, serving as a central intravenous for chemotherapy and nourishment in the dire months ahead.
Whereas once little Angelina delighted in doctors visits (often forcing us to play sick or dead so she could fix us) she now dreads them, as they are daily pricking and poking in an attempt to destroy the now 11 cm tumor (August 27) between her kidney and liver.
Pumped with a morphine drip for the painful ache, Angelina has not allowed her mom to leave her side.
This brings hope. She is strong enough to robustly grip her mother’s neck; she will be strong enough to destroy this devilish growth until God heals her or until the end of her chemotherapy, which she had the first treatment for on Friday, August 26.
Please pray for her physical healing, as well as our family’s emotional and spiritual healing. Stay updated on her progress by going to LittleAngelina.org.
Contrary to the anticipated bitter reaction towards God because of Angelina’s cancer, our family (Joey’s three brothers, sister, mother, father and extended family) actually is drawing closer to trusting in Christ.
A week before the discovery of the tumor, Angelina’s mom, Diana, watched The Case for Christ on Netflix, which prompted her to read the New Testament. The Holy Spirit focused her eyes on the passages of Jesus’ healing power.
Not only this, but Angelina’s aunt, Chiara, had a dream in which Angelina tells her that God will handle it (her circumstance). He assuredly does have his strong hand on the circumstance, even one of suffering.
Jesus has so touched the heart of every one in the family in some way.
This is an answer to prayer, as we asked the Lord to somehow be made beautiful out of this. And he has done so, because Jesus is sincerely, extremely and forever beautiful. We know he is control and loves us.
On the ministry front, staff is praying hard for effective and fruitful launches in every campus movement this semester. We also look forward to our meeting for Jersey Life, our network of young adults and professionals.
PLEAS & PLAUDITS
-Pray for our full support to come in by September.
-Pray for maturity in students on summer missions.
-Pray God would ignite us and students for the Fall.
-Praise God for Gianluca. We hope to be as awesome as the Father is to us.
-Praise for having all of our needs met. ALL. God provides.
Joey, Jenn & Gianluca Sforza 🙂