The pitter patter of little feet. The smell of home-baked holiday goodies. The squeal of happy childrens voices all screaming YES! to the question, Do all of you know the words to the happy birthday song?
In an instant and right on cue, an eruption of singing: Happy Birthday to you, cha, cha, cha. Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus. Happy Birthday to you.
This was the opening scene at the first annual Rock Cancer C.A.R.E. Ministrys Birthday Party for Jesus, held December 4, 2009. The party was a way for Cancer C.A.R.E. to provide child-care services during the Rock Church womens ministrys Sisters Holiday Party.
Beginning with Prayer
Parris Reed, the eight-year old leader of Rock Cancer C.A.R.E. Kidz, took the microphone to pray with her four-year-old sister, Sydnie. The Cancer Ministry always begins their events with prayer.
I was going to the womens event until God gave me this idea, said Tamela Reed, founder of the Cancer C.A.R.E. Ministry. The ministry exists to fill in the gaps of cancer care. It brings resources and support to those who are battling cancer.
The children were entertained by Sebastian the Magician all while enjoying a sugar rush from cookies, muffins, and snacks.
The Ortiz family experienced first-hand the love of God through this ministry. Giselle Ortiz is a quiet and shy four-year-old battling kidney cancer. Her entire family came to the DO Something Birthday Party for Jesus.
Cancer C.A.R.E. arranged for three-year-old Zara Brazel, a cancer survivor, and her family to be there to encourage the Ortizes during this difficult time. Zaras AML Leukemia has been in remission since August of 2009.
Colette Schenker, Zaras mom, joined the Ortiz family at their table. We basically lived in the hospital for six or seven months during Zaras treatments, Colette told them. There were so many highs and lows during that time. I often had to leave Zaras room to cry, she continued. As Colette recounted the ordeal, the Ortiz family nodded with understanding.
Giselles treatment protocol is on an outpatient basis. You think you have it bad until you hear somebodys elses story, said Helen, Giselles grandmother, her eyes filled with tears. This means so much to us, Helen said.
A Magical Night
The DO Something Party attendees had a night of excitement. The children won prizes for Bible trivia; were read a Christmas story; played Duck-Duck-Goose; and were entertained by Sebastian the Magician all while enjoying a sugar rush from cookies, muffins, and snacks.
In true Do Something fashion, the children all created cards for hospitalized cancer patients. We spent our weekend getting all of the artwork done, said Tamela. All of the cards were homemade and hand-crafted.
Giselle Ortiz continues her treatment protocol and is receiving outpatient chemo. Cancer C.A.R.E. will be there to help meet their needs, not only spiritually and emotionally but to also fill the "gaps."
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Perri Storey is a volunteer with the Rock Cancer C.A.R.E. Ministry. She also is a writer with Rock the Word: The Rock Church Writers Ministry. If you're interested in writing, or in telling how God is using the Rock to change lives, go to www.sdrock.com/ministries/writers/ for more information.
For more information about the Cancer Care Ministry, click here »