Jean Chose Joy

jean and jack.jpg

Jean Chose Joy!

By Lauren Hasson


“I won’t be going on to Spain for the pilgrimage.”  Jean shared. I was so surprised by this news, as Jean Silverwood and her son Jack had planned out the walking pilgrimage, El Camino de Santiago.  Jean had prepared for this sacred time after our ministry trip in Romania with The Mission. I knew it was significant to her, so it caught me off guard.

What came next, hit me between the ribs.  “I found out a few days ago that I have cancer.”  She said it without self-pity or visible fear.  My mind raced as I thought of this horrific timing.  She’s here with her son, a huge adventure planned, just found out she has cancer and not even home to process through this news. “Can we pray for you?”  My mind thought about reaping what we sow.  Jean faithfully prays for people with cancer on a weekly basis.  “Father, let her be healed, let this faithful woman be healed”, I implored quietly to Him.  As we prayed, we felt God’s love pouring out over Jean, who received His love and mercy effortlessly.  


The trip to Romania continued, and Jean’s smiling face was there in the worship sessions, the Jesus Culture teaching, work day in the kid’s playground, and on to the treasure hunt in the gypsy village.  One of the beautiful moments  occurred when a little boy unabashedly ran up to Jean during the children’s special time to interact with the teams.  He grabbed her hand and chose her to be his companion during our special time playing with the children.  She found out later that this ended up being the exact same boy her son Jack had chosen to sponsor!

 Jean’s face was literally shining with joy throughout our time in Romania.  You would never imagine she had just had this diagnosis a few days earlier.  She interacted, prayed, laughed, shared meals, enjoyed the company of her beautiful son.  Nothing was stolen.  The news couldn’t penetrate the barrier of hope and joy she chose to surround her.

 On the last morning in Romania, we had testimony time.  Jean got up and shared that after we had prayed for her, she felt this amazing tingling sensation in her right breast for about twenty minutes during worship. Wow!  The church erupted with joy.  Genea prayed again, now backed by the beautiful people of Romania.  Peace, joy, hope, healing filled the sanctuary.

 Jean returned home.

 The cancer didn’t come with her!

 After an operation, the doctor declared her CANCER FREE!  No radiation, no chemotherapy, no cancer!!

 How did God work all this out????  

 Yes, he honors His great love for her.  

Yes, she reaped healing that she has faithfully sown into others.

Yes, He loves to heal all of us.

Yes, her son Jack got to be a part of this living testimony.

Yes, she was with people who love her in Romania.

Yes, God is that good!

Yes, the choice to worship the living God in the middle of her trial released healing.

I can’t help but think of all her internal choices of freedom and joy.  I can’t help but think about how the enemy not only tried to give her cancer, but how he tried to steal the very gift of this time with her precious son in Romania, but she flat refused.  She wouldn’t allow one minute to be stolen.  She rested in His love for her, and His love permeated every cell in her body until the very cancer that tried to define her was forced to bow to the name of Jesus.

 This is God’s great news! Let’s see how His healing spreads to others!

 ‘But since we belong to the day, we must stay alert and clearheaded by placing the breastplate of faith and love over our hearts, and a helmet of the hope of salvation over our thoughts.[e]                                           I Thessalonians 5:8