The Columns – February 2016

StephenMinistry

2016_February_columns7Hello, my name is Mary Oppenheimer and I am going to tell you my Stephen Ministry story. In 2003, I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer. I was cared for by Dr. Mills and his Fellows from Feist-Weiller (our own 1st Methodist member Dr. Hargon was one of his Fellows on the staff). I had surgery and started Chemotherapy in June of 2003. I became a very, very ill patient and Dr. Mills stated that I could not handle the full dosage of my Chemo. He reduced the dosage by a third and I was still very ill. I was confined to bed for 1.5 years and I have never known fatigue as I did then during that time. I would get my chemo treatment on a Tuesday and by Friday, I was dehydrated and needed an infusion of potassium and liquids. Dr. Mills assured me that the chemo was eradicating my cancer. He was right-I have been in remission for eleven years and I thank God every day for sparing my life. I also thank Stan, Lauri and Eric for their dedicated support during my illness. I thank the First Methodist’s Prayer Ministry, the pastors, the staff, the choir and the congregation.

Then in 2008, Lauri and Eric became the proud parents of twins, Mary Hadley and Graham Pearson. They were premature and spent 2 months in NICU along with their parents and grandparents. It was not the normal routine of having babies as they were preemies, but God performed another healing miracle as they are both healthy. The pastors of First Methodist made daily visits and through Louise Eason we were placed on the Prayer Ministry list. Our family thanks all of the pastors, the staff, the choir, the congregation and the Prayer Ministry. I thank God every evening for these blessings that He has bestowed upon our family.

Then in 2009, Linda Ferguson and Carl Rhoads approached me and asked me if I would be interested in becoming a Stephen Minister. It took me a quick minute to reply “Yes”. Stephen Ministry has become a path for me to serve God and to take care of receivers who need care giving. I am a Stephen Leader. Stephen Minister and provide the monthly article for The Columns. I have grown in my spiritual life and if any man or woman feels a void or a calling from God in their life, please become a member of our Stephen Ministry. You will be very blessed in your journey as a Stephen Minister and we welcome your interest in our ministry.

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