May 8, 2022 GoFundMe: I Finally Got COVID, Planning My USA Trip, Started New Cancer Treatment

Hello *Friends & Family,

I’m sorry I’m so slow getting an update out to you. To be honest, this has been the most difficult season for me, dealing with the side effects of the medications on my body & emotions. While healing from surgery, I got really sick in December. It turned into the worst sinus infection, & I ended up isolating through Christmas & New Year’s. In January, the fatigue & sinus problems continued, & I’ve been battling with these since then so, sadly, my capacity has been limited (and this is difficult for me because I love connecting with people) & I get overwhelmed easily. And just as my “to do” list increased with plans to visit the States, I got COVID (for the first time that I know of!). I just completed isolation, & I’m recovering from the longer effects right now — I thank the Lord it was similar to the flu for me, but again, the fatigues continues. I’m also grateful that I got COVID before traveling. I would so appreciate your continued prayers in regards to my health in addition the things I need to do. 

Yes, I’m planning a trip to the States! It’ll be a year & a half since I’ve visited my parents & 2018 since I’ve visited other family & friends. I really believe spending time with family & having rest will be refreshing. I plan to come in June & return to South Africa in August as that is only amount of medications I’m allowed to have ahead of time. I hope I can visit friends & churches also, prayerfully, with health permitting. I look forward to catching up in person as I love doing this! I need to book flights to the States as soon as possible (estimated cost for this initial flight $1,500?). I also need to figure out what methods of travel while in the States & finances for that, especially with the high cost of gas prices now. If you can please pray for preparation, finances, & travel plans (with airlines canceling & postponing flights a lot, high gas prices, & fuel shortages). Also, if you can please pray for me as I try to figure out the logistics of all this as it’s pretty overwhelming for me – I so appreciate it. For more information on my missions’ giving, go to shannonmintz.com/give/.

Since surgery, I’ve been healing well – praise the Lord! – though I still am bothered by numbness/pain in my upper leg/arm, & there’s a possibility lymphedema could start in my arm because of removing too many lymph nodes. At times, I’ve been getting a pain in my back, which limits my mobility. The end of March my doctor started me on a new treatment, still addressing the cancer in my body. This therapy is not covered by insurance, & I’m so thankful that God has already provided for part of the costs. Approximately $4,500 more still needs to be provided. If you are led to give to my treatment, go to gofundme.com/f/azdjs6-help-shannon-mintz-fight-cancer or for other options shannonmintz.com/givecancer/. I am so blessed by your healing prayers, support, & messages! Thank you.

Although my road isn’t easy & has many ups & downs, God gives me nuggets & shows me how He is at work around me. Recently, my prayer has renewed emphasis, asking God to shine out of me (even without words) & to put opportunities before me. I’ve been amazed how God presents people in my day to day life. And I have to say, I am not a chatty person in public (introvert here) but often I’m just a hurting cancer patient trying to get through the day – But through these glimpses or nuggets of God at work & answering my prayers, He demonstrates His providence, goodness, & love beyond my limitations. And I can tell you from these interactions that God is drawing people to Himself! If I can encourage you, pray the prayer on your heart, write it down, & watch God place someone before you. 

“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
~ 2 Corinthians 4:5-10 (NIV) ~

Thank you, dear family & friends, for standing with me & beside me. I hope to see some of you soon – Let’s keep in touch.

May God Bless You & Keep You,

Shannon

Praise & Thanks

  • Recovering well from surgery
  • All my hospital expenses from surgery paid!
  • The prayers of the Body of Christ surrounding me
  • God’s provision
  • God has been presenting opportunities for people to meet Jesus & who He is
  • When I am weak, He is strong! 

“’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ 
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV) ~

Prayer Requests

  • For full healing from cancer – however Healing comes!
  • For healing from the medications’ side effects taking a toll on my body & emotions
  • For back pain healing
  • Increased provision for missionary & cancer expenses (about $4,500 left to pay for the current treatment)

Adding Posts from GoFundMe to My Blog

Hi Friends,

I’m adding posts from the GoFundMe website about my Journey with Cancer to my blog (here). This may be a little redundant, but I hope this makes it easy to access and read. I do apologize if you are getting inundated with emails about new posts – I don’t know how to turn this off or if it can be turned off (I’m not proficient at websites). Thank you for understanding,

Thank you so much for your prayers, encouragement, and generosity during this difficult time.

