Author: Dr. Monica Y. Jackson, Ph.D. | March 2015

Ever wonder why you were assigned to run a particular race in life? Ever ask, why me or why not me? I have. When the answers are revealed, the path becomes very clear, yet the journey may not be easy. That’s when you must tap into another source. Do you really believe what you think you believe? Do you know what you believe or do you knock others’ beliefs and discredit them? I challenge you not to knock what you don’t know. Your beliefs can knock out giants or your giants can knock out your beliefs. May this article challenge and encourage you to have faith to fight the good fight, run and finish the race, knowledgeably and victoriously.

Pastor Diego Mesa
Pastor Diego Mesa

“I don’t ever want to lose the memory of the island”

I had the distinct pleasure of being spiritually fed by Pastor Diego Mesa for seven years at Abundant Living Family Church (ALFC), not knowing that God had a plan for a one-on-one encounter. In fact, there was never a day that I envisioned sitting across the desk from this man of God or conducting this interview, until recently. It just wasn’t in the plan. Well, not my plan. Obviously, someone knew the plan. Plans to prosper and not to harm; plans to give hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

When I was a member of ALFC, I was relatively content sitting in a pew, absorbing the word and going unnoticed. I never thought that Pastor Diego’s and my path would cross in such a profound, purposeful manner. If you have read my articles, blogs and book, Eat Healthy Without Sacrificing Taste, you know that Pastor Diego’s journey was instrumental in my journey, after I was misdiagnosed by medical doctors, not once, not twice, but three times!. They diagnosed me with cancer, UCTD (undifferentiated connective tissue diseases)/Lupus “in the making” and kidney disease – three strikes, but I was not out. I later discovered that I did not have any of these diseases, nor required medication! But, this revelation did not come from the doctors who gave me the diagnoses.

I was upset by such egregious errors or were they intentional? No one wants to believe anyone would intentionally misdiagnose someone. However, I often wonder if this is the case or if it is just a lack of knowledge and “old school” teachings. Regardless of the reason, it is never okay for anyone to receive a misdiagnosis from three different doctors. I, and many others, cannot ignore what we have experienced. You shouldn’t either.

If you have read my blog posts and articles, you have read my commentary about the medical profession’s vicious cycle. The more medication you ingest, laced with all sorts of side effects, the more you keep doctors, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, hospitals, nursing homes and extended care facilities in business. The opposite is also true, the less medication you take,  fewer funds flow into the industry. Training medical professions must be reexamined. If it won’t be reexamined, then it behooves each of us to examine it and be our own advocates, so that we can make better choices and decisions. Here’s Pastor Diego’s message of challenge, courage and example of a walking miracle. During our meeting, I asked Pastor Diego the following.

Tell our audience about Pastor Diego Mesa.

I was raised in a middle class home, with my mother, father and siblings. My dad often worked two to three jobs. We had everything that we needed. I was raised with great family values and grew up Catholic. I was an altar boy and did everything that I was told to do. However, I knew that I wanted to do more. As a young boy, I didn’t know what that was or how to articulate what I wanted to do. I had great values and knew right from wrong. I had a conviction to want to know God. I didn’t want to do wrong. I am a simple guy. I attended junior college for one and one-half years and Bible school for two years. I had and have an overwhelming quest to please God. It is there everyday. I just want to please God.

Tell us about your calling.

was called into ministry in 1978 while watching TBN. Arthur Blessitt delivered a message. It was the first time that I ever heard that Jesus loved me and accepted me as I was. I didn’t have to do anything to earn His love. At that time, I gave my heart to God and immediately knew that I had been called into ministry. All of the jobs that I had were preparation. I took a test to enlist in the Marines. I took the test to become a Sheriff. However, I knew that I was not going to do either. I participated in triathlons, was very athletic and very good at it, but I knew that I wasn’t called to do that. I developed in the church. I was a Children’s Pastor. I was amazed that I could get paid to work for God. It didn’t matter what I did as long as I was working for God.

How did you feel knowing that you were called but unable to operate in your calling?

