The Streets
Press Releases

Our Purpose
Our Director
Support Us
Contact Us

email OSA
Web problems or suggestions?
Updates and Prayer Alerts on Liz Thomas

Updates and Prayer Alerts on Liz Thomas, wife of Rusty and mother of 10 children

August 4, 2005
Precious Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Liz's valiant fight is now at an end and she is in peace. I just received a phone call from Rusty at 12:45 am EST, August 4. Rusty shared with me that his precious wife Liz went home to be with the Lord at 11:35 pm CST, August 3rd, in the year of our Lord 2005.

Rusty said, "It was a tearing. It was a tearing, brother. 'That two shall become one has taken on a whole new meaning for me.' I didn't know what that meant until Liz went home to be with the Lord. She is really such a part of me. I love her. "

Just before Liz's home going, Rusty read Proverbs 31 over her. He recounted to me that each one of the kids, when they had seen their Mama, said to her; "I am rising up mom and I am calling you blessed." This was totally unrehearsed and something in the hearts of each one of her children. These words perfectly expressed the truth and the warmth of their love for such a wonderful mother.

In our Bible reading schedule, we find these words from the book of Job, "Oh, that my words were written! Oh, that they were inscribed in a book! That they were engraved on a rock. With an iron pen and lead, forever! For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" Job 19:23-27

For my sister in the Lord, Liz Thomas, "Goodnight for now, sweet sister, we'll see you in the morning."


August 3, 2005

From Flip:

Just talked to Rusty 9:15 EST Wed. August 3, 2005 :

Liz made it through the night - thank God! The kids have all had an opportunity to speak with their mom. They sang songs over her, Rusty read Scripture and the presence of the Lord filled that room. Destiny told me that she knew her mom was responding to them being there with her. Late last night and early this morning, Elijah and several of the Thomas children, found it very difficult to sleep. The girls sat at the piano and led in praise and worship. They are all drawing ever so close to Jesus and each other.

One of the doctors who was taking care of Liz had been gone for a month. When he returned and saw the condition she was in, he wept and Rusty was able to minister to him. The staff at this hospital have been wonderful and all have been touched by the mercy of God and His Spirit moving through the hearts of the Thomas family.

Doctors and nurses alike have all testified about the kindness of "Miss" Liz and the beauty of her countenance, as she has gone through this terrible ordeal. Rusty related to me that his wife, Liz, is the "real deal," as she has gone through this most difficult travail. No kidding Rusty, she really is the real deal. Here is a husband who is seeing his wife with eyes anew and a magnificent appreciation of God's incredible grace that is being poured out of her heart. She is a fighter. She is a lover of God, her husband, and her children. She is a marvelous portrait of what a Christian wife and mother should be. So, if you want to know what's going on at the White and Johnson Hospital , just outside of Waco, Texas, know this. The Spirit of the Lord and the spirit of "Miss" Liz are alive and well. We can't tell you all about the frailties of her physical body but we can tell you that what is most important is tried, straight and true.

Please keep praying, we know that you are. Sometimes we just don't know how to pray, but that is no hindrance to the Lord's Spirit.

In Christian Love,

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

August 2, 2005 12:10 EDT

Dear Friends,

Rusty has informed us that Liz's organs are shutting down and the end is near.

Let us pray,


August 2, 2005

From Flip:

Received a call from Rusty this morning at 8:45a.m. EST. We've just received news that Liz has been placed back on a ventilator and things are not looking good. We don't know anything other than the fact that Rusty told me when we first spoke that it appears Liz is getting tired. The hospital called him at 1:00a.m. this morning and he is there at Liz's side right now. Please pray, we know that you are. Thank you so much for your faithfulness. We will keep you informed in Jesus' name.  Flip

August 1, 2005

Dear Champions of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you!  Just returned from the hospital.  Apparently Liz will be there for a little while longer.  They are monitoring her and give her loving care.  The doctors and nurses have grown deeply attached to Liz through this ordeal.  In fact, her Oncology doctor, Dr. Koch, who was away when Liz relapsed was brought to tears when he found out.  This is not normal.  God has granted her much favor and the hospital staff knows they have a special lady in their midst.

Liz is resting, but in some pain.  They are controlling it through medication.  It looks like we are back in the thick of it as far as treatment is concerned.  Liz will have to undergo a few more rounds of chemo.  I know some of you cringe at the prospect, but this I know was God's way of initially saving her life, and we trust will still serve to vanquish this cancer once and for all.

We are still heavy in intercession, as well as using holistic remedies to help boost her immune system.  Prayerfully soon she will be back home with the family.  Afterwards we will have to go to the hospital every three weeks to check in for three days to complete the chemo treatments.  Thanks for all the wonderful cards, prayers, letters, and financial assistance many of you have sent.  We are humbled by the love of Christ that has shined through His body to our family.

