Similar Battles; Different Victories

December 12, 2011 • by Steven Koster • posted in Groundwork

Similar Battles; Different Victories

When Maisey was diagnosed with an unusual form of cancer in her central nervous system, she found Groundwork to be a great source of spiritual nourishment. What she didn’t realize was that as she was fighting her battle with cancer, Groundwork’s host, Bob Heerspink was losing his own fight against pancreatic cancer.

In December 2010 Maisey, who lives in Windsor, Ontario, underwent a partially successful surgery to remove the tumor, but further treatment was necessary. The battle took its toll on Maisey’s body and her faith. She kept a diary to document her journey. In February 2012 she wrote, “I talk about faith, but I’m only beginning on that one as the journey gets harder. My soul refuses to be comforted.”

A week later Maisey tuned into a local radio station and happened upon our Groundwork program. Hosts Dave Bast and Bob Heerspink were discussing Matthew 8, and their discussion of Scripture gave her a new perspective. “I noticed humility when the people [in the passage] came to Jesus. I decided that was the route I wanted to take. He has the ability to heal me, but I would take what He gave.”

Maisey continued to follow the Groundwork program over the next several months, and as she listened she continued to write responses in her journal. “My appreciation of my salvation at the price of the cross is slowly returning, and I want to foster it more and more. I am so grateful for these early morning opportunities” (Sunday March 27).

Maisey did not know it at the time, but Bob was diagnosed with cancer the weekend of July 3. Maisey’s journal reflects that she missed the Groundwork program because that day was “a bad day” for her. 

Groundwork continued to air programs produced before Bob’s diagnosis, and Maisey continued to find encouragement from them. On August 14 she wrote, “Thankfully, with help from the radio, I’m being encouraged to continue on my journey when I was about to give up.”

It wasn’t until the week of October 30, 2011, when Groundwork aired a special tribute program to honor co-host Bob Heerspink, that Maisey learned Bob had passed away early October. She was deeply grieved.

Maisey decided to write a letter to Groundwork. For Maisey, this letter was her chance to share gratitude with the Groundwork team. She wrote, “In the past months I have been blessed by the Groundwork radio ministry.  It is fitting at this time, that I express my gratitude through journal excerpts which I am enclosing. In view of the death of Bob Heerspink, I share my journey from last December 2010 until now. May it be a comfort and encouragement to those who remain. “

Maisey found proof that God had used Groundwork to strengthen and build her faith during adversity.  “My journal is testimony to the power I received from listening to Groundwork,” she says. “I can see specific points that led to growth in my faith.”

She closed her letter to the Groundwork team with words taken from her journal entry on Sunday, October 30: “l gradually realized God would provide. I remembered the last words of Dave Bast about seeking God's will. l give thanks to God for the manna He provided for the journey, and I continue to pray that He will raise up from the next generation men and women whose delight will be in all of Scripture, as was Bob Heerspink’s.”