May God Bless You,

Shannon

August 16, 2020 GoFundMe: Some Good News and Bad News

Dear Friends & Family,

It’s been a while. And it’s seems we are still in C-Land or in my case C-C-Land! There have been some difficult bumps in my journey – some bad news but some good news – & I’ve realized it’s hard to communicate when going through this. Please know I’m doing well, I feel supported by family & friends, & I have dear ones looking out of me here. But I thank you so much for your continued prayers through the thick & thin. I know I need them, & I so appreciate them.

LOCKED IN
– I think we all set out thinking the corona virus restrictions & lockdown would be short. So I thought, “Sure, I can do a few weeks by myself – I’m an introvert. I can concentrate fully on my treatments & health!” Sadly, in South Africa we weren’t allowed to exercise outside until May, & then only for a couple hours per day – I live in an apartment with no outdoor space so this wasn’t helpful. Going to the grocery store was what I most looked forward to, as I could only leave the house for the essentials: doctor, bank, etc. Our lockdown in South Africa was one of the strictest in the world.

BACK PAIN – During lockdown, I began to experience bad back pain. At first, I didn’t think much of it because of chronic back issues. But it grew worse & wrapped around to my sternum. The pain was severe, & my mobility & sleep were greatly limited. It was difficult to find a chiropractor open & who would take me during lockdown, but that only brought minor relief. I also have scoliosis so I should have regular adjustments to help me. Thankfully, I’m now on pain meds, which help so much.

THE BAD NEWS – From the time of the cancer diagnosis until several months after, there was no tumor growth. In February at the clinic, even the blood supply to & within the tumor was decreasing & stopping – that’s movement in the right direction. However, then I thought the tumor was growing. I looked for a doctor (I have regular checkups with my doctors in Mexico, but I hadn’t found a local doctor before lockdown) & so that I could have blood tests & scans that I need often. I found an integrative cancer doctor & an oncologist. Sadly, the tumor was growing & cancer spreading fast, & after trying several things that didn’t stop the cancer growth, I started a chemo drug. Along with that, I’m doing natural treatments, which boost my immune system (because chemo destroys the immune system) & also kill cancer stem cells. Chemo (& radiation) do not kill cancer stem cells, but these cells circulate through the body & can start cancer in a new area so it’s important to address them. During that week of bad news, I was inspired to write this two part poem “Grey-Blue & Partake.” I believe it shows that God met me in the difficulty.

THE GOOD NEWS – I have some side effects from the drugs, but these could be worse. And I’m pretty tired. In a normal world, I have to limit my exposure to people as I’m considered immunocompromised & even more so in this COVID era. But the good news is that the cancer has started responding to treatments so far & is decreasing – Thank the Lord! Please pray for continued healing & great health through it all! Expenses for my healing are high. If you feel lead to donate specifically for my health, please go to shannonmintz.com/givecancer/.

Recently, I read an email devotion by Anthony Evans that encouraged me (below excerpt “Redefining Rest” from Unexpected Places):
________________________________________
“That’s my hope: that God had to shut me down to expand my capacity and prepare me for a new season of growth, whether it’s in my career or my spirit or both. That’s what I pray as I sit alone in my living room while my mind fights anxious thoughts.

In the Bible, wisdom and revelation often come from places of silence and rest. God rested from His work. Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to be still. Why do we not value rest? Especially in ministry? Why do we always think more is better? The power isn’t always in pushing through. Sometimes it’s in the rest.

‘When you recover from this injury, you are going to have to readjust the way you do work and life,’ Dr. Gupta warned. ‘You will have to redefine what normal is for you.’

One cool thing about God is He shows us so much about life through circumstances. Even bad ones. Especially the bad ones. That’s what the Word means by ‘everything works together for the good.’ Good and bad — both teach us.”
________________________________________
“In returning & rest you shall be saved. In quietness & in trust shall be your strength.” ~ Isaiah 30:15 (ESV)

I’ve had so much to walk through, process, & care for so I haven’t had energy or capacity for much else – I hope you can understand. And I may not understand this season until hindsight or heaven, but I’m resting to heal. I’m doing what I need to & what I best know to do right now. I’m praying – for this world, the people I know, doctors & fellow cancer journeyers… There’s a world in hurt – you or your family may be hurting, but I know the God with an abundance of HOPE, & He’s given each of us a purpose in our families, communities, & domains. And something I’m learning in the midst of all the questions & unknowns is that

My level of well-being does not detract from my testimony. Whether that’s health, suffering, etc. I still have a testimony.

I’m not talking about our salvation testimony so much, but our continuing testimonies, our right now testimony – Today, God is working in your life & that is something to testify about, to live out.

