A Northern Irish pastor who was struck down with coronavirus has gone viral on twitter after posting faith-filled tweets about his experience in ICU.
Mark McClurg, the pastor of Newtownards Elim Church, took to Twitter on March 24 to announce he had contracted COVID-19 and calling on people to pray for the healthcare staff.
Later, the 40-year-old pastor posted a series of video requesting that people heed the government advice and stay home. “This coronavirus is deadly,” he said, drawing short, labored breaths. “Coronavirus wants to kill you, it wants to take all the life out of your lungs.”
McClurg then went on to talk about his love for the local church community that has been holding him up in prayer.
“What I’ve loved over the last week is that my church family has been praying for me. Thank you so much for praying,” he said.
“I belong to Jesus, I believe in Jesus, I love Jesus. I give him all the glory right now. Lord Jesus Christ — not only my saviour — he’s my healer. He’s real.”
The video has been viewed over 800,000 times.
In another video, McClurg shared a scripture from Isaiah 26:20:
“Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by.”
“This is an encouragement to stay inside for a little while,” McClurg implored. “Coronavirus will pass, but you must stay in.”
On Sunday, McClurg revealed that he was finally leaving the Ulster Hospital, having recovered from the disease.
“I want to thank everyone for their prayers,” he tweeted. “I want to thank the staff at the Ulster Hospital for saving my life. I looking forward to enjoying life. Overcome #Coronavirus. Be kind. Jesus is my healer.”
Now self-isolating in a friend’s house, the father-of-three is hosting live online prayer sessions every night this week for the doctors and nurses of the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).
“I want to send out a message of hope, encouragement and thanks,” he said.
“And I wanted to offer up prayers for the NHS, the doctors and nurses on the frontline, as well as other key workers including retail staff, for providing us with food, and pharmacies for ensuring we have medicine.”
“I want to unite Northern Ireland with a message of hope.”