Creflo Dollar - Dare To Dream Again
Hey, welcome. Cancer is a devastating disease. It can disrupt and destroy a life overnight. With over 600.000 victims each year, it seems it could strike any one of us at any moment. On today's program, you'll meet a man who was on top of the world enjoying a flourishing career as a professional model and international basketball player. He had just come to the United States when tragedy struck. In a matter of days, he went from living a dream life to fighting for his very life. He survived, but lost his ability to walk. And though he has mostly recovered, he still struggles with the fear of the cancer resurfacing and taking everything away from him again. Today, we're going to meet and help Matthieu find the motivation to pursue his dreams. I'm Creflo Dollar, and this is "Your World".
Creflo: Our guest today was stricken with Hodgkin's disease, and at the prime of his professional modeling and basketball career, he was eventually paralyzed as the disease invaded his spine. The doctor said he wouldn't survive, but he did. After six months of treatment and prayer, his cancer disappeared. Today, our guest is struggling with the fear that his cancer will someday return, and we're here today to help him sort it all out. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome Matthieu to "Your World" today. You may be seated here. Oh, I'm glad you're here, man. I hope today we can create a ministry tool that will help people to really understand, first of all, the process that you have to go through to get to certain places, certain stages as a result of going through cancer. I'm going to relate with you on my journey through cancer and also, you know, fighting that fear of it returning again after hearing the doctors tell you, "Well, it'll be back 5 years". That's what I was told. And we call it "Your World" because we're going to go into your world, you're going to take us, and we're going to come together and manufacture and preach a sermon that's going to help set people free. So we're going to do some tag team, preaching today, brother, okay?
Matthieu Nkosi: Okay, I'm good to go.
Creflo: Well, look here. Let's start off with your story, the career of modeling, basketball, and you get this news.
Matthieu: I was on the top. I was trying my best to do everything possible. You know, as a young kid, we all have a dream and I end up to be modeling not really because I wanted to be a model, but it looked like my face was some kind of, you know, working in a marketing and I was still playing basketball. Yeah, I was like trying to challenge myself. I say, "If I want to get to the top, I need to play with the best players in the world, and this is America". So I just left everything behind me and then, you know, the comforts, my security in Europe, and everything and I just starting to school in Arizona and train a lot because I know it's tough. You know, it's not easy.
Creflo: So you were born in Belgium?
Matthieu: Belgium, Brussels, yes.
Creflo: Okay, so you make your way over here to the United States. Take it from there.
Matthieu: Certainly I start to losing weight. I knew the training that I had at school was a little bit more consistent, more hard than it used to be in Europe, and this is the best way to get to another level. You need to train hard. But I starting to losing weight drastically like 2, 3 pounds a week. Right now I'm skinny, but I used to be a little bigger when I play basketball. And I had like this sweating in bed at night times, and I was starting to feel weak more and more and I didn't know what happen. So I spoke with my counselor for the school and he says, "Something is going on. So maybe we should go to see doctors". And they say, "Okay, well, Matthieu, you need to go in Europe to be treated 'cause your doctor is there and"...
Creflo: So you had to go back to Belgium for treatment?
Creflo: And tell us about the day you discovered that you had cancer.
Matthieu: Well, I came back, and when you go outside of your country for a while, you kind of losing your citizenship. So it's like you're not, you know, resident of there so you're losing kind of like advantage, like the health cares and everything. So when I came back, I was forced to go to kind of a social hospital, and I was trying to explain that I was always in shape training and I feel like I was losing weight and trying to explain myself, but I'm not a doctor. So when you explain your symptoms is always more, I don't know, if it's crazy, but it looks like more like, "Okay, what's going on with this kid"? So they didn't believe me.
Creflo: They didn't believe you. Did they test you properly?
Matthieu: No, they just give me some painkillers and they say, "Well, you need to come back into few weeks and we'll see what's going on".
Creflo: They ran no tests, no blood tests?
Matthieu: No tests at all. I was in United States playing basketball division one, I was modeling, and I was starting to be like almost less than 100 pounds and people told me, doctor said I have nothing. And I remember I was crying 'cause I knew something was going on with my body. I always be in shape. Never drink, never smoked, and I couldn't understand why nobody understand me, why nobody was paying attention to me as a person, as a human being.
