The NCCC’s annual staff Christmas lunch is a time of good cheer for the old and new staff. I was warmly surrounded by spiritual leaders who strive to do as Ezekiel did, speak to where there seems to be no hope—and speak the word of God to renew life (Ezekiel 37:1-14).
I sat next to Don Johnston, the husband of Shirley Johnston who was an administrator at the Council for many years. As Shirley tirelessly worked in those days, Don and their two sons were often by her side helping with tasks. He had worked in a Masters in Public Health career and then as a professor and now is retired from both.
Cancer awareness was a topic in a course he taught. I am intensely grateful for his work as I have both a family member and a friend going through chemo therapy. This sparks an emotional chord with me.
What struck me most about his attitude in teaching was his passion to encourage those who listened to be wise enough to practice what they heard and diligent enough to persist in making healthy choices.
Don to me is an Ezekiel, who in the valley of dry bones speaks life. Ezekiel renewed the hope of the people of Israel through the word of God and Don did the same. PHW joins these voices and says to you, person of faith, God says, “I will put my Spirit in you, and you shall live” (Ezekiel 37: 14).
We invite you to:
1) Keep praying that the Spirit of God will breathe on us to renew our spirits
2) Sign PHW’s health pledge, and encourage a friend to do so
3) Apply easy examples from success stories on our site in your church to improve your friends’ and family’s health
4) Follow us on Facebook
–Joy Williams, PHW Regional Consultant
Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches. PHW aims to connect health as a faith issue. Please visit our website to sign your personal pledge to be healthier, and to find out about grant opportunities for churches in NC. Continue to stay connected with PHW by liking us on Facebook.