July 28, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you!  One point of clarification about yesterday's extraordinary praise report.  Not all the tests came back cancer free.  The doctors reminded me that they found some Lymphoma from the biopsy that they took from the lymph nodes in Liz's neck.  The good news is they are still convinced it is treatable and Liz has a chance of recovery.  Obviously, we will maintain our prayerful vigilance and trust God for these precious results.

Yesterday, Liz's speech improved more and more, though she is still a little loopy.  She has what I call "long wiring syndrome."  She can comprehend, converse, and respond, it is just a bit slow.  She actually imitated herself when she became mute and incoherent.  She had Michelle and I in stitches.  Her sense of humor was shining forth.  This was also a good sign.

All in all, we have seen the goodness of the Lord.  The grievous burden has been lifted.  I felt like Christian in the classic story of Pilgrim's Progress.  Once he kneeled before the cross, the heavy load fell to the ground and his burden was laid down.  Thanks be to God for He is good and His mercy endures forever!



July 27, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you!  Where do I start?  Let me start with the goodness of the Lord.  Let me give praise to the one true and living God who answers prayer.

Yesterday as Liz plunged into a zombie-like state and lost her motor skills of speech, I reached a place of complete helplessness.  Liz could only rock herself back and forth and occasionally mutter a groan or a pitiful cry.  I didn't know if she was hurting or what to do to alleviate her suffering.  All I could do was cry to the Lord on her behalf.

Liz's sister Michelle came in with two of her sons to see Liz and relieve me to go home and take a shower and get some rest during this new trial of affliction.  I talked with Flip and poured out my heart to him and he prayed for Liz.  The essence of his prayer went something like this, "Lord, we cannot communicate with Liz and she cannot communicate with us, but you, Oh Lord can communicate with Liz."

Shortly afterward I went home to check on the kiddos, took the shower, and had a nap.  I woke up and immediately went back to the hospital.  Michelle was pretty frazzled.  It had been a traumatic time with Liz.  She went through an MRI, throwing up, and the doctors probing her.  There was much confusion, but by the time I came back things had settled down.

I walked into her room and Michelle gave me an update about all that had transpired and then she told me something that was very encouraging.  Liz had finally uttered some words after a couple of days of complete silence.  Her first words were, "Oh My Goodness."  After Michelle conveyed this to me.  Liz spoke again and she said, "Goodness."  For the next couple of hours Liz repeated this word over and over again.  I took her hand and asked her to say my name and do you recognize me?  She said "Goodness."  She then reached up and cupped my face with her hands and uttered "Goodness."  She then drew me to her face and kissed me and uttered "Goodness."  I couldn't believe this was happening.  All we could do was to praise the Lord.  Taking Liz's cue on the goodness of the Lord, we started to sing "God Is So Good."  Unbelievably Liz joined in the chorus.

Her natural man was shut down.  She could not converse, but she could say "Goodness" and sing praise to her faithful, loving Savior.  I told Michelle that I'm so glad you here to witness this.  Know one is going to believe me. 

Afterward as I tried to analyze what had transpired a few thoughts came.  God had specifically answered Flip's prayer.  Somehow in the murkiness and uncertainty of this ordeal.  God had communicated His goodness to my suffering bride.  Secondly, Liz has gone through nine months of hell on earth.  She has suffered beyond my limited comprehension and the one word that comes from her mouth when her speech failed was "Goodness."  I know for sure that would not be the word I would use.  Lastly, God gave our family a special gift of grace by allowing this to happen.  Whether or not God heals her or takes her home to be with Him.  Our family has seen His goodness.

Of course, two Scriptures came to light through this wonderful experience.  Psalms 27:13,14 declares, "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."  Psalms 23:6 "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."   Notice that in life or in death the saint of God can still know, believe, and trust in the goodness of God.

We prayed these Scriptures over Liz and really emphasized the word "Goodness."  I pray this report lifts your spirits and encourages your heart.  God has been so merciful to us.

We also have received a lot of reports back from the different tests.  They found no Lymphoma from the fluids in her spinal cord.  This rules out Lymphoma in the fluid that surrounds her brain.  They believe what caused her speech to be impaired was a reaction to one of the drugs in her chemo treatment.  They are giving her an antidote and it appears to be working.  I talked with Liz on the phone and she is conversing today.  Praise God!

We still need to press in.  We still do not know what caused Liz to go back into the hospital.  Every test they run, it comes back cancer-free and yet something keeps hindering her.  We need to find out what is it and by God's grace and power vanquish it from Liz's body in Jesus' mighty and wonderful name!



July 25, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you!  The following are e-mail updates that Flip Benham our national director so graciously sent out today on my behalf.  Several test have been given since then.  We have not received a conclusive report, but Liz has dodged at least two bullets.  There are no tumors or an infection on her brain. 

