Thursday, June 2, 2016

Please pray for Ron Hutchcraft

I've done my whole adult life with my Karen, the only woman I've ever needed.

Suddenly, I have to figure out how to do the rest of my life without her.

Sunday night, we sat in the bleachers at our local football stadium and watched our grandson graduate from high school. As valedictorian. Giving a faith-filled valedictory speech.

Monday afternoon, she was gone. Wrapped in a huddle of sobs with our three adult children, I choked out, "It hurts so bad." It really does.

It's been two weeks. But as I walk into our living room, I still instinctively look for her beautiful hair - her "crown of glory" - in her favorite blue chair. I go to make the oatmeal she loved for breakfast. I turn to tell her about a conversation or situation - or to hear her trademark laugh at one of my dumb jokes.

But our four-year-old grandson said it all the first time he ran into our living room and saw her chair empty. He ran back to his mother and said, "Mommy, you were right. She's not here."

No, she's not. And she won't be again.

I've probably shed more tears in the past two weeks than I've shed in the rest of my life.

But I have a story to tell. Actually, it's the Story I've tried to tell folks my whole adult life. But I'm now living its ultimate validation.

Everything I've ever believed, ever taught about my Jesus is true! Everything my death-crushing Savior promised, He delivers. In the darkest, most devastating days of my life!

He said of those who have put their total trust in His death on the cross for their sins, "Because I live, you will live also" (John 14:19). Because Karen's Savior is alive, so is this woman I love.

In God's own words, we have "a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3). Not "cross your fingers" hope, but living hope. Hope is a Person. Jesus. Who trampled death as He blasted out of His grave on Easter morning.

The hope that holds my heart together is as sure as our hope that spring will follow a seemingly endless winter. Spring is a sure thing. So is heaven. For those who've pinned all their hopes on the One who died so we could go there. As much as I love Karen, she is now with the One who loves her most. Experiencing His promise that "he who believes in Me will live, even though he dies" (John 11:25).

This amazing Jesus has got my Karen. And He's got me. I can tell. By the peace. It's what He promised in His disciples' darkest hour. "My peace I give not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).

That peace - along with that certain hope of a forever spring after this cold winter - is a powerful counterbalance on the scale so weighed down by grief.

Through all my darkest hours, my loneliest moments, the peace has never been shaken.
Oh, this Jesus I've talked about, written about, believed in all these years has come closer and become more real to me than ever before. He promised He would be "close to the brokenhearted" (Psalm 34:18). He really is.

This is the biggest storm of my life. The Cat 5 hurricane, the EF-5 tornado. Jesus is my safe room. And He's stronger than the storm.

Or as the Bible says, "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" (Hebrews 6:19).
The Anchor holds.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Urgent prayer requests March 2016

Please pray for Gateway Board Chairman  
Rev. Michael T. Westbrook and for Rosemarie Eurell
Update on Rosemarie - 3/17/16

Went to surgery on March 17th. Pray for recovery and pain reduction.                             

Wednesday 3-9-16
Maria Ellis Westbrook celebrating a healthy future on Earth. PTL!!! My awesome Hubby Pastor Michael T Westbrook has finally had a breakthrough with pneumonia!!! Prayer changes things, so we covet them still for complete healing. He expresses deep gratitude to each of you... I do too...

Tuesday 3-8-16

(11:40pm)   Maria Ellis Westbrook celebrating a healthy future on Earth. PTL!!! My awesome Hubby Pastor Michael T Westbrook has finally had a breakthrough with pneumonia!!! Prayer changes things, so we covet them still for complete healing. He expresses deep gratitude to each of you... I do too...

(2:05pm) PTL! Just removed Michael's breathing tube. Continued healing of pneumonia finally in
right direction!  THANKS for continuing topray, as we do for u too! "Enjoy Greater Life!" Rev Maria

Update on Rosemarie

Hi Dean, 

Update results of tests:  The cancerous tumors are in both lobes of my liver.  Treatment will involve a surgical procedure of medication injected into my liver and through the blood stream (involved).  

Most be done in both lobes one at a time.  It will make me very sick for some time, but hopefully will shrink the tumors.  Good news:   no other cancer found in my body which is a miracle. 

Praise God and thank you all of my prayer warriors.  Keep the prayers coming.  My chronic pain will subside in time as the treatments shrink the tumors

For we walk by faith not by sight.  2 Cor. 5:7    

Praise God for our brother, Rev. Michael Westbrook, who is improving and being healed.

Blessing flow,
Rosemarie Eurell
Sunday 3-6-16 -10am: Rev. Brian Rawls writes:  “Went to see my brother, Pastor Michael T Westbrook today. He looks great!!! Still praying! Please remember his wife Rev. Maria Ellis Westbrook in your prayers.“  7:42pm:  Maria writes: Thanks so much!! Michael showing miraculous improvement!

Maria writes:

March 5, 2016 'THANKS FOR all the LOVE, PRAYERS & CONCERN for our Pres/CEO, Michael T. Westbrook as he overcomes pneumonia! Cards/gifts welcomed to encourage him! Send to: Greater Life Inc, P.O Box 8447, Newark, NJ 07108. Sorry visitors very limited per hospital  rules. We love you!♡'

March 4, 2016 'Maria Ellis Westbrook Thank you God for healing pneumonia & everything my husband & I stand in need of...and bless each Prayer Warrior & their loved ones as well, in The Mighty & Matchless Name of Jesus!!! Amen & THANK God!!! ♡'
March 3, 2016 - 9:00am: 'God is faithful to His Word! Pastor Michael T Westbrook healing more each day of pneumonia!!! SPECIAL REQUEST: Can you send CARDS/gifts to our ministry: Greater Life, P.O. Box 8447, Newark, NJ 07108 so I can DECORATE his ROOM with your LOVE, since he's not allowed visitors yet. THANKS!!! It would encourage me too. Love to each of you ♡'

Maria Westbrook writes:
February 28, 2016 My FB Fam & Friends, MUCH PRAYER needed for my beautiful, selfless & loving Hubby, Pastor Michael T Westbrook...he is in hospital fighting pneumonia. ..he's sedated & getting excellent care...I will try to post updates daily... I am sooo of grateful for each of you! #‪#‎toughestdayyetGodstrengthened

February 29, 2016 'Thanks for your prayers, kind & loving words!!! Pastor Michael T Westbrook showing steady progress, but much prayer still needed. Sorry no visitors allowed yet... Pneumonia ain't no joke!'
March 1, 2016 Keep prayers coming for Pastor Michael T Westbrook! They're working! He still is not allowed visitors, however I've shared your blessed notes & prayers. He hears them in-between nonstop sleeping, which are helping him heal. Love you all sooo much! ’ 

Please pray for Gateway volunteer Rosemarie Eurell                                                                

Pray for Rosemarie Eurell, faithful Gateway volunteer. “Masses have been found in her liver” She is awaiting test results.

Please pray for Gateway clients Jey and Rechka Samithamby

Jey and his wife Reckha have been featured in recent Gateway Today newsletters.  
They have need of a reliable car so that he may travel the 3 ½ mile one way trip 
to his job. A vehicle has been identified for $2,000.  The registration has 
been provided, so please pray (and considering helping financially) 
toward the $2,000 goal

Jey has been walking or taking the bus for nearly a year. This has meant a 
3-4 hour travel schedule added to long hours working in a refrigerator 
unit at a local supermarket.. Both came from Sri Lanka in mid March 2015. 

Baby Jorja was born in late September. Rechka attends church weekly
while Jey is required to work Sundays (many hours, not much pay) 

Jey has an engineering background and has applied for a better job, 
but a vehicle is an essential.