Women's Ministry Releases

Apr 03, 2003 11:50 AM EST

The National Assemblies of God Women’s Ministries fights against cancer through their informational program, “Snuff Out Cancer!.” The program, sponsored jointly by the Assemblies of God Churches, American Cancer Society and the Susan B. Coleman Foundation contains informational brochures and resources for ministering to cancer patients.

In every church we are praying for at least two or three people that are battling cancer at a time," said Arlene Allen, of the national Women’s Ministries office. "This is a way to develop prayer support and to build an effective ministry outreach to cancer patients."

"Snuff Out Cancer! started when a one of our world missionaries had breast cancer," said Allen. "A friend of hers came to the hospital and gave her a candle snuffer. The friend had typed out a scripture and tied it with a ribbon to the snuffer and told her that every time she looked at that candle snuffer, she should remember that her friend was praying that God would snuff out her cancer."

"At that time I didn't know anyone who had dealt with cancer," Allen said. "A few weeks into the idea of making a national program, I got an e-mail from a lady who works here at Headquarters. She wanted me to know that if we were ever in need of help with ministry to cancer patients, she had just been through cancer herself, and she would like to help. A little while later, I was out on a ministry trip and another woman approached me with a similar story. God just brought all these people to help bring this about."

The packet also provides information in starting a local ministry within the church. Sample newspaper ads, suggested reading materials for cancer patients

Along with these others, Allen developed a ministry packet to help churches decide how to best minister to their communities. "The packet provides information to help you make this a local ministry within the church, or a community ministry," said Allen.

The packet contains practical helps in starting a ministry, such as sample newspaper ads, and suggested reading materials for cancer patients. "We are encouraging churches to develop a church library, because many of the books can be very expensive. If the church buys them, the people in the group can check them out. The list includes informative reading, inspirational reading and a few Web sites suggestions," said Allen.

Allen was also able to garner support for this project from the American Cancer Society and the Susan B. Coleman Foundation. Each ministry packet contains informational brochures from the two organizations, full of resources for people, including information on what to ask a doctor when diagnosed with cancer.

The National Women's Ministries office is taking on the fight against cancer through an informational packet to help churches start outreach ministries to cancer patients and their families. The program is called "Snuff Out Cancer!"

The packet also contains suggestions for practical ways that people can minister to cancer patients. "A lot of people going through cancer will tell you that the best way you can help is to pray, unless you are close family, they aren't going to tell you the practical things," Allen said. "In the packet are suggestions for helping women with child care, or trips to the doctor, and even just showing up at the house with a mop and bucket."

A special prayer guide is also included. "We developed 12 different things to pray for someone who has cancer," said Allen. "We recommend that a group use this for their meetings and have an hour of prayer, and then a half-hour support group meeting after the prayer time. It's five minutes of prayer for each thing, to make an hour. People can meet at churches or at restaurants. What we find is that after the first few meetings, people begin to share the resources that they discover in other places and they share tips they have learned from their own experiences."

The Snuff Out Cancer program is gaining strong support. "We have found that this is even extending beyond denominational lines and is being purchased by other churches," said Allen. "Some people in the medical field have heard about this and have called to order packets."

By Pauline J.