Tomorrow we will find out if she is struggling with Lymphoma in the fluid about her brain.  She has lost all means of communicating.  She has been reduced to groans, grunts, and cries to communicate.  I know she still hears me, but she cannot at this point maintain eye contact nor speak.  Quite honestly it is heartwrenching.  Yet the doctors tell me we are not without hope.  They have not given up on her and neither have we.  They told me if it is indeed Lymphoma in the fluid, it can still be treated.  Thus we will continue stand for her healing, for her miracle, and complete restoration until God reveals otherwise.

Thanks for all who have called and have written.  Your love and concern is carrying our family through this valley of the shadow of death.  Thanks for being there for us.  We love you all!



Flip was traveling, and was almost home from the Denver event, when he called to ask me to send you this message:

Just heard from Rusty at 10:17 EST, Monday, July 25. It appears that Liz has taken a turn for the worst. They have finished the three days of radical chemotherapy and she is really struggling and is not coherent. With all dispatch pray that God's hand will be on Liz, Rusty and kids. They have decisions to make today.

Job 13:15 "Though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him." Rusty spoke to me these words which are also in our Bible reading schedule for tomorrow. This has been so difficult for them, yet the faith of the Thomas' rings true. Pray for them to hold fast to Almighty God who is their shield, their provider, their healer and their life.   ~ Flip
Prayer Warriors:

Just talked to Rusty at 12:15 EST, July 25, and the latest report is
doctors believe that what happened to Liz is the result of one of three

1.  A possible small stroke -  This is the most far fetched of the
three, according to the doctors, but it is a possiblity.

2.  An infection in the blood - This could be a possibility.

3.  Cancer in the fluids of the brain - This is probably the most likely
and doctors are doing a CAT scan now.

I just want to keep you updated so you will know how to pray.  We love
you and the Thomas'  love you too.

  ~ Flip

July 23, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8,9)."

The Lord richly bless you!  The above Scripture flooded my soul when Liz and I received her latest report.  The doctors are convinced the Lymphoma is back and has spread to various parts of Liz's body.  Their immediate concern are the lymph nodes centered in her chest.  They are swollen and are ill-affecting her lungs, heart, and a specific vein that carries blood from the brain back to the heart.

In response, they started Liz on shots of radiation to help reduce the swelling of the lymph nodes and prayerfully destroy the Lymphoma.  This will help Liz with her breathing and the weakness she has been experiencing as of late.  She has two more rounds of radiation scheduled.  One is taking place even as I write.

Needless to say, this was a severe blow to us.  We simply bowed our heads, wept, and prayed.  We else can we go, only He (Jesus) has the words of eternal life.  The nurses tried to comfort us and my response was, "we are not without hope."  The Scriptures declare, "For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's (Romans 14:8)."  In stating this Scripture that doesn't mean we have given up on Liz.  We are back in the thick of it and we will stand with her and having done all continue to stand (Ephesians 6:13,14).

Prayerfully, the radiation treatment will be effective on the lymph nodes in her chest.  We still, however, need to deal with the spreading of the Lymphoma to other areas of Liz's body.  The doctors have used the terms, "serious," "emergency" and the like to stress the critical nature of the relapse.  The good thing is it has inspired them to be more aggressive in Liz's treatment.

They are wanting to reintroduce chemo treatments.  It will be an entire different set of drugs utilized.  Whereas it took about two to three hours to administer the previous chemo treatments, the next round will take three days to complete just one.  Obviously, Liz is facing tremendous obstacles.  Together we have faced this monster that seeks to destroy my beautiful bride.  Our hearts did hurt initially, but it just drove us deeper into the arms of our Lord.

Brother Flip Benham and the OSA Denver saints have been phenomenal in their response to this latest set back.  I can't tell you how much they have been there for us.  There they are at the battlefront of the culture wars that are savaging our nation, and they still have taken the time to reach out to Liz and I in our time of need.  We are humbled and grateful for such Christian friendship and fellowship.

I wrote this letter to them that Flip hopefully was able to read to those gathered at the final rally last night.  Please receive this from Liz and I, even though you may not be in Denver fighting the battle for men's souls, the lives of the little ones, and the future of our nation.



Dearest Flip, OSA Leaders, and Saints of the Most High God,

The Lord richly bless you! I regret with all my heart that I cannot be with you on this historical occasion. For days I had struggled in prayer about whether to stay with my wife or go to be with all my wonderful brothers and sisters in the battle for men's souls, the lives of the little ones, and the future of our nation.

Liz was struggling and it became clear she was in danger of suffering a relapse. It came down to the last 24 hours and God in His mercy gave me the direction I needed. So, I canceled my flight to be with you and took Liz to the hospital instead. She is readmitted and though it is not conclusive the doctors think the Lymphoma has been reactivated. I wish I could say Liz and I faced this prospect with great faith and assurance, but alas our human frailty became evident as with much tears our hearts sank. She has endured so much and I want so bad to ease her suffering and take it all away, but I can't.

In admitting this painful truth, I want you all to know our faith in God is not for sale. We still trust Him explicitly. And like Job before us, “Though you slay me, yet I will praise you!”

