First Days

May 25, 2015 from Immanuel
Please pray for Pastor Mike. While bike riding this morning he suffered a heart attack. He is in the hospital being treated and evaluated. He is in stable but serious condition. Pray for wisdom as the medical staff treats him. Pray for comfort for Maria, Maddie, Lydia and Luke (2 Cor 1:3-4). At this time please pray and keep phone calls and visits to a minimum. We will keep you updated.

488911B4-7B17-4B98-921D-44341FAA9CE8CFA92BB5-AA40-46DE-90B4-A6472A6B6C18May 25, 2015 from Immanuel

Thank you for your continued prayers for Pastor Mike and his family. As you are aware, Mike had a heart attack this morning while cycling.  He was discovered unconscious on the side of the road and rushed to the emergency room. As of this evening, he remains in critical but stable condition in ICU. We are grateful to God that his CT scan revealed no bleeding in the brain. Tomorrow he will continue to be evaluated and the next steps in his treatment will be determined.

Please pray:

  • For Mike to rest, regain consciousness and for complete healing.
  • For the wisdom for the doctors, nurses and medical staff as they evaluate and treat his medical condition.
  • For Maria, Maddie, Lydia and Luke, that God would be their comfort.
  • For friends, family and neighbors who are not Christians, that God would use this difficult providence as a witness to the glories of King Jesus.
  • For all of us, that we would stand firm on the promises of our Mighty King and not doubt His strength, His purposes and His goodness.  (Psalm 3:3-4; Ps 147:3-5; Isaiah 46:8-11; Matt 11:27-30; Phil 4:4-8)

At this time please pray and keep phone calls and visits to a minimum. Tonight, beginning at 7:00 PM if you would like to pray corporately, the Elders will be at IPC to host a time of prayer for Pastor Mike and the Francis family.

May, 26, 2015 at 3:49 a.m. from Maria to friends in Africa

Hello, sweet ones—

I’m in the room with Mike and not sleeping. So comforted to find your email lighting up my phone. Thank you. After everyone left the nurse said she had tried a sedation vacation. She had taken him off sedation and pain meds. He is every bit as unresponsive as he was before, which worries me. Not fighting the intubation or the pokes. I don’t know who else to share with at this hour, though I know you’re praying either way, and this encourages me.

Lots of love to all of you,

The hospital room board, downgraded to “comfort” when the medical staff’s expectations changed

May 26, 2015, 6:16 a.m. from Maria to her colleagues in the Stetson University School of Music


Thank you for your kind texts and prayers.  I think I will be in the hospital here with Mike in Ormond for several days.  I can’t think of anything on my to-do list that needed to be done this week, but please call or text me if there might be a ball dropping.


Mike is still unresponsive, even after they took him off sedation and pain meds last night, and this worries me (more than I’ve told most people).  The nurse says it could take 72 hours.  Assuming he comes back to us (keep praying, please – I sure miss him), they will talk about bypass surgery then.  There is significant long-term blockage in three coronary arteries.

Mike’s sister was on a plane 2 1/2 hours after I called and arrived yesterday evening.  She’s very anxious.  The kids were all home and have been amazing.  Immanuel folks and pastors from the presbytery have been near and are feeding us.  Grown men cry at Mike’s bedside.  People across the globe pray.  We don’t know the future, but we know the God who holds it – and us – in His good and all-powerful hands.  (See Isaiah 41:10.)

He is receiving excellent care, and I have been thankful for Stetson benefits at least a hundred times since I watched them put Mike in a helicopter yesterday morning.

There is a lot of waiting around, here, so if there is Presser business that needs my attention, don’t hesitate to call/text.  I’m grateful at this time for such caring and supportive colleagues.

May 26, 2015 from Immanuel

David Correa prays for Mike from Mexico

Thank you for your continued prayers and well wishes for Pastor Mike and the Francis family. Mike continues to be in ICU and remains in critical but stable condition. As Mike has rested and been evaluated throughout the day God has been gracious to provide tears, laughter, positive signs of recovery, great medical care and friends and family to share the journey with. Continue to ask our heavenly Father to restore Mike to health. Jeremiah 32:17 says, “‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” Mike’s healing rests in the Lord’s capable hands.

11402724_1005485449464498_6362023480997597099_nMay 27, 2017 from Immanuel

Join us tonight (Wednesday) evening beginning at 7:00 PM if you would like to pray corporately. The Elders will be at IPC to host a time of prayer for Pastor Mike and the Francis family.