Creflo: Wow, man, it's almost shocking for me to hear that people that are supposed to be caring for you, where was the care?
Matthieu: It was really, like, painful 'cause I couldn't understand. I never heard anything like this. I never see anybody having the same symptoms. And my friend drove me home where I was staying 'cause I didn't have a place to stay. So I was staying with him, and on my way home, I saw a sign with another hospital. So I said, "Well, why don't I go to this hospital? I don't have anything to lose. They say I'm crazy so I'm crazy. Maybe I'm crazy". And I went there to the emergency room and after 5 minutes, the nurse was calling doctors. So she checked my legs, you know, the reaction, the hammers on your knee and nothing was moving. So I was in pain. So they gave me like a shot and they said, "We're going to do some tests and run some test tomorrow morning," 'cause I came really late night. And I woke up the morning and it was in the room upstairs and doctors came in my room and they said, "Matthieu, we have to do a surgery in your spine". I mean, I remember that moment where two months ago I was in Arizona playing basketball then I went through this back in Europe, no place to stay, and people like assuming that I was crazy. So this is something it's hurting 'cause when someone say you heard, you're crazy when you hurt, you cannot explain. You know, so it hurt me a lot 'cause I knew I had something going on. I knew it was real pain. I was not acting up. I'm sorry I'm just getting a little bit emotional 'cause this is the part of when people care, you know, this the first time someone was caring me for, and those doctor was amazing. I mean, Dr. Holler and all the team was amazing. It was really like great people. So they take care of me. I did the surgery in the morning. I didn't know what's going on. I didn't know about, you know, a back surgery.
Creflo: You hadn't received any diagnosis, any specific diagnosis?
Matthieu: No, they found out they have like a ball in my spine. It was locking the blood to flow to my spine. And they didn't know what it is, but there was something in my body that need to be removed. And I woke up the next day in my room and they said, "The surgery was good, but we move. We found something in your spine". And they say, "Okay, but you're going to be paralyzed". Said, "What are you talking about"?
Creflo: Now, did the surgery have a lot to do with the paralysis that attacked the body?
Matthieu: Yes. Yeah.
Creflo: And did they give you information as far as, you know, the paralysis would be temporary?
Matthieu: Oh, no. They said it's probably going to be like permanent. That's what they said. Like when you have those kind of surgery in your back, you don't walk no more. You have a chance to one million to walk.
Creflo: So it's either deal with the cancer versus being paralyzed for the rest of your life?
Matthieu: It was both of them.
Creflo: Wow. Yeah. Were you mad at God or confused or what was...
Matthieu: I was mad. I was mad at God. And I knew a lot of people, you know, know someone who's been through cancers and chemo or radiation, but my chemo was really tough 'cause it was stage four. So I was mad about God to be honest.
Creflo: Were you afraid you were going to die?
Matthieu: So when they push the chemos more and more longer and they said to my mom that, "He's not going to make it". At this point, I was 30 years old. So you're in shape, you're 30 years old, and you're going to realize that you're going to die in a couple of weeks, maybe months. I was already in hospital since almost six or seven months. So I started to pray 'cause one of my friend is really like someone, like, who pray a lot, he was really a supportive guy and he told me, "God don't punish anybody. He didn't bring you cancer".
Creflo: He doesn't have it. God doesn't give you what he doesn't have, and this is a very important point. A lot of time, he gets the blame for stuff that he's not even involved in, and God can't make you sick 'cause he doesn't have sickness. There are no angels in heaven with the flu, and it didn't come from God. What comes from God is healing and provision and all of those wonderful things. And sometimes when we have the wrong impression of who God is, it affects how we can receive from him. So thank God for this friend who gave you the right impression of who God is because, you know, things will turn around once you recognize that God's not against you but he's for you. I want to take a break right now and when we come back, we're going to continue with Matthieu and find out about the turnaround, what happened to turn this whole situation around from hopelessness to hope. We'll be right back.
Creflo: Welcome back. So, Matthieu, something changed, something turned. You left the expectations of the doctor where death is concerned, but you're here.
Matthieu: I'm here.
