Survivor says cancer was a godsend
April, 2010Thousands of men, women and children know the pain of cancer-the wondering, the surgeries, the treatments followed by weariness, the death of family members. For Christians and non-believers alike, the term "cancer" conjures up images of evil, grief and loss. Preachers often remind their congregations that sin, like cancer, wreaks death.
But for Jason Galloway, a cancer-survivor and student in the College at Southwestern, cancer was a godsend.
"God allowed that cancer to come into me because he knew that it was what it would take for me to wake up," Galloway said. "It is that same love that put Jesus on the cross. ... When you experience that, you have nothing else to do but follow."
Although he decided to follow Christ as a teenager, Galloway was not discipled, and he lived for more than a dozen years without recognizing Christ's place in his life. He pursued his own plans and desires. But when he discovered that he had cancer at the age of 30, he realized how far he had strayed from God's call. Through all his experiences, he has also learned that, as Proverbs 20:24 states, "A man's steps are determined by the Lord, so how can anyone understand his own way?" (HCSB)
When he found out he had cancer, Galloway had been enduring stomach pains for three or four months, expecting that he suffered only from ulcers. After performing tests on Galloway, his doctor informed him that his situation was much worse than he thought.
"I'll never forget it, his face," Galloway said. "He was extremely white. He was emotionless." His doctor insisted that he, his wife and his mother sit down. He then informed them that Galloway had a 10-inch, malignant tumor. The following evening, Galloway wept before God.
"I was to the breaking point," he recounted. "I just cried out to God and said, 'God, I don't want to die. I don't want to die. But if I have to ... forgive me of the things I've done.'" After surrendering to God, he felt a peace and assurance that he would survive his cancer.
After he completed months of treatment, Galloway began a six-month discipleship process. During this process, he accepted God's call into ministry.
"I'll never forget that moment either," he said. "It was another moment that you can't put into any words ... but you know it's real because you experienced it. You experienced God in a way that is powerful and moving, and it just changes your life.
"When He revealed to me what He wanted me to do, I was like, 'I don't know. That's not what I had planned,'" Galloway added. Although he developed a passion for adult ministry through his discipleship process, Galloway felt God was directing his steps toward children's ministry. "But I am glad I followed, because it has been the most rewarding, the most blessed time of my life."
Galloway then quit his job as a chef and followed God's call to children's ministry, until he once again sensed that God was redirecting his steps-this time to ministry training. In the fall of 2008 Galloway moved to Fort Worth, along with his wife, Billie, and their two daughters, Danielle and Samantha.
Galloway is now working toward his Bachelor of Humanities degree in the College at Southwestern. He uses his ministry calling as a children's minister at Springdale Baptist Church and his culinary expertise as a chef in the Southwestern Seminary Grill. Coming to Southwestern's Dining Services with an associate's degree in culinary arts from Oklahoma State University and with experience as co-owner of a restaurant and as executive chef at a five-star resort, Galloway is intent on helping Southwestern serve the next generation of Christian ministers.
"I don't understand sometimes what God does, what He has for me," Galloway said. "So I am just taking it day by day. That's the best way to do it, by the way. For the first 20 or 30 years of my life, I did it my way. ... He has been so faithful. It's unbelievable. Even when I'm not faithful, He's faithful, and it blows me away. I'm not going back to that. I'm going to keep following God."
A video interview with Galloway can be viewed at www.swbts.edu/galloway.
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