Scott Almand sat alone, shivering in an uncomfortable metal chair. He would have shivered from nerves anyway, but the constant breeze from the air conditioner sure didn’t help. As he waited for the diagnosis that could easily change his life, he contemplated the weeks that had led up to this moment. In February 2022, he had driven onto the StoneWater Church parking lot with $12 in his pocket and only a quarter tank of gas. His 2,000-mile trek from Washington was long and stressful, but none of that mattered. He made it to the one place where he remembered feeling hope.
It had been nine years since he last stepped foot in Granbury, TX. He and his sons once called it home. The boys often attended StoneWater’s youth program, but Scott was a “call on God when you need Him type of person.” All these years later, Scott often thought about how the people of StoneWater stepped in to help him when his son was in a severe car crash that resulted in a brain injury. Why would people who hardly knew his family provide them with such love and support? The need to answer that question had drawn Scott across the country and back to Texas. To this very church. But this time, Scott knew no one and had no place to go. One son had passed away in the years since he left, and the other had moved out of Texas.
Before he lost his job due to Covid and became homeless, Scott designed and assembled trussing rigging for the entertainment industry. Some acts he toured with include Garth Brooks and ACDC. He arrived at StoneWater the week before the construction team was scheduled to begin hanging lights in the new auditorium. Scott couldn’t believe it. He found a place to be helpful, a place to belong. Pastor John Hosea and his Help Ministry team quickly worked to get Scott a place to live. While Scott spent the next month working on the auditorium, God spent that time working on Scott’s heart.
He continued to interact with the people of StoneWater and knew they were different. They forgave him when he lost his temper. They didn’t judge. They had unexplainable joy, and Scott wanted to feel that way too. He had been alone for many years, spent time in prison, struggled with drugs, and finally hit rock bottom. He was weary. It took several weeks for him to feel comfortable enough to attend a service at the church, but when he finally worked up the courage to walk into the tent, he immediately felt welcomed and accepted.
On July 3rd, Scott was baptized at the One Big Family service held at the Texas Amphitheater in Glen Rose. As the water covered his face, he felt his every sin wash away. This was the happiest day of his life. As the sun set, behind them, creating a majestic backdrop, Scott emerged from the water and hugged Pastor Jeremy. You couldn’t help but smile at the obvious joy radiating from his face.
Scott’s recollections were suddenly interrupted by a loud knock on the wooden door beside him. He took a deep breath to calm his nerves and, with a steady voice, said, “come in.” The diagnosis wasn’t what he hoped it would be. Stage four colon cancer. It had already metastasized in his liver and lymph nodes, and the prognosis was only 6-9 months to live. Scott is now several weeks into his chemo treatments. These have been some of the darkest hours he’s ever experienced, but this time he has a light to guide him through the wilderness. God has continued to work in Scott, giving him the strength to face each day. He has never felt so loved and cared for. When asked what advice he would give someone else walking through a hard season, he had this to offer ” If you haven’t already, pray for Jesus to come into your life. Then, never forget whose you are. He will be there for you. ”
Everyone knows they will die, but knowing when you’re going to die changes things.
God is at work in Scott. He is a work unfinished. What work is God doing in you? Do you trust that it is good? How is God’s good work leading you to Jesus?