Cancer, God, and Larry!

January 20, 2010 by Paul Chappell

I must admit I had never anticipated that words like cancer, surgery, or chemotherapy would be a part of our everyday, family vocabulary. Yet, in the past several weeks by God’s sovereign plan, we have seen our son Larry endure two major surgeries, and he is now preparing for chemotherapy treatments that will begin this Monday, January 25.

As a pastor, I have prayed for grace to remain steady in preaching and ministering to our flock. I thank the Lord for the tremendous assistance from our staff and the overall daily ministry provided through our church family.

As a father, these have been times of tears and trust, and occasionally times of fear and then faith. Overall, I know that God is working in my heart in many ways to perform His will. It is my daily prayer, along with my wife Terrie’s, that He will grant us grace to trust Him more.

For Larry, I am sure there have been times of apprehension, but overall I sense a spirit of grace and trust that has been a tremendous testimony of his walk with Christ. Larry and Ashley have displayed a confidence in the Lord that has been such a great blessing for our family to observe.

The Bible says in Romans 8:28–29, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” While I feel it may be premature to share many of the lessons God has spoken into my heart during this time, there is no doubt that all of these things are according to His purpose and for the forming of our lives for His honor and glory. Moments of extreme difficulty have only reminded us of how greatly we need the Lord.

While there is some wisdom in studying the specifics of cancer, such as pathology, staging, treatments, etc., the Lord has been showing us it has been more important to study His Word and to place our trust in Him.

Please pray for Larry in the coming days, that God will give him physical strength and endurance during the chemo. And, yes, we ask you to bind together with us in prayer that God, through His mighty power, will heal our son and raise him up for His glory. We acknowledge God’s sovereign will in all of our lives, yet we want to obey His Word and pray in faith, with nothing wavering, that God’s power would be revealed in Larry’s life.

Please pray for the dozens of medical professionals who have helped and ministered to our family. Pray for those who need to know Christ as Saviour, and pray for others who perhaps need to come back to a relationship with Him on a daily basis.

Early next Monday morning, we will travel down to Los Angeles for Larry’s first intravenous chemotherapy treatment. It has been a joy to sense that many of God’s people are praying for Larry, Ashley, and our entire family. From the depths of our hearts we thank you for the care, prayers, letters, and encouragement we have felt from around the world for Larry, Ashley, and our entire family. Your love is a reflection of God’s grace to us.


  1. Our family and church family are praying for Larry, Ashley, and your family. Thank you for the updates and for your testimony of God’s grace through hardships.

    Comment by Tim Rabon, Jr. — January 20, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

  2. Brother and Mrs. Chappell,
    Our prayers continue to be with you. We are praying for healing for Larry. We love and appreciate your family.
    Tim and Sharon Rabon

    Comment by Sharon Rabon — January 20, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

  3. It has been a blessing to watch your family handle this trial with such grace and strength. As much as we love having you at church; it has been an awesome testimony to see you and Mrs. Chappell stand next to Larry and Ashley during this time-and make them your priority! We pray each morning on our drive to LBS that God will continue to give you and your family grace, strength and wisdom…and healing for Larry! God bless!
    Mark & Beth Jones

    Comment by Mark & Beth Jones — January 20, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

  4. Brother Larry,

    I began chemo last Monday and it will last for six months with three weeks on and one week off. I am praying diligently for you and for God to heal you and give you many more years of faithful service. We believe God can heal me but if he chooses not to, we will not get discouraged or defeated. We have a God who loves us more than we will ever know and wants what is best for us. May God give you strength through the chemo! “Even so come, Lord Jesus!”

    Earl Jessup

    Comment by Earl and Beth Jessup — January 21, 2010 @ 6:08 am

  5. We thank the Lord for you and your family. praying for you all during this time.

    The Kamps Family – Amsterdam

    Comment by Stan & Brenda Kamps — January 21, 2010 @ 6:48 am

  6. Dear Bro Chappell, Please know that we continue to hild up Larry,his wife and your family through this time. Our prayer is that God would take this away form him and heal him completely. God Bless you and I know His Grace is more than suifficient. Last year our grandaughter died in birth and I have found that Rom 8:28 lokks different from that side of a valley but thank God it is still good and true.Bro Johnson Shasta Baptist Redding Ca

    Comment by Pastor Michael R Johnson — January 21, 2010 @ 9:58 am

  7. Our hearts are very heavy with the trials you have faced in the last few months, and we pray for you continually. Thank you for allowing God’s grace to be reflected in your lives. We love you all.

