Brent Searway Update

Brent and his family.

The staff and board of Agua Viva Ministries would like to inform you about a critical prayer request.  Some of you may have already heard what has been happening with Brent Searway’s health.  To bring everyone up to speed, here is the history of what has been going on:
Last November Brent and others were fighting a fire near Agua Viva.  During that fire Brent had a seizure and was taken to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with smoke inhalation.  He had difficulty moving his left leg and was told that this was the result of the smoke inhalation.  He was told that this symptom would disappear.  However, the problem did not go away.  Later he was told that he had a pinched nerve that was causing the problem (the diagnosis was the result of an MRI).  An operation was scheduled for May 16.  However, Brent noticed that the symptoms that he had were not the same as those reported by other patients with the type of pinched nerve that he was diagnosed with, so he asked for a second opinion.  A different MRI was ordered.  The second MRI showed a brain tumor that was the cause of the problem.  A biopsy was performed.  The doctors said that the tumor is cancerous.
The following is an update written by Brent:

This has been a time of intensive training from the Lord.  Verses that have been speaking to me:
John 3:30 He (Christ) must increase, but I (John/Brent) must decrease.
At the start of our ministry I remember God gave me this verse and I have tried to live by it all of these years. In all of this I want Christ to be glorified!
Corinthians 12:9-11 But he (Christ) said to me (Paul), “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. 10 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.”
As I have become weaker physically I have realized once again how important this verse is!  It is when I am weak physically that the inward strength I have in Christ truly shines and when others in Christ really show what it means to be one in Christ! I praise God for each of you and your love and encouragement.
I love watching, during this time, the board, the staff, the Mexican missionaries, MTI the students, the Mexican pastors and the American groups continue on in the vision.  Last night at the church in town where I am a leader I saw the prayer vigil hosted almost entirely by people under the age of 30; it gave me joy to know that the work is firmly planted and the vision will continue and Mexico will be reached for Christ!
On the health front I have been praying and seeking Him. We are still praying for healing here and we know that with God that is still possible. I have also been eating so healthy and so many vegetables that at times I feel like a rabbit.  HAHAHA! J  I have even lost 23 lbs. Yea!  (Don’t worry, I still could lose another 40 and be at the weight I was when Allyson and I were married.)
The truth is I am eating really healthy. My body feels good. If only my left leg would obey me! The biopsy really damaged the movement in that leg.  I did also have a seizure about two weeks ago and another one Monday.  Those are not fun.
I have researched several options, including Duke Cancer Center, Barrow Cancer Center, Sharp Grossmont hospital, City of Hope hospital, as well as Oasis of Hope Hospital. I have searched and contacted people until I was blue in the face.  Well not really, but I have done all I know how to do.  I also have been studying clinical trials through
Everyone seems to be pretty much in agreement that the tumor is inoperable at this point and an operation would leave me paralyzed. The first oncologist recommended chemo and radiation. After studying online and talking to the other doctors at Barrows and Duke they felt that radiation was questionable, as it may give 2 months of life and cause brain damage. The chemo treatment will probably cause short term memory loss and could possibly cause leukemia later down the road, along with other side effects like nausea, low blood cell counts etc. It is also not a cure and would just prolong life.
There has been another option presented to me at Oasis of Hope hospital in Tijuana to see if they can shrink the tumor and possibly eradicate the tumor using a new treatment that has shown some success in around 30% of the studies. If the treatment shrinks it or eradicates it that would be awesome. If the tumor is smaller it may also be possible to operate on the tumor at Barrows. They have a special MRI machine there that can map your brain and see what parts of the brain the tumor is actually affecting and see if it could later be safely removed. Again as with all of these treatments there are risks all I can say for sure is I know God has it all under control and for Him this is no surprise.
Please pray for God to guide me, my first option besides immediate healing is to try the newer treatment because it has the option of a real cure. There are still some question marks there though as the doctor has been out of town for a week. If that doesn’t work though then I would like to try option II, chemotherapy.  The big catch is that our insurance will not cover the possible cure therapy and they will only cover roughly 25% of the first 6 months of Chemo. Also the Chemo is probably more than a 6 month treatment. So I would ask you to please pray for us that God would provide us a way as He always has in the past.  I am praying that we would be able to start treatment within a week, as my seizures have been coming in shorter intervals.
Again thank you for your prayers and partnership!  We love you and believe this may be a marathon of a fight.  I have run long races before and I know what it takes.  Now I run with the Lord, though, and that makes everything easier.  Please keep us in your prayers and ask that the Lord would guide us as Allyson, Justin, Emily and I run this race together with you. I hope to run this race in order to win the prize! To God be the glory!  Animo!  (That means…”Be encouraged” in Spanish!)  My hope is in Christ and my hope is that many more will come to Him through this.
In His grip,

Please keep Brent and the Searway family in your prayers.  Pray that Brent be completely cured of his tumor.  Pray for wisdom and direction for the doctors involved.  Pray for peace for everyone.
Pray for Brent’s financial situation—his insurance will only cover 25% of the first 6 months of chemo—and no other treatments.  This places the bulk of the financial cost on Brent’s shoulders.
Because of the financial burden that the Searway family is facing, the board of Agua Viva Ministries has established a Staff Emergency Fund to help any staff member that faces a medical crisis and is unable to pay for treatments.
Thank you for your prayers!
The staff and board of Agua Viva Ministries

                                                Click here for the Staff Emergency Fund…