May the name of Jesus be praised always!

A friend of ours sent a picture that I had posted a few days ago (the one of Susana looking up to Jesus and praising Him just as she was about to go in for more procedures) to Matt Redman, the one who wrote the song that we were singing when that picture was taken (“You Never Let Go”).  Anyway, the email and blog post reached him in the UK where he lives, and he sent a personal video message back to Susana thanking her and encouraging her to keep praising Jesus and being a great example to all of us.  Check it out below:

Susana was thrilled to see the message from him.  She got so excited when she saw somebody on the computer saying, “Hello Susana.”  She was waving hello back to him on the computer.  It was so sweet.  It really blessed us.

Anyway, the thing that really blows us away is how the Lord is using her story and our trial to reach many many people.  Our greatest desire is to bring glory to His name and tell others of His wonderful love so that they also may come to know the saving grace of Jesus.  That’s what our lives are all about.  That’s why we are missionaries in Haiti as well as missionaries proclaiming the goodness of God in the hospital by our daughter’s bedside.  Maria and I were just talking about this last night as we thought about how God is using this situation.  It blows us away, as the Lord always does.  I mean, our thought of being used most by God and reaching many with the awesome truth of God’s love would never have been through the trial of Susana getting cancer and possibly being called home to heaven at the young age of four.  Our thought of God using us most would be as missionaries in Haiti reaching out and telling many of the love and truth of Jesus.  But it is so true that the Lord’s plans are so much different than ours.  And they are truly so much better.

I don’t know why, but yesterday our blog had almost 20,000 hits on it.  I look at that and say, “Lord, your name was lifted up and glorified by our family to almost 20,000 people in one day.  How amazing is that!  And that is our prayer – that the Lord will be glorified and that people will hear of His great love and truth.  And if it takes Susana’s passing to heaven to accomplish His purpose, then may it be as the Lord desires.

I have said many times that even if just one person comes to faith in Christ through this trial, then it will be so worth it and I would not seek to change a thing.  And I mean that sincerely.  I mean, if one person comes to know Jesus through this, then that means that not only will Susana be in heaven with Jesus in eternal glory, but now somebody else will be there too as a result of Him using Susana’s life or death.  And that is what we live our lives for – to see people come to know Him.

Well, we give great praise and glory to His name because we have already heard of one person who has surrendered their life to Jesus because of how she saw us giving praise to God and trusting Him completely in our greatest hour of pain and suffering.  We also received a comment from a woman who said that she has returned to Jesus after 20 years of denying Him out of anger for her Mom’s death.  But because of what she saw in Susana, God has broken her heart and she has returned to Jesus.  O that makes my heart so full of praise for Him and it enables us to say all the more, “Lord, whatever you wish to do with our daughter…she is in Your hands.  Be glorified.”

Make a Wish is sending our family to Disney for a week.  We leave on Sunday.  Susana is so excited!  She can’t wait to meet “Tangled” as she so calls Rapunzel.  All of my family will also be flying down to join us at some point in the week.  It should be a very special time for all of us.

Right now, I am in the clinic with Susana where she is getting blood simply so that she will have lots of energy for the trip.  She has been doing well these past few days, but she is losing weight because she doesn’t eat or drink enough.  The doctor said that there is nothing we can really do about that.  The tumors in her body just cause her to not have much appetite.  Anyway, we are just every day thanking Jesus for the time that we have with our precious little girl and trusting Him for His will to be carried out.

Lastly, the prayers and support that has been shown to us is simply overwhelming!  Thank you ALL so much.  We don’t respond to 99% of comments or emails, but know for certain that we read each and every one of them, and they bless us and give us the strength that we need to continue to endure in this trial.  You all are such a blessing!  Thanks so much for getting word out about our story.  The Lord is being glorified all over the world.  I just pray that many come to know Jesus as a result of this.

32 thoughts on “May the name of Jesus be praised always!

  1. To God Be The Glory For Ever And Ever! Your little girl’s faith is amazing. I pray that God’s will be done in her life. Be strong in the Lord and God Bless Susana and your family.

  2. I just wanted you to know that I’m praying for your family (even though we have never met and I recently found your blog on the Global Outreach Blog). I’m praying for memories that last a lifetime at Disney, that your precious daughter will have stamina and energy.

    I was in Haiti in July (with Samaritan’s Purse, I am a RN and did mobile clinics in Leogane). I’m returning to Haiti next week (I will be at the Global Outreach base) to help with Cholera.

    God bless you and I am praying that your whole family sees more of God than you ever could imagine over the next weeks, months, years.

    Stay strong.
    Kelly in Michigan

  3. Dear Cory, Maria, Isabela and Susana . . .Have a wonderful week together at Disney and make memories that you will never forget. I’m praying that God will bless all of you and that He will shower you with His love and care every single moment. I am envisioning so much love covering your family.

    I pray for you throughout the day in my quiet moments and when I awake during the night, you are the first thing on my mind. I know that thousands of hearts are holding you close and that the family of God . . .our family . . .is constantly lifting you up.

