Prague is home. We have a good life here. We have a sweet church, good friends, a house that serves us well, and a city we like living in.
We also have lots of people we love holding the ropes for us in the USA. Parents, friends, family, churches. A whole network of supporters that makes it possible for us to be here.
One of the toughest questions we’ve faced the past few days has been deciding where to meet the enemy of cancer. We have no desire to leave Prague, but going through a trial like this in your own culture has its advantages. And this isn’t just happening to us, but to Eliza’s grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins too. Not to mention that we have lots of friends who don’t usually get to be with us, who would love the chance to surround us and carry us through this battle.
So we’ve talked ourselves in circles, prayed the “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are fixed on you” prayers, gone back and forth, and decided that we feel good about doing Eliza’s treatment here in Prague.
There’s nothing heroic about being in Prague, just like there’s nothing magical about being in America. We’re not doing this to make a point. If we thought Eliza would get better care in Charlotte, we’d go to Charlotte– just like if we lived in Charlotte and thought she’d get better care somewhere else, we’d go there. The fact is that we have listened very carefully, asked lots of questions, compared notes, and are absolutely confident she’s getting the same great care here that we’d expect in the States. We trust our doctors and believe they’re doing good work. (As one medical friend pointed out, thank God for a pediatrician who notices something not quite right in a quick regular checkup and jumps on it.)
The fact that the quality of care is the same frees us up to look at other factors. And for us, we feel that the stability of staying in Prague will be important for our family as we fight this battle. We don’t have to pull the boys out of school, or leave our house suddenly and indefinitely. (Been there, done that.) Between rounds of chemo, Eliza can sleep in her own bed. Friends, school, routines, church all can be familiar things that bring some sanity.
We also believe our community here is up to the challenge of caring for some needy Hunts in the next few months. Teammates are already picking up our slack, in addition to looking after us. We have a long list of people ready to translate over the phone if needed. Families (and single guys!) are bringing us dinner. Our boys are being treated like royalty. People know this will be a long haul, and they’re in it. Faith Community is ready to be our church. They are loving us well.
There are so many people who wish they could literally be by our side as we walk through this valley, and for most of you it just won’t be possible. We wish it were not so. We wish we could be close to grandparents and Uptown and seminary and college friends and cousins and Faith. But since it doesn’t work that way, we feel that staying in Prague is what’s best for our family.
I (Jake) was talking with a friend just a few days ago, before all this, who was nervous about their child being away from home for the first real length of time. We talked about how desperate we feel when it seems our kids are out of our control. But the fact is, we’re never in control. We can’t make their hearts beat or their lungs inflate, whether they’re 11 months or 11 years. The point is, “all you can do is pray” is actually a really good place to be. When the illusion of control is stripped away, we see more clearly than usual.
None of us can ensure that Eliza beats cancer and thrives; that depends entirely on a good and all-powerful God. “All” we can do is pray. So for the many of you whose hearts hurt to do more, thank you. Your prayers and encouraging words and reminders of God’s goodness do more than you know.
“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” Hebrews 13:14