I hope you are encouraged. Thank you so much for all your prayers & support. I am so blessed by you.

God Bless,
Shannon

A Blessing for Women

I wrote this as a prayer and declaration for all women from their heavenly Father on Mother’s Day 2020 (Instagram) and now published here on Women’s Day 2020. Be blessed.

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Before you were known or knew your first breath, I created you with precision and beauty.

I delight in you as you so wonderfully reflect My heart and care.

You are a Warrior, each of a unique kind –

Fighting all kinds of fortresses and so often operating in stealth mode yet defeating giants because of your perseverance.

You carry the night watches.

You stand guard for the hearts and minds of children and those weary, broken, and oppressed.

You are not alone.

You are the intimate companion of Jesus, treasuring hidden things and releasing heaven’s secrets for great Kingdom purposes.

You are a keeper and carrier of life and love, light and joy.

You are treasured Daughter of the One True King.

You are Mother defined for some physically but also a mantle of a spiritual kind –

All kinds of Mothers, lift up your heads –

Wear this mantle with heavenly pride, given by a proud Father.

You are Woman, both strong and kind, uniquely crafted with depths and heights.

Today, embrace Who You Are from your Good Father.

He gives hope as you look on Him – to see the good, to see beyond.

Today, receive these good gifts, receive what’s beyond – these promises are to be lived as true for today.

As you hold His hand, He holds onto you, your families and friends, cares and concerns more strongly than you know.

Receive Mother.

Receive Woman.

Receive Daughter.

You are My Great Delight.

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You set changes in motion.

The waves are already crashing.

Continue hopefully; continue rejoicing, continue mourning and grieving –

Set thoughts and words into action –

Even just one thing, just one step.

I hold you in the palm of My hand and the Spirit blows, stirring what’s held dear, hoped for, and in your heart into being and motion.

It’s not stagnant, but moving with precision towards fulfillment.

In the numerous tasks and lists and constant doing, the Father says, “Give these to Me, lean back and rest in knowing that you can trust your Father.”

Receive that You Can Trust Your Father.

You are not on your own.

Receive heavenly equipping for spiritual and physical things –

These are not earthly nor human solutions.

Receive new vision to see around you what you’ve not seen before.

Receive new endurance, to keep on –

This is not like the old ways but by leaning back onto the Lord.

I am calling stillness and peace to be the atmosphere of your home –

Agree with me and call it out.

Finally, Abide With Me.

Receive My Presence for I Am God With You

All The Time.

Remember, Dear One,

You are loved.

You are valued.

And You are needed.

You are Blessed by your Father.

Started a New Treatment, Ideas Formed, Words Flowed

I started a new cancer treatment yesterday (June 25, 2020), so it comes with good and bad and all types of thoughts and emotions – I won’t write about that today. But it is One Step Forward and continuing towards hope and healing. What else did happen yesterday evening was that ideas and pictures and thoughts and experiences collected and didn’t just get stuck or lost in my brain. But words were able to flow out into something, maybe a structure… But let’s just say it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to write like this. It’s prose. It might not make sense, but it means a lot to me. I pray God can speak through it to you too.

View of Muizenberg Beach and False Bay on a hazy morning (South Africa).

GREY-BLUE (part 1)

Light and bright, depth and mysterious, hopeful and intriguing, two tones yet one –

Grey-blue like my eyes I see reflect-ings surround me;

I want to keep up, to run, to grasp, what is sometimes unreachable and at other times found.

I want to settle into reflecting spaces to see and not see – to see again and to see new

Like breezes rattling tall evergreens in the mountains of my childhood

Stoic, quiet and vast, wondering what is beyond, further down the blankets of needled ground

Like the whispering wind setting calm insignificant ripples along lakes lost in the wilderness

Like vistas of sky meeting ocean, blues upon blues, all shades of blues and whites and lights and darks

Mixings into depths and expanses, too many things other that I cannot fathom – glimpses around bends, but maybe I can

Yet Being There

As the branch

Or the rock

Or the created

Not an imposing impostor but                                Being There.

As-I-Am-Meant-To-Be-There.

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Out of place notions drop, unheeded –

No one needs them here.

No one heeds them here.

I do not grasp or empty my hands – As letting-go hands are then meaning to be filled.

Filled with the needed and new and not by others or assumptions or expectations.

Truth Perspective gifts open and overflowing, abounding arms of embraces.

So gasps and grasping fall forgotten.

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It is not what is left. Or what is lost. Or what is found.

It is       What Is Always There.

Discovering the Seeing

In the Breathing and Being.