Like most people, I was frustrated. I grew weary. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to get what was in me out of me.

What is the greatest misconception that the world has about God and Christianity?

People think God does not like them. I tell people that God does not hate them and He is not mad at them. I preach love.

What must Christians do to eliminate this misconception?

We must live a life that represents what we believe. We must allow the Gospel to change us. You can’t turn Christianity on and off. It’s a belief and a behavior.

You had an unexpected setback that sparked you to change your life. Explain.

In June 2008, I was diagnosed with terminal, stage four kidney cancer. It effected every part of my being – emotionally, spiritually, naturally and physically. I had to put things into perspective. Things that once mattered didn’t matter anymore. I began to value things that I didn’t value before. I had to see and learn things that I never knew or saw before.

The feeling that I had was like Tom Hanks in the Castaway movie. He was stranded on an island and could not get off the island. He gave up hope. However, he made a sail and pushed pass the breakthrough. I was overwhelmed; yet grateful to get off the island. Just like the character in the movie, when I look back, the island changed me. I found God in a way that I never had before. I don’t ever want to lose the memory of the island.

“The prescribed medication stabilizes cancer, at best. It does not shrink cancerous tumors and it never places one in remission”

Describe the treatment that you have endured.

I took the chemotherapy pill for one year, until I met Rubin Jordan who said, “I believe I can help you.” Then he introduced me to Dr. Tony Antonnaci (Yes, this is the same doctor that I have been boasting about in my book, Eat Healthy Without Sacrificing Taste and featured in the article Brought Back to Life to Bring Life Back to Others. For those who are unfamiliar with Jordan Rubin, he suffered from Crohn’s Disease at a very young age. The condition was quickly leading to his demise. After he did not receive any relief from traditional, conventional medical treatment, Rubin Jordan turned to healing himself using biblical eating principles. He is also the founder of Garden of Life products and Beyond Organics. Today, he is healed and passionately shares his journey with others, to help them heal and live healthy by eating foods the way God intended.).

The medical profession often discredits doctors who deviate from usual and customary treatment, attacking their credentials and diminishing their knowledge and experience. Pastor Diego says, “Don’t knock what you do not believe, because you never know when you will find yourself having nothing else but your belief! Countless people are perishing daily from a lack of proper knowledge and guidance.”

He went on to say, “when I discontinued traditional medical treatment and returned to my doctor, he told me that I was in remission. He also said that he had never seen this before. In fact, the doctor said the prescribed medication stabilizes cancer, at best. It does not shrink cancerous tumors and it never places one in remission. I knew at that very moment that God had supernaturally healed me.”

What did you discover about God during this season and your journey?

I discovered that God is merciful. I discovered that when I cried, God cried. When I yelled, God yelled. I discovered that God was not absent and is always present.

What did you discover about yourself during this season and your journey?

I discovered that I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was. I also discovered that I was not as weak as I thought I was. I discovered just how much I needed people, strong people, around me.

What is your approach to medication, traditional medical treatment at this time?

This is a difficult question, because I have friends who are doctors and deliver the traditional medical treatment. I choose the naturopathic and homeopathic route. I will continue to do so. Traditional doctors are misguiding and misleading.

“If I had to travel this journey all over, I would not have had my kidney removed or undergone chemotherapy

What changes would you tell others to make? 

I don’t want to overstep boundaries. When I’m counseling people, I know God can use any means to heal and treat conditions. I try to meet people at their level of faith. I look for an opportunity and open door to share my experience. If I had to travel this journey all over, I would not have had my kidney removed or undergone chemotherapy. I was not at peace during this time. Your faith is where you are at peace. I would tell others to align their faith and their peace.

What changes would you like to see in the medical profession?

I would like the medical profession to be open to homeopathic treatment, even though they have not studied it. I wish they would help people in other ways, if that is their true mission and purpose [Sounds familiar? Pastor Diego also raised the point that I mentioned earlier]. The medical profession needs to help people get healthy. I wish that they would not  always use statistics and put strongholds in people’s minds. Medical professionals should keep the door of hope open.

