Editor's note: Tikkun International, the Tents of Mercy Network
and Revive Israel do not advocate rejection of medical treatment. This
is an independent, personal choice made by Brookie - a choice we
I would like to introduce this story
about my friend Brookie with a short poem I read and passed on to her the
You're such a good influence on me
You're like my coach,
my marching band
all rolled into one person.
Your confidence in me
gives me confidence in me.
I can never fail
with you in my corner.
I go for the goal
'cause you've got my back.
I give it all I've got
because you would expect nothing less.
Having you as my friend makes me a winner.
I have met few people in my life that have caused me to feel the way I do
when I am with Brookie. When I read the above poem called "Friendship", I
knew I had to send it to her. It seemed right to include it in this
article because she has influenced many people with her ability to see
God in everything, and look for the good in all situations.
Brookie came into our lives 10 years ago when she visited "The Galilee
Experience" in Tiberias as part of a tour group. Eric and I met her and
within five minutes we had made a deep connection. Not long after her
visit, God led Brookie to make Aliyah to Israel from her home in
California. She moved to Poriya and was one of the first members of the
congregation that Eric and I were just starting.
On August 16, 2011 Brookie learned she had stage 4 liver cancer
(that date is her spiritual birthday). One of the first things she said
to me when she received her diagnosis was that she did not want people to
say anything to her except positive words and Scripture to edify her.
Brookie has always had a positive attitude, but since this bout with
cancer, she has been even more positive and encouraging to others.
Do we really consider that "life and death are in the power of the
tongue" (Proverbs 18:21)? I recently read the following: "Your
attitude will determine your actions. Your actions will determine your
destiny." Brookie immediately decided that she would follow this good
advice and would not allow the medical reports to control her feelings
and outlook. She knows she belongs to God and only He determines if she
will live or die. I am reminded of the verse, "Anxiety in the heart of
man causes depression, but a good word makes the heart glad"
(Proverbs 12:25). We have been taught that every thought should be held
captive to the obedience of the Messiah (I Corinthians 10:5). How true
this is; it is our thought life that determines who we become. Thoughts
become actions, and actions, right or wrong, can determine the outcome of
I was there at the beginning when the Lord showed Brookie: "DON'T
DOUBT". I was with her when one of the medical reports showed that her
cancer had increased in severity. The doctors were shaking their heads
when they gave her this difficult news. But Brookie decided a long time
ago that she would neither take chemotherapy or radiation treatment, she
would rather explain to the doctors about what she believes, and Who she
believes in and how much He loves them. Brookie also believes strongly
that every person needs to hear directly from the Lord as to what He
would have them do in their own situations.
Brookie has always been healthy; she was never a visitor to doctors or
hospitals. In the ten years that I have known her, only once before now
has she been sick - a couple of years ago. At that time Brookie
experienced violent stomach pains and was hospitalized with an illness
called diverticulitis. She was told this problem came from the improper
digestion of seeds (such as popcorn etc.). She prayed a prayer that I
prayed years ago, asking God to change her taste buds, and He answered
her prayer. In that situation Brookie simply believed that God would
enable her to change; it is really His power that we need to change any
Together with Terri Morey on Valentine's Day
One sunny day, my grandson and I were walking in downtown Tiberias, when
we spotted Brookie. She had just come out of the doctor's office
with another negative report, one that was rather shocking. My grandson
spoke God's life-giving word into her spirit and instantly she was
uplifted. We did not realize she was going for a report that morning, but
God knew we needed to meet up with her so we could encourage her. Many
times when we are in gatherings, someone will come up to me and say,
"What is she really going through? How is she really?" I always say the
same thing, "What you see is who she is. She believes that this bout with
cancer is to open doors for her to be a witness to the medical
professionals and staff God has sent her way."
Brookie has always been a positive, upbeat person, but since her illness,
she has become more direct with people. She is more cheerful and seems to
say exactly what is on her mind, always in love, but nothing lingers in
her spirit that should not be there. She often explains, "It doesn't
matter to me if I live or if I die. It doesn't even matter to me if
I am healed or if I am not. What does matter is that I will bring glory
to God as I walk through this."
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two
edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of
joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of
the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
When one has an illness in one's body, I am sure this Scripture
becomes more and more important in how we allow thoughts to become
actions. This summer Brookie will make a trip to England to see a mutual
friend and to speak to many people. There is no doubt in my mind that she
will use the condition of her body to encourage all those she meets.
Brookie is a witness for the Lord wherever she goes and whatever she
does. Her greatest joy is to be able to share the wonderful life that she
has belonging to the Lord of Lords and living to advance the kingdom of
Even though Brookie has a "terrible" sickness, one that makes most people
shudder when they hear the diagnosis, she has a peace in her heart. She
knows that God will use her wherever He places her, and she delights in
the Lord. Brookie is at peace, either here in the Land of her inheritance
or in the home that has been made for her in heaven. It gives me joy to
see how she handles every challenge. When the doctors giver her
discouraging test results Brookie replies, "These are just numbers."
Despite the medical prognosis, she is vivacious, happy, overflowing with
joy and she looks very healthy.
Brookie has recently printed out new business cards, which she gives to
people who want to stay in touch with her. This is the verse she put on
the card, "I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will praise
God to my last breath" (Psalm l04:33). That tells you everything
about her. I hope Brookie's testimony will encourage any of you who
might have received bad reports concerning yourselves or loved ones -
only you can determine what kind of attitude you will have. No matter
what your situation, remember - He is your shield, your glory and the
lifter of your head (Psalm 3:3).
With a freind at this year's Shavuot Celebration in
Celebrating Thanksgiving with Marge Crowell