Dearest Prayer Warriors:
Thank you very much for all the friends and families who came across the miles to attend Sami’s funeral service in Houston. Over one thousand people stood with us as we celebrated Sami’s life. The Lahouds, Raads and El-Issas were very touched by your love and presence. We also know that many people were following it online, and we are grateful for those as well.
For those of you who are in Lebanon, I will be leaving today to travel to Lebanon with my mother-in-law Wadad where there will be a Memorial Service for Sami at the National Evangelical Church of Beirut (Pastor Habib Badr), Friday, February 7 at 1:00pm.
Visitations at the above church: Friday, February 7 immediately following the service until 7:00pm and Saturday, February 8th from 11:00-7:00pm
The Lord indeed is faithful and has done and is still doing great things! He was with us throughout the whole journey and guided Sami home safely to His eternal Glory!
To be honest with you, I have mixed emotions! My heart aches for the physical separation! I miss him terribly! We all do! But at the same time, it’s very comforting to know, FOR A FACT, that Sami IS with JESUS, free from pain, healed and whole! I praise The Lord for 19 years of marriage and for a godly husband and father! I’m grateful Sami lived a life dedicated to The Lord where he did not waste one moment! He shined for Christ even in the darkest moments of pain & suffering! He was always focused and always reminded me that it’s a battle of the mind and all the enemy wants to do is shift our focus from The Lord to our troubles! As Dr. Raad said in the service: Sami’s last assignment was MD Anderson Cancer Center! He shared the love of Jesus with so many patients & medical staff alike!
Now he’s enjoying the Lord’s presence where there’s no more pain and suffering, no more Chemo, medications nor infections; no more waiting for hours for doctors’ appointments, blood transfusion or so on! He accomplished his mission! I was so honored to be his partner! I pray and trust that the Lord will give me the strength to continue my journey without Sami. He left in my care three precious gifts – our children! I need to be there for them! It’s definitely a new phase in my life and it can be scary! But I trust God’s presence to be with me. Like Isaiah 41: 10 says: “Do not fear for I am with you; do not be anxious for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I fully trust He is faithful!!! The children & I will be in His grip just like Sami always said!
Thank you for carrying us in your prayers throughout this journey!
In His Grip,
Many of you are travelling miles to be here tomorrow and for those who will not be able to, we are pleased to give you the possibility of a LIVE viewing of the Celebration of the Life of Sami Lahoud funeral service.
Just visit http://www.sugarcreek.tv/live on Friday, January 10th at 1:00PM CST (Central Standard TIme).
Sami Samir Lahoud went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 after a courageous battle with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelors of Science (BS) in Computer Science and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Houston Baptist University.
Sami held various high profile technical and management positions at ExxonMobil (EM) for the last 23 years in the Information Technology Department. Sami had several expatriate assignments including assignments in Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Iraq. His last assignment was as IT manager with responsibilities to setup and manage the IT infrastructure of EM’s new Dubai affiliate with approximately 200 expats and concurrently to design, setup and manage the IT infrastructure in Iraq for a new operating company with 100 EM expats and 1,300 Iraqi nationals. According to ExxonMobil, “The IT setup for the Iraqi operating company was as complex and difficult as any project ExxonMobil had ever attempted and Sami did it with class and style.”
Sami had a great spiritual impact on the lives of so many people, especially the young people whom he actively led and invested years teaching, counseling and gently leading them to a deeper life in Jesus Christ at the Arabic Church of Houston, where he was one of the founding servant leaders and deacons. He also was a member, Sunday School teacher and deacon at Sugar Creek Baptist Church.
Sami fought the good fight of faith until the very end and kept his eyes on His Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For 900 days during his illness, Sami did not waste a minute at MD Anderson Cancer Center without sharing the love of Christ with terminal cancer patients, nurses, physicians and health care workers. Sami used to repeat this verse many times from Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail me but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” He is now forever with the One who loved Him to the uttermost and whom he loved to the uttermost. He is now where he always longed to be and where he belongs.
Sami is survived by his wife Jacqueline of 19 years (who also was his right hand in ministry), daughters Wadad (18), Jeanette (15) and son Samir (13), mother Wadad Lahoud, sisters Lamia (wife of Dr. Issam Raad) and Rima Lahoud. He was affectionately known as “Khalo” (which means “uncle”) by not only his nieces and nephews but also all the youth around him.
Sami S. Lahoud (June 19, 1964 – January 7, 2014)
Wednesday, January 8, 2014, 7-9pm
4207 Clearwater Court, Missouri City, TX 77459
Thursday, January 9, 2014, 7-9pm
Arabic Church of Houston
3403 Cartwright Rd, Missouri City, TX 77459
Friday, January 10, 2014, 1:00pm
Sugar Creek Baptist Church
13223 Southwest Fwy, Sugar Land, TX 77478
Burial – Interment:
Friday, January 10, 2014, following the service
Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery
12800 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77077
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
-Health Outreach to the Middle East (towards the Sami Lahoud Hospital Wing)
-The Lebanese School for the Blind and Deaf
Checks may be dropped off at the funeral service or mailed to:
3403 Cartwright Rd, Missouri City, TX 77459 USA
For wiring information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is with the hope and comfort of Christ that we share with you that our beloved Sami went home to be with the Lord at 1:41 am this morning Tuesday, January 7, 2014. We are thankful for the blessed assurance that Sami is held by the heavenly arms and is in the place where he wanted to be… a place where there is no mourning, crying or pain… and where death is no more. Sami used to repeat this verse from Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail me but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” He is now forever with One who loved Him to the uttermost and whom he loved to the uttermost.
