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Day 31 : Paul & Carol Harris

I believe in God, not because my parents told me, not because my church told me, but because I’ve experienced His goodness and mercy myself.  We’ve been at VRBC since 2001. In 2005, our Sunday morning Bible study groups had been reorganized and we were a bit disconnected while visiting different classes and trying to decide where to land. We had even considered visiting other churches.

On May 3, 2005, our six-year old son Alex collapsed suddenly at home and I had to resuscitate him. He was taken to the ER and initial imaging of his brain was done.  We were told we needed to go to Children’s Hospital for further evaluation. We had no more than arrived in Children’s ER when Larry and John rushed in to be with us. We were very touched by their concern since we had not had anything like this happen to us before. We were transferred to a room where further testing would be done over the next two days. While waiting on the definitive test results, John and Larry again showed up, not having any idea what a crucial time it was for us, offering comfort and prayers.

Later that day we got the news that Alex had a glioblastoma of the brain stem and he would not recover no matter what intervention we tried. They then moved us to the oncology floor for supportive treatment for Alex. They said he would live days to a few weeks longer. The first night there, another church member showed up at 10:30 pm and simply told us she was there to help with anything.  We did not know her personally, but she was part of one of the Bible study classes we had visited. She came and spent days and evenings with us every day during that three-week period—through the bad and ugly parts, too. She coordinated meals for us so we didn’t have to eat hospital food. She took care of personal errands so that we could stay with Alex and even get some sleep.

Throughout this time, multiple church members came by at just the right time to help or pray with us. Their timing for many of these visits was nothing less than each individual listening to God’s prompting to come or pray at that specific time. There were those who were just directed to come pray outside our room and leave, and we never even saw them. There is no doubt in my mind that God carried us through this time and he used VRBC to do it.

A sense of peace was over all of us through the whole three weeks. I think Alex even felt it. While we were still in the ER and he was lucid, he apparently saw a vision of his deceased grandmother and was talking to her and you could tell she was comforting him. We feel confident this was God’s way of soothing him. Because of the obedient members of the church and their prayers, we were carried through the most difficult time of our lives, and in the process our Bible study group found us. We are forever grateful to God and our church friends

Passionately following Jesus TOGETHER means being present and holding the ropes for one another when life’s storms are overwhelming.