When God and Cancer Meet

Holistic healing is a fairly untraveled path by many who are seeking treatment for cancer.  As a society, we sometimes stereotypically peg people who believe in alternative medicine as ignorant hopefuls, but what if natural remedies were cohesive with the biblical model?  After all, God did create this world and everything in it and who  is better able to explain His ways?  Now, that’s not to say that doctors should be out of business.   There are benefits involved with modern medicine, but there are also certain risks.   When one woman discovered a three inch, rock hard lump in her breast, she decided to take a risk.  She risked her life on her faith and conviction in God, and not in man.

Collette Menchaca is one of the strongest Christian women you will ever meet.  Most days you will find her hitting the streets of her community with her husband John, tracts in hand and ready to share the gospel of peace.  A strange turn of events brought her to the place where she is now.  After finding a lump in her breast 10 years ago, she neglected to get it checked because she knew it was cancer.  God decided to intervene some years later and she was laid off from her job at a construction company, only to be hired a month later at a law firm on July 31, 2008.

As Breast Cancer Awareness month approached in October, her law firm brought in a guest speaker to inform and educate people on the seriousness of breast cancer and to describe her personal battle with cancer, involving three mastectomies and extensive chemotherapy.  Collette realized that her situation may be more severe than she had initially thought and finally got checked out.  She was told that her lump was a malignant, very advanced Stage IV cancer which would require a radical mastectomy, chemotherapy for shrinkage, and ultimately removal of the whole breast.

True faith would dictate to turn directly to God in this situation, and that’s exactly what Collette did.  John and Collette agreed in prayer that God was directing them toward a path that they were extremely unprepared for.   When they saw in the Bible that God originally designed man to live off the land, feeding on fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, they decided this was God’s plan for them.  They had no idea how hard it would be to transform their lifestyle.  They didn’t know how to cook “raw” organic food, let alone where to shop for it.  New  equipment, such as a juicer, along with many other tools, would be necessary.   Learning the types of vitamin supplements, and the quantity she would need to take was overwhelming.   Simply realizing the cost of what they were about to embark on made what they felt called to do seem impossible.

On top of the challenges they were already facing, they also dealt with hostility from their doctor who told Collette that she had a death wish, and resistance from their family for doing what they considered to be foolish.  John warned Collette that she would face opposition because of her decision, and he was correct.  Collette comes from a family of nurses and doctors who thought she was crazy for opting against traditional methods.  They even criticized John along the way saying that he spoiled her by taking care of her, and proceeded to separate themselves from John and Collette during this tough time.

Regardless of all of these hurdles, John and Collette persisted in what they knew God told them to do.  Seeking God and hearing His voice began them on their journey to find healing for Collette’s body through completely natural means.  Collette began to see a holistic doctor, who got her started on an eight month detox.   She started doing extensive research about foods, vitamins, equipment and exercise. During her investigating, she ran across some information about Hippocrates Health Institute, an educational institute that teaches people how to live a raw food lifestyle, doing things such as sprouting their own wheat grass. Collette’s dreams of attending Hippocrates were put on hold due to the hefty $4,000 per week cost.

As we know, no one can out- do God.  While  Collette and John continued to be faithful, God showed Himself involved and powerful, intervening with His sovereign hand all along the way.  First, He sent numerous people into their lives, who through their experience and wisdom, helped John and Collette grow in knowledge about how to eat naturally, prepare raw food meals, find the best prices, and ultimately take the utmost care of the body.  God in turn, used Collette’s readiness to share the gospel to reach out to everyone she met.

As mentioned earlier, God’s intervention began at the very beginning, when Collette was laid off from her job, an occurrence that would leave anyone questioning God’s plan.  Later on, however, everyone could connect the dots to see His caring hand guiding them through every valley.  At her new job, her co-workers took an interest in Collette’s unusual decision to go against the flow and follow God.  Initially they suggested that she apply to what her firm calls the “Family First Fund” wherein employees contribute and then are eligible to request help if needed.  She applied and was denied the $1,500 she asked for.  Instead, they gave her $2,000.  She was able to purchase equipment, such as carbon free knives, a special soup pot, a high powered juicer, and a wheatgrass juicer, along with all of her supplements and organic and raw food items which would last her for a couple of months.

God’s amazing sovereignty continued when He provided $4,000 miraculously through an unforeseen check received by her law firm from their insurance company which they decided to give to her.  This enabled Collette to go to Hippocrates Health Institute where she was the only one out of 91 people there who had never received chemical therapy or surgery.  The other 90 were there following disappointing results from their modern treatments.  Since Hippocrates opened 70 years ago, only 15 people have attended that never underwent chemo treatments or surgery.

Four years after the toughest decision she’s ever made, Collette admits that it wasn’t easy.  In the beginning she cried after giving up her old habits, such as eating carbs and sugar, was so difficult.  Now she still cries, but now her tears show her joy and thankfulness.  She is constantly shifting the focus from herself to God, giving Him the glory.  Her evident joy eliminates any need to feel pity for her.  She rests in the sovereignty of God and trusts Him with her life. She believes that God has already shown her his love by sending her husband John, who is her best friend and her support.  John takes care of Collette and spends 15 hours a week preparing her meals, shopping for her organic food, and growing sprouts and wheatgrass.  He selflessly says, “The only thing I want is for my wife to eat healthy, get plenty of rest, and exercise so her body can get oxygen.”  The lesson here is so much greater than the fact that God’s natural provision is sufficient for the health of our bodies.  It’s a testament to the faithfulness of God when we trust Him.  It’s a tribute to the beauty of what commitment means in a marriage, when you pledge your heart to someone for better or worse to support them and care for them, when you do it God’s way and lift others up higher than yourself.

Cancer does not control Collette’s life; God does.  In the past four years since beginning her raw, vegan, organic lifestyle with everything from food to body lotion, God has reduced the size of her tumor from three inches to less than half an inch.  “Praise God!” Collette would say, with a smile plastered on her joyful face.  Cancer has not slowed her down.  In fact, it’s fueled her on as God continues to reveal to her exactly why she put her faith in Him to begin with.

The Good News has explored many alternative and complimentary therapies this month, themed “Health” month. What has been your experience with any of these therapies? We want to know. Email us at [email protected].

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