The Community of Christ by President Greg Christy


I concluded my last Classic column by stating that while the times we are experiencing may be economically uncertain, we serve a God who is unchanging, unshakable and worthy of trust. At the time, I had no idea how my own faith would be tested in new ways in 2009. 

Over the holidays, my wife, Michelle, and I were hoping that after two years of significant transition we would be able to settle into some sort of normalcy in 2009. That desire quickly faded when on Jan. 5 we sat in a doctor’s office listening to the numbing news that Michelle had breast cancer.

Since that day, we have been on a seemingly never-ending trip to see surgeons, oncologists and other specialists. It has been a challenging first half of the year. However, as Michelle and I have been reminded often through this process, our God is sovereign. He knows every detail of our lives, including the journey we have been on. We know his grace is sufficient for us and that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose. 

These truths are easier to claim, though, when not on the path we have been walking. This experience has given us a new picture of what it means to suffer. We have found much encouragement from Isaiah 41:10: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 

While it has been a difficult journey, Michelle’s prognosis for a full recovery is quite positive. We’ve been reminded God can bring good out of any circumstance, including cancer. The genuine love, care and concern shown to us by the Northwestern community, our new church family at Trinity Reformed, and others in the local community have been overwhelming.

Board members, faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends have bathed us in prayer, provided meals, watched our kids and even cleaned our home. This has been one of the most humbling experiences of our lives as so many have served us with the hands and feet of Jesus.

On the day before Michelle’s last chemotherapy treatment in May, many of these same persons joined Michelle, me and our kids as we participated in the inaugural Race for the Cure in Sioux City, an event to raise funds for breast cancer research. With over 80 persons running on Team Michelle, we had the largest team of any entered in the race.

Before arriving in Orange City, Michelle and I had heard a lot about the distinctively Christian community of Northwestern. Now we’ve experienced it. We know its strong, loving power firsthand. What a blessing it is to serve here. We praise God for each and every person in the Northwestern family.

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