Pray for Matthew’s surgery Friday morning in San Francisco

At the KC airport Monday preparing to fly to San Francisco

Matthew and I are in San Francisco this week. Please pray for his surgery this Friday. He will check in at 5:30 am for his morning surgery which will last several hours. The goal is for the surgeon to successfully re-route nerves from his spinal accessory nerve and maybe from some intercostal (rib) nerves so that they will grow to give him function at the suprascapular and deltoid. Practically speaking, this means that after the nerves grow (over a year or two) he would be able to support his left shoulder and perhaps move the shoulder and upper arm. The surgeon will not know until she is in the middle of the operation what the conditions of his donor nerves are and to what degree they can be transferred. Please pray for much wisdom for the surgical team, for complete success of the nerve transfers, for safety for Matthew and then for quick recovery.

He will remain in the hospital over the weekend and we will find out early next week when he can be discharged and when we can fly home.

Daniel made this cheesecake for the 4th of July
Our neighbor friend, who is Ariela’s age, helped us explore a creek near our house
I recommend this book for practical pointers on praying for us and your other missionaries

Thank you all so much for praying,

Todd

Our daily prayer calendar (July 2020, The Prices Write, part 2)

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer [’stone of help’], saying,
‘Thus far the LORD has helped us.’”
(1 Sam. 7:12 NASB)

Daily Prayer Calendar (July 2020)

(For this prayer list formatted as a calendar designed to be printed out, download below:)

July 1 Pray for Todd the make daily, efficient progress in editing the 5 Bible translations

July 2 Praise God for providing a house, car, truck, van & shipping transportation fees

July 3 Pray for Alen, Kada & Sasha as they translate the Bible into the Arli language

July 4 Praise God for freedom of worship in our country

July 5 Pray we as a family will edify others & be edified through worship & teaching on Sundays

July 6 Pray for Matthew & Todd traveling to San Francisco today, for safety & health

July 7 Praise God for providing free housing for Todd in San Francisco during Matthew’s hospital visit

July 8 Pray for God’s guidance as Matthew meets with the surgeon today

July 9 Pray for successful nerve transfer surgery for Matthew tomorrow

July 10 Pray for safety during Matthew’s operation and a smooth & quick recovery

July 11 Pray for minimal pain for Matthew & that he will not need high-powered pain killers

July 12 Pray for stamina for Elizabeth and Stephen’s stressful jobs & training

July 13 Pray for quick recovery & hospital discharge for Matthew

July 14 Pray for safe arrival of our belongings being shipped by sea from Croatia

July 15 Pray for our teammate, Joy Hill, in Budapest as she serves administratively in the Bible translation work

July 16 Praise that MK friends from Europe were also in KC for Kirsten & Ariela to spend time with

July 17 Pray for Tracey, Todd’s sister, managing his parents’ care for so long

July 18 Pray for Kirsten soon learning to drive & for Todd teaching her, for safety & quick learning

July 19 Pray for wisdom in decisions for Todd’s parent’s future care

July 20 Pray for Zoki & Stanoje translating the Bible into the Ludari language, for accuracy, efficiency & clarity

July 21 Pray for God sightings for Jonathan, to see life through the eyes of faith

July 22 Praise for the kindness of Timothy’s mentor investing in his life

July 23 Pray for Natasha & Renata translating the Bible into Bayash language, to clearly & accurately translate

July 24 Praise for the huge blessing Pam’s sister & family have been since we returned to KC. Today is their anniversary!

July 25 Pray for enough social interaction for Pam’s dad with Alzheimer’s in a Dallas nursing home

July 26 Praise for the blessing of having a boy next door Ariela’s age that she can play & socialize with

July 27 Pray for good friends for Daniel in KC & adjustments to all the transitions at this important age (12)

July 28 Pray for Biljana & Djena translating the Bible into Chergash, for a clear & accurate translation

July 29 Pray for wisdom & strength for Pam unpacking our belongings when the shipment arrives from Croatia

July 30 Pray for Goran & Naki translating the Bible into Gurbet, for good, accurate progress translating

July 31 Pray for Goran & others to be able to complete audio recordings of more chapters of Luke

“Thus far the Lord has helped us” (The Prices Write, July 2020)

This letter is a “stone of remembrance”–a testimony to give praise to God for His provision. As many of you know, our family has gone through major trials and transitions since January 18 when Matthew had his motorcycle accident. Through all of it, we have seen God provide our every need on each step of this journey.

When we needed a place to live, He provided a 6-bedroom house for us to rent in Independence, MO (Kansas City). This gives us room for Matthew to live with us and for Todd to have a home office for Bible translation work. The Lord used church friends to provide free furniture to furnish the house and willing hands to help us move everything.

When our van broke down and would require thousands of dollars to repair, He provided $25,000 in unexpected gifts so we could buy a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan with only 13,000 miles on it and provide it with a 7-year bumper-to-bumper warranty.

