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Making an Impact as a ReadyChristian
Standing Strong in Crisis
ReadyChristian: One who is spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically ready to respond to emergencies large and small. A Christ-follower who faithfully prays, actively cares, and sensitevely shares the Hope of Christ with those in the midst of crisis or disaster.
ReadyAustin (ADRN) Employee Stands Strong in the midst of her own crisis. In September of 2011, Michelle Parke, one of the Austin Disaster Relief Network's employees faced a daunting challenge while in the middle of responding to a crisis in their region, the Central Texas Fires.
Following weeks of severe pain, Michelle went to the doctor to discover what was happening. Days later the test results came in with the unfortunate news that she had Stage 4, Bone Cancer. Her bone scan showed her body was riddled with cancer (spine, legs, arms, hands, back, thighs, shoulders, right jaw and neck). Not seeing the possibility for full recovery, the doctor recommended radiation/chemo to help prolong her life. While not easy to hear this diagnosis ever, the crisis was compounded because of the major disaster relief effort underway and Michelle’s 15 year old daughter. Michelle had to make a big decision to trust in the Lord, take a leave of absence with ADRN, seek His face and begin radiation treatments. As Michelle began dealing with everything, she could greatly feel the peace of God and the prayers of friends standing in the gap for her. She was encouraged and believing for total healing. Once the radiation and chemo treatments began, they quickly began taking a toll on her body.
By October, she was bed-ridden and taking morphine because of the severe pain she was experiencing. Michelle's faith in Jesus Christ and His healing promises were being greatly tested when healing did not come quickly.
In November, her faith again was being tested with thoughts of putting her final plans in place and saying goodbye to family and friends. ADRN teaches in their Biblical Readiness class that God places us in the Body of Christ to support each other and share the hope that we have in Christ! This is exactly what ADRN's core team and Michelle's friends began to do. Continuous prayer and encouragement from God's promises were shared by phone, text, and in person.
December brought a recommendation to begin a much stronger toxic chemo treatment because of tests showing only minor progress. Michelle decided to take two weeks to seek the Lord and pray, seeking his face and purposes before any further treatments!
By the first week of January 2012, Michelle started the hard core chemo treatments and her support system continued to pray and believe that Michelle's body would not be affected by the harsh chemo treatments. God amazingly answered those prayers! Michelle was never overcome by nausea, not even once! By mid-January, with her faith increasing, she became convinced that she would not die as the doctors had stated, but live to see the fullness of her destiny fulfilled! Suddenly, with this stronger faith in place, her latest test results showed that her white blood cell count numbers were almost back to normal. Her bone scan report came back miraculously better than the first scan in September. Her tumor count came back normal and the doctor called her on January 30th, declaring that she was in full remission!
Michelle is a walking testimony of God's great love and faithfulness as well as the power that comes as Christians stand together to pray, care for survivors, and share the hope that we have in Christ. We invite you to join Michelle and others and start the process of becoming a Ready Christian. Make the commitment to download and complete this free training. Then share your stories with others as we encourage each other and stand together as Ready Christians.