    Pat and Vic Carr

    Comment by Pat Carr — January 21, 2010 @ 10:59 am

  8. Bro. Chappell,
    I’m praying for you and your family every day and all during the day when God brings them to mind.
    Mary Wagler

    Comment by Mary Wagler — January 21, 2010 @ 5:28 pm

  9. “The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.”

    I have prayed you,Terrie and family many times a days since the M/C. Your family hold a very special place in our hearts. Please let me if I can do anything for you all.

    Your Dear Friends

    Comment by Ed — January 21, 2010 @ 5:59 pm

  10. Dear Chappell Families,

    We continue to keep you all in our prayers.
    Take one day at a time and trust the He will not give you more than each one of you can endure. Try not to dwell on the “what if’s” of the days to come. Focus on each day as it comes and praise the Lord for “today”.

    We love you and are blessed to be part of your church family.

    Ardy & Linda

    Comment by Ardy and Linda Conrad — January 21, 2010 @ 7:16 pm

  11. Just wanted each of you to know that we are lifting you up in prayer here in the Fredericksburg, VA area.

    Comment by Pastor Mike McGee — January 22, 2010 @ 8:27 am

  12. Bro. Chappell,

    We continue to pray for your family. I remember the year Tim graduated from WCBC, My Wife was going through chemo treatment. You were such a blessing to us. We know that the power of the Lord will see you all through this. I is such a blessing that Larry has a wonderful wife to stand by his side through such a time as this.

    God in his great Mercy know that Larry needed Ashley as a help meet.

    Praise the Lord for the victory He is going to give.

    In Christ

    Bro. Demoret

    Comment by Rev. Harold R. Demoret — January 22, 2010 @ 12:14 pm

  13. Thank you Pastor for this update on Larry. None of us know what you & Terrie are going through; but to see how you are strengthened thru God’s Spirit has been an encouragement. We are continuing to pray each of you; but especially for Larry’s healing & treatments. May the Lord continue to strenghen you and encourage you.

    Comment by Dorothy Edgar & Samantha — January 22, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

  14. We are praying for you all.

    Comment by Matt and Wendy Swenson — January 22, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

  15. Pastor,
    We love you and we are praying for you and your family.

    Travis and Julee

    Comment by Travis Phillips — January 23, 2010 @ 10:49 pm


    Comment by Dr. Andy Tully — January 24, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  17. from Niceville, Florida. My thoughts and prayers go out the the Chappell family. Our God is an awesome God.

    Comment by Paula Adams — January 24, 2010 @ 5:35 pm

  18. We are praying for Larry and your family, as well as your church family. We are missionaries to Trinidad and God brought us off the feild in 2005 with our 15 year old son who was diagnosed with a cancer called Neuroblastoma. He has been through sergeries, a bone marrow transplate,and chemo. At this moment the cancer is clear though he will have to be on chemo the rest of his life as Neuroblastoma is know for returning as it has done twice now. He will be 20 in February, and attending Bible College. His desire is to serve the Lord. He has been a testimony to us as well. God’s grace is sufficient. We have had to not only believe His Word, but to trust it, abide in it, and live by it day by day. I wouldn’t trade anything for the closeness of God during this time. We are praying for you.