When we needed a second car, especially for teaching Kirsten to drive and for her to use to take early college classes and get to a job, friends donated a 2004 Volkswagen Passat in great condition.

When Matthew needed transportation, another friend donated a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500!

When we needed to transport our belongings from Croatia back to the States (pictured above at the warehouse), our home church gave a very large donation to cover the shipping and importing fees. (It should arrive sometime the latter half of July.)

Now that we are getting very close to the end of the recommended time window of six months in which Matthew needs to have nerve surgery, He has provided a surgeon who will do the operation. And just for fun, God also provided a sweet, totally white kitten, whom we have named Bela (which is Serbian for “white”). We can say with Samuel, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (see 1 Sam 7:12).

Matthew and Todd will fly to San Francisco July 6, Matthew will have his surgery on July 10, and we will return to Kansas City when he is discharged from the hospital, which will hopefully be the following week. The goal of the surgery is to transfer intercostal (rib) nerves and a spinal accessory nerve to his deltoid and suprascapular so that after a year or so of the nerves growing they will provide lift to his shoulder and upper arm stump.

I (Todd) am working with the Roma translators in editing, correcting, and improving their drafts of Luke chapters 22 and 23 in the Arli, Bayash, Chergash, Gurbet, and Ludari languages. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are not yet sure when I can travel back to Croatia or Serbia to meet in person with the translators.

Thank you for being God’s instruments in our lives to provide for us through your prayers, giving and encouragement.

Todd, Pamala, Matthew, Kirsten, Daniel, & Ariela

Matthew to have nerve transfer surgery; van need met!

Thank you for praying. God has graciously answered prayer for our vehicle needs. Through three very generous donors, we received funds to buy a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan with only 13,000 miles and a seven-year full-coverage warranty. We are so grateful for your prayers and God’s provision.

Matthew will have nerve transfer surgery the week of July 6 at UCSF. He and Todd will fly out to San Francisco in time for an exam by the surgeon, followed by surgery and recovery. We don’t know precisely how long the process will take, but we plan to be in San Francisco for a week or two. We have been researching and praying about this surgery since the accident (which occurred January 18), and Matthew’s six-month window in which surgery should be performed closes July 18.

It is a big answer to prayer that the surgeon has agreed to do the procedure during this time window. Thank you for praying for all the research and medical tests leading to this point. Please pray for a successful surgery, and that the results of having the intercostal (rib) nerves and spinal accessory nerve transferred will be that Matthew will be able to lift his shoulder and upper arm after the year or two needed for the nerves to grow

Please continue to pray for us as we unpack from the move and set up the house we are renting in Independence (KC), Missouri. Please continue to pray for strength, grace, and efficient progress in unpacking and setting up the house.

Please also pray for one of our Roma Bible translators and his wife, one-year-old daughter, and mother-in-law in Croatia. They have come down with symptoms that look like COVID-19. Please pray for their protection and rapid healing.

We are blessed to have you as friends and prayer partners!
Thank you,
Todd

2 out of 3 vehicle needs met!

Just a quick update on our vehicle needs. Thank you all for praying. 1) As I mentioned in the previous update, a car has been given to us by friends, and we are so thankful. It has helped us through a very tight spot and will be a fantastic second card for our family, especially as Kirsten learns to drive and commutes to school and a job. 2) Another friend has decided to donate a pickup truck to Matthew! Our friend will do some work to get it ready, and then we will go to Freeport, Illinois, to pick it up, and Matthew will drive it home. Praise God! 3) One of our supporting churches is sending $5,000 toward our van need. Praise God for the generosity of God’s people. Please pray for wisdom whether we should use those funds to repair our current, older van, or for God’s provision of remaining funds so we can buy a replacement van.

Thank you all for praying.
Todd

The truck being donated to Matthew!

