Still snow-bound in Buffalo

We are still snow-bound in Buffalo, NY and it doesn’t look like we’ll be flying out till Friday, November 21st.

We are eagerly awaiting to see our friends and family in Texas, and we’re hoping to make it to church at FBC Grandview this Sunday!

Please pray that Friday’s flight will be the one! We are enjoying our very white “mini-vacation” in Buffalo till then.


The view outside our hotel window


Blizzards in Buffalo

October 2014 Update

Our time in Canada has come to an end (for now) as we have been out of country for almost 9 hours now. It’s been hard saying goodbye to family, friends, and our church here. It’s also been challenging trying to sort through our belongings and pick what comes with us and what stays behind. Now we’re spending the night at a hotel across from the airport as all the flights have been canceled for today.

Sometimes we wonder… Is it worth all this hassle and sadness to leave family and dear ones for such a long time? And we remember that yes, it is worth it because HE is worth it!

We aren’t doing this because it will be fun and easy, but because His love compels us to share His Good News with those who have never heard.

So Wednesday afternoon, we board our plane (hopefully) and take the first step in our journey to work as church planters in Asia-Pacific.

What we’ve been up to this month:

  • Mark is back, after traveling across Western Canada with co-workers speaking at Bible schools, churches, and youth groups.
  • We all enjoyed a wonderful time with Mark’s parents, siblings, and their kids down in South Carolina for a week.
  • Leo had an appointment at Sick Kids with great results. So thankful!

Please pray with us:

  • That the weather would improve so that we will be able to fly to Texas tomorrow at 2pm!
  • For Leo – as we’ve been traveling since Monday night and that he’d be able to adjust to staying in a new home.
  • For us as we miss our family and friends, that we would be able to keep an eternal perspective!

Thank you for praying with us!

Till Every Tribe is Reached,

Mark, Lauren, & Leo

Leo’s Cardiology Appointments


Leo enjoying Child Life at Ronald McDonald House

Thank you everyone for the e-mails and prayers! We had a great trip to Toronto and have lots to thank the Lord for!

  • Ronald McDonald House called us on Monday to tell us they had a room available.
  • We received a free parking voucher as a thanks for participating in a research study.
  • No snow! The 35cm of snow was meant for Northern Ontario, not Southern. *phew*


So here is our lengthy report:

We spent from 8:00 – 11:45 am in the Cardiology Intervention & Diagnostics Unit… a lot longer than we expected. This is where Leo’s sedated echo, ECG, and pacemaker clinic took place.

It took a while for Leo to fall asleep as he was fighting the sedative and the echocardiogram took almost 2 hours. At one point there were 10 people behind our curtains: 1 nurse, 2 sonographers, 2 pacemaker technicians, 1 doctor on-call, plus the three of us. Quite a group! When the doctor comes up to take more photos it always makes you wonder if they spotted a problem. We always try to prepare ourselves to hear about new conditions.


The pacemaker technicians came and read Leo’s pacemaker. They also turned off his pacemaker to see what his actual heart rate is, which was around 49 bpm. Yikes! That’s always a reminder to us of how thankful we are for pacemakers and the research that goes into them! They were happy with Leo’s pacemaker and didn’t make any changes to it.


Today was our last visit to Sick Kids for the next 4-6 years, as we will be moving within the week. We met with and said goodbye to Leo’s cardiologist, Dr. Jaeggi, who has cared for Leo since I was 28 weeks pregnant. He’s such an awesome doctor, and we know that he cares for Leo as much as we do. It’s also so encouraging to hear his enthusiastic comments saying, “This [heart] surgery was so well done!” He said that Leo’s heart looked great. We will greatly miss Sick Kids and our doctors and nurses there!

Our last appointment ended around 12:45pm, we cleaned our RMH room, and arrived home around 5:30pm.


What’s next for Leo?

Leo’s care is being transferred to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital (in San Francisco, California). He’ll still need pacemaker clinics every 6 months and an annual cardiologist appointment.

Leo will also need his pacemaker battery to be replaced in about 5-6 years, hopefully when we are on furlough, as the surgery will need to be done at Sick Kids.

As Leo’s heart defect is “highly complex congenital heart disease”, he will need to be followed by specialized cardiologists for the rest of his life. His pacemaker is permanent as well.

How you can be praying:

Please pray that we will be able to find a good health insurance for when we live in California, that we would love the cardiology staff at UCSF, and that we would be able to find a cardiologist in Asia-Pacific (preferably a paediatric cardiologist).

Thanks again for all of your love and support,

Mark, Lauren, & Leo

Last trip to Sick Kids


We are headed to Toronto after lunch today as Leo has his annual cardiac clinic at Sick Kids on Wednesday, November 12th. This will be his last trip to Sick Kids for a long time as we are moving next Tuesday.

We will be spending tonight at Ronald McDonald House as his first appointment, a sedated echo, is at 8am.

Please be praying for us as we drive there and back, especially as we are expecting 35cm of snow on Wednesday.

Please also be praying for Leo. He had an X-ray done on Thursday due to a lingering cough, that showed some fluid in the lungs. The doctor on Monday said it could possibly be due to his left ventricle not working as hard as it should and fluid is backing into the lungs… or it could just be from a virus he had a few weeks ago. We’re hoping for the later.

We’ll send an update as soon as we get back!

Thanks for praying,
Mark, Lauren, & Leo

One Year Heart-versary

It’s been one year since Leo’s open heart surgery! Can you believe it??

Today is Leo’s 1st Heart-versary, the anniversary of the day the surgeons dismantled his heart and re-wired it into a normal heart.

His recovery has been unbelievable, with only a few minor hiccups along the way. We go back to Sick Kids for a sedated echo, cardiac check-up, and pacemaker clinic on November 12th. We are eager to see what the cardiologists and pacemaker technicians have to say, as we haven’t been at Sick Kids since May.

Here are a few photos of his recovery this past year:



1459746_10201756528007313_186550594_n10645175_10152560423953409_4619185324380197003_n “He is the Rock; his deeds are perfect.
    Everything he does is just and fair.
He is a faithful God who does no wrong;
    how just and upright he is!”
Deuteronomy 32:4