  4. Cody, Maria, Susana, Isabella, one of my friends also said she has re-examined her life and through your courage and strength she can see whom she needs to turn to for her strength, and she has come back to the Lord. I am sure that many, many of the people who have read your story have prayed the same.

    I am so excited for you that Disney is days away, and pray that it be a time of forgetting the trials and just enjoying your family. Put some pictures on your site so we can all rejoice in your fantastic opportunity!

    Several people have said you should write a book about your experience, to include some of what you have talked about, about faith was being willing to endure what God has for you with rejoicing and dignity!

    Have a wonderful time, and I will get with Stephanie about the surprise and make sure it is there when you get home.

    God bless you all!

  5. What a wonderful gift for Susana! We may never know all the lives that have been touched by the testimony of one sweet, precious little girl. Our family will be praying for your trip to Disney – that every moment is a dream come true for your darling princess.

  6. Thank you Susanna for showing me what true faith if, the faith of a child. I think I better understand what Jesus was saying as to the faith required to see His Kingdom. Thank you also Cody for sharing your heart and allowing Jesus to shine his light through you. God bless you all.

  7. I read every one of your posts about Susana and pray over her regularly. I attend a church of 900+ in Washington state and they are praying for her also. I also have written in my blog and posted your blog address on my facebook page so people will pray. I would imagine that I’m not the only one who has done this. I keep praying for a miracle: total healing or gentle passage into the arms of Jesus. Your baby girl has angels standing guard all around her. I know this because that is how a group of my friends and I are praying. We are praying for the rest of you as well, trusting the Lord to continue the good work He has begun in you and to mend your broken hearts. God bless you!

  8. Father of lights
    You delight in your children
    Father of lights
    You delight in your children

    Every good and perfect gift
    Comes from you
    Every good and perfect gift
    Comes from you
    Every good and perfect gift
    Comes from you
    Father of lights

    Father of lights
    You never change
    You have no turning
    Father of lights

    You never change
    You have no turning

    Soooo … remember this one, Code?!? This is THE worhsip song that has been in my spirit 24/7 since reading last week’s update. Father of Lights. Every good and perfect gift is from you. This worship song has always and will always remind me of you, Cody Whittaker. I sing it for you now (and I don’t think I’ve heard this song in YEARS!). I sing it over you and Maria and Susana and Isabela and Ervin. I sing it over your family and your future. I pray that you and Maria and your children would be given every good and perfect gift. A week at Disney World sounds pretty awesome to me!!! YAY!!!! You’re going to DISNEY!!! Please take lots of videos and pictures!!! We’ll be praying that your sweet Susana has restored health and energy so that she can enjoy every magical moment with her family!!! XOXOXOXO

  9. Praise God!! God is so good, all the time. I am glad that Susana will be able to go to Disney World; she will have a blast!!! Take a lot of pictures, which I don’t doubt you will! I, among many, many, MANY others continue to lift you all up in prayer!! Thank you God! We love you Susana! You stay strong sweet girl! You are so brave! My family is praying for you, and Jacob wants to meet you. He says, “where is my friend?” He is five. Stay focused on God; cling to Him; He is watching over you and He will sustain you and Mommy and Daddy and Isabela. God Bless you all abundantly!! May our GREAT and AWESOME God who is in control and has overcome the world, give you all strength, peace, rest, and mercy! ALL Honor and Glory to Him alone!!

  10. Fernando Ortega
    Our Great God

    Eternal God, Unchanging, Mysterious and unknown.
    Your boundless love unfailing, In grace and mercy shown.
    Bright seraphim in endless flight aroung your glorious throne.
    They raise their voices day and night in praise to you alone.

    Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
    Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!

    Lord, We are weak and frail, Helpless in the storm.
    Surround us with your angels, Hold us in your arms.
    Our cold and ruthless enemy, His pleasure is our harm.
    Rise up, O Lord, And he will flee before our Sovereign God.

    Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
    Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!

    Let every creature in the sea and every flying bird;
    Let every mountain, Every field and valley of the earth;
    Let all the moons and all the stars in all the universe
    Sing praises to the Living God, Who rules them by His word.

    Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!
    Hallelujah! Glory be to our great God!

  11. I posted yesterday and again today…I am in awe of the One who can provide such a peace in times of emotional suffering. But we can trust our Lord with our greatest pain because he knows pain, too.

    Grace and peace to your family. And I hope you all ROCK Disney. 🙂

    Melissa (from Maryland)

  12. I won’t stop praying…I won’t stop praising…and, I won’t stop sharing Susana’s story! Even through the tears, I can so clearly see God doing amazing things through your sweet family! To Him be all the Glory…now and forever…amen! We love you!

  13. Oh my goodness, what a precious child you have. I was blown away by the photo of her worshipping in her bed. What a sweet, sweet moment to capture on film. Her faith is such a encouragement to to me. I will be praying for you all in the days ahead…..

    Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Ps 62:8

    Your sister in Christ-
    Elisabeth in CA

    (P.S. One of my Facebook friends posted your blog to her profile–that is how I found you….)

