Mark Wood has a big heart … and it was in trouble. He pushed through chest pain and numbness during the busy Easter weekend at church. But when he went to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for a simple heart catheter a few days later, he ended up in a bed, scheduled for triple bypass surgery.
As a recipient of the Mother’s Day Offering, Mark Wood, left, pastor of Roaring River Baptist Church, and his wife, Pam, are thankful for how the offering helped their family.
“I was worried about my family,” said Wood, pastor of Roaring River Baptist Church in Roaring River. “I prayed, Lord, if you decide to take me home, take care of them. The Lord spoke to me, ‘Look, haven’t I taken care of you? I will take care of them.’ So, I laid that down. I trusted that if I woke up here, I’d be OK, and if I woke up there, I’d be OK. I woke up here. Now, every day is a new, fresh day. Something like this really changes your outlook on life.”
But, a change for the worse was the financial stress. It had been a year of high medical and college tuition bills for the family.
“I’m a worry wart,” he said. “It’s hard to get better when you’re worried about the other stuff. When I got the first medical bill, I just laughed and thought, oh my. Those were anxious times.”
Then he received the letter saying his hospital bill had been paid by the Mother’s Day Offering. “It was just, wow,” he said.
“It’s moving to realize there are people who have no clue who we are and are willing to give money to help in a time of need.
“I’m blessed by God way more than I deserve and blessed by N.C. Baptists who give to this offering.”
Since 1924 North Carolina Baptists have given to the Mother’s Day Offering to “extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, especially to the needy.”
As a N.C. Baptist minister, Wood qualified for a 25 percent discount on his hospital bill at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Wood volunteers on the hospital Heart floors counseling patients before and after bypass surgery. He shares the gift he received: hope.
“It’s like going through that storm, when The Master was down in the bottom of the boat and the disciples were afraid and called to Him,” Wood shared from Mark 4:39. “[Jesus] said, ‘Peace, be still.’ To me, that means hold on, help’s on the way. That’s what this experience has been for me.”