    Comment by Sandra Cepec — January 25, 2010 @ 6:03 am

  19. Dear Pastor and Mrs. Chappell, As soon as we heard that your son Larry had cancer and was going in for surgery, we and our church family began to pray and are continuing to pray for him, his wife, and your entire family. You all have been such an example and blessing to so many and to us. As trials have touched my life, God has assured me of His love for me and that He is in control. Romans 8:28 and other verses became dear and precious to me and strengthened and sustained me. Be assured of our continued prayers.
    Love, Pastor and Mrs. Silva

    Comment by Pastor and Mrs Bud Silva — January 25, 2010 @ 8:14 am

  20. Dear Chappell Family,
    I just wanted to let you know that I have been praying for you.
    In Christ,
    Rebekah Leicht

    Comment by Rebekah Leicht — January 25, 2010 @ 8:54 am

  21. Pastor,

    our family has been in daily prayer for Larry and today we lift Larry up in prayer that He will not only give Larry the strength, but that as the Great Physician, he will miraculously heal and cleanse Larry of this condition.

    We love you and your family and thank you, Mrs C, Larry and Ashley for your collective testimonies through this trial. May His grace continue to abound in each of you.

    In Christ,

    Brother Tom

    Comment by Bro Tom Murray — January 25, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

  22. Dear Pastor Chappell,
    Not a day goes by that we do not think and pray for you, Bro. Larry, and your family! Thank you for keeping us updated and informed of Bro. Larry’s condition. We will continue to pray for him and Ashley, your family, and Lancaster Baptist Church. Thank you for your faithfulness to God and His Word. We appreciate all that you stand for.
    With love and prayers,
    Daniel and Bethany Wood

    Comment by Daniel and Bethany (Green) Wood — January 25, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

  23. Brother Chappell & family,

    Since we heard of Larry’s diagnosis, we have been praying as a family for him, and our church family has been praying, as well. Our daughter, Amanda, is Larry’s age, and I have tried to put myself in your situtation. Just thinking of going through something with one of my children moves me deeply. We are praying for complete healing, for the Lord’s will to be done, for Him to be exalted, and for grace and strength for all of you. Please let Larry and Ashley know how much they are loved and prayed for every single day.
    Thank you for your influence and example for so many in the ministry. God bless you and your dear family.

    In His Love,

    Brother & Mrs. Baines
    Berean Baptist Church
    Cumming, GA

    Comment by Bob and Ginger Baines — January 26, 2010 @ 9:20 am

  24. Cappell Family
    Our son was given 6 months to maybe 2 years 3 years ago. He had a stage 3 bran tumor 1/4 the size of his brain. Today he is a walking miracle. Prayer and God guiding the doctors has keep him around to keep serving God. Our church and my prayers are with you all.
    In Christ’s Service
    Pastor Key

    Comment by Pastor Ernest Key — January 28, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

  25. Pastor Chappell & family,
    Words fall so short of the intended comfort they are meant to bring, but please know we are praying for Larry and your family. Watching our son go through chemo we know all to well the deeply personal decisions and midnight second guessing that take place with every family that faces cancer. I am supremely grateful Larry has such a good dad and family to support him through this most serious trial. My wife and I are doing our best to sit silently by and beg for grace and healing on your behalf. Thank you for your testimony.

    Pastor & Mrs. Strouf
    Victory Baptist Church
    Union City, CA

    Comment by Pastor Brent Strouf — January 30, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

  26. Still keeping Larry in my thoughts and prayers.

    Comment by Adam Lind — February 1, 2010 @ 9:02 pm

  27. Pastor Chappell & Family,
    I love you and am praying for you and the family. I want to thank God for your faithfulness through the trials. Lord bless you! We are praying for you! Bro. Robb Foreman

    Comment by Robb Foreman — February 3, 2010 @ 11:58 am

  28. Please be assured and reminded of the faithfulness of God’s people to pray for you all in this difficult yet God-ordained season for your dear family! You are greatly loved, and the impact of your own faithfulness extends all over the globe.
    Christian and Erin Powell

    Comment by Christian Powell — February 4, 2010 @ 10:52 am

  29. Still praying for you! Thanks for keeping a great testimony of strength in the Lord!

    Comment by Jesse Pilalas — February 9, 2010 @ 10:45 am

  30. Larry,
    I We are praying for you.
    I hope this verse will be a blessing.
    Isaiah 59:1
    “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear”

    Comment by James Burns — February 18, 2010 @ 8:48 pm

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