Atop mountaintops

In the midst of valleys and lakesides and woodlands and savannas

Riding waves

Displaying seas

And flights of soaring skies

Belief was There – Before.

I’ve encountered something. I see some thing. I know Something. I believe Some Thing.

Whispers of delight and joy, hope and peace, love and freedom swirl, dancing thick with Presence.

He is There.

He is Here.

I am content as the ground to stay – grounded.

Seated – Still.

Pause. And breath.

I take with me full mason jars of holy wind. Heart full and free. Head clean and cleared.

The pack is light. Adventure – is the journey.

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“So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 2: 18 (NLT)

A throwback to 2009 when I lived and ministered from a sailing boat, the Next Wave, off of Greece (pictured here) and Italy.

PARTAKE (part 2)

The Call to See, Be, Believe is waiting for you, too, to partake.

For the climbing and descending, the washing and worshipping, the waiting and watching

Agenda and musts abandon to He who is abundant, all around, within and yet not encompassed fully by His creation.

He laughs, exuberant, at the masterful makings and intelligent beings…

Beings meant to community with Himself and each other and to caretake His breadth of plan and domain of terra

This plan is not creaky or mistaken

He is not conquered

Though Dark seemingly bit into a piece

A battle raged for two distinct paths

And for the one in our hearts, there remains the choice

Behind the veil, it’s of Life or of Death.

.

Allow this Light to penetrate and break the caked shell

To crumble, to dust and evaporate the divide

To reveal and to see plainly – anew and alight

Your history is broken into new and better

Because He was broken and body and blood spent

But to break seals on rocks and graves and the ones in your heart and mind

You are fresh flesh, a new creation!

With the true plan, purposes and promises before you – unfurled Destiny declared

Because it’s back to the fullness of true Identity delivered

Before the first birth that took place in the eye of the Beholder, the Master Painter –

You are HIS Masterpiece.

Read the scrolls of your beginnings

There is More than you see

To believe

And to be.

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“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

April 6, 2020 GoFundMe: Video Update – The Cancer Story: Diagnosis to Treatment

Making Homemade Raw Juices – Yum!

Hi guys,

I have a new video below! I really wanted to update you on my journey from diagnosis to treatment, how I had many doctors’ consultations, researched, and prayed so much, and what went on in January to March.

Also, I have a new prayer request: I’m experiencing increased and radiating back pain (and I have chronic back pain so I am used to getting along in life with it), but I may have to go to the doctor (have possible scans). Because we are on strict lockdown rules, I’m not sure if this qualifies for emergency medical or not. So I’d much rather receive healing for it (and, of course, for cancer). I so appreciate your prayers for this.

I cannot say Thank You enough for your generosity of finances, prayers, and encouragement! Your gifts are so much help for cancer treatment expenses. And I’m in lockdown so physically alone – I’m an introvert, thankfully, so I know I can hold up pretty with myself (and Jesus) and I can video with family and friends, but it’s getting a bit long — I would appreciate your prayers about this too.

Thank you so much! Sending love, peace, health, safety and prayers your way,
Shannon

Psalm 71:14-18 says,

“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long—though I know not how to relate them all. I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.”

March 31, 2020 GoFundMe: Video Update – COVID-19: 21 Day Lockdown in South Africa

Dear Family & Friends,

Thank you so much for your prayers, messages, & support during the last couple months – I am humbled, moved, & encouraged, & I know your prayers were/are having an impact!

Please know I’m doing well. I’m in South Africa – in Lockdown. I’m receiving treatment. I declare, along with heaven, I am healing/healed, etc. by any means & timing! And I’m doing my part towards health & healing.

I want to let you know how COVID-19 is affecting me here in South Africa – Currently, we are in day 4 of a 21 day, mandatory, countrywide lockdown. We aren’t even allowed to take a run outside. So as I live in an apartment, my sunroom has become my favorite spot. I took my first trip to get groceries today – the streets were a ghost town. Thankfully, the stores weren’t busy, & I got everything I needed.

I will be posting another video to catch y’all up on my diagnosis to treatment journey very soon.

My heart goes out to how you, your families, communities, & nations are affected & how things may not feel so safe & secure. I AM PRAYING for you, for those battling this virus & illnesses, for the healthcare workers, & the people supporting those of us who have been told to stay home.

My love & prayers go with you,
Shannon

Proverbs 3:21-26 says,

“My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.”

