Life Stories

"I no longer have breast cancer!"

Connie Barrett

 


 

As I grow older with Jesus

By Alan York

During the past few years, as older age silently crept up on me, I found my usual verve and capacity to multi task becoming ever more arduous. The distant past by the way, being since I gave my life to Jesus aged thirteen.

Well, all came to a head following three expensive car accidents in six months, all shamefully being my fault, thus spoiling a previous unblemished forty year accident-free record!

I also began to lose things such as keys, wallets, mobile phones, in fact anything I placed down in a ‘safe’ place. I just could not remember where I put them. As I closed the house front door and sat in my now repaired car, dark thoughts appeared in the form of, did I lock that front door, in fact did I lock the back door and turn off the gas? I just had no memory of doing so.

Well I am approaching my mid-sixties, so I suppose early dementia is inevitable! It worried me so much I finally sought medical help. A rare event in itself! This led me to taking the standard dementia test. I nervously sat before the nurse. She said, "I’m going to say a name and address which I want you to remember and recite back in a few minutes. Mr Smith: 31 High Road, Bromley, Kent.”

She then proceeded to ask other probing questions. Did I smoke, do you find climbing stairs difficult, are you allergic to any foods or medicines, all answers given in the negative. She recorded all this with a silent stroke of her pen. “Now, can you remember that name and address?” To my relief I reeled it off perfectly.

But then she upped the game! “Can you tell me the hours on a clock face in reverse and when you’ve done that tell me the months of the year in reverse.” Phew! Again I passed with flying colours. So, I hesitantly asked, “I don’t have early dementia then? If not, why is my brain now unable to remember the most basic of details, and why am I not able to take on the multiple tasks a Christian family man working a part time job, or do what used to be done with ease?” “Well”, came her reply.  “As we age we take on more and more responsibilities and the brain connecting neurons are not keeping up with the demands. So simply scale down your commitments, pace yourself, ensure you eat healthily and exercise regularly.” “Thank you.” I said, a much relieved man.

 Friends of Dagnam Park excavations Since that medical I have done as advised. I still do God’s work when daily doors to opportunity open, but I limit it now to one major daily task at a time. One such situation is my continuing long term work with the Friends of Dagnam Park (FODP), the nature reserve in Harold Hill.

The Manor as it’s locally known has over 300 fallow deer and every indigenous species you can think of. Back in 2015 we were asked by the London Borough of Havering to clear the years of increasing mud and foliage from the old house foundations originally built in 1772. We have been meeting every Monday and Friday mornings and have made much progress. We are soon to have an exhibition at Romford’s Havering Museum to display the many artefacts we have found and cleaned. 

It’s an excellent way to exercise. It’s certainly keeping our mixed age and gender team of diggers fit and healthy. You are most welcome to join us. An article about us can be read in the latest Havering Living magazine or log in to the excellent FODP website, which reveals the site’s history and our dig progress.

 


 

Tributes to Billy Graham

A tribute to Billy Graham's christian ministry and impact on the global church by Eulitha

by Aloma, a Romford Elim Church member

I recall my late parents taking my older siblings to the 1954 Harringey crusade.

It was in 1989 whilst working in London for a UN Intergovernmental Organization that I had my epiphany moment. After work I took myself off to Wembley Stadium. I do not want to be melodramatic, by portraying Wembley as a road to Damascus experience, but it was certainly a Wembley experience.

Eventually, after all the preliminaries, in Billy Graham’s trademark style of accurate content and preaching the gospel in an accessible way, came his compelling message. Thereafter he invited people to come forward to ask Jesus to be their saviour through his signature alter call "Just as I am...” . Hundreds responded, myself included, and it was the best decision I ever made. I was given a booklet of Luke (Jesus in a nutshell) and of Testing.

At Three Score and Ten and despite old age related health issues, I know who I am. Without doubt, I know God has been present, divinely intervening in all my trials and tribulations. He is my keeper (Psalm 121).

Simply, Jesus never promised that life would be easy. But God has a special purpose for each of our lives. As we trust in him He gives us the strength to endure the test, withstand hardships and gives us patience to wait on his timing. Where God guides, he provides (Hebrews 13:5). Keep the Faith.

 

by Eulitha, a Romford Elim Church member

I had heard of the name Billy Graham but did not know much about his ministry until a few years ago when I was trying to find my place in the body of Christ.

I read a few biographies on people who were considered to be influencial in the Christian faith, amongst whom was Billy Graham. 

He says that he used to practice his sermons in the bathroom and even though his crusades were packed and a lot of people got saved, it never stopped him from being nervous before he stepped on the stage. It showed me that being nervous or even fearful does not mean that God is not with you, or that maybe you are not in His will. It says to me (and to any timid soul) ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’!  

 


 

Cheryl

This is a prayer of thanksgiving. It has now been 6 months since my treatment for Breast Cancer and I am getting stronger through the grace of our Lord and Saviour. I give Him all the glory and praise.

Through this experience I have learnt to trust and lean on him more and more. I am confident in trusting God in the smallest detail of my life and my family. My mouth is in continual praise and prayer thanks to the goodness of His love and mercy...just like David did.

We have had our ups and downs, but God has been the silent footsteps in the sand! 

Thank you my God and Saviour. I pray he continues to purify my heart. 

 


 

Eulitha

I am Eulitha. I was born into a religious family although we did not actually attend church. From the age of six, I started going to church by myself for snacks, rewards for memorising scripture and music, which has always been a drawing factor. I got saved and baptised at 19. Excited, I became part of street witnessing and hospital visitation ministries.

Looking back, God’s hand has always been on my life and He has used several events and people to draw me close. One such was when I met a member of a cult whose weird theology drove me to read the Bible within three months of me becoming a Christian, as my life literally depended on it!

I got married and have three lovely children. Unfortunately, the marriage ended 12 years later. My spiritual life took a tumble and I felt unworthy to call myself a Christian. Scriptures memorised in my youth saved me, eg 1 Peter 2:9. By then I was a member of Romford Elim and they have been part of my healing process ever since. Through it all, I am convinced that our God is personal and loving. He is a God who gets flowers delivered (some would say by mistake!) just because you need that lifting up, he lights up the sky when you need direction and above all calls you "His beloved" despite all your faults!

Our God is awesome, and I believe that my best is yet to come! 

 


 




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