Building Strength Through the Power of Prayer - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/16/04

Building Strength Through the Power of Prayer

Six months. That's how long a doctor told David Shelburne he had to live. But now, seven months later, David is still alive, thanks to the Power of Prayer.

David is not letting his diagnosis dictate his life. Instead, he's relying on faith in the Power of Prayer to bring him strength.

"Back in the fall of 2003, I was feeling not like myself, nothing really specific," says David Shelburne. "I decided it was time to go to the doctor and get well."

But "getting well" was not going to be as easy as David Shelburne thought. Doctors discovered his body was riddled with cancerous tumors.

"The doctor came into the recovery room after they had removed the tumor, and he said there were numerous tumors that were not only in my colon but in my liver, my lung, and my abdomen, and the words that rung with Jana and myself, he said it's as bad as it gets. You have six months to live," says David Shelburne.

And just days after hearing the news...

"I found out nine days ago that I have cancer." -- said David on a home video that he recorded from his hospital bed. "And my life expectancy is somewhere between 6 and 16 months."

"I want you to know God is good, and God has been so wonderful to me, and he's blessed me with so many friends and loved ones."

David said it's his faith that's given him the strength to face terminal cancer. And now, both he and his wife Jana are sharing that message.

"He's given us the opportunity to travel to congregations about the perspective of life and how to look at life when these things face you," says David.

And though his health is failing, David's take on life has remained stable. He still keeps his positive attitude and infectious sense of humor.

"People give us funny looks because we laugh and joke about death. I gained back some weight and I say I'm eating my way to an early grave, things like that, and people don't know how to respond to that. I think we're very uncomfortable talking about the end of our lives, and we're not uncomfortable with that," says David.

Humor and an unshakable love for each other and three children help make his last year on God's Earth even more special.

"I want to live and be here for my children and see my grandchildren, and I want to hug my babies for a long time. But I know that when God's finished with us, he's got a greater place for us and he's built a home eternal in the heavens for us," says David.

"He talks about my strength. It's his strength that carries us through this. His attitude towards the way he looks at life and the way he looks at facing death," says David's wife, Jana Shelburne.

Seeing David in October 2003 on the home video that he recorded:

"I look forward to the day I get to go home and I know God will take me when my purpose is finished."

Fast forward to May 2004, the only thing that hasn't changed is David's faith in the Power of Prayer.

"I want to live the last days of my life with purpose and strength and I want to go be with him, and I hope that's the way it happens, and if that's today -- then that's today," says David.

David is undergoing chemotherapy, but his cancer is terminal. However, he says he'll spend each day he has left ministering to others about the Power of Prayer.

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