Facing Cancer Diagnosis, Ministry Head Says, 'God Did Not Do This to Me'

Doug and Lisa Stringer (Facebook/Lisa Stringer)

Lisa Stringer will never forget the day her husband, Doug, founder and president of Somebody Cares and Somebody Cares International, received the call no one wants. She heard him say, "Yes, doctor," so she followed him to his car, where he went to get better phone reception. She sat beside Doug as, looking straight ahead to avoid her gaze, he asked the doctor, "Well, how bad is it?"

"And I'm thinking to myself, How bad is what?" Lisa tells host Marti Pieper on the Hope Through Cancer series on the Charisma News podcast. After the call, she says, "He just said, 'I need to go spend time alone with the Lord.' I remember being broken for him, but how do you deny him needing time to process? ... He did tell me that the doctor said it was cancer and that they were making an appointment for us to see the doctor at the next available business day."

Doug asked Lisa to share with her mother, who lives with them, and their 13-year-old daughter, Ashley, and then he drove off. "I wanted to collapse, and my heart was broken. And I think I even describe it as I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride. And I was about to take a drop [into] one of the steepest drops that exists, not knowing what was at the bottom," Lisa says. She spent the next hours "praying, crying, sharing the news with both my mother and Ashley. You could imagine, I just longed to wrap my arms around him and tell him it was going to be OK, that we would get through this. But I had no clue where he was."

Eventually, Doug called her to say, "I'm on my way home. I spent good time with the Lord. I cried, I prayed. I would like you to gather as a family. ... And I would like to have a time of worship, prayer and Communion," he said. So Lisa gathered her family and the elements.

"It was so beautiful," Lisa recalls. "He sat us all down and he said, 'I know this: God did not do this to me.' That was powerful. ... It hit me like a ton of bricks: That's it! 'God did not do this to me.'"

But Doug continued. "He said, 'God did not do this to me. And if He did not do this to me, then it doesn't belong to me. ... If it doesn't belong to me, then it's not going to be about me. This is going to be about intercession for our nation,'" Lisa says. "At the time, it was an election year, and there was a great divide, much like the divide we see now during this election year in 2020. And so he said, 'We are going to pray for the cancer in America. And this is not going to be about me.'"

To hear more of Lisa's story about how she and her family continued ministering to others even through Doug's cancer journey, click here to listen to the entire podcast.

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