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Elaine John

Posted By Elaine John || 19-Nov-2020

For the most part, I have lived a charmed life. I have never known financial hardship, never lost a job or even an interview for a position, never been dropped by a boyfriend--the list goes on. A few years ago I was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer, but even then through fairly robust chemo and radiation treatments I managed to continue to work without being decked by this diagnosis. My responsibility at my ministry is Fund Development. This requires a very optimistic outlook as we approach prospective donors to share their resources during a time of pandemic and devastating fires that have cost many so much! In the past two months, however, I have encountered circumstances that left me feeling very vulnerable and discouraged. My husband, Cavalier Spaniel and I have been twice evacuated by wildfires threatening our hilltop home overlooking Napa Valley. During this most recent conflagration when a massive fire truck drove up our private road and ordered us to evacuate as quickly as possible, I realized that this was a greater threat than our earlier evacuation. And I was right! Our dwelling ultimately survived, but the fires burned all vegetation right up to our doorstep and on every side of our home. It is a miracle that it still stands. Through this experience I have learned that at my ministry, we live our promise that is on the wall: Know me, Care for me, Ease my Way. Our Chief Medical Officer offered us shelter (including our dog) and gave me clothes to wear to work. Several of my colleagues sent messages of encouragement and offered to provide anything we needed as we waited with dread to hear daily reports of how many homes were destroyed in our neighborhood. The Chief Executive of our hospital brought me comfort food. I am grateful that I experienced this caring and have been strengthened by knowing that no matter what comes our way, we are never alone.
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