Obviously, God still has a plan for Thomas this side of Heaven…When Thomas was diagnosed with Stage 4 head and neck cancer in 2009, his family was told to start planning his funeral.
Until 2009, Thomas lived an ordinary life. A Bloomington native, he worked as a truck driver, bricklayer, insulation installer and more. A big guy of 210 pounds, he enjoyed hunting, fishing and the quiet beauty of Minnesota farmland. Divorced, he had a son and grandson.
But in May of that year, Thomas was stunned by a diagnosis of Stage 4 neck and head cancer. He found himself with a feeding tube in his stomach, all his teeth removed and 40 rounds of radiation treatments and chemotherapy, which left him wiped out.
He returned to his house in Montgomery, about 60 miles south of the Twin Cities, not knowing if he would live or die. He said he overheard doctors tell his family that they might want to plan for a funeral, and he was “terrified.”
Solitary walks along the rural roads near his home soothed his spirit, and one day, Thomas spotted an abandoned church next to a little cemetery. Curious, he shook the door handle, but it was locked. So he sat on the steps and prayed — a move that became nearly a daily ritual.
One morning, a jolt of inspiration struck on those steps, and suddenly the wandering cancer patient had a plan. Thomas walked to a nearby farmhouse and asked who had the keys to the church. That someone was Don Rynda, an 82-year-old member of the church cemetery association.
Thomas began to repair the church soon after.
Now the old chapel is has a brand new coat of white paint, and the once seemingly terminal cancer Thomas had is in remission.
Thomas said he plans to continue his work on the church, moving on to the roof and the interior next.
Credits: WAVY TV 10
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