Road Trip - Day 9: Chuck, Sharon & Home

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We drove all day today except for stopping for food, gas, and to visit my Dad's friend Chuck and his wife, Sharon. My Dad and Chuck have known each other for 40+ years, and a lot has changed since they first met. Here's Chuck's and Sharon's testimony, as seen on their website:

"Following the birth of their son, Sharon Giacinto began to experience muscle weakness and extreme fatigue. It was discovered that her pituitary had stopped functioning properly.

Sharon would spend weeks at a time at Loyola Medical Center where they put her on massive doses of steroids to sustain her organs.

During this time,her husband Chuck was a barber. The doctors made it clear that the steroids could only be taken for seven years and after that her organs would begin to shut down and death would follow.

Chuck set out to give his wife a lifetime in those seven years. He went into the real estate business among others and did very well.

In their mid-thirties, possessing all that the world would think was worth having, Chuck was about to lose his wife, who by then was down to 83 pounds, legally blind in one eye, and wearing a wig because of hair loss.

But in the process, Chuck had worked his way up to becoming an alcoholic, and was also dabbling in the new age and the occult out of desperation. They were faithful members of a mainline denomination and wondered daily why God would allow this to happen.

Then, at the end of the seven years, the steroids no longer worked and Sharon was not a physical candidate for any other medical procedure. It was then that one of their employees asked permission to pray for her. She prayed in a way they were not used to and Sharon was healed instantly, eyesight and all!

Loyola Medical Center confirmed that Sharon now had a fully working pituitary! Chuck saw what the Lord had done for his wife and cried out to Him to be set free from the bondage of alcohol. His cries were heard and two lives were changed forever!

For the first time in their lives, they realized that what they had had was religion and not a personal relationship with the risen Christ. Now nothing was more important than sharing their new found faith and good news with others. They rented chairs two nights a week and held revival services in their home, which in time turned into a church.

They currently co-pastor the church they founded 25 years ago, which currently has a Christian Academy, an accredited Bible College, and a food pantry that feeds hundreds in the local community every month. They are in love with Jesus and have a heart for the harvest of the lost and needy. Pleasing the Father is at the top of their list, and they do their best to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit."

Chuck and Sharon gave us a tour of the church, and I got to see things I've always been curious about like backstage, the control booth, and even a recording studio! The technology they have is state-of-the-art. What impressed me most was the LED stage lighting, and the digital songbooks on stage for each singer and instrument player. They thought of everything - even a room in the back of the sanctuary for mothers with crying babies. It's wired with an audio feed so they don't miss a thing during the service. What's most impressive of all is that they built this church with no blueprint whatsoever, just a vision with the help of their son, an architect.

Anyhowsers, we just got home, and the dogs were ecstatic, losing all control of their bladders from the excitement of seeing us. I'm looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight. Speaking of which, I should get to sleep. I have work in the morning. Good night!
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