Flip: If I could write to God a list of attributes I would want God to give me in a friend, you excel them all. I love you brother with all my heart. You have been the friend that has stuck closer than a brother. It feels very strange to not be by your side. I miss you dearly.

OSA Leaders and Pastors: God has privileged me to be with a company of men that I truly love, respect, and admire. Your faithfulness, example, and Christian witness is exemplary. I have treasured our times in the trenches and I want to thank each and everyone of you for the investment you have made in our lives. We love you all very much.

Dear Saints: You may be despised by this world, considered an embarrassment by the Church, but your shining example of abandoning your lives to Christ is highly prized in Heaven. Keep pressing on to the high calling and prize of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Liz, my family, and I once again want to thank each and every one of you for being there for us. You have prayed, loved, and supported us through the good, bad, and ugly. We are forever grateful for your help in bearing this burden and so you have fulfilled the law of Christ. May the Lord crown your efforts with Kingdom success in Denver and I so look forward to running the race and fighting the battle with the finest people on planet earth in the near future.



July 14, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you! Liz is resting comfortably. We almost had to bring her back to the hospital, but thankfully the doctors let her stay home. She has been struggling with a cough and possible infection on the side of her head.

Yesterday, was the day from hell. We struggled about bringing Liz back in, our septic tank motor went out, the IRS is auditing me, and I misplaced three hundred dollars. Thankfully, I retraced my steps and was reunited with the three hundred dollars.

Cassia and Charity are off to our Church's youth camp in San Antonio. Destiny and Cori are on their way to our national event in Denver CO. Our good friend Becky Puckett is taking them and overseeing their welfare. I've been doing my best to help alleviate some of the burden from our children by giving them opportunities to go to camp and short term mission trips. They have endured much as they have for many months witnessed their mother's suffering. These are much needed breaks for them as I desire for them to still enjoy some semblance of childhood fun in the midst of this ordeal. It is a juggling act, but we press on in Jesus' name.

If Liz remains stable, I plan on leaving on Wednesday, July 20th and fly to Denver to join Destiny and Cori at the OSA national event. Would appreciate very much your prayers for Liz, my family, and the ministry in Denver. It will be intense. The battle is raging and we need to muster all the conviction, courage, and brokeness that is necessary to represent well the Lord's heart, mind, and message to that region.

As I head to Denver, keep in mind this quote by R.C. Sproul, John Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley, &"The church is safe from vicious persecution at the hands of the secularist, as educated people have finished with stake-burning, circuses and torture racks. No martyr's blood is shed in the secular west, so long as the church knows her place and remains quietly at peace on her modern reservation.
Let the babes pray and sing, and read their Bibles, continuing steadfastly in their intellectual retardation; the church's extinction will not come by sword or pillory, but by the quiet death of irrelevance. But let the church step off the reservation, let her penetrate once more the culture of the day and the. . . face of secularism will change from a benign smile to a savage snarl.&"

There are a few Christians that will dare to step off the reservation in Denver. Our desire is to penetrate our corrupt culture with the Gospel of the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. May demonic strongholds come crashing down; may the powers of darkness be pushed back, and may God delight in setting many captives free. Brethren, PRAY FOR US!!!


Rusty, Liz, and the Thomas Nation

July 8, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you!  The Scriptures teach, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6,7)."

I have great news to share that should bring joy and relief to every intercessor that has stood in the gap for Liz and our family.  We just received the glorious news from Liz's bone marrow biopsy.  She is cancer free!  They couldn't find a trace of it!  Our family has wept in the presence of God and has basked in His goodness towards us.

This has been a long, fierce, and burdensome battle.  We could not have made it through without the Lord and the faithful brethren who have prayed, loved, and supported us through this ordeal.  Though there may be some more that we have to work through, we are greatly encouraged by the report of the Lord.  In fact, that was our prayer right before the biopsy was taken.  We prayed Isaiah 53:1-5, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?  For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Prayerfully, Liz will be released from the hospital today and we will take her home for another glorious reunion with our family.  Please pass on the good report and let us all send a big THANK YOU to God for being merciful to a bunch of sinners like us who have been saved by His grace.



July 5, 2005

Dear Saints,

Just received a phone call from Rusty at 11:30 AM EST, Tuesday, July 5th.  He has asked us to be in prayer for Liz as they have discovered a nodule on her heart and are planning to do a biopsy this afternoon.  They will also be doing a bone marrow biopsy at the same time.  This is difficult news for all of the Thomas family.  It has hit Rusty particularly hard.  We had a strong time of prayer together for the healing of Liz and for Jesus to especially touch each one of the kids. 

There are times, when we are going though the most difficult situations - temporarily overwhelmed by pressures from without and from within, that it is hard for the best of us to pray.  This is where brothers and sisters in Christ come in.  We can and we will pray for the healing of Liz and pray for God to surround the entire Thomas nation with His arms of love.  “Carry each other's burdens, and in this way fulfill the law of Christ”  Galatians 6:2.   

