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Focus On Faith

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Health challenges can often test one’s faith. In the case of New York Covenant Church member Paulette Evans, two bouts with breast cancer served only to strengthen her solid Christian upbringing and strong faith as an adult. Paulette’s story is a true depiction of Matthew 19:26: “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Paulette, who joined the New York Covenant family about a decade ago, was first diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in October 2009, after finding a lump in her breast. Since her mother and great aunt also had breast cancer, swift and serious treatment was recommended. A lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation, and much prayer and support from her family and friends pushed that cancer into remission. Five years later, the cancer resurfaced, and Paulette underwent surgery and treatment to fight back. Today, praise be to God, she is cancer-free.

“I am grateful that I knew God even before my diagnosis,” Paulette said recently.
“It’s good that we have medicines and machines, but my faith in God as the one and only true healer allowed me to deal with my discomfort.”

Her treatment was not easy: Paulette suffered bad reactions to the drugs used to treat the cancer, and the physician who treated her during her first bout with cancer wasn’t the most caring or attentive to her situation. But she was able overcome those setbacks, thanks to the love of her family and her dedication to God. She also kept a journal of her thoughts and prayers, which helped her cope.

“I have been in bed in pain, late at night, and something comes upon me, and then the pain is not as bad,” Paulette said. “I know that ‘something’ is far greater than man.”

Her husband of 33 years, Joe, has been her rock through these times and throughout their marriage. Paulette’s spirits were also lifted by her two daughters, three grandchildren and a great-grandson, who continued to love her unconditionally. Several members of her NYCC family also prayed with Paulette and comforted her during her illness, offering another source of “constant comfort,” she said.

“Joe is and continues to be a source of strength,” Paulette said of her beloved husband. “He took care of me and did everything possible to make me comfortable. He and my daughter took me to treatments and just loved me.”

While having cancer twice has been difficult, it has been an opportunity for Paulette to experience the power of the Lord, up close and personal. And for that, she is most grateful.

“I feel that all the testing, the illnesses that I have had, is all to show what an awesome God we serve,” Paulette said. “The fact is that God is REAL. Even if we don’t see how He works, I see God as being active and real through this. He’s not just ‘up in the sky’.”

Each month, “Focus on Faith” will feature a member who wishes to share their testimony

Posted by Gayle Williams with 3 Comments
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Ministry Spotlight

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You’re new to New York Covenant. You walk into the sanctuary, knowing no one. While our congregation is a friendly, welcoming one, there is a ministry whose mission is to welcome friends and to strictly adhere to our church’s mission: To make disciples by cultivating relationships. That ministry is known as EMBRACE.

Formed just a few years ago, the EMBRACE ministry’s acronym stands for Encouraging Multitudes by Raising Affection, Concern and Empathy. The members of the ministry are honored to be on the “front lines” of showing love to newcomers and existing members, by following their mission: To love, care, and show empathy for the church body by cultivating, widening and deepening relationships.

How does the ministry accomplish this? They take many different paths to simply loving on others. Led by Sister Melissa Jackson, the members of the ministry gather the names of those members and visitors who fill out the Connect Cards and are in need of prayer, support, or other information. Those requests are met each week, by ministry members. Additionally, EMBRACE members send cards, or offer visits and prayers to those who are ill or bereaved. The ministry’s members include a variety of spiritual gifts, including Evangelism, Exhortation, Encouragement, Mercy, Pastoring, Teaching, Administration, Compassion and Service. The EMBRACE team is the ministry to turn to simply if you need to know more about NYCC, need a helping hand, or simply a friend to pray with you.

The EMBRACE team is here to serve YOU, by displaying the love of the Lord.

For more information about EMBRACE, please see Sister Melissa Jackson or any of the other team members: Gerald Jackson, Princess Jackson, Valerie Coleman, Janelle Roundtree, Cal Gray, Michelle Wilson or Gayle Williams.

Posted by Gayle Williams with 1 Comments