Each week on Thursday morning we celebrate an amazing woman in our community. We would love to hear from you about a special woman in your life. Please fill out our Woman of the Week nomination form and let us know who that is in your life. You can read the stories below of our growing list of amazing women.
Woman of the Week: Carmem Carmo
Nominated by: Marion Sterling
Carmem Carmo is the Director of First Life Pregnancy Center. She was diagnosed in fall 2011 with breast cancer and had a bilateral mastectomy in November 2011. During her surgery, chemo treatments, and reconstructive surgery she only missed work for as long as the doctors required. The entire time she was going through this, when she was at work or in any other situation, she was always smiling and encouraging others. When her hair fell out it did not deter her from what she needed and wanted to do for work. So she wore a wig as she traveled to China to help with the opening of a Pregnancy Center there. She consistently talked about about how good God is and that she trusted Him no matter what happened. She was never seen to be discouraged in any way and was a constant example of what a strong belief in God can do. During this time she also had 3 teenagers in college and is currently planning a wedding for one of her daughters. Her hair has begun to grow back and she is a light to everyone who knows her.
Woman of the Week: Edna Garcia
Nominated by: Anamaria Garcia-Serrano
Our Titi (aunt) Edna has always been an inspiration and an example of love to all of her family. She is one of twelve children, and we have always seen her as the kind one who brings joy to all. She has been fighting the battle against breast cancer for eight years and the entire time her only concern is for her children and parents. She has sacrificed so much and suffered but has always rested her faith in our Lord and is now helping her father also get through cancer. 17 years ago I chose her as my sponsor for confirmation because even at a young age I knew she would always provide a great example of Christlike love, patience, and humility. It has not been easy for anyone in our family to see her gain hope in this fight and continuously stumble on new hurdles on this path. However, my faith remains that God chose her because her faith is so strong that it has created a light for our family to unite around. Just after Edna’s journey against cancer began we lost my father in a tragic accident, and I believe that God has provided our family with an angel to watch us from heaven and one here to keep us strong.
Woman of the Week: Debbie Bernet
Nominated by: Rose Thomas
Debbie and I work together. She is one of the most joyous teachers I have ever met. She makes learning fun and it’s a beauty to watch her in the classroom. When she was recently diagnosed, I worried about her going through so much pain and I feared that her bubbling joy would be lost in a sea of treatment. Everyday, she comes to work and she gives it her best. I know that life is tough for her these days, but teaching is in her blood and she’s lost if she’s not touching the hearts and minds of her students. Debbie is precious to me. I honor her today and always.
Woman of the Week for: Oralia Guerra
Nominated by: Alicia Guerra
Oralia “Lolly” Guerra was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and fought the fight. She then went into remission for a year but then the cancer came back and spread threw her bones and threw out her body. She always stayed positive and through out all of her treatments kept her head up and kept her faith in God and to her church. No matter where she was she always speaking about the word of God and tring to bring people to church. She was a faithful follower. She was a Sunday school teacher for the children. She was also a loving grandmother, mother, wife, sister, daughter and friend. She has a special bond with each and everyone of her 7 grandchildren. She taught us all so much and was always there for her family. This past June we lost he to cancer which started 7 years ago. Within her last days one of her wishes was that her children go back to church and since then our family has been even stronger. She will always be missed and never forgotten. We love you!
Woman of the Week: Kate Wright
Nominated by: Marianne Rigolini
My best friend, Kate, was diagnosed with breast cancer 16 months ago. On her way to hear her diagnosis she heard the song Voice of Truth. It gave her strength and the courage to fight her battle. Kate stayed strong, never complained – even when she was so sick. She continued to lecture in Church even as she got sicker and lost her hair. Kate is the strongest woman I know who is filled with compassion and the love of Christ.
Woman of the Week: Linda Burkett
Nominated by: Pat Hilton
Linda was diagnosis with breast cancer a few years ago. She went through surgery to have the lope nubs removed only to have it reappear the next year. Thus she had to have a double breast removal. She went through chemo and everything with such a positive attitude. I admire Linda not only for being a survivor but through all of this she also lost her 23 year old handicapped son. Micheal, her son, was born handicapped but Linda and her husband, Greg, always took care of him at home. Linda is such a strong woman to have faced all of these situations with a positive attitude and loves serving the Lord. She is the director of our Children’s ministry and gives so much back to our church and the Lord. She truly is a survivor of breast cancer as well as a true light in the darkness for Jesus Christ. I call her my friend and feel that she deserves being the Woman of the Week turns Pink.
Woman of the Week: Lori Lighty
Nominated by: John Lighty
Lori felt a call to children’s ministry. She took this challenge at our church 4 months ago. She created a children’s worship service, children’s quiz team, and children’s choir. She has seen an increase from 6 children to 23 children with 4 accepting Christ and being baptized. She also saw a need at children’s camp for a church in New Port Richey that 95% of the parents are out of work and the children have only one set of clothes to wear. They would wash those clothes every night at camp to have fresh clothes each day. The church tries to feed all the people at least twice a week. She initiated a clothing and food drive for this church and will deliver a truck load to the church this Saturday. She has a passion for bringing children into a saving knowledge of Christ. She has also initiated a Fall Festival to reach out to our community with the gospel. She has a love for Christ and wants everyone to know who He is and also have a saving relationship with Him.
Woman of the Week: Alicia Engelman
Nominated by: Crystal Howard
I have known Alicia since 9th grade and we became best friends. She is an amazing women in Christ. She loves to sing for the Lord and she has recently started our womens ministry at our church as well. She has 8 kids from ages 10 mths to 24 yrs old. Two of them are step children. She is a stay at home mom who homeshools all of her children and she has a miche bag business also. She will do what she can to help out who is in need. She runs the nursery at the church and we both sing with the praise and worship group too. We have been best friends since 1992. I am proud to say she is my best friend and my sister forever.
Woman of the Week: Vindy Lopez
Nominated by: Lulu Swain
We met at church as I was losing my house and job. She asked me, my son, and two dogs to come live with her and her two kids. While I lived there she paid my school’s tuition, books, gas, food and provided anything my son and I needed. Even going to movies or dining out. She always made sure that I always had cash on me and even deposited money into an account for me to use. We are both youth leaders at the same church and we do community service together along with the ministry I direct out of the same church. We share a passion for the youth and God and we learned a lot from each other.
I lived in her house for twenty months until recently I was able to move on my own with my son. I have never met anyone so selfless and giving in my entire life and i would like to recognize her for all she has done and continues doing. Even after moving out she still makes sure we have all we need.
Woman of the Week for 08/11/2012: Vastie Alexis
Nominated by: Mehlin Philippe
Vastie currently holds the title of Youth President of her church. Despite her own personal circumstances, she still finds time to love on each of her youth members indivudually. She prays with them, prepares their lessons and is there encourgaging. She also serves as the Sunday School Teacher and is readily available to the needs of her students, youth and the congregation.