In Christian love,


July 2, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

  The Lord richly bless you!  Some of the kids and I just returned from visiting Liz.  She is out of the ICU unit and has been transferred back to the Oncology Department on the 6th floor.  She is in good spirits and the visit from the children cheered her heart.  

She will probably remain in the hospital for a few more days.  The doctors want to run some more tests, do another cat scan, and have scheduled another bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday.  It is a painful procedure, so please continue to lift her up to the Throne of Grace.

Some of the samples of the fluid they took from around her heart and the biopsy of her heart have come back in.  So far, so good.  They found no trace of the Lymphoma.  I don't know for sure if that is a conclusive report, but it is encouraging.



June 30, 2005

#2 Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you!  This past weekend was our Church's anniversary.  Our former pastor, Rick Shearouse was there to inspire the church to press on to our high calling and prize.  Our pastor, John Wachsmann, asked Pastor Rick to pray for Liz and our family.  As he was praying he mentioned that the love amongst our family is a "battleship love," which, needless to say, was a peculiar term to pray. 

That very same day Liz developed some difficulty with eating food and swallowing drink.  For two weeks prior she had struggled with pains in her chest and back.  She thought it was muscle related.  On Sunday, however, it took a turn for the worse and ill-affected her eating and swallowing capabilities.  Every time she tried to gain hydration or nutrition a shooting pain struck her chest and back area.  She would literally clutch her chest and double over in pain. 

I knew then we had to go back to the hospital.  We checked into the emergency room and they ran some tests.  They determined she had fluid build up in her heart sac.  They immediately went to prepare her for surgery.  This was the third operation since this ordeal began.  They went in and drained the fluid, created a window to allow her heart to drain so it won't re-accumulate, did a biopsy, and took a sample of the fluid.  The first part of the surgery was successful.  She can breathe better, swallow without pain, and her vital signs are where they ought to be.

We are now waiting to hear back about the biopsy and fluid specimen.  This may help determine what is the source of Liz's ongoing struggle with her chest area.  She has had infection, pneumonia, fluid build-up, and constriction of breathing throughout this long bout with Lymphoma cancer.  Prayerfully, these tests will determine whether or not this is part of the cancer or something else entirely.  Of course, we are praying for a good report that Liz is cancer free.

On the day I had to take Liz back to the hospital I gathered the kiddos and we all huddled up together in prayer.  I reminded them of the "battleship love" prayer by Pastor Rick.  I told them "All hands on deck and man your battle stations."  I then reminded them of the cross and what our Lord bore on our behalf.  In fact, my older children and I watched "The Passion of the Christ" right before this latest episode with Liz.  I told the kiddos this is the cross we must bear during this season of life.  If it seems a little heavy at times, just remember our Lord and the Via Dolorosa, the road of suffering traversed by our Lord.  This is not a sprint with a cross hanging around our neck, it is a marathon, a labor of love, we have been privileged to bear.

While we were in the emergency room, the Lord was gracious to us.  Liz, as you can imagine, was in despair at the prospect of having to go back to the hospital.  (Please pray for her mental state as well)  As soon as I got Liz situated with the emergency room I went to the Oncology department to make sure they would follow up with Liz.  While I was gone Liz was placed in a room with three different stations.  The station next to her was occupied by a woman suffering from a migraine headache.  She was crude and rude.  She cussed like a sailor and bragged about her sexual escapades and amazingly related them to her headaches. 

This was all unbeknownst to me when I returned to Liz.  So, as we were waiting for the next step in treatment, I decided to read to Liz from a great little book called "Basic Christianity" by John Stott.  It is one of the best books written if anyone was seeking the Lord and desired to know the truth about Biblical Christianity.  It would make a wonderful curriculum for a new beginners class in church.  I highly recommend this book to give out to those curious about our Lord, the Gospel, and Christianity. 

Anyway, as I was reading, both Liz and I became aware the lady next door quieted down as if she wanted to hear more of what we were reading.  Don't ask me why, but I knew that I knew that this lady was going to come around the curtain, enquire of the book and our Lord, and I was to give her the book.  Sure enough, in a matter of mere minutes she came to our station repenting of her rudeness and crudeness, asked about the book and the wonderful words she heard.  I told her I was expecting her and the Lord wanted her to have this book.  She was blown away and thanked us profusely.

This experience just lifted Liz's spirit and the depression left.  Both of us rejoiced as once again we saw the Lord use the suffering of my beloved bride to touch the life of another.  We prayed for her and then they whisked Liz off to surgery.  She is doing well resting in the ICU.  They may move her to the floor a little later on.  I had to come home to care for the children and I will be going back to see her later on this evening.

Thanks for your continual prayers.  You all all fulfilling the law of Christ by helping us bear the burden.  We are grateful and we love each and every one of you.



P.S.  The following messages came from our faithful friend Flip Benham as he helped send out the prayer alerts.