Visitations will be tomorrow, Wednesday from 7:00-9:00pm at the Raad residence on 4207 Clearwater Ct, Missouri City, TX 77459.
Funeral details will follow.
A few days before Christmas, Sami was feeling very ill :( We literally thought we were losing him :( His blood pressure dropped significantly, he had a high fever and went into a semi-coma. However, on Christmas Day, he suddenly woke up! All his vital signs became normal and he started communicating with us. He asked for water and 7up, ate an orange, a banana and some ice cream! Even his WBC went down a few thousands! That was a true miracle and a special Christmas gift from above to our family! We chatted and spent a sweet time together. However the last four days, Sami has been in a deep coma. More than ever, we are praying and trusting God's perfect plan for him... We love you and appreciate your support. We know God is good all the time and Sami is and will always be in HIS GRIP! Psalm 73:26 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Love, Jacqueline
Dear Prayer Warriors:
When we first started this journey, Sami told me: “Jacqueline, we are going through the fiery furnace! But remember, the Lord is with us!” He told the kids: “The Lord allowed this cancer for a reason! He is in control, and He’s going to walk with us every step of the way!” Sami reflected his peace on me, on the children & the rest of the family! And I’m sure you all have sensed it through his blog! We felt The Lord’s presence indeed!!! A hard but a blessed journey!
Sami is not doing well right now… I was waiting for him to get better and write to you himself but he can’t… He’s fighting sooo bravely though! Although his body is weak, his spirit is strong! He’s still trusting the Lord and clinging to his faith! We appreciate your faithful prayers that carried us so far and will continue until the Lord is glorified in Sami whether in healing here on earth or healing in heaven where Sami will be whole again! Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego told the king: “our God whom we serve is able to deliver us…, but even if He does not, we will not serve your gods…”! Daniel 3: 17b-18.
This is exactly our stand! We have a living faith in a mighty God! He sent His son Jesus to die for us, to build that broken bridge destroyed by sin and to bring us back to relationship with Him. He promised eternal life to all who believe in Him! Sami put his trust in Jesus and built his life on Him, the Eternal Rock and neither a storm nor a leukemia tsunami is going to destroy that!
Please keep on praying for us during this hard time! We are fully trusting that Sami is still and will ever be in His GRIP!
Much love, Jacqueline
As we were getting excited about the zero blast (as Sami shared with you in his last post) he woke up one morning with a headache and a blurry vision in the left eye. We rushed to the hospital! To make a long story short, testing showed that some of the Leukemia cells had penetrated the brain and spine! It was a huge set back :( However, we know this was not a surprise to The Lord! We still believe our Loving Heavenly Father is on the throne & in full control! Psalm 11: 3&4.
His doctors suggested immediate spinal Chemo therapy, radiation & proton therapy! He completed the treatment and responded really well! Now, he is recovering from the side effects!
Speaking of side effects, they are unpredictable as each patient’s reaction is completely different. As for Sami, some of what he got: hair loss, some skin burns on the forehead, lack of appetite, and deep somnolence which is leading him to sleep most of the time. One thing we are thankful for is that he has no pain. He is in the hospital and we know that He who started a good work in Sami will continue to completion.
We appreciate your partnership with us in faithful prayers & constant support! Very soon you will hear from Sami about this adventure! Nobody tells it like him :)
I close knowing that Sami is in the safest place: In His grip!
Much love, ❤Jacqueline
Believe it or not, but I am back, after a battle with pneumonia. I am alive and kicking!!. I was supposed to have pneumonia, which freaked out my physicians, however, the Lord worked it out that I did not get it. The chest x-ray had confirmed that I was going to get pneumonia, however, Praise the Lord, I passed safely through this storm.
Additionally, the blasts (cancer cells) are all gone – YES !!! Praise the Lord !. They are currently considering “another” Donor Lymphocytes Infusion, we are hoping and praying that this one will be it. :)
Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. We desperately need them.
In His Grip
This is Lamia, Sami’s sister with an update on his status.
After his last T Cell transplant, the blast cells (cancer cells) started showing up again…The doctors put him on a new dose of chemo to try to control them and allow the T cells to work.
So far the blasts have been slowly decreasing. Thank God, Sami was able to take most of the required meds as an outpatient and hence be home with his family.
However, this past week we have been back in the hospital with fever and pneumonia… the reason why I am updating this blog. The doctors are reassuring us though, that with the right antibiotics, we should be out soon.
Looking back at this long journey, in-spite of everything, we have felt the Lord’s Presence every step of the way and cannot but echo Matt Redman:
“Scars and struggles on the way
But…Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did You leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, You are faithful”
This journey has been long and full of struggles, but the Lord has been so faithful and we feel that all of us are truly “in His Grip”.
Sami is doing well and recovering. Our trust is in the Mighty Physician.
Thank you all for your love, encouraging notes and most of all prayers.
You have no idea what a comfort they are, to Sami first, and to all of us second!