Later:   Thank you for your continued prayers and well wishes for Pastor Mike and the Francis family. Mike continues to be in ICU and remains in critical but stable condition. Today we have been encouraged as Mike continues to show positive signs. His response to stimulus is increasing, yet we remain prayerful that Mike will awake to full consciousness. This evening the blood profusion pump was removed, so pray that Mike’s heart would remain stable.

The Francis family has been deeply encouraged through your prayers, concern and care. The gathering of Christ’s church to pray on their behalf has brought smiles to their hearts. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” As we pray for Mike and the Francis family may we call out with boldness and dependence to the One who is upholding our every heart beat as He is Mike’s.

May 27, 2015, 7:44 p.m. from Maria to colleagues


I was hoping to have another milestone to report, but Mike held steady today.  They are pleased with his heart function, and we are currently waiting for the cardiologist to come and remove the balloon pump for his aorta.

If you’re on Facebook, you may have seen my post, thanking God for his goodness and grace in a number of details:  a day nurse who excels in spotting hopeful signs (and Mike is his only patient);  people around the globe praying for Mike, along with people gathering every evening at Immanuel (over 60 last night); a copy of the 911 report via the husband of Mike’s secretary, a county employee; and a beautiful condo at the beach lent to us by a Christian we don’t know. It’s closer than driving back and forth to Deland, and the kids and Mike’s sister Kathie can sleep there.  I stay nights with Mike – I’m getting to be a pro at sleeping in the recliner – and can shower and grab a quick beach walk there.  SoM alum favorite and almost-Francis child, Robert Krahn, has been here evenings.  Folks are here steadily.  We own the waiting area.

If you will keep praying for Mike to regain consciousness, I would be grateful.

Miss you all.

EF10D8F7-DA5E-48B9-80E7-5F916C04BA31May 29, 2015 from Immanuel

Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for your continued prayers for Mike and the Francis family. This morning the neurosurgeon reviewed the results of the MRI with the family. The MRI revealed that Mike’s brain was swollen and did suffer damage in various areas as a result of the heart attack.

As you can imagine, this news was discouraging. We have been and now know that we are praying and trusting God for a miracle beyond the finite wisdom of medicine. Let us boldly pursue our Father of mercy today on Mike’s behalf.

More than ever the family needs space today. Please keep praying and keep phone calls and visits to a minimum.

May 29, 2015 at 10:10 a.m. from Maria to colleagues

Maybe not today, [to visit at the hospital] after all. We just got some bad news on the MRI. Brain damage. They have no expectation that the walking and talking Mike we knew will come back. Can you let J and S know?  (And others as appropriate)

May 29, 2015 from Maria to friends, forwarding Immanuel’s update

Bad MRI. Brain damage from lack of oxygen. He was out on his bike, and we don’t know how long he was out before he was found and paramedics came. Only a little improvement in his responsiveness this week. We’re asking God for a miracle. Thank you, thank you for your prayers and messages of encouragement.

0A1F42B9-97B5-4DBF-9C62-69D6775F1E83June 1, 2015 at 4:50 a.m. from Maria in reply to friends

Thank you for your sweet note and all your prayers and kindnesses to us. We are holding steady.  We are in isolation now, since protocol after a loose bm means they must test for Cdiff, so we must gown and glove to be here with him.  I’d love for you to pray for that.  Positive results and any of us getting sick would be pretty bad.


June 1, 2015 from Noel Painter, associate dean, to School of Music faculty and students

11393026_1002288779784165_8720040374250887205_nI hope that this email finds you well and rested this summer.

Some of you may not be aware that Mike Francis, Maria’s (Mrs. Francis in the front music office) husband and pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in DeLand, is currently in the hospital.  Last Monday (Memorial Day), Mike had a heart attack while riding his bike.  He was airlifted to Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Ormond Beach and remains there, in ICU, in critical but stable condition.  Later, the doctors took him off sedation and pain medication.  At this time, Mike is still unresponsive.  Though he can breathe on his own, the breaths that he takes are not deep, and therefore he remains on a ventilator.

On May 28, the doctors were able to complete an MRI.  We know that the test indicated that there is brain damage to some extent.  This past weekend, Mike had a seizure and a bleeding problem in his leg that resulted in the need to perform surgery.  This surgery was done immediately, and went well.  Still, through the weekend, Mike continues to have seizures occasionally.

