A lot of people wonder why they are here. Amy Alquaddomi knows why – because Jesus told her.
Amy didn’t grow up Christian. She had a concept of God, but only had a vague notion of what Christianity and Jesus were all about. However, her husband Omar is a devout Catholic and their two young children ages 6 and 8 attend St John the Baptist in Costa Mesa. So when Amy was diagnosed with a very serious form of cancer last summer, she began rigorous treatment therapy and her personal faith journey.
“I was in a great deal of pain and suffering, so I started to keep a journal, said Amy. “Then, I started getting intense visions in my dreams telling me that I need to start a cancer ministry.”
One evening, just before Mother’s Day, Amy heard someone say: Hope. Love. Faith. “I thought: that’s weird. I asked my husband if he had heard someone say hope, love, faith. He said no, then asked me if I knew what it meant. He said that Jesus said these three things were the most important, but he said them in a different order.”
The next day, Amy became very sick and went to the emergency room. Her husband stayed with her and repeated the words hope, love, faith. “Everything turned out fine, including my tests,” recalls Amy. “But that night the pain returned. After a while I felt a comforting hand on my back and saw Jesus in front of me. He looked at me with His hands together and a rainbow coming from his palms. Then He disappeared. I thought – how many drugs have I taken? I asked my husband if he had put his hand on me, and he said he hadn’t.”
At this point she decided it was time to learn to pray. She had received many books on surviving cancer, but one friend gave her a small green book called 50 Days of Hope by Lynn Eib, a cancer survivor. Each page had a little story and a prayer, so she started to pray – and to her surprise, prayer didn’t feel so odd.
Meanwhile, she continued to get private locutions from Jesus about the cancer ministry. Her friends were suggesting that she also get baptized but Amy said, “I didn’t listen to the people who were pushing me to get baptized, I wanted to hear Jesus ask me to get baptized.” Shortly thereafter, a friend texted her to join a Zoom prayer group meeting and sent a link. “I was crying my eyes out and praying the rosary. Then I heard, ‘today you are going to be baptized’. So I contacted and was able to reach Fr. Damien Giap, rector of St. John the Baptist school, and asked him to baptize me that day.’”
At 2 p.m. Amy, her husband Omar and her two children, arrived at St. John the Baptist. Most of her prayer group also arrived—with facemasks in place– to surprise her with balloons and banners.
“As the water was poured over my head, I felt like I was alone with God,” recalls Amy.
She began her cancer survival ministry. Although she didn’t have a way of reaching out to people coping with cancer, Jesus brought people to her, friends of friends. “These ladies and I are on a journey together some are religious, some are not. Jesus said the most important thing is not to do my work when I’m feeling good – but do it when I’m suffering. This is the hardest part because I get so sick with so many symptoms.”
“One day I called a woman and all these words came spewing out of me. I just said you need hope, love and faith you are going to be ok, take it one step
at a time. When I got off the phone, I felt like a train hit me. That’s my ministry now.”
“When I started radiation, I was praying inside the scanner and I was really anxious because I have a lot to do and I have this new purpose. Jesus interrupted my prayer and said ‘Patience. Something good is coming!’”
This situation has been hard on Amy’s young family, especially her 8-year-old daughter. It has been a challenge, especially when the children see books about cancer that people have given her. “My kids can read. On the cover of my journal, I drew a mountain. It will be difficult to get to the top. I’m calling it Hope Love Faith. My daughter told me to draw a rainbow over it because that is the promise—like God’s promise that things will get better after the flood.
When I get over this, I want to climb a mountain as a faith-based journey. And I’ll climb it with my family and friends.”