Missionary to Africa battles breast cancer

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By Amanda LynnBLUMAR2013T2RT

On February 19, Susanne Price—a Pioneer serving in Africa—was interviewed on Faith Radio. She told the story of her conversion, her missionary career and the medical challenges she is facing now. Through it all you can hear the joy of God spilling from her lips.  Susanne grew up in a nominally Christian home, attending church only on special religious holidays. Upon entering the eighth grade, she turned to a rebellious path, one that kept her wandering until she was 34 years old.  “It took me that long to finally give up,” she explains. “I was exhausted with the worldly life.”

As a result of a powerful meeting with Jesus, she was freed from her addictions and washed of her sin.  “It was really a full ‘Acts 2 conversion’,” Susanne recalls enthusiastically, “and I will never be the same.”  Her new faith gave her the desire to absorb anything she could learn about Christian life, and she began to grow because of the shepherding of a good pastor. Embracing involvement in church community and activities, she soon embarked on mission trips to Africa, where she encountered African women who were worn down, struggling with addiction, abused and sad. Susanne could relate to them because of her own past.

“My heart breaks for women who have been abused,” she relates passionately. “It has become my heart to share with women how valuable they are.”  After that experience she found it a natural transition to become a full-time missionary ministering to women in Africa. Upon beginning her work and hearing the real stories of these women, she became overwhelmed by their suffering and pain. But someone reminded her of an African proverb: “You cannot eat an elephant in one bite.” The problems are as big as an elephant, but everyone has a responsibility to take their bite.

“So I started a Bible study with these women, which was fantastic!” Susanne notes. “I was able to watch God crash into these women’s lives.”

The group exploded in size, and she had the privilege to watch God work in and through these women. But just as things began to become really exciting, Susanne’s world turned upside down when she found a lump in her breast. She came back to America for diagnosis and treatment. The doctors found stage IV breast cancer.  “It was a kick in the gut that I wouldn’t be going back to Africa right away,” Susanne says.

God dramatically changed her daily life and ministry, but he is opening up new doors in clinics and hospitals with patients and medical staff. She refocused by saying, “Ok, God. If you are having me walk this path then I’m all in.”

There was no way around it without surrender. And despite the difficulty, she exhorts, “He is over and above faithful in having people experience Jesus in a new way because of what I’m going through … It sounds really bizarre! I’m in chemo, but I am having so much fun. It’s just a great joy to share with people down at the clinic, to share with people here.” As she talks about her new role and this journey with God she says, “Onward we go together!” — Pioneers

Listen to the full story on Faith Radio.

You may also review Susanne’s blog about her current journey at CaringBridge.org. Her site name is susanneprice.