From Flip: Just received a phone call from Rusty at 10:55 EST.   He has asked that we pray for his precious Liz again.  He has just taken her to the doctor.  She is having difficulty breathing and swallowing.  They believe that this might be onset of pneumonia or bronchitis.  Liz has been really struggling these past few days.  I prayed for Rusty over the phone and asked the Great Physician Himself to clear up her lungs and then in a very special way to deposit the sunshine of His Love in her heart and mind that she may not be distraught over this set back.  Please focus on the fact that our God is able when you pray.

June 30 #1 I just talked to Rusty at 12:00 noon EST.  He told me that Liz came through the surgery remarkably well.  They were able to drain all the fluid from her heart and are presently awaiting results on the biopsy that they took from the wall of her heart.  They are looking for any signs of recurring lymphoma.  Our prayer, of course, is that the biopsy will prove that there is nothing cancerous left.

Rusty is doing well.  He is on his way back to see the kids.  Liz is recovering although not quite sure where she is and what is happening to her, a result of the medication.  We have all been amazed at the powerful warrior for Jesus our sister Liz Thomas has become.  Just yesterday Rusty had an opportunity to lead a lady to Christ who was cursing God in the bed right next to Liz's.  Liz's testimony has removed cursing from her mouth and put into it praises to almighty God.

Rusty will be writing to you all in the the next day or two.  Thank you so much for your prayers.


June 28, 2005
#2: Just talked to Rusty at 7:05pm EST.   They are taking Liz into surgery this evening to remove water that's surrounding her heart.  It appears that the walls of her heart are hardening.  The doctors are not at all certain what is causing this.  Please pray brothers and sisters that our Lord will bring healing to Liz.  Thank you so much for all your encouraging phone calls and for letting us know that you're praying for her and the entire Thomas nation.  We love you. ~Flip

#1: I received a call from Rusty 11:30 AM EST. Liz had a very rough night last night. She's having great difficulty swallowing. The pain in her chest is almost unbearable every time she attempts to swallow. Yesterday when she was at the hospital they ran a tube down her throat looking for pneumonia or bronchitis and said they found nothing. Rusty has taken Liz to the emergency room this morning. Please pray that the doctors find something or best of all, that Dr. Jesus would remove whatever it is causing her such excruciating pain. Please pray prayers of encouragement for Rusty and Liz's hearts. They have been through a lot and it appears they will be going through more. Pray that our Lord Jesus will bring them forth as pure gold. Thank you all so much for joining with us in waging this prayer battle for Liz's health. We love you all. Pray without ceasing. In Christian love, Flip.

June 28, 2005

From Flip: Just received a phone call from Rusty at 10:55 EST.  He has asked that we pray for his precious Liz again.  He has just taken her to the doctor.  She is having difficulty breathing and swallowing.  They believe that this might be onset of pneumonia or bronchitis.  Liz has been really struggling these past few days.  I prayed for Rusty over the phone and asked the Great Physician Himself to clear up her lungs and then in a very special way to deposit the sunshine of His Love in her heart and mind that she may not be distraught over this set back.  Please focus on the fact that our God is able when you pray.

June 12, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you! This past Friday Liz and I went to see the eye doctor at Scott and White Hospital in Temple, TX. They did a number of examinations to determine her condition, the extent of the damage, and to map out a strategy to bring healing to her eyes.

Dr. Bindley did state that there was some improvements since he last saw her in the hospital, but there is still a ways to go. He is turning her over to another eye specialist that deals specifically with the cornea of the eye. He also gave her a steroid eye drop that is suppose to help her cope better with the light sensitivity. Liz has used sun glasses even in the midst of a darkened room for a couple of months now.

Prayerfully these steps will help strengthen her eyes in order for Dr. Brindley to one day soon perform surgery that will rebuild her tear ducts. Her eyes constantly drip with tears. We should have taken stock in tissues. All in all, they seem to think given a little time Liz's eyes should get better. All we know is by Jesus' stripes she was healed. We are just looking for the manifestation.

As of late, Liz has struggled once again with a cough and ear ache. This condition has really affected her sleep. It might mean more infection. I tried to call the doctor, but he is on vacation. I may have to take her back to get another check up. Though there are still struggles, our eyes are upon our Lord. We trust that He not only spared Liz's life, but will complete the healing process and she will recover all.

Thanks for all of you who still remember us in prayer and have helped us through this ordeal. May God's richest blessing be yours. We love you all.



June 2, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you!  Proverbs 25:25 states, "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."  For the last several months the Thomas Nation has dwelt in a parched land of sickness and threat of death.  Today, like cool waters upon our thirsty souls, we received wonderful news.  The doctors all agreed, "no more chemo."  It is time for Liz to take a break.  The results of the pet and cat scans revealed minor conditions.  The cat scan showed minute debris in her chest.  They think it is possible residual scarring, while the pet scan showed some inflammation.  But all in all, they think the cancer is gone.  Praise God for His tender mercies and lovingkindnesses! 

