Stories of Loving Our Neighbors Part 1: Meeting Physical Needs With Love

Recently, CTK pastors spoke of how encouraged they were to see the people in their congregations loving their neighbors. This is the first in a series of stories from various congregations, meant to encourage our church about what God is doing in our city. 

My sister and I have been a part of CTK for five years now, and from day one, we knew we'd found our new home church. Over the years we've benefitted greatly from CTK's benevolence, but never more so than this past summer. In June of 2016, my brother, who suffers from Schizoaffective disorder (a mental health condition including Schizophrenia and Bipolar symptoms) attacked a younger sister and me during his most psychotic episode yet. We both suffered multiple knife wounds which, in my case, led to a punctured lung, a scratch on my heart, a hole in my stomach, a perforated colon, and severe nerve and tendon damage on both arms and hands. Five months and three surgeries later, I am still in working with physical therapy to regain full use of my hands and fingers. 

That I am alive today is no doubt a miracle of God, and He alone deserves all the praise. But I give Him praise for also placing CTK in my life because, on that Friday night, while the rest of my family was reeling from shock and trying to keep it all together, Deacon/Elder Phil Cheng and his wife, Laura, went out and got enough Mexican food for the entire waiting room full of family members. I'm talking A LOT of Mexican food! To this day, my cousins and I still laugh about it! They helped to shine a simple bright light on an otherwise very dark day. Since then, we've received a ton of visitors, prayer, and moral support from our brothers and sisters at CTK, as well as financial support from the CTK Dorchester benevolence fund. Even now, as we struggle to support my brother in his illness and subsequent incarceration, CTK is there to help us pray.

I can never stop giving thanks to my savior Jesus Christ for how he's gotten me through these past five months. And I'll never stop thanking him for putting CTK Dorchester in my life five years ago. 

Tessa Normal lives in Cambridge and has been a member of the CTK Dorchester congregation for five years, participating in the music team from day one. Originally from Hati, she is the oldest of five children, and enjoys spoiling her very intelligent, energetic and extremely vocal 18-month-old nephew, Zavien.