Missionary says suffering from ALS has taught him Christ-centred hope
Bill Sweeney, a missionary and 54-year old ALS patient, has a message of hope in the midst of trials.
Bill, an ALS patient for 18 years, was first diagnosed in October 1996 with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's or motor neuron disease, a degenerative neural disorder that progresses until patients can't breathe – usually within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis.
Sweeney miraculously surpassed this duration but within a year, he could no longer walk or talk causing him to resign from his job. Due to the loss of income, he had to sell his car and his home to pay for their medical bills.
Bill is also an online missionary for Global Media Outreach, and he communicates with people from closed nations who have questions about God and salvation.
He documents how he stays positive through his blog 'Unshakeable Hope', followed by 2,500, and according to Godreports, the lesson he has learned is hope.
"One of the greatest lessons I've learned from this long trial is that hope – and the joy, peace and faith that always accompany Christ-centred hope, only comes through a conscious, determined effort," he writes, using an eye-tracking software in his computer.
"I've had my hope challenged many times, and I've become pretty good at conquering these challenges."
The same story of hope can be seen in Russell Wolfe, producer of the film 'God's Not Dead' and fellow ALS sufferer.
Russell has been battling ALS for over a year now, but continues to believe that God will deliver him and his condition will be used for God's glory. He also sends a message of hope to people, to keep their faith in God when bad things happen.
"I've been through a lot of storms in my life, and God has certainly delivered me from each one," he told Movie Guide.
Sweeney and Wolfe both participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014, a campaign that went global last year to raise awareness of the disease.