What does your eating regime look like today?

I was given a life or death sentence. As a result, I changed my food choices. I changed my lifestyle. I spend one hour in the sun, daily. I drink 140 ounces of liquid, daily. I eat raw salmon. I eat foods that feed and nourish. My eating habits today are very different than they were before I was diagnosed and received a death sentence.

Our motto is learn, build, inspire, model, promote, love … life. What are your thoughts and how does your life align with our motto?

Know the Bible. People perish from a lack of knowledge. Life has enough suffering. We do not need to add to it. Some things in life are self-imposed. We break laws that God instituted, which cause us to suffer. For example, we abuse our health for years with food, stress and more, physically and emotionally, then people want things to go away overnight with a pill, but the disease didn’t manifest itself or happen overnight. You need discipline, passion and effort for the future – your marriage, children, grandchildren – so that you can be here 80 years and beyond. You want to have a full impact life.

Finally, I was willing to fight to live. People say they want to fight to live, but they play games with God. If this disease was going to take me out, then I was going to ask God [when I got to heaven], “If I did everything in my power, why didn’t you heal me?” Pastor Diego Mesa is a man touched and healed by God and finds his peace in his faith. Where is your faith and where is your peace?

Author’s Reflection

I vividly remember sitting in a pew when Pastor Diego asked members to remain after a Sunday service. It was there that he announced that he had been diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer. I saw his physical body deteriorate and a dimmed, but fighting spirit. I watched as he delivered his sermons in pain and a weakened state. I definitely thought he was not going to make it, based on my knowledge of this disease. I had also recently lost three close friends to the disease and was now faced with another casualty to this devastating disease. It was overwhelming. As I compose this article, I am reminded of my three friends, Joy, Carol and Shelli. Had they known what Pastor Diego discovered would they be here today? I will never know the answer to that question; however I can educate, encourage and empower the unknowing and the underserved.

As I reflect, I also recall Pastor Diego constantly saying, “God is going to heal me.” What a joy to see him miraculously return to the pulpit and say, “I am in remission.” To everyone reading this, in all thy getting, get understanding; get knowledge! I must touch on another point of knowledge. Did you note that Pastor Diego said he spends one hour in the sun, daily, and after stage four cancer and chemotherapy? The medical profession has us believing that the sun causes cancer and to stay away or use sunscreen, but that’s our free, natural vitamin D. Like Dr. Antonacci has asked during his workshops, “Why would the son create the sun, if it would cause such devastation?” If the sun caused that much destruction, then a whole lot of us should not be here today. Now this doesn’t mean that you should bake in the sun. Too much of anything is not good.Moderation is the key. I also discovered that sunscreen should not be used, but traditional medical doctors tell us the opposite. Read the label and think for yourself.

This article is so timely. This week, I was contacted by two women, informing me that they have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The first one heard about my book and asked to meet me to purchase it “today.” In two days, she had read the first four chapters and changed her diet, immediately. I referred her to Dr. Antonacci. However, she could not afford a visit. She can NOT afford to not see Dr. Antonacci and she cannot take the usual and customary route. As a result, I would like to work on locating funding sources to help individuals with their first two office visits to Dr. Antonacci. I also want to see other doctors align with him and learn from him, so that they all can teach the world what Dr. Antonacci teaches. We have to take our health and approach to healthcare back!

The second woman texted me and said that she had breast cancer surgery and is preparing for chemotherapy and radiation. I responded back to the text with No, speak to me before doing anything else. I then directed her to two articles on the Life Skills Enterprise website, Food Trumps Cancer and Brought Back to Life to Bring Life Back to Others. She has not called back. However, I sure hope she takes the time to read these articles before buying into usual and customary treatment, because I have been told that you cannot poison yourself back to health, and this is what such treatments are, poison. There is hope and we have to restore this hope, become knowledgeable and help inform others to change their lives, change generations and change society. Thank you Pastor Diego for your purposeful journey, your example and your heart and love for people. All things work together for the good. 

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