Faith News readers, we have a great opportunity to help one of our own

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Some of you might recognize the name Joshua Ray. Joshua is a local author who contributes regularly to the Faith & Finance portion of Faith News Niagara. Throughout our two years online, Faith News got to know Joshua a little better through his online teachings.


This month’s blog is about Joshua. More specifically, this post will look at Joshua’s family life, and how he came to be a writer for Faith News. Because Joshua, and more specifically, a member of his family, needs the help of our community right now.


Joshua was born in New England, 30 miles from Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Judy and Raymond. His father was born on the Tobique First Nations Indian Reserve in New Brunswick. Raymond is Native American. Many from the First Nations community are predominately Roman Catholic. Likewise, Raymond was born and raised in a Catholic family. At the age of 18, he crossed the border to join the United States Navy during WWII. Years later, upon returning home from the States, he met Judy.


The two eventually married and many years later, Judy came to the Lord herself. It wasn’t because her husband was religious; it was a choice she made because there was something comforting about their church that helped Judy connect to God.


Finding structure and stability through the church, her faith grew over the years, helping her to deepen her commitment to Christ. She poured over any information she could find in order to learn about her faith.


This structure that she found attending church helped her grow. And even as her faith continued to deepen, she felt the urge to volunteer to teach a class of second graders. Judy found that preparing young minds was absolutely, rewarding and continued to teach over the next 15 years.


Over the years she has served the Lord, and his people, in a variety of ways; for instance, by volunteering to assist the nuns as they themselves would address the needs of the poor and needy. (She did her internship as a social worker through the church as well with the same nuns.)


Judy and Raymond raised all 5 of their children in the ways of the Lord, and helped them to build their faith in God as they grew. Joshua himself became an altar boy in Grade 3 and served in that capacity right up until he went to University. It was Judy and Raymond’s influence and faith that set the course for Joshua’s life of faith.


As you read the Faith and Finance sections, know that Joshua has a deep history of experiences with God because of his mother and father. In this particular case, the more you know about who is writing these articles, and what their background is, the more you can appreciate the experience they share.


Over the past several years, Joshua has had his faith tested many times and in many different ways. Over three years ago, his mother was diagnosed with COPD. But for the past several months, Judy’s health has deteriorated to the point where she has been placed on a lung transplant list in Boston. Recently they told her that she is too sick to remain on the list, and suggested that she try to enjoy the remainder of her life as best as she can.


Anyone’s faith, under these conditions, can sway from high to low at any given time. And that has been the case with Judy. She has spent her life teaching others about Christ, and encouraging them to have faith during tough times in their lives, but now she finds herself struggling as she faces her own challenges.


Joshua also finds his faith being tried, as he believes God for both a financial and healing miracle for his mother. The family has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for a possible move to Atlanta, where she can be tested to see if she can be placed on the transplant list in that city. The goal is for a new set of lungs for the beloved mother and grandmother.


Although we usually focus on local stories, and our goal is to serve our local community, Joshua is one of our own, and his situation is dire as it pertains to his mother in Boston. So we’re looking for our community to step up at this time, and come to the aid of a man who has given, and continues to give, regularly.


Faith News readers, we recognize that we’re asking for a lot this month. I’ve shared some personal needs of my own in another article. As for Joshua, if you’ve been blessed by his content I can’t think of a better way to show your appreciation than to consider helping him and his mother in their time of need. Please pray and ask the Lord if giving to help them with their looming financial burden is what he desires of you at this time. If you would like to give, please visit Judy’s GoFundMe account, or go to www.gofundme.com and type “Judy Perley” in the search bar.


And if you have a way to share her story to help raise awareness amongst your connections, please consider doing that. We can all come together and make a difference, if the will to do so is there.


On behalf of Judy and her family, and Joshua and his family… thanks. Thank you ahead of time as you consider what you can do. Your prayers for a financial and physical healing are always welcomed.

September 2016

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"Steve Shares" is where Steve Samuels of Faith News Niagara shares the thoughts on his mind, and the dreams in his heart.