TBR — Richmond, VA — (December 18, 2017) –St. Paul’s Baptist Church, 4247 Creighton Rd, Richmond, VA, once again served as the backdrop for the 2nd Annual, “The Gift.” Those who came, came with expectations from God to deliver, heal and transform their lives and they were not disappointed.
It was last year when THE GIFT was birthed in the heart of Sheilah Belle “The Belle” after going through one of the toughest personal battles in her life. She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in July 2016. She would later undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatments, coupled with a blood infection, wound infection and MRSA along with surgery with an end result stating, “No More Cancer.”
Through that journey, “The Belle” experienced many of the ups and downs and side effects that usually accompany the treatment. Trusting God to get her through, He did, with an amazing testimony that follows and was shared during the first “The GIFT” program in December 2016. Because of the success of THE GIFT and seeing the need to allow more people to share their testimony, THE GIFT has become an annual event.
“Back in the day it wasn’t hard to find churches that held Testimony Services when people were given the opportunity to share their testimonies and when the focus was on faith, God’s goodness and healing power. Back in the day it wasn’t too strange to run across services when pastors and evangelists like Rev. R. W. Schambach and Rev. A.A. Allen had Miracle Services,” states The Belle with a passionate heart.
However while that was back in the day The Belle says, “I believe that Jesus Christ, the son of God is still in the Miracle making business. While we often see and hear about people being healed, I also believe that God can and still performs miracles. Just like in the bible, when Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead and caused blind eyes to see, I believe that God is still performing these types of miracles.”
However the challenge for many to believe in miracles today as The Belle is speaking about could be attributed to hearing about fewer of them in today’s setting. When we often reference healings today, we quickly turn to the Word of God for back up. However God’s Word also refers to our present day and hearing about miracles should be the norm.
It is the hope of THE GIFT to reroute some of our thinking and our faith as it applies to the healing power of Jesus Christ and to trust and believe that miracles are still happening.
Jacinta ministering in song during THE GIFT
On Friday, December 15, 2017, many people were given a platform where they could share their testimonies of trials, triumphs and challenges during a celebratory evening. They talked about the healing power of Jesus Christ and how He got them through. Some of the stories shared were very personal and some were just heart wrenching, but through sharing, those listening started to reflect on their own life. Many were reminded that some of the testimonies that were being shared were coming from walking and breathing testimonies. There were testimonies about three time Cancer Survivors, Stroke Survivors, Overcoming Depression and God growing the breast of a woman by three inches to match her other breast following surgery.
“THE GIFT” also recognized three individuals from the community for their unselfish and kinds acts over the years with the first three “THE GIFT” Awards rewarded. Rev. Cora Harvey Armstrong, Vanish “Van” Boyd and Rita D. Belle were this years recipients for 2017.
GI, The Legendary Ingramettes
Bishop Joel Brown delivering Words of Encouragement
Brining the musical ministry to “THE GIFT” for the evening were Gospel Recording artists Ruth La’Ontra, Jacinta, The Legendary Ingramettes, God’s Image, Carlton Blunt and Pastor Larry Miles. Bishop Joel Brown delivered Words of Encouragement and reminded everyone that God is still in the miracle making business. Rev. Cora Harvey Armstrong, Minister James “JayDee” Lewis and Minister Sheilah Belle co-hosted the evening.
(In photo from left to right: Pastor Larry Miles, Minister James “JD” Lewis, The Belle, Marie Hayes and Martina Smith.)
Special support for the evening was also provided by the Sisters Network Central Virginia.
This was truly a powerful evening that celebrated Life, Caregivers, Cancer Survivors, Breast Cancer Survivors, and anyone who had or was undergoing any kind of extreme challenging situation.
The Belle also wanted to make sure that we also stay proactive in taking care of our health, especially women when it comes to Breast Cancer. “We often hear people say, ‘Early detection is key’, when it comes to getting a mammogram, However I would like to change that to, ‘Early detection can save your life,” says The Belle. Words are powerful and understanding the importance of getting your mammogram and how that is communicated to the public, CAN save lives. I sincerely pray we communicate that point during “THE GIFT and for people planning on attending THE GIFT in 2018.” Come expecting a MIRACLE!
This event is FREE and open to the public!