Seeing God's Grace

Written by Amanda Cunningham.

If we could perch on a cloud and watch our self attempting to maneuver this maze of life below, we might see a tiny speck doubtfully taking the wrong turn, fearfully running in circles, or hopeless in dead ends.

But if we could see ourselves from above like God does, we would watch the dismal grey hallways turn into golden grooves of honeycomb. The tiny speck now has a name and the correct turns and clear paths are marked with arrows, as it just so happened for Debbie.

Randall and his wife, Debbie, had been married for 26 years when they moved to the Rockwall area in 2010. Debbie always felt a desire to go on mission trips but found an excuse to stay home instead- the kids, finances, or work schedule. Upon first glance, Randall thought Lake Pointe might be too big compared to their previous home church. But they were drawn back to Lake Pointe time and time again mainly because of its focus on missions. One Sunday morning, Debbie saw information in the church’s bulletin about a trip to Egypt. “I turned to Randall and said, ‘I think I want to go to this. I just feel like I should go.’ And he said, ‘Ok. Let’s go.’”

This is me. This is where I need to be.

Three words changed Debbie and Randall’s lives: Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA). Randall had been originally diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and that was tough enough to swallow, but this was worse. This new diagnosis brought with it a shorter life expectancy. Even in the midst of this new information, Randall insisted that Debbie still go on the trip to Egypt alone.

Debbie pushed herself to attend the first Egypt meeting and immediately felt out of place. “Brad (who oversees Lake Pointe’s work in Egypt) started talking about the sports industry and sports camp and I thought, ‘This is so not for me.’ Then he started talking about compassion, how we get to take food to the villages, and pray with them and love on them. And I felt the overwhelming spirit of, ‘This is me. This is where I need to be.’” The only thing holding her back was the fear of telling her boss.

Why in the world Egypt?

When the trip was less than two months away, Debbie decided to finally tell her boss. She was afraid she would have trouble getting the time off and nervous of his reaction. After she built up the courage to tell him, she received an unexpected reaction. “He told me it was an awesome thing to do. He said he was happy for me, that I was going to have a wonderful time and to just enjoy it. God was lining up everything perfectly for me to go and I had no idea why. Why in the world Egypt?"

Debbie 4

Once she arrived in Egypt, Debbie immediately fell in love with the children, with the families, and with everyone she prayed with.“I remember this particular woman who was very, very sick. She could barely get out of bed. But since we were guests in her home, she stood up to greet us. I was able to hug her and pray with her. It is culturally unacceptable for a man to hug a woman in Egypt. Afterwards, as we walked out, one of the men from our group told me, ‘I wouldn’t have been able to do that without you here. It took a woman to be with her and love her like you did.’ I walked away feeling overjoyed to just be able to share God’s love.”

After she returned from Egypt, Debbie was full of energy and continued her mission at home. She got involved with child sponsorship and volunteered wherever she could. “I know I probably drove Brad crazy because I couldn’t do enough to help out.” That’s when Randall’s condition began to snowball. All of Debbie’s service at Lake Pointe came to a screeching halt.