South Africa Lockdown vibes: Apartment dwellers are using their balconies like they’ve never used them before. DAY 1 looks the same as day 2 and 3… Wish I had a yard/garden, but my sunroom gets lots of use. From here, working, praying, reading, processing, eating, hanging laundry, exercising, gazing, etc. I don’t need much space, but perspective is helpful. Gaze Above. Meditate on Colossians 3:1-4, a favorite Scripture of mine: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

A Nonsensical Poem about Words

I love words – how they make stories through sights, smell, sound – they become real. On my quest for inspiration to write again, I found this nonsensical poem I wrote in 2011 for my Psalms assignment when I was in the School of Biblical Studies. “This is a poem inspired by Psalm 104. As God is glorified in the creation, I thank God for words, even ones strung together with no purpose and no need to make any sense.” (Published March 24, 2011)

A Celebration of Words (2nd title: An Ode to the Word-Maker)

The fabric of my being,
The melody of my soul,
Plucked, prodded, and pulled
By some unknown whole.

Unsure of who dictates
What – within.
Is the edge of reason the brink of the gale?
Or really just the prime place to begin?

Hackysacks, hamper knacks,
Timing, and shrew –
Gibberish to most
But delight to the few.

A novelty of percussion,
A story of rhyme,
Nonsense is not no sense –
But joy found sublime.

And fashioned after You,
I don’t know where to begin.
You’re the Word that created design
And invented the rhyme.

You captured imagination
On the voice of the wind.
You inspired communication
From Your deity of Three.

You imprinted meaning on words.
You breathed life that gave breath,
So that I might send out a tantalizing tale,
But not for my ears only,
But for others to share.

So gaming and flaming
To crisp for the taming
Is not just noise to You either
And gives no need to decipher.

But that is enough to trouble your mind
As you might consider,
“What’s wrong with this girl?
A poem that makes sense,
Can’t she just deliver?”

So I’ll let you alone
From my first attempts
At the profoundly un-profound world
Of nonsense poems.

This is where delight
Is given in the sheer presence,
The God-given gift –
Of words.

February 22, 2020 GoFundMe: First Video Update – Cancer Diagnosis from January 2020

Here’s a video I shared in January 2020 about the start of my journey with breast cancer. Thanks so much for listening, praying, and blessing me. I am so grateful. A new update is coming soon!

February 22, 2020 GoFundMe: Beginning Treatment (by Marte)

Shannon with her Mother Nancy

Hi Friends,

Do you want to hear something amazing? I was really touched to hear some news from my mother about the progress of my sister Shannon in her healing journey from cancer.

Many of you know Shannon was diagnosed with breast cancer, and we so appreciate all of you who have given so freely to help support her both financially and through prayer.

By the grace of God, Shannon has been able to begin treatment. Although she had some hiccups with renewing her visa to South Africa, God provided, and at the beginning of February, she left for a cancer treatment center in Mexico. She began the journey back to health with many other people who fly across the world to this place of peace and healing. 

Her treatment involves treating the whole body, the immune system, the mind and emotions, and creating an environment in the body that doesn’t allow cancer to live or thrive. Her daily treatments include different therapies, vitamins, and minerals that the body is lacking, and the nutrition the body needs to build a healthy immune system to
fight cancer cells.

She begins each day in corporate worship/prayer with the other patients, who have now become her friends. It’s been so meaningful and hope-filled for her to meet these people and to hear about their journeys towards healing also. Quite a few have tried chemo, radiation, and surgery, and each person has had multiple consultations with doctors and spent countless hours researching, and they have been led to the same place.

When one person completes their treatment time at the clinic, many gather to eat dinner together and celebrate the progress, the hope, and the continued journey of health. What an amazing experience for all and for Shannon to experience this community of hope and a shared belief in the Great Physician who heals and created our bodies to
thrive. 

Although this journey might take some time, Shannon is doing well. She is motivated by this experience, trusting in God for wisdom, knowledge, and healing. She appreciates all of you and is so thankful for this place of rest, healing, and growing in the Lord.

Through it all, we give glory to God for the testimonies shared, the prayers, and the healing that is happening. We believe in the Divine Creator, the Maker of heaven and earth, and we rejoice in who He is despite the challenges we face, even in the face of cancer.

We ask you to stand with us in prayer for Shannon, for her new friends, and for those in your lives as we know that we are all touched by difficulties in health and in life.

If you feel led to give in a tangible way, please feel free to donate at her GoFundMe page. All the proceeds will directly go to her to help support her in her cancer treatments. 

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!!!

We stand United, we stand with those who are healing from cancer, and we stand to honor and glorify God. Please stand with us.

– Marte