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Walking By Faith - Gina Anderson

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   (KYTX) - Those in the ministry spend much of their time encouraging and helping others.

   But there are those occasions when those folks are in desperate need of ministry themselves.

   As a pastor's wife Gina Anderson is no stranger to dealing with difficult situations.  She ministers to people almost everyday.  So it was a little different for her when she found herself in need of help.

     "It just rocks your world.   It rocks your world," says Gina Anderson.  "Not anything anyone expects to hear, yeah"

     It was during a routine check up doctors discovered what they feared could be breast cancer.

     "I remember in my car one day thinking," remembers Anderson, "ok Lord this didn't surprise You but it's messed me up.  Why didn't You give me a little warning here?  Yeah you have those thoughts."

     A lot of those thoughts were about Gina's then 10 year old daughter Reena.  Doctors decided to conduct a biopsy.  In the meantime Gina and Reena would go ahead on a pre-planned back to school shopping trip.  

     Inside a build a bear workshop much like this, Gina would get the call from doctors that she indeed had breast cancer.  

     And it was inside a shopping mall in a city away from home she would experience her faith at work.

     "She (Reena) had built a bear.  And we were just kinda talking and a man walked up and startled me actually.  He just came up… he very obviously was coming to speak to us, "says Gina.  "He said mam I don't mean to startle you I'm a pastor, he was actually youth pastor in the area,  he said I just felt compelled to come and pray for your daughter.   And little did he know my mind was racing, Lord help me talk with Reena about this.  Help me tell her and not instill but let her know you are a God of hope and you are with us.  And he prayed the simplest but most powerful prayer over her.  Just, Lord she is  Your child, You are with her and thank you for her life.  But that was huge.  That was something I go back to frequently.  Because that was… who prays for people in the mall?  Seriously, it was very significant."

     In the months to come Gina would see God at work through surgery and treatment.   

     Her cancer was caught early and today she is cancer free.  

     With some encouragement from doctors walking has become her passion and road to staying cancer free.

     So much so that just months after her treatments ended she walked 60 miles in a Komen function near Dallas.

     Dedicating the weekend to two friends who died from breast cancer, but not before encouraging her in her treatment and her faith.

     "I am not an athlete-at all. But I could walk," says Gina. "I could put one foot in front of the other.  And I found out about this 60 mile walk and wanted to honor these two ladies as well as get myself into a routine that was important to me at this stage in my life.  So I choose to participate in that."

     Today Gina finds herself back in the ministry with her husband, Doug Anderson the Senior Pastor at Tyler's Rose Heights Church.

     With a new outlook and understanding of what can happen when you walk by faith.

     "I've had people seek me out specifically for dealing with breast cancer and they would not have otherwise," says Gina.  "I'm a believer in God redeeming everything.  Absolutely, I have a greater understanding.  I know how to pray more specifically because I've walked through it."

     Clint Yeatts, CBS 19 News

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