Since removing the sedation, Mike has had some spells of coughing and gagging, which could be signs of greater awareness.  Frequently his facial expression will change, or his mouth move, encouraging our hopes for awakening soon.  Maria remains diligent and steadfast by his side in Ormond.  Her church community has been generous in keeping her well-stocked with meals and gift cards to local restaurants, and a person that Maria doesn’t even know has gifted them with use of a condo near the hospital (though she spends the nights in the room with Mike, the condo is a convenient place for a shower or meal).  All three of her children (Maddie, Lydia and Luke) and many other relatives and friends either are or have been in town.

At this time, Maria asks for your prayers for Mike—for healing, restoration, protection. Certainly she will also appreciate your words of support, via email or card.  There are many people who want to visit the hospital to see Mike and to support Maria; at this point, Maria values peaceful, quiet time with Mike and her family.

Our great hope is for Mike to awaken and to be healthy.

June 4, 2015 from Immanuel

FA36A612-309E-4451-9099-2E84F554629AThank you for your continued prayers for Mike and the Francis family. Mike remains in critical but stable condition. We remain prayerful that he will awake to full consciousness soon. Yesterday the medical staff successfully performed the tracheotomy procedure. The Lord continues to lead as the options for the next step in Mike’s care are presented to Maria and the family.  A decision was reached regarding his care for the next 30 days. Mike will transition to a medical care facility located on the 11th floor of the same hospital where he has been receiving such dedicated and professional care.  Your prayers and concern have been a source of encouragement for Maria and the family. They have felt sustained, protected, and comforted in ways that only God, Himself, can provide.

As Mike is transitioning to a new location, Lydia will also be in transition as she returns to her summer internship responsibilities today.  Please pray for strength, wisdom, and peace for her during this time.

Maddie is in Atlanta this week to receive the necessary training that her RUF internship requires.  As she is away, pray for her to rest in the Lord. Psalm 73:28 says, But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.”

5E30D377-6F57-42C8-9510-9DC8F9F5E311June 4, 2015 from Maddie to her friends and Reformed University Fellowship supporters

Dear Friends,Thank you for praying for me and for my family these last two weeks. For those who have not heard, my dad suffered a heart attack on his morning bike ride May 25. He has been unconscious in the ICU for 10 days, in critical, yet stable condition. Dad’s MRI reports are not hopeful.

We are devastated, shell-shocked, exhausted, and scared. There is so much we don’t understand. There is nothing we can control. We long, we wait, and we pray for the Mike we cherish so deeply to be restored to us.

There is a lot to be said about these last two weeks. They have been agony beyond words. But God is not less good, present, or in control than He was on May 24. Please continue begging for miracles in my dad’s life. These days are filled with uncertainty and a cacophony of emotions. Pray for us as we wait for Dad.


I write to you from RUF orientation in Atlanta. I am so thankful for my family and community that encouraged me to go. There are 72 interns in the 2015 class being sent to serve students all over the country. This community has selflessly entered into my suffering with me, even though we only met Monday afternoon. Be encouraged by them, and keep them in your prayers.

These are not circumstances I could have imagined for the beginning of the RUF internship. This season of fundraising, preparation, and moving will in no way resemble what I hoped it would be. Here is what you, dear supporters, need to know:

I am still fundraising.

At this point in the process, I am a little over one third of the way to reaching my support goal of $46,000. In order for RUF to approve moving to NYC August 1, I must have 85% of my budget ($39,100) raised. 

Due to the circumstances with my family, I will not be able to be meeting face to face with you to discuss support. This is for two reasons. 1) I simply do not have the bandwidth. 2) I’m planning on spending as much time as possible in the hospital with my Dad and caring for my family.

This is not how I want or intended to spend this season of fundraising. I appreciate you understanding and respecting the boundaries I need to maintain for the care of myself and my family. If this is an issue, or you have further questions about this, please feel free to email me. 

I will be available to communicate via email, text, and limited phone calls.

Please pray for me as I continue on in these labors. This money will only come because God is able to bring it. Pray for His provision, that my dependence would continue to be upon Him. I am heartbroken, I am afraid, and I am weary, please pray for strength and courage to face these coming months.

Dear friends, I cannot express how grateful I am for the ways you have cared and prayed for my family as we walk through this valley the Lord has called us to. Please don’t stop praying for my dad.

God is at work. And God is good. All the time.

With much love,

Maddie Francis

“The duties that God, in an ordinary way, requires at our hands are not proportioned to what strength we have in ourselves, but to what help and relief is laid up for us in Christ; and we are to address ourselves to the greatest performances with a settled persuasion that we have not ability for the least.  This is the law of grace…..”
-John Owen
(For Dad)

36EEBF05-1BD8-4C7C-BDA8-19D0D72FF349Keep reading here.