Update on car needs, housing provision and Matthew’s nerve surgery options

  • Thank you all for praying for us. Last night I sent out an SOS prayer request about our need for vehicles. Less than 18 hours later, we were driving a car that is being given to us, and were able to return the rental van with before being charged for extra time usage! The Lord provides (Yahweh Yireh)! Very kind friends, who used to teach Daniel and Ariela in AWANA on our 2015 furlough, are giving us this car which we can use as our second car. We will use it for Kirsten to learn to drive and get to college classes and a job this Fall. Praise God for His provision and for the kindness of the Body of Christ.
2004 VW Jetta, with 189k miles just given to us, PTL!
  • A missionary friend put us in touch with a mechanic who is willing to look at our van and can probably repair it for much less than we have been quoted. Pray for wisdom whether it is best to repair the van, for ability for the mechanic to repair it less expensively, or for provision of a different van. (The ones we have priced so far are too expensive.)
  • That same friend gave us leads on a couple cars which might be possibilities for Matthew. Please continue to pray for an expensive, reliable car that Matthew can buy very soon.
Ariela enjoying time with her big brother, Matthew. They built this castle while we were staying at the guesthouse.
  • Matthew had a video appointment with the surgeon in San Francisco and heard most of the results of his neurogram. The neurogram confirmed that at least three of the nerve roots were completely torn from the spinal cord and that two others were damaged. Matthew has decided to have surgery to transfer some intercostal nerves and the spinal accessory nerve which, if successful, would grow to provide some movement for the deltoid and shoulder. July 18 marks the end of the six-month window in which nerve surgery should ideally be done. Matthew has sent in a request to the surgeon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to perform the surgery, and a backup request to the surgeon in San Francisco in case UW-Madison is not available in time. Please pray for the Lord’s will and that Matthew can have the nerve transfer surgery very soon.
Some of the very gracious saints who helped us move
House we are renting in Independence (KC, MO)
  • We are so thankful for a place to live. The $1/month house did not materialize, so we are renting a house for a year and our new address is 1803 S. Hawthorne Ave., Independence, MO 64052. We are grateful for all those from our home church who donated furniture to set up the house and helped us move.
Ariela with a smile in spite of 4 stitches after a bad fall
Ariela enjoying time with her cousin watching the ducks
Daniel having a great time skipping rocks with his cousin
  • Please continue to pray for Pamala as she continues to unpack and set up house.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support.

Todd

Urgent need for a vehicle

Please pray for us. Our van, the only vehicle we have, broke down and the repair estimates are between $4,500-6,000. The van itself has 180,000 miles on it and is only worth about $1,200. We went car shopping today, but the ones we looked at were quite expensive. If any of you know of reliable vehicles for sale at a low price, please let me know. We actually are also in need of a reliable and inexpensive second car for Kirsten to use, and Matthew also needs an inexpensive car since his was totaled and salvage in California. Thus the Prices are praying for 3 cars! 🙂 Please pray for the Lord’s provision.

Our daily prayer calendar for June 2020 (The Prices Write, part 2)

“But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.”
(Psalm 69:13 ESV)

This prayer list is formatted as a calendar for printing here:

June 1 Praise God for providing a house for us to rent in Kansas City

June 2 Today is the 60th anniversary of Todd’s parents, Max & Geri Price! Please pray for good health for them.

June 3 Pray for Matthew to have wisdom whether to have nerve transfer surgery

June 4 Praise God for the home where Todd & Matthew have been since April 1 which we’re still using until moving into our rental house

June 5 Pray as the author of His Word that God will guide us & the Arli Bible translators, working especially in Luke & John

June 6 Pray as we and friends from church move the furniture into the house in Kansas City today

June 7 Pray for refreshing worship & fellowship at church for our whole family

June 8 Pray as we set up the new house & get settled into our new neighborhood

June 9 Pray we will be able to find what we need when unpacking & setting up the house

June 10 Praise God that He gave Pam wisdom & strength for packing

June 11 Praise God for the furniture our church friends donated to us

June 12 Pray for long-term solution for Matthew’s left shoulder pain from the limb’s dead weight & compromised muscles

June 13 Praise for how our team in Croatia helped Pam so much with moving, especially at the end

June 14 Today is Stephen & Elizabeth’s 6th wedding anniversary! Pray for continual blessings.

June 15 Pray for Matthew for friendships in KC that will be really helpful, spiritually, emotionally & socially

June 16 Pray for efficiency for Todd leading & checking the Bible translation projects even with our move

June 17 Pray for our teammate, Joy Hill, in Budapest as she serves administratively in the Bible translation work

June 18 Pray for Gurbet translators for the Lord’s wisdom & insight in translating accurately & clearly

June 19 Pray God will give grace to Daniel for many adjustments with our move

June 20 Pray for Kirsten learning to drive, & for Todd teaching her, for safety & quick learning

June 21 Thank God for the father’s in our lives & pray they will always lead & serve for God’s glory. Happy Father’s Day!

June 22 Pray for Ludari translators to be accurate & clear in their translation work, currently in Luke & Acts

June 23 Pray for the power & presence of Jesus to be made manifest to Jonathan each day

June 24 Pray for good schooling & work situation for Timothy, for guidance for his future & for edifying close friends

June 25 Pray God will guide & empower us & the Bayash translators to clearly & accurately translate, in Luke & Joshua

June 26 Praise for friendships for Ariela on both sides of the ocean & for cousins here in the States

June 27 Praise & keep praying for health for both sets of our parents, especially at their age

June 28 Pray for wisdom for our 2 Bible translation consultants as they check, evaluate & make suggestions for the drafts of Luke

June 29 Praise for good health for all of us during these months of packing, transition & change

June 30 Pray God will strengthen us & the Chergash translators to make the translation clear & natural, currently in Luke, 1 & 2 Timothy

Back together as a family!

