Greater Things in the Midst of Cancer

Since this spring of 2023, the Lord has been impressing Executive Director Les Yoder with an expansive vision for AgConnect Ministries.  Repeatedly, the Lord has been communicating the phrase “greater things.”  Les knows that the ministry will be advancing into new territory and greater levels of impact for the glory of God.

If you have followed Les’ story, you will recall that Les first sensed a clear call to devote his energy in Moldova during a visit in 2011.  However, later that year, he received a cancer diagnosis that took both him and his family through a journey of deepened dependence on the Lord.  And as He always does, God proved himself faithful.  Les went on to found AgConnect Ministries in 2013.

And now in the summer of 2023, Les and his wife Suzanne, along with their family members, find themselves in another leg of the journey that began in 2011.  Les’ recent test results reveal a recurrence of oral cancer.  A series of additional tests will soon be underway to determine the next steps forward in treatment.

While the news of recurring cancer is certainly not what anyone would wish to hear, Les has a peace that can only come from Jesus.  His hope is not anchored in preferrable test results and circumstances; it is in a God who goes before us and never fails us.  The God who gave the vision of “greater things” is the same God who knew the cancer test results long before anyone else did.  He is not surprised, and neither is He stoppable.

But what does this mean for Les, his family, and AgConnect Ministries today?  And how can you be a support?  

First and foremost, pray.  We serve a God who is attentive to the prayers of His people, and there is power when we unite ourselves in prayer.  Pray for health and wholeness for Les, peace and strength for him and his family throughout this journey, and wisdom for the doctors who will be providing treatment.  Also pray that the Lord would supply AgConnect Ministries with the people and financial resources needed to keep expanding God’s Kingdom through agriculture.

Secondly, if you wish to communicate words of encouragement to Les and the family, brief written messages such as texts and emails that don’t require an immediate (or any) response are very helpful and uplifting.  Because speech has been physically challenging for Les, please avoid phone calls.  With the heightened demands of scheduling medical appointments, shuffling ministry plans, and processing the news with family, Les is especially grateful for encouragement that doesn’t require him to formulate an immediate response.  Your prayers are felt, your kind messages are well-received, and your support is greatly appreciated!

Because further testing needs to be completed before a cancer treatment plan is solidified, other practical needs for the Yoder family are yet to be determined.  There may be new travel expenses such as gas and lodging based on where treatment occurs.  You can expect to see more details communicated in mid-to-late August as more testing and treatment information is available.

Even as so many unknowns hover ahead, Les is finding strength and assurance in God’s word.  The first half of Isaiah 66:9 (New Century Version) speaks powerfully to him in this season: “In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. Even in the midst of cancer, the Lord is birthing greater things in Les, his family, and AgConnect Ministries as a whole.  In all things, He is working for the good of those who love Him!

Thank you for your ongoing faithful prayers and support, especially during this challenging but promising season.

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