Mark A. Kordic

Mark KordicOvercoming Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

My name is Mark A. Kordic. I grew up in a nominal Catholic family in Cleveland, Ohio. During my teen years, a series of personal disappointments soured me on the church. My mother was married four times, and my first stepfather spent considerable time in prison. This stepfather had a pretense of religiosity and disappointed me to the core.

Concurrently, my experience with Catholic priests leading keg parties in the community seemed hypocritical. My life in the city was characterized by experimenting with the latest craze, whether drugs or other illegal/immoral experiences. We followed Simon & Garfunkel’s, “the signs of the prophets are written on the subway walls.” Thankfully, at age 16, the Lord directed a 20-something “Jesus-freak” to clearly present the Gospel to me outside a football stadium. I remember being amazed as I read passages throughout Scripture sharing clear pictures of the sinfulness of man and the substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I thought deeply of God’s eternal invitation found in John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” At the same time, I accepted a friend’s invitation to attend a Baptist Church service. After a number of months of preaching and while subsequently devouring a Living Bible version of the sacred text, I yielded my life to Jesus Christ at age 18. I was the first one to do so on either side of my family tree.

 

A priority of discipleship was established immediately by responding to 2 Timothy 2:2, “… (committing) these (truths) to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” During my college years, I was intensely discipled by members of The Navigators. Following my marriage in 1982, I was discipled by those with the gift of evangelism in Tennessee. We moved to Ohio in 1986 where I began a 20-year career in Christian Radio with a concurrent role as part-time pastor of missions and discipleship at a Bible-believing church.

I have been greatly influenced by author Henry Blackaby and his Experiencing God teaching. Watching the Holy Spirit providentially open doors for redemptive relationships in evangelism and donor relations has been a highlight of my life. For 30 years, I’ve been privileged to journey with major donors in missionary causes, believing “…without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). These friends, who are so committed to whole-life stewardship, are some of the most joyful people I’ve met.

Two formative experiences have shaped my walk with Christ and my view of life: a battle for my life with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in my early 40’s and my involvement in The Luke Commission (TLC).

The battle for my life began in the fall of 2001. For a development director serving a listener-supported radio network, fall represents the year’s busiest time. Thinking I was battling pneumonia while trying to ignore all the tell-tale signs of cancer, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Six months of intense chemotherapy followed by forty-five radiation treatments left me depleted in every way. However, further testing showed the cancer was growing, and I was told my only option was to undergo a grueling treatment: a stem cell transplant. In May of 2003, this transplant saved my life. A several-year recovery process ensued. This spiritual pilgrimage of being so close to eternity for many years continues to give me an appreciation for each day. I value the people in my life like never before. My heart’s desire is to spend every day using the gifts God has given me for His glory.

The second experience to profoundly impact me has been volunteering with The Luke Commission, a

medical mission’s organization in Swaziland, Africa, (www.lukecommission.org). With the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world, this tiny African nation has seen skyrocketing numbers of orphans. Recruiting donors, volunteers, and advocates of all ages for TLC has brought great joy to me and my family. The Apostle James writes that true religion involves visiting the fatherless and widows in their affliction. I have seen God multiply time and resources given towards serving Swazi families, many led by 12 year-olds, whom some would call “the least of these.” Concurrently, I’ve served as a leader of Seed Company, a Wycliffe Bible Translators affiliate, bringing God’s Word to more than 1,200 of the world’s 7,000 living languages in just the last 23 years.

In my vocational and personal life, I want to continue to be used by God as a catalyst to help donors grow in their relationship with God through an understanding of stewardship as informed by God’s counsel (2 Timothy 3:16).

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Mark A. Kordic Testimony