Family supper in KC (Lee’s Summit, MO) with Todd, Pamala, Timothy, Stephen, Elizabeth, Matthew, Kirsten, Daniel and Ariela (and Jonathan joined us on video chat from San Francisco)

We are back together as a family! Pamala, Kirsten, Daniel and Ariela arrived in Kansas City the night of May 26. The following day was our anniversary so the timing was perfect.

Together in time to celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary

We’ve located a house in Kansas City and plan to sign a one-year lease and move in the first week of June, Lord willing.

The kids on the porch swing of the house we plan to rent

God was gracious in answering prayer and giving Pamala strength to pack up our house in Croatia as a single parent and get our belongings on the truck. The shipment is in process now of going by land to the Croatian coast where it will then be transported by sea to the States, and then by land to our house in KC.

Our belongings loaded on the truck in Slavonski Brod, Croatia

There were many precious goodbyes and last visits Pam had with our Croatian and Roma colleagues. They were so helpful in helping get things moved out of the house.

Pamala saying goodbye to our church, Slavonski Brod Baptist Church
Pam with Sasha (left), Bible translator for Arli and Djena (right), Bible translator for Chergash
Gordana, wife of Zoran, Bible translator for Ludari, with new baby
Ariela, holding brand new baby of Stanoje (the other Bible translator for Ludari)
Ariela saying goodbye at the Zagreb, Croatia, airport with our sweet teammate, Lim Warner

Matthew is still waiting to hear the results from the neurogram he had done in San Francisco last month. We are eager to hear what this detailed image shows and whether it can demonstrate conclusively whether his nerves were pulled out of the spinal cord (avulsed) or only torn or bruised. He had another test (“sniff” test) and we are waiting for the final results of that, but it looks like it confirms that his diaphragm is not working at all on the left side. If you remember, this is important information since one treatment that has been offered is to reroute some of the nerves which currently go to his ribs for breathing, and yet he already has less ability to breath due to the damage to his phrenic nerve to his diaphragm.

Please pray for wisdom for Matthew to know whether or not to have surgery to reroute some intercostal (rib) nerves and/or the spinal accessory nerve, in order to try to restore movement to his shoulder.

We are still waiting to hear from the prosthetics company whether our insurance will cover the prostheses we would like him to have.

Our screen share while checking the Bayash draft of Luke 18

Even though separated by 7,000 miles, we were able to meet with the Bayash translators and our Bible translation consultant and edit their version of Luke chapters 17-19.

Thank you so much for praying for us a family as we navigate these changes, for Matthew’s healing and recovery and for continued fruitful progress on the Bible translations for Roma.

Todd & Pamala

Our things to be shipped to the States; Matthew’s treatment update

Packed bins ready to be loaded on the truck
Boxes ready to be shipped

FROM PAMALA:

In several hours, on Thursday morning in Croatia, the truck will arrive at our home to ship our bins, boxes and suitcases across the Atlantic!

Thank you for praying for me and the children during this marathon!!! As you see, God has once again answered prayer (in the way we like it)! Friends are helping me with the loading of the truck and distribution of our other home, office and school things.

Our hearts are with people on both sides of the ocean regardless of our residence. May 26 is our flight date. Thanks for praying that will indeed not be cancelled by the airlines.

And please continue to ask God for the perfect home for us in the Kansas City area. (We will know one way or another about one great option on May 22.) Our Forever Home of Heaven requires no packing!!! And no passport is needed for that citizenship, but your name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life upon heart repentance and belief in Jesus Christ!

Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day
Cookout with teammates in our back yard

FROM TODD:

Today Matthew had a video appointment with the surgeon in San Francisco. We had hoped to hear the results of the MRN (neurogram) and have the final piece of the knowledge puzzle to make a decision about potential surgery. Unfortunately, they have not finished processing all the data so we will have wait for another meeting next week. And in the meantime, we need to have one more test done locally in KC and need to get some of the medical records sent to a couple of the surgeons.

Please pray we can get all the test information conclusions and get them to the various surgeons. And pray especially for Matthew as he has to decide whether or not to do the surgery. To do the surgeries could restore some movement to his left shoulder so he could hold it up and raise his upper arm stump to some degree, which would be extremely helpful, especially in using a prosthesis in the future. At the same time, surgeries have risks, and he would be sacrificing some of the muscles which help him breath and some back muscle functions, since the nerves which currently go there would be re-routed (transferred) to his shoulder.

By the time Pamala and the kids make it to the States, it will have been over four months since Todd left, and over three months since we saw each other during their visit to Matthew in San Francisco. Pam bought these signs for Matthew to remind him as we have gotten closer to the time when we will see each other again. They are hanging up at the house in Kansas City were Matthew and I are temporarily staying.