In six or eight weeks, Liz will have to be scanned again to monitor her progress.  The next step in the battle, however, is to aggressively pursue healing in her eyes.  We already have set up her next appointment with the Optomology Department.  Liz has suffered greatly with this strange eye condition.  It is limiting her ability to see.  How we pray there will be no lasting ill affects upon her eyesight.

Due to her last stay in the hospital, her physical therapy sessions were put on hold.  We are hoping soon that Liz will get back into the routine and her therapy will continue.  In spite of this set back though, Liz is still showing incredible progress in her walking ability.  She is not completely walking in her natural stride yet, but she is cautiously taking some steps.  Interestingly enough, both mother and youngest daughter, Torah, are learning to walk together.  It is such a wonderful sight to behold. 

The last thing the doctors told us is to do what we know to do and that is to pray.  He said, "We are not out of the woods yet."  Thankfully, most of the doctors and nurses recognize God's intervention in Liz's case and God's gracious answers to our many prayers.  So, we pass on the orders of our doctors to all the faithful intercessors who have stood in the gap for Liz and our family, PRAY! 



May 20, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you!  I just returned home to our kiddos.  Liz is resting well in the hospital.  They have given her fluids, antibiotics for an ear infection, a blood transfusion, and she is receiving some long overdue eye care.  Liz was so grateful.  She has suffered for such a long time with her eyes.  The eye doctors are thankfully becoming more aggressive with their help and expertise. 

Many of you have prayed for Liz's eyes and God is at work.  In fact, I just got off the phone with Liz and she was greatly encouraged by their treatments, concern, and thorough examinations.  The majority of the eye doctors are Christians and Liz's plight has personally touched many of them. 

I talked to another doctor and he thinks Liz will continue in the hospital until Tuesday.  They want to make sure her blood count rises to where it needs to be before releasing her back home to the Thomas Nation.  Thanks to each and every one who responded like the "Minute Men" to pray for her and our family. 

While in the hospital yesterday, I read this Psalm over my wife.  It was just what the "Great Physician" ordered.  I pray it blesses and ministers to you at least half as much as it did us!  "I Will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.  O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.  O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.  Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.  And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.  I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication.  What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?  Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.  Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever (Psalm 30)."



May 19, 2005

From Flip: Just heard from Rusty at 11:16 EST.   It appears that they are going to keep Liz in the hospital for about five days.  It seems that Liz is suffering from the cumulative effect of chemo therapy.  Rusty talked with Liz's sister in GA who works at an oncology unit and she said that this isn't at all out of the ordinary.  Remember Liz's weight is down to 121 pounds. Rusty has been very concerned at her progressive downward spiral regarding her weight.

Again, all appears to be the cumulative effect of chemo therapy.  Please keep Liz and Rusty in your prayers.  Shekinah, the oldest, is having her ballet recital tonight and so wishes that her mom could be there.  Pray that Shekinah dances unto the Lord in honor of her precious mom and pray for the entire Thomas nation.

Things are looking better than we thought.  Thank God!

May 18, 2005

1:12 PM – Pray for Liz

From Flip:  Just received a call from Rusty at 2:02 EST.   He asked me to send out an urgent email to all of those who have been praying for Liz.  Liz passed out while Rusty was gone.  Of course this scared the kids and a friend who was visiting.  They thought they had lost their mom.  Rusty had them call 911, but when Rusty got home it appeared that Liz was doing better.  They have placed calls into the doctors and are awaiting their response.  Please pray that this small set back will simply be another step in Liz's full and complete recovery.  Rusty is very concerned.  We love you all.

1:45 PM – Liz Update

From Flip:   Just spoke with Rusty at 2:35 EST.   They are taking Liz to the hospital.  They are going to give her blood.  Rusty is very concerned.  The doctors think this might be a reaction to the chemo therapy and that is our hope.  Rusty just got the discouraging word that SSI (Supplimental Security Income disability) is not going to help with the finances for their medical bills.  Keep them in your prayers.  Our God is able to provide.

May 12, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you! Liz and I just returned from the Scott and White Hospital. Liz had some lab work done, met with her Oncology doctor, and under went her sixth round of chemo. After completing her treatment, one of the Christian nurses presented her with a Ribbon of Courage Award. Along with it, she added her own personal comment, "Congratulations Liz, you are an amazing woman and I admire your strength and faith! It has been a blessing to know you. God bless you, Rusty, and your precious family. Godspeed! Betsy."

Though it appears the worse is behind us, there are still some struggles in this bitter/sweet season we find ourselves in. Liz's eyes have gotten worse. She can hardly open them. Though she is not blind, she still cannot keep them open long enough to truly see. There is much burning, tremendous sensitivity to light, and constant tearing. This has caused her posture to be bowed over. It is heart wrenching to see my wife in a constant state of being bowed over and crumpled up.

