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You, Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light. (Psalm 18:28)

February 2020 Newsletter

WWW.GOSPELMUSICFESTIVALS.COM

This Month's Featured Writer

Joan Patterson

HE KNOWS MY NAME

In the August newsletter, I shared my story and had said that my husband died.

The Lord sent a woman of God saying, " When God resurrected Ron, He resurrected you , too".

I was blessed and relieved to hear those words. God had given me the blessing and opportunity to grow in His grace and to start a new life.

My husband, Ron, had always been healthy. It was only within a 30 day period that bad went to worse!

Within 30 days, he went to the hospital for stomach problems and his spirit left him after a diagnosis of stage 4 stomach cancer.

They had previously tried to repair what they thought was a tear in his gall bladder. They pumped a quart of bile from there.

But, his stomach began to swell and became distended which indicated another story than mere gall bladder issues.

After having retrieved a sample from a biopsy, I was told that Ron had stage four stomach cancer and he had it for a long time.

This is another case of how people may think they only have indigestion or acid reflux when it is something much more life threatening, as in my husband's case.

Poor Ron. He was lying in bed with his eyes closed when the doctor gave me the prognosis. He said Ron only had a week to eight days to live. Ron heard every word
and began to cry.

With a week to eight days to live, the hospital administrators wanted him to leave because he had no insurance. How heartless! I said ""NO!"

A lady on the third floor told me she would get insurance for Ron' s case because it was his third admittance and because he had cancer.

The next day, the hospice workers threatened us again with the demand to leave. What a cold- hearted attitude to a man whose cancer doctor just gave him days to live!

Our pastor's wife, who thought Ron had a tear in his gall bladder, was there and after hearing the final diagnosis told those hospice workers to stop threatening us!

Just before Ron died, our family and friends gathered around him and prayed the Lord's prayer, a prayer that gives me much comfort and is effective in many ways.

As it turned out, between the insurance and a GoFundMe account, all of the bills and funeral expenses were paid. Thank You, Jesus!

God comforts us in our affliction and is near to the brokenhearted.

Though our marriage was not great, I was committed to Ron and our family. I spent the last few days in his room with him.

The love of God sustains us and keeps us to the end. But this was not an end for me. It was only an end of this portion of my life.

At our church, a visiting prophetess told me, " When God resurrected Ron, He resurrected you, too".

Ron' s days on earth were over and his life moved onto. another stage.

My time on earth was about to take a major turn...for the better. My ""man of God" would turn out to be my friend, Steve.

I met Steve at the FVC, Fairview Village Church, a Nazarene denomination. Ron was still alive and we had no idea of how sick he was but I was seeking the Lord in whatever way I could find. I was not " looking for love" from a man. As I mentioned in my first testimony, I transgressed in that way before, with a church friend, and had learned the heartbreak of unfaithfulness the hard way.

I was there as a participant in a Monday evening program called The Journey. What a journey this would turn out to be!

The Journey is a program consisting of a formal gathering at 7pm, then we go to varying classes from Bible Study, to singles groups, rehab meetings, etc.. whatever was needed to help in our " journey" to God.

I noticed that Steve came on his own accord. He impressed me as a serious- minded individual who was there for the right reason and not just to socialize, though I saw he was not a loner, and would sit with different people and join their conversations. I was intrigued, but in a good way. I believed I saw a good, Christian man in pursuit of God and that was very admirable.

I could tell that Steve had no romantic interest in me and was relieved. As I said, that was not what I was looking for. But my dream of a man of God would not die and, hard as it was, I made no mention of this to Steve until much later in our relationship.

We kept in touch through Facebook Messenger.

One day, he invited me to a Bible Study. As God would have it, the brother hosting the meeting was an old friend from when I first met Ron and to whose fellowship we worshipped the Lord. This was when I first met Ron and he asked me to go to church with him.

I went with Steve a couple of times and when Ron learned where we were going, he wanted to come. I guess he wanted to chaperone. But, he liked Ed Fisher, who taught the study and wanted to see him again.

As we drove to Bible Study, Steve talked about his relationship with a young woman in Africa. This devoted woman of God founded a ministry for victims of the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in her native country, Uganda, East Africa and invited Steve to come and preach. They gave him a special honor for helping to sustain God's Grace Ministries Uganda now renamed God's Desire Ministry.

Steve preached his very first l" live" sermon ( all others were online sermons). God gave him His message and spoke through Steve as a translator spoke to the congregation. Thirty some souls were won to the Lord Jesus Christ.

As I listened to Steve, I became more and more interested in him and his ministry to these widows and orphans and how he was following the will of God in ministering to them.

His love for them.made me desire to have such love for myself. His heart seemed so pure.

Steve contracted blood clots that went to his lungs. He did not get up and walk around on his 15 hour flight to Uganda and spent most of his time there riding in a car from.place to place.

This caused him to be unable to work and his income was cut in half. I suggested he put his name in to our apartment building for senior citizens. It would be half as expensive as his apartment down the street from us but would take about a year to get in.

In the meantime, Steve collected long- term disability from his job at Advance Auto Parts. This enabled him to keep his apartment until he could move into Jefferson Apartments where Ron and I lived.

By the time that year was up, Ron had died and Steve's relationship died as well. God was working.

Though he could afford his apartment, he had no extra money. This left him unable to pay for his car inspection, a legality here in Pennsylvania. Cars had to have an inspection sticker to be on the road.

So, I offered to allow him to use my car...as long as I could come along.

This was after Ron had died. I enjoyed Steve's company and was hoping that he felt the same way. He did.

When asking about our relationship, his ex-wife said, " Are you two dating?" Steve replied, " No, but we might as well be. We are together a lot!" I thought that was cute...and a hopeful sign!

As time passed, we became better acquainted to the point where marriage was being considered.

The Lord told Steve that I could be trusted. That was a big issue in his life. It happened as we were driving.

Steve turned to me and said, " Joan. I can trust you". I didn't know where that was coming from or why. I only found out later that he had trouble trusting his last wife.

Steve was " playing it cool" there for awhile, so I thought, " I can do that, too", though I was hoping he'd change his mind. He did. He proposed. He told me he was just being respectful before because my husband just died.

We waited six long months, too short for some people but respectable enough.

We both knew that the Lord was in this so we did not concern ourselves too much about what others thought.

The call and promises of God are reliable and will come to pass.

God knows that a Christian needs to marry another like- minded Christian. Sometimes, especially in our youth, we do not use good judgment and consider a statement " Yes, I believe in God" to be good enough, usually because our minds are already made up.

In our case, God has made up for our youthful lack of good judgment and has made of two, one sacred union which is the closest thing to heaven on earth.

May you find peace and love in Jesus Christ and in a suitable helpmeet as I have found.

Joan Patterson.........email prayers / comments - sp5781716@gmail.com


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