It was June of 2005. I was given the news by my VA Oncologist, that I had indeed, gone into full remission of the Hodgkin’s Disease Lymphoma I had been battling since returning home from serving overseas in the United States Navy, station at Atsugi, Japan Naval Air Facility. I had been deployed to Iraq, in the War on Terrorism; Operation Iraq Freedom. I had served my time, but I was battling an aggressive disease. I wasn’t fully aware of what was happening to me, but I had something special happening to me. I was developing a special relationship with God. I had begun to do something on my own. No pressure from family members or my parents to constantly get on my knees and pray, or stand in church and clap your hands, bible study when my family came over from the Bahamas. I was now opening my heart to God, and knew I needed him more than ever. When you have Cancer, God is your best friend and supporter. I had come to realize that when I started attending Christ’s Church of the Valley in Peoria, Arizona. This church truly inspires me to follow God. Every message, every pastor I encounter, the ministry, and of course my best friend Tom Still continue to motivate and embolden me in my walk with God. Tom, who was now in flight school at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona, was flying F-16 Fighter Jets, was in a personal conflict battling the same disease I was battling. Tom had overcome this disease call Lymphoma, and made his way back into flight school. He was the biggest inspiration of my life. We did everything together. We held prayer together, went to country clubs, and attended CCV Single Ministry Events together. He and I sat in the same section at church, and I hung out with each other Luke Air Force Base. There were many times I would watch proudly as he took off into Arizona’s blue desert skies.
I had just received great news from my doctors and nurses at the Phoenix Carl T. Hayden VA Hospital and I wanted to honor God. I wanted to follow God. and wanted my best friend to be there by my side, so I asked Tom if he would help bring me to the Lord and without skipping a beat, he said “Yes!” I love my best friend for his unconditional friendship. He saw a lost man in me, and he guided me to the cross for which it stands. On June 12, 2005, I entered the beautiful pool at Christ’s Church of the Valley with Pastor Strubhar and Tom Still. I was this young man, with my best friend, and Pastor Strubhar asked me if I believed in my Lord and Savior, and asked me if I was committed to following God. He and Tom guided me backwards into the water, where I was submerged and brought up to life with renewal in my body, mind, and soul. It was the best decision I ever made. Since that time, my relationship with God has grown so much. I still have challenges in my life, but I know who to seek, and I know God is still for me. When I receive rewards in my life and good things happen to me like the birth of my son and the adoption of my daughter, I know to give God all the glory.
I recently just completed my final cycle of chemotherapy as I have battle Lymphoma for a 3rd time, and my relationship with God has only strengthen over this long journey, my body feels stronger, my mind is solid and focus on his love for me and my heart belongs to him, and I will continue to Fight the Good Fight, and I thank Pastor Strubhar and my best friend Tom Still for leading to Christ!