Hi my name is Kayleen Fukushima. I am 16 years old, live in Mission Viejo, California and attend Crossroads Community Church in Mission Viejo. In 2016, our close family friends from church experienced some hardships and your song I Have This Hope was incredibly inspiring and helpful. The family is very active in the church and great family friends and examples to all and here is "our" story....
Ian is the son of parents Jill and Randy and the oldest brother to siblings Micah-12 and Kaiya-6. He is 14 years old, plays drums on the worship team, caring, inspiring, and loving. He also has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy since birth. Ian has been battling the illness for years but in 2016 it was really hurting him and his activeness. But through it all he remained positive and used his story and illness to inspire others. After our church camp in July he was rushed to the hospital because he began feeling tremendously sick. Then he was transferred to Choc and eventually UCLA medical center for further examines. We later found out that the muscular dystrophy was causing his heart to fail. He began intense treatments. The treatments helped take some pressure off of his heart but his body became very reliant on the treatments and medications and his immune system was decreasing. Ian was in desperate need for a heart transplant because his current heart was not strong enough to maintain his body's necessities. Throughout all the pain and sleepless nights, Ian and his family remained faithful and hopeful. But many of us did not know how to respond, Ian was in so much pain and we wanted to pray but praying for a heart to be available was also meaning we were hoping for someone else to die. Ian was never afraid and he was always okay with dying or living, he continuously said it was a win-win either way and that he would gratefully accept which ever decision God ultimately had planned for him. This idea was difficult for us to accept but we prayed for comfort and relaxation for Ian and his family. With perfect timing, Ian was given a heart and had the surgery with zero complications. We were so excited for our prayers to be answered but we also continued to pray for the family of the person whose heart was given to Ian. While he was in quarantine in his own home, Randy, Ian's father, a highschool teacher, and our worship leader was told that his long time brain tumor now needed to be removed ASAP. So the family went back to the hospital.
During this time I wanted to find a song with inspiration for a hula to choreograph to for my hula ministry and some kind of peace and hope for them and myself, I came across I Have This Hope. I heard the rough acoustic version of the song at a Tenth Avenue North Cathedrals concert earlier that year but the lyrics did not really have an impact in my heart at the time. But when I "reheard" the official song, I began to cry and the choreography for the hula just flowed and I knew it was the perfect song for me and the Rodger family to listen to for a sense of hope and comfort during this time.
Randy went through brain surgery and 3 weeks after his surgery, he went right back on stage to lead our church in worship. He still has some stiffness on the left side of his face and deafness is his left ear but he continues to sing flawlessly and fearlessly. Ian has fully recovered (except for some new minor diet and medication changes) and is playing drums for the worship team again. They are both doing extremely well and I wanted to thank you for the pure and inspiring song I Have This Hope because without it I don't think I would have made it through this whole experience with so much more faith and trust in God. The song and the story behind it inspired my hula and choreography which helped everyone have a deeper hope and belief that God is working for the good and puts us through these trials to strengthen us (and the church) and our faith. We always asked God why do such bad things happen to such great people or where are you God right now, and through this song and constant prayer God has shown me that he is always here if we open our hearts to him and continue to pray to him even when we don't feel him near. Through this experience God has shown that through prayer, faith, and trust miracles are possible. This hardship has united and brought our church family together as one in order to support and love the Rodger family and eachother through all aspects of life. Surely last year was a struggle but in return it has given the Rodger family and myself so many more blessings. Thank you for your beautiful works and i hope 2017 will bring you all showers of blessings as well!
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