After we talked to the doctor about this debilitating situation Liz and I prayed. In the midst of crying out to God, my thoughts ran to the Scriptures. I was reminded of an incident with our Lord and a woman that was bowed over for eighteen years. This became the basis of our prayers. The word of God states, "And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his donkey from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day (Luke 13:11-16)?"

It looks like Liz will need to go back to the eye clinic for more treatment. We pray the Lord will loose her from this infirmity and their services will not be needed.

Liz has also been losing weight. She is down to 126 pounds. They don't believe it is associated with the cancer. They think it relates to the chemo treatments. Perhaps, this is Liz's final round. In a few weeks she will have a cat scan and pet scan done. This should determine once and for all whether or not the cancer is gone and further chemo treatments will be necessary. Please pray for a clean bill of health. I believe so much of the struggle is the many medications that she is on. Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease for a time.

Liz, the other day, took her first unassisted steps. Her physical therapy is moving along quite well. Though the majority of her time is spent in the wheel chair and bed, she is beginning to stand more and walk with a walker. On a side note that's related, she asked me today what I wanted for my 49th birthday. I told her that I wanted her to be able to walk. She has about a month to accomplish my birthday present.

Many of you have contacted us desiring updates. I was grateful to learn that many of you still pray and think of Liz and our family. The burden has been great, but many of you have been there to help carry the load. What can I say to express our appreciation, except we love you all very much.



April 22, 2005

Dear Champion of the Lord and the Preborn,

The Lord richly bless you! We have heard from a few folks requesting an update on the progress of my lovely wife Liz. There is much to report. Before I get into the particulars, our heartfelt thanks once again goes out to each and every one of you who have prayed, wept, believed, and cared for Liz and our family during this difficult time. You were as springs of water in the midst of a desert.

This ordeal, though tough at times, did serve to help strengthen our faith, renew our love, and teach us more about true servanthood. Most of our marriage was based upon the typical give and take model. Each one tried to meet the needs of the other, hoping for a little something in return. Though that may not be overtly evil and perhaps a little selfish, it still was not the fullness of Jesus' example.

For the first time in my life, as a husband, God afforded me the opportunity to love, serve, and care for my wife without her having the ability to compensate. Most of our married life Liz attempted to be a faithful helpmate. Her life's commitment to me can easily be summed up in Ruth's vow to Naomi, "And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God (Ruth 1:16)."

After twenty years of pursuing this course, I now have had the opportunity to reciprocate. With Liz at death's door for three months, her reviving brought with it some different kinds of death to me personally. No longer could I go to where the battle was raging. Our ministry opportunities were all canceled. My love for preaching was set aside. Our whole world changed. It now revolved around Liz and the family and everything else had to take a back seat. In Liz's case, I had to sacrifice the sacrifice in order to be faithful in my duty to my wife and family. It has not been easy, but well worth it. We have all grown through this process and we are grateful.

On Wednesday, Liz had a cat scan done. The results were mixed. All the infected areas that previously had the Lymphoma are all gone. Praise the Lord! However, there were some trouble spots that the doctors don't know for sure what they are. She had some nodules appear in her chest. This could be scarring or the last traces of the Lymphoma in her lungs. Overall they said her lungs have vastly improved since the last cat scan.

The cat scan also revealed some kidney stones. They are small and thus not painful, at least, not yet. We pray they will pass without much discomfort for Liz. She has endured so much. Their last note on the cat scan stated, "No CT evidence for progression of disease compared to the study of February 14, 2005." This is a good report!!!

Yesterday, Liz had her 5th round of chemo. Quite possibly, she has one more round to go. After the 6th round, they will do another cat scan, plus a pet scan. This will determine conclusively what these nodules are and if any further chemo treatments will be necessary. We pray it will all end with the 6th round.

On a side note, God answered our prayers concerning the chemo treatments. We asked God to direct the chemo to show no mercy and give no quarter to the cancer and that's it, no side affects. Well, her last round did not have any negative affects. She didn't even drop in her blood counts and become susceptible to germs, bacteria, or disease. God answers prayer!

Much of Liz's recovery, especially as it relates to her eyes should speed up after chemo ceases to be a factor. Her eyes still trouble her, but the eye doctor seemed to think that once chemo ends, her eye lashes will grow back and this will help heal her eyes.

Physical therapy has been a big boost. Though Liz is not yet walking, there has been much improvement. She is getting stronger every day. Her range of motion in her lower leg, ankles, and feet are increasing. She is standing more. We pray soon she will be able to walk.

All in all, the report is good. We do have some months in this season still left that we have to walk out. God's grace is sufficient. We covet your prayers. They have kept us in the midst of this raging storm. God has promised to never to leave us or forsake us. He has promised to meet all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. He has proven Himself faithful. We love and miss you all!



For many previous prayer alerts and testimies of awesome ansers by our Lord Jesus click on December 8, 2004 - March 30, 2005 in regards to Liz Thomas and her battle to overcome Lymphoma.