Pastor’s hope during life fight
A PASTOR has made an eagerly anticipated return to the pulpit just months after a near-death experience with coronavirus.
Mark McClurg, the pastor of Ards Elim Pentecostal Church, was struck down after contracting Covid-19.
He was left battling for life in intensive care, with doctors offering a gloomy outlook on his prospects. However, Mr McClurg is now on the road to a full recovery.
He has hit headlines across Northern Ireland, using Twitter to publish messages of the gospel and the hope of Jesus from his hospital bed in Ulster.
[swpm_protected for="2-3-4" do_not_show_protected_msg="1"] Church is more than just coming on a Sunday [/swpm_protected]
Several months into his recovery period from the virus, Mr McClurg has vivid memories of his week spent in intensive care.
He told the Irish Times: “They told me if my lungs didn’t improve I would have been sedated. That was talked about on the first Saturday. But that ventilator really did help me. It pushes oxygen right into the deepest part of your lungs.”
Mr McClurg took such a hammer blow, that he needed the assistance of two members of hospital staff to help him walk short distances.
He added: “It really is so scary how quickly your body shuts down.”
Now back to his ministry duties at Ards Elim Pentecostal Church, Mr McClurg and his team are busy returning to action with socially-distanced services, with limited numbers of congregation members in attendance and strict safety guidance in place.
Reflecting on the darkest period of his life, Mr McClurg admitted he was overwhelmed by the support of his congregation and believes the Christian community can be a source of strength and togetherness through challenging times.
He concluded: “For me, church is more than just coming on a Sunday: it’s friendship, it’s fellowship!
“And for me the most important thing going forward is our mental health. It’s about engaging with people and communicating with people, and that’s my heart, and that’s always been my heart.”
Mr McClurg felt the urge to make a video telling his story. Reluctant to film himself sick in hospital, he nevertheless posted two videos on Twitter. They went viral, attracting nearly between 900,000 to 1.8 million views.
“While I was in hospital, God also put it on my heart to do a Facebook Live based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, and people from all around the world started watching it.”
With worldwide response, Mr McClurg’s prayer that he would be a voice of hope is being answered.[/swpm_protected]
This article was taken from the October 2020 digital issue of New Life Newspaper.