robyn in a pile of nica girls!

A dear, dear friend, Robyn Bickerton (or “Bickertwin,” as we like to tease them) is right now lying in an induced coma at Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara. She goes to college in Westmont, and was driving back up the Bay when for reasons we don’t yet know, her car flipped three times off the freeway. She sustained some head injuries and there is brain swelling, but the hospital she is at is actually really well known for their care of head injuries. And the mom of a woman from our church is a nurse at the hospital and was able to pray with the family! That is awesome!

We gathered at church last night for a few hours of prayer and praise and worship. it was a beautiful example of the body of Christ coming together to support each other and lift each other up. i realize more and more how blessed i am to have a second family that is a family of believers. And as I grow up and face more trials in my life, to surround myself with these people is such a comfort. We can’t understand what is going on, but we have faith in a Father with a bigger plan, and in that there is hope.

If you don’t know Robyn and her fam, but maybe want to know more and pray about them, this is what they have asked for prayer for:

Charlie, Susan and Melanie believe in the power of prayer and ask that you all continue to pray specifically for the following…

  1. 1. Miraculous healing of Robyn’s body.
  2. 2. Continued decrease in swelling in Robyn’s brain.
  3. 3. Wisdom, Discernment, and Peace as they communicate with doctors and make decisions.
  4. 4. Strength as a family as they move through this experience.
  5. 5. That the name of Jesus is exalted in all facets of this experience.

Robyn has spent this last summer living in Mexico and

Robyn and Karla en Mexico

doing missionary work. Last night at church we reflected on when we first saw her run up to our incoming caravan and grab her sister out of the car, and we remember her laugh, and her sparkle. She is in love with Jesus from her fingertips to her toes. On the drive back from Mexico, we talked about her experience and she encouraged me to go to Mexico for the summer. A few years ago, i remember talking to her and her sister before they entered college, and we talked about my travels to Central America, how they loved Spanish and wanted to travel and do missionary work, and my “solid” advice to them (which I’m sure their parents appreciated) was “it doesn’t matter how much it costs, as long as you’re having fun. just go.” And the girls have been all over! Mexico, Nicaragua, Kenya, Argentina, Boston. I love it. the world needs more Bickertwin.

Her dad, Charlie, is one of the greatest prayer warriors our church family has ever known. Last night at the beautifully spontaneous and powerful prayer and praise night, a friend remarked that he’s never had a conversation with Charlie that didn’t both start and end with prayer of thanks and asking for God’s direction. What a testament. He is also a fantastic juggler and unicycler. No joke. The man can take a bite out of apples while juggling machetes and torches, AND speaking in Spanish, entertaining hundreds of kids on Mission 2 Mexico.

i love Rob’s mom, Susan, because she is a kind, sweet, and gentle woman of God. She has had a major role in where my life is today. Also a prayer warrior, she actually directly answered my prayers two years ago. We had come back from a mission trip to Nicaragua, and she and Charlie hosted a reunion dinner at their house. She asked me what my ideal, dream perfect job would be. At that point I had been unemployed quite some time, and not even Starbucks would hire me. but she said “Our God is big. What would it look like?” and I said “well….a dream would be something for Jesus, with kids, and something with Spanish.” A few weeks later she called me saying the private Christian school she worked at was looking for a junior high Latin and Spanish teacher. Talk about a miracle! She really helped my faith grow through her words and actions in that.

rob, mel, me in nica 2008

Robyn’s twin is Melanie. They are so alike but so different. I love watching them interact and asking if they can read each other’s thoughts. We have been on many mission trips together, the most memorable was probably Nicaragua (though maybe not the most favorite for Mel! haha sorry! She got really sick and her host dad got stabbed….it was….special). Melanie was just baptized in Mexico on this last mission trip. She is one of my favorite laughers…she has this silent laugh that also makes her kinda fall over in her seat.

And so we pray and we wait. We boldly ask God to heal Robyn, to bring strength and comfort to her family, wisdom for the doctors and nurses. It is incredible how quickly we can come together as a community, even across national borders…people are praying for Robyn all across the USA, in Mexico, in Kenya. We are texting, facebooking, emailing, Skyping prayers and encouragement. there isn’t a life that Robyn has come across that hasn’t been touched by her story…just today our friends in Kenya said that her story gave encouragement to a impoverished HIV-infected support group! We love you Rob…you are spunk and jazz for Jesus. He’s got you in the palms of His hands.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD….” Jeremiah 29 11-14