Creflo: What happened?
Matthieu: It's a lot of help. Like I said, I pray. I pray every day now, be thankful to be able to walk 'cause, again, that's why my story turned out to be a little bit inspiring and crazy. I didn't want to be a role model or whatever, but I'm involved with kids and training in basketball. And some of those coach use some newspapers, and I was in the newspapers and I starting to be involved with explaining people about, you know, being paralyzed, walking again, the meaning of life, be thankful, and goals. Everybody put some goals somewhere and sometimes you have to be realistic and having a plan B. I didn't have a plan B at that time.
Creflo: And now you can share that with others, how important the plan B is. Let's talk about fear. Here's my definition of fear. It's when you don't or will not believe what God has promised. In other words, God promises health and healing, but I'm afraid that what God promise won't come to pass. To recall what you have gone through, I can certainly understand the knock on the door where fear is concerned, but how you answer that is going to determine whether it continues to make progress in your life, in your mind, find a seed in your soul, or how can I walk free from fear. And so I'll say this, Matthieu. I don't believe a person can effectively deal with the spirit of fear without God because fear and Satan go hand in hand just like God and faith go hand in hand. Fear is the faith of the devil. Fear tolerated will be faith contaminated. And so I'm saying this because, again, five years it was supposed to come back and I'm thinking, "I've got to stand up to this. I've got to make a decision of quality. No, I'm not going to receive that. I choose to believe what God says, and this will not happen to me a second time". And so I begin to put it in my mouth, "This will not happen to me a second time. I am forever free from cancer". Out of that decision, a passion came to begin to research and to accept responsibility for my own health that never again will I allow the doctors to be responsible for my own health. I am going to be responsible for my own health. And it's just amazing because once you do that, fear doesn't have a grip over your life anymore, and I'm telling you the truth, man. My trust is totally in God. I'd meditate on who I am according to his Word. I meditate on the health that he promised me, the healing that he's provided for me, and I began to renew my mind so I can prove that good and perfect and acceptable will of God. Now, I got to be honest with you. When this thing first started and I recognized the fear, I mean, brother, if I was reading the Bible and saw death, I'll break out a cold sweat. Or if I had to go ride by a graveyard, I'm thinking, "Oh"...
Matthieu: Yeah, that could be me.
Creflo: Yeah, and I'm thinking, "Living in fear of cancer returning is no way to live. So how am I going to deal with this"? I knew it was a process and I knew the process was I've got to renew my mind. I've got to clean up the areas where I'm ignorant about the subject. It cannot and will not govern my life. And so now, you know, I'm in a pretty intense exercise program. My supplementation is pretty intense. I go through certain treatment so I can maintain a level of health, and I try to keep myself in balance. I am not going to live my life being afraid where cancer is concerned.
Matthieu: That's what happened. I had to check up recently to the hospital and I was scared; scared to go, scared to, "What's going to happen if they find out again it came back? I'm here now. I have a new life, and I'm playing basketball again. So I push it a little bit forward. And then finally I decided to go check myself and everything was fine. So like you said, fear is just not a good thing.
Creflo: Yeah, you can't have it in your life. And so while I can expose myself about all the information of what cancer can do to me, I'm also going to expose myself to what God has already done and I'm going to renew my mind and I'm going to get in there and I'm going to employ the Word into my mouth. I'm going to speak what I believe, I'm going to think what I believe, I'm going to get into his Word, and I'm going to totally trust God and rely on him as if he is the only hope that I have. I began to do things differently and I won't bore you with my extensive very radical protocol, but it's very radical. I can't even eat what other people can because I have got to pay attention to what would happen if I begin to go back to my old diet and my old stressing over something not going to do it anymore. And I plan on living to at least 100 and then renegotiating, but I don't plan on looking like a 100-year-old dude. Yeah, I'm not going to live like a 100-year-old dude. And for you sharing your story like you're sharing it, I want you to understand the fear is real, but fear can be dealt with but you have to deal with it every single day. Every time fear comes through your mind, you got to cast it down.
Matthieu: I'm trying.