  14. I just found your blog through a prayer request on another, and wanted you to know that tonight there is one more person praying for your family. In the coming days I will pray in particular that your trip is full of joy and memories to be cherished. Wishing you peace.

  15. I have been praying for your family for the past several months. As a mom, I am specifically praying the God will comfort Marias heart and hold her closely in his hand.

  16. Praise Jesus.
    Cody and Maria, so many of my friends, many of them who don’t have a personal relationship with Christ, have asked about Susana b/c I have been putting many of your updates on my facebook page. Words can’t express the impact ALL four of you are having literally all over the world.

  17. we never met, but I followed the blog since the earthquake. we have friends in common in (and because of) Haiti. I’ve been there on a couple of mission trips myself.
    Anyway. I’m just another person – from another family – with a preschool-aged child – and we have been praying for you all since last year. Some things about this are just so magnificent, that it makes me cry out loud (and I don’t cry very often at all) and as I share this blog with family and friends, they pass it on. I think about Susanna quite a bit, and I never even met her. We talk about her, and your family’s response to such heartbreaking news.
    I hope you don’t mind, but days ago, I saved this same photo onto my computer. I don’t know if a photo has ever moved me so much.
    Susanna, little one, you strengthen my faith, and in turn, you point The Way for my 3 year old boy. He sees your photos, prays for you, and pointed his finger toward heaven when we sang too – because of you.
    I am so excited you get to meet “Tangled!” I am more excited for the princess, that she gets to meet you.
    We are praying for you in Massachusetts.
    Marcia & Colton

  18. I discovered your blog through a friend and have been lifting your sweet family up in prayer. I can’t wait to meet you all in heaven one day. Until then, continue praising the Lord through your difficult, heart-wrenching circumstances. Your family is such an encouragement. I’m praying that He blesses you all with much joy and sweet time together. You’ve encouraged me to continue praying that God will use my life and my family to bring Him the utmost glory…no matter what!

  19. Wow! Our God is AMAZING! I had been struggling so much with my faith with God and once I saw how faithful you are to God, it became stronger, i began praying more and more! Thankyou! 🙂 Praying for you! Have a great time in Disney!

  20. Your family continues to bring much glory to the Father. Praise God that He is always with us and never, ever let’s go of us. Praying for all of you!

    Praying for a wonderful trip to Disney for two beautiful princess girls! The LORD is with you!

  21. Your faith is amazing to me. Your blog has taught me so much over the last week. I have a three month old that has been in the hospital all but 4 weeks of her life. It has been easy for my husband and I to want to ask God ”Why us?” or ”Why her?”. Instead, i should be praying that her life and her experiences bring glory to God. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings and emotions honestly. If you would like to see Rylee’s page it is

  22. I’ve been following your blog for quite awhile since my trip to Haiti actually, but I’ve never commented. I’m thinking and praying for you all every day!

  23. Have a wonderful trip!!! We are also a Make A Wish family and our stay at Give Kids The World and our time with other wish families was so encouraging during our week (back in 2008). We are praying praying praying for you all!

  24. GOD BLESS YOUR LITTLE GIRL and your family !I am some times very weak in my trust for Gods help lifes struggles are sometimes just almost to painful and stressful to bear. I just focus on my lord carry that cross for eack of us !And the suffering he endured for us !and that’s all that keeps me going some times ! I pray God will heal ur little angel ! I lost my daddy this past thanksgiving. Its very hard. God bless YOU !

  25. Praying your week is filled with Disney “magic” and memories. Praying for miraculous strength for all.
    “The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
    the Lord make his face shine upon you
    and be gracious to you;
    the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace.”‘ Num. 6:24-26

    This is one of my favorite verses and blessings, this I pray for your family.

  26. Hello, beautiful Whittaker family! I hope you are haviing a blessed time in Disneyworld and can’t wait to see pictures of your adventure. I hope the time you have with your family is strengthening… what a wonderful opportunity for them to share in your final weeks with Susana. I am praying for emotional strength for all of you and that you are able to focus on pleasure this week. You have blessed so many people and I am sure you are blessing people too at Disney. We love you!

  27. I learned of Susana last night as we were saying our prayers. It was bed time and I was praying with my daughter and son. At the end I ask if there are any special requests, and Faith wanted to pray for Susana and God’s Will. She had learned of Susana thru her afterschool program. As she prayed and I learned your story I began to weep. Looking at my two children, healthy, and all I take for granted during the day. Then my 10 year old comforts me and assures me that Susana is ready and is excited to meet Jesus. I wept harder. I learned that Faith and her friends have sent Susana cards and many prayers thru the afterschool/church. Please know that prayers are going up everywhere! You have prayer warriors where you didn’t even know. God Bless your Family and please send our love to yours!!

  28. I lost a child to cancer at the age of just turned 5. All my praise goes to Jesus for giving me the strength that he promises in Philippians 4. I can do ALL things thru Christ who gives me strength. I am now a pastor and crisis care counselor. God is good, no matter what the circumstances. I will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer. Your attitude of love, grace and joy will speak to many.

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