Pastor Tony Evans thanked supporters for their prayers following a “difficult week” in which he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and his ministry’s offices were devastated by the winter freeze in Texas.
In a social media update Friday, Evans, the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, and founder and president of The Urban Alternative, revealed that one week ago, he was diagnosed with COVID-19.
“I’m continuing to seek treatment, and coveting the prayers of our ministry family, partners and church members,” the pastor said, adding that he shared the news of his diagnosis with his church on Sunday.
Evans said that that same week, Texas’ winter freeze hit The Urban Alternative offices. As a result, “the pipes burst and the entire facility is flooded.” He shared a photo of the wreckage to “help encourage more people to pray for those who are truly impacted by this weather.”
“Our offices will be fine. We will rebuild. We will continue serving those who partner with us in ministry. But because Texas is not a cold-winter-state, many people have lost much more than this,” he wrote. “Power grids have completely shut down in some areas causing internal temperatures to get dangerously low. Many are now without water. Frozen pipes have caused homes, churches and businesses to flood. Livestock has been affected. The elderly have been shut-in, some unable to get the medical help they need.”
Evans asked supporters to continue praying for those struggling through the storms, stressing that “prayers make a difference.”
“Lord willing, I plan to preach a sermon on Job which we will post on Sunday, on our church’s channels and on our ministry’s social media channels,” he wrote. “Please pray for me as I prepare for this message. And check back in on Sunday to hear what God has put on my heart for so many facing a difficult season right now. God is good and He IS faithful.”
In a 2020 interview with The Christian Post, Evans, who lost his wife, Lois, to cancer in December 2019, shared how he chooses to trust God amid pain and uncertainty.
“God is faithful, even when He’s confusing,” he shared. “Sometimes you have to learn to trust God in the dark when there is not clarity, when He becomes inscrutable. You have to have enough foundation before that happens to weather the storm when that happens.”
Trusting God when it doesn’t make sense, Evans said, is a “decision of the will.”
“It's often not supported by the emotions, because you're not feeling what you're trusting,” he explained. “It’s a decision to act like God is telling the truth, to act like God knows what He is doing. That’s what we choose to do and continue to choose to do day by day.”
“It’s important to not give up on God when life appears to have given up on you. It's easy to trust God when everything is right, blessings are flowing, prayers are being answered, needs are being met. That's the fun part of the faith. But sometimes, you have to trust God when you don’t see the benefits, the blessings, and all the frills of the faith.”
Even in his darkest moments, the influential pastor said he finds solace in “knowing God’s character — that He is benevolent and He is good.”