Joseph Craddock –
A Minister Who Was Given a Challenge From God
A minister who was given a challenge from God. $6,000 gone in an instant. Everything he worked for and saved, taken away. With no where else to turn, Joseph Craddock looked toward CEFN to get himself back on his feet.
Joseph Craddock was a completely normal 82 year old. On Sundays you could find him at his local church, where he was a minister and very regularly looked to God for advice and support like anyone else would.
One day he gets a call from an unknown number. “They were talking about God and all this and that’s because and apparently they knew that I was a minister” Mr. Craddock would go onto say, “they had all of my information about my bank account”. He continues saying that the people on the line said “that there were money being returned from a federal organization that was going to replace my money because it was a big scam going around”. They would go onto tell Mr. Craddock that they would be sending money over to his account and that it would need to replace the money that was already held in the bank. “They had gotten into my credit card and had the information on my credit card and they told me that I was going to be receiving, uh, money back from the scam and that they needed to place this money into my regular account” Mr. Craddock would say, “they had me thinking that they were sending this money to my account from the federal government”.
However this was not the case, Mr. Craddock would soon find out he had not fallen victim to some scam within the government, but to a scam being conducted every second he was on the phone with them. Not fully understanding the situation, and while trying to look out for his best interest, something any person would do, he sent whoever initially sent him the money a $6,000 check to “replace” the old money. In reality, however, there was no replacing the money. The money given to Mr. Craddock was dirty money and unable to be used for anything.
Confused, embarrassed, and terrified, Mr. Craddock had no idea what to do. “Emotionally, I was crushed when I found out that, you know, I had this scam. I mean that really put me in a bad financial spot, but also it was mentally distressing and everything of that nature.” With no guide to help him back on his feet, he naturally went to the one person that he knew would be of help: Sherry Hill, the executive director of CEFN. CEFN founded in 2007 is a non-profit 501c3 dedicated to empowering individuals to make permanent healthy lifestyle changes through healthy eating and becoming more physically active. Sherry Hill wasn’t going to let this injustice stand. With the counseling of Sherry, they went through every avenue and “contacted every auxiliary that dealt with scams. She also got a lawyer from a legal aid and between Ms. Sherry and a legal aid lawyer, they were able to really help me get out of that incident without the money coming out of my pocket, actually losing it.”
“I was grateful to God and to her, and to the lawyer. You know that they were, you know, faithful to the help that they were giving me, you know.”
With it all behind him, we asked Mr. Craddock what he learned from the experience, and what he would suggest to others who might find themselves in a similar position to the one he found himself in. “Don’t give out your information to anyone you know, because, uh, if you’re not, If you’re not sure of the of that, it is reliable. You know, because they they are very they’re very hooked up out there. The whole person on the phone and. They have everything in order to make you believe that this coming from a straight source and all but my advice is to you don’t give out any advice over that phone”.
Hattie Williams –
Thanking God Through Trials and Tribulations
Just like any other ordinary day you could be found in your kitchen cooking. However, you would soon receive some earth shattering news: you have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Not long after, your spouse would leave this earth. You would be left all alone, with no one to support you and your children.
This situation is the one that Hattie Williams found herself in. All alone, with the weight of cancer also being an extra weight on top of the loss of her husband. “‘Cause my husband died at 27 years old. And I was by myself with my two children, and I had to take care of them and myself”.
Ms. Williams looked to god for assistance through this trial in her life. “People don’t know what prayer do. I mean, a lot of people don’t know. Some people know and with the prayer, I think if [I] didn’t have the prayer then I would have been really out of it. But with the prayer it helped and it made you feel better, even if you’re hurting”. According to Hattie, God was by her side the entire time she was going through treatment.
God helped her get through her treatments, both of her breast cancer treatments as she was diagnosed again later on. However, as it is stated, God gives his hardest challenges to his strongest warriors, and Ms. Williams again finds herself in a negative position, now being diagnosed with bladder cancer. “I was shocked to hear that I had bladder cancer and it made me feel bad and I cried. But I prayed. And see that’s the only thing that kept me going, the prayer.”
God also brought Sherry Hill, founder and executive director of the Community Enrichment Fitness Network, to her. “Oh, when I got with the organization. It made me feel so good.” On top of that, when asked what areas of her life were enriched she answered “Well, the [overall] quality of my life.” She would go on to explain the amount of support Sherry Hill and the CEFN name would give her. “Anytime I need… to call her, I’ll call the people that work with her and they will be there for me”.
She stayed true to her roots the entire time. When asked what she would suggest to people who are going through something similar, her tune of religion and looking to God did not waiver. When asked what her number one takeaway was she said it was to stay happy, and to find happiness with the Lord.