25 years ago the Lord called Dave Butts and his wife Kim to start a ministry called Harvest Prayer Ministries. Their mission is to call and equip the church to become a house of prayer for all nations.
In the spring of 2016 Dave was studying scripture and realized how often peace was mentioned in the word of God. The more he studied, the more he realized that as a pastor, he had never taught on the subject. He felt compelled to share what he was learning with others. By the summer of 2016 he knew the Spirit of God was telling him to write a book.
Dave and Kim began the process of gathering information for the book. During that time, there were some strange things going on physically for Dave. Dave had been coughing more than usual, but had assumed it was typical sinus trouble. However, Kim noticed that he was losing muscle tone, and his arms suddenly seemed so thin.
He made an appointment for a checkup, and his doctor thought maybe it was bronchitis. Then they suspected pneumonia, and then, discovered fluid in his chest. Dave underwent tests to see if there might be an issue with his heart. The tests went on for weeks, and then months. Eventually a CAT scan led to a biopsy.
Throughout the process, Dave and Kim researched the possible causes for his symptoms. They realized quickly there were some pretty serious potential problems, and yet, they had perfect peace.
“We knew it was time to write a book about peace. So we planned a trip to California to begin the writing process. We settled in and begin the first draft of a book called Prayer, Peace, and the Presence of God.”
After several days of writing, they got the phone call.
“The doctor said, ‘Dave you have lymphoma, a rare form called Mantle Cell Lymphoma.”
It was a type of lymphoma that affects only about 3-4% of patients. It’s very difficult to treat and typically not discovered until it is stage four. Most patients with this diagnosis can expect 3-5 years of life.
“When we got the news, we did not freak out. We had spent months studying peace, and when Jesus gives you His peace, He gives you a good thing. We had immersed ourselves in the word of God.”
“God did not give me cancer, but He knew what was coming and He knew what was going on inside of me, and He had prepared both Kim and I for this news. We were armed with His amazing gift of peace.”
They began investigating the best options for treatment. They met a doctor who gave them just the information they needed to understand the disease and the best way to fight it. After looking at the PET scan the doctor said, “You need to hurry.“
For the next five months Dave spent every third week in the hospital receiving a very strong form of chemotherapy. He went home to recover for two weeks, and then would go right back again. All the while, people from all over the world were praying for Dave.
“Our hospital room became a room of prayer. Kim stayed with me and people would come to visit and we would pray with them. Soon nurses and technicians would come in and ask for prayer. I realized I was going to be spending a lot of time in the hospital, so I began working on the book about peace.”
Sitting in the hospital chair with his laptop, Dave finished the book.
“It’s one thing to tell people you want to have peace, it’s another thing to be hooked up to really serious chemo with stage four cancer in the hospital and writing a book about peace. This cancer is considered incurable, but because of the word of God and the promise of peace, I had absolutely no anxiety or fear.”
Dave says the lessons he learned about God‘s peace weren’t just for him and Kim. He believes God’s peace is for every follower of Jesus. Dave finished his book, and finished the chemo regimen. He is now in remission, and God is using the book to help others experience His peace as well.
Hear Dave’s inspiring story in chapter 11 of Epic.
Learn more about Harvest Prayer Ministries.Dave Butts – The gift of peace