Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Faith like Ronnie...
We are almost a week removed from our mission trip. As always we attended ASP (Appalachia Service Project) and we went to Watauga County, North Carolina. Two teams from our church ended up working on the same site. Our project was to build the foundation for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom addition to a house.
On Sunday night myself another adult and two of the youth went to the site to meet the family and take a look at the project. Along the way we were told the story of the family. Due to a meth issue with a family member Ronnie (our homeowner) got a call in the middle of the night from the police saying that if they did not take in the four children of the family member that they would be separated and put into the system. Without hesitation Ronnie and his wife took in the kids.
On top of the 4 new children that entered the household, Ronnie and his wife have 2 children of their own. Now there are 8 people living under this one roof with 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom.
That would seem like enough to have to deal with but Ronnie also has stage 4 cancer.
My biggest problem right now is getting up in the morning and making myself go to the gym. I can't imagine what it must be like to have to get up every morning and deal with not feeling well as well as taking care of 6 kids.
I thought for sure that Ronnie was going to be a bitter man when we met him. I was proven wrong the first moment I met him. He was in such high spirits and so thankful that we were there to work on his home.
One day while I had a very bad headache and was sitting under the tent (yes Lindsay under the tent!) Ronnie came down and sat down beside me and told me some of his story. He told me about his strong beliefs. He told me that Jesus would come for him when it was time but until then he was going to live life. He was going to take care of his kids, watch them play basketball and grow up to be fine young men and a 1 beautiful young woman.
He told me a story about how he went in for his chemo and there was an elderly man and his wife there. The elderly man turned to Ronnie at one point and said "Son don't let cancer beat you, you beat cancer!" Ronnie said that those words resonated with him and that he has lived his life since that day believing that he will beat cancer.
He talked about how much he loved God and that God had given him so much in life. He wore a cross everyday to symbolize his faith. He talked about being a truck driver with over 2 million miles on the roads of the United States without ever having an accident.
Ronnie was amazing to listen too. Here is a man with a home that is not top of the line, 6 kids to take care of ranging from 2 and 1/2 to 12, and battling cancer. If anyone would have a right to have their faith wavier it would be him. But his faith is strong. Stronger than most who attend church regularly on Sunday mornings.
So I wish for you faith like Ronnie. I wish for you a love of Jesus Christ that tragedy, sorrow, pain, nor sickness can take it way. I hope that the everyday problems of life seem minuet today and that you up yourself up to a love that is unfaltering, unconditional, and always there. May you know the love of Jesus Christ today and may your faith be just like Ronnie's.