Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

Updates From David Powlison

Author: Date: November 07, 2018

Category: ,


You may have heard about David Powlison’s recent diagnosis. This landing page will be the place where we provide updates as we receive them. Please continue to keep David, Nan, and the Powlison family in your prayers.

November 8, 2018

Dear Friends,

I am deeply thankful for your continuing prayers, expressions of support, and encouragement. I am now recuperating at home from a delicate, major surgery.

The outcome proved to be very different from what my doctors hoped and expected. We all went into this surgery thinking it was a stage 1 operable tumor; mid-way through, the surgeon discovered that it is stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Needless to say, this is hard news. We are just beginning to process it.

Nan and I have been very heartened by Jesus’ words in Matthew 6, that the day’s own trouble is sufficient for that day. So for now, we are simply focusing on managing pain and on healing from the operation. Next week’s days will bring a different focus as we meet with our oncologist to begin discussing options and scenarios going forward.

We are comforted by the liveliness of God’s words to us. He is with us, as so many wise people have reminded us. We appreciate your prayers for our entire family, and the care and concern you have expressed for the staff at CCEF, and your prayers on their behalf as they continue our work in my absence.

May God bless and keep you,

November 2, 2018

Dear friends of CCEF,

I have been deeply encouraged by the care, encouragement, and intercession that Nan and I have received from so many people.

As you may know from the video and note we sent out several weeks ago, I will be having surgery for a tumor in the pancreas, and we now have a surgery date: Monday, November 5, first thing in the morning. Because it was discovered so early, at this point the plan is for surgery to be the treatment. The anticipation is that I will be in-patient for about a week, and will be recovering at home for about a month after that. While I am out of circulation, my Chief-of-Staff, Jayne Clark, will be CCEF’s acting executive director.

As I mentioned earlier, my doctor’s words to me were: “It’s a bad diagnosis, but with a real silver lining because we found it early.” I sincerely hope that the “silver lining” is what proves true. At the same time, I desire with all my heart that Psalm 112:6-7 will be formed at the very center of who Nan and I are individually and together. The sense of weakness and need is a gift from God. It makes us realize we need Him, we need all of His mercy to us, and we need people who love us. I’m grateful for your care, for CCEF and for me.

If you would like to continue to receive updates on how I’m doing, they will be posted here with a notice sent out through our eNews.


October 17, 2018

Dear friends,

I have sobering news to share with you, our faithful friends.

After several weeks of illness in September, I went to my doctor. A series of tests led to a definitive explanation of what is going on. The diagnosis is that I have an operable tumor in the pancreas. My doctor said, “It’s a bad diagnosis, but with a real silver lining because we found it early.” This is hard news to receive. But I am encouraged that the tumor is small and contained. Again, from my doctor, “Surgery offers a real possibility of being the treatment, and of being successful.”

The surgery, of course, will be complex, and medical hopes are only possibilities, not guarantees. How fragile we are! Yet, God knows us. Psalm 121 has been a frequent voice in my heart. The Lord truly helps. He is wakeful and protective. He is watching over me and Nan and CCEF. I’ve been heartened by Psalm 112:6-7. I want to be a person who is unafraid of bad news, who responds with a firm and steady heart, who trusts in the Lord, and again, who is not afraid.

I ask for your prayers, for myself and for Nan, for all of us at CCEF. May God’s nearness be tangible to us all.

I hope that through whatever unfolds we will trust our God, and ask his help, and express our thanks, and care for each other.

Thank you for caring,