Creflo: That's where the real attack is, right here, and you have to learn how to be a good custodian over your thought life and really make your thoughts submit to what you believe. And sometimes I had to do that every minute and then it went every 15 minutes and then it went every 30 minutes. I remember walking up and down the hallway because I couldn't close my eyes without seeing a casket and all that other kind of stuff. But over time as you do that, you take authority over that until all of a sudden Satan's got to negotiate whether or not he would even put that thought in your mind because he's got to deal with how you're going to respond to him, you know.
Matthieu: Well, thank you for those words 'cause I don't say that nobody told me that the same way, but it's always good to have some right word to go through and it's going to help me. I don't make promise that it's going to work tomorrow, but I'm going to work on it, fears, and hopefully I will be more, you know, open to life and not be scared to go to a casting for the next whatever and then enjoy life more 'cause fear just block me to step into whatever is coming.
Creflo: If you will begin to employ some of the things we talked about today, there is nothing that you lost where God is not going to restore it back to you sevenfold. So begin to pursue the sevenfold return. It's not over. You're not in the casket and you're not in the ground.
Matthieu: No, I'm not.
Creflo: Yeah, get it back. Get it back. Dream bigger and go for it, man, you know, I got to be honest with you. I didn't know what to expect. I thought you were going to come out in a wheelchair. Did you all, too? And he came pimping out here and I'm like, "What happened"? And he walked out here still looking like a Vogue model, right? Still. I don't even know, I don't, you know, so he has no victory over you, but we cannot tolerate fear. It cannot get angry at it. "No, I'm not going to be afraid. God hadn't given me the spirit of fear, but love and power and a sound mind". I look forward to us, if you will agree, Matthieu, I don't know when they're telling it's coming back, but I want you to come back on the show and say, "Listen, the fear is gone. I'm in perfect health. I got this kind of modeling contract. I'm doing this". Because you're sitting on a couch where God has done a lot of miracles, and there is no way, there is no way you're going to leave this planet and not get back the sevenfold. The Bible says if you catch the thief, you can make him repay you seven times what was taken. And so I declare in your life a sevenfold restoration, seven times.
Creflo: No more fear.
Matthieu: Thank you. I will, I'm working on it.
Creflo: That's where you start. No more fear. And live your life and wake up with the energy and the love and the excitement that you have and go get it. There ain't nothing you can't do.
Matthieu: I do that. I do that every day.
Creflo: You speak three languages.
Matthieu: Yes, sir.
Creflo: And, you know, three languages; and if you've got tongues, that's four. You're here in the United States right now?
Matthieu: Yes, I'm living in Atlanta...
Creflo: You're living in Atlanta. Well, I mean, what is Atlanta except what, the southern Hollywood or something like that? And they got a new like a B team-type basketball thing that's in south. They just build this facilities and stuff like that, and plus you can coach and all that other kind of stuff. And you got accent. People over here like accent. When I go somewhere, I have a accent but I don't know I got a accent. I got a accent to you right now, right? It's like, "Listen to this country, talking to me, you know". I want you to encourage yourself in the Lord, man, and come back and let us know the God of the turnaround is working for you right now. I wish I had a book on overcoming fear, a book I wrote a while back. Maybe we can send it to Matthieu and he can start reading that book because that really helped us out a lot, and we want to teach people how to never be afraid again, how to never be afraid again. Yeah, I'd like to give that to Matthieu. I want him to start on it because this works. Is that a CD series? Can I have that? I give it to Matthieu. I want him to get to working on this fear now, now. Thank you. Get to work, "How To Never Be Afraid". That's what we're talking about, right? How to never be afraid again. Get started on that, and I can find the book, and get yourself full of the Word of God on that. Do you guys appreciate our guest? You know, God has provided us with a world of opportunities which are ours to claim it if we claim it. It's important that you make the most of the life that you were given. And when you recognize your true inner potential and the promises God has given us in his Word, you will realize there is nothing to fear. It's impossible to live a life that you're looking at things in life and you're full of the fear and the fear begins to torment you. How can anybody live that kind of life? But when you live a life that's pleasing to God and you go against the fear, then you can have victory in your life. Remember, God's standard of excellence is different from ours, and we never, we can never fall short in his eyes if our actions are led by the Word and if we understand his grace. I want to thank my guest, Matthieu, for joining us today.