Anouchka Manga Calligure grew up and spent much of her life in Gabon on Africa’s west coast. While Gabon is nearly 12,000 miles from Anouchka and her husband Greg’s Sienna Plantation residence, she has never felt more at home thanks to her “family” at the Sienna Campus of Houston’s First. Being so far from home, family was just what they needed when, just a few months after she began attending, their lives took an unexpected turn.
Anouchka was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
The tumor was so big, she said, that radiation was her only option. She and Greg were also juggling the demands of life with a toddler. Their son Andrew was less than two years old when treatment began.
“The support we received from our church family was always just what we needed,” she said. “When I was in the hospital, several members visited me, prayed with me and encouraged me.”
After being released from the hospital, church member Courtney Griffin organized meal delivery to the family. “We received so much food, I had to tell her to stop the delivery,” Anouchka recalls. Susan Barrett organized transportation to the Texas Medical Center for additional treatment and doctor visits after Greg had to go back to work. “I never missed one appointment last year,” said Anouchka. Even the Children’s Ministry wrote words of encouragement, which she kept and framed.
“I don’t think I’d be where I am today without the church body,” said Anouchka. “I’ve never seen anything like the outpouring of love we received.”
Since getting back on her feet, Anouchka is giving back. She has participated in missions projects sponsored by the church and has worked with youth and children in Vacation Bible School. She’s also attending a Life Bible Study and is part of a women’s Bible study.
Doctors have given Anouchka the all clear. Her tumor has shrunk away and now she is walking, running, and “doing fantastic,” she says. “The Lord has been so great and my church ‘has my back.’”