I grew up in a large family and when I was about 11 years old my sisters; brothers and I would go off to church. My mom and dad were never involved in church and did not discuss religion with us, but they encouraged us to go to church each Sunday morning. As kids growing up we were always encouraged to treat others as how “you” wanted to be treated.
In my younger adult years and after I was married and had my own family, I did exactly what my parents did. I started sending my three boys off to church on Sunday’s thinking that this was the “right” thing to do. I felt that being I already believed in God, and His Son Jesus Christ, it wasn’t necessary for me to go to church. So, I never did get around to joining a church or being baptized.
It wasn’t until December of 1998, when my youngest son was in the hospital, suffering from liver and kidney failure that I felt a deep feeling of something missing in my life. After the doctors told my wife and me that there wasn’t much hope of recovery for my son, I felt like someone had just ripped out my heart. As I tried to regain my composure, the only thing I could think of, at the time, was getting to a quite place and pray to God to give my son another chance.
My wife and I were standing in the hospital corridor when I noticed Pastor Larry Robbins walking towards us. At that time my wife didn’t know who Pastor Robbins was, so I told her that he was the sheriff’s office chaplain. Pastor Robbins asked us if he could go into our son’s hospital room to pray for him. At this time my son’s condition was still deteriorating so I came to the realization that he was in God’s hands. Pastor Robbins prayed over my son several times throughout the next week with my wife and me at his side.
I will never forget the joy I felt when the doctors told my wife and me that our son was beginning to respond to treatment and that his liver and kidneys were now starting to function. I know from the bottom of my heart that God had answered our prayers.
This experience was an awakening for me to become more faithful to God. I joined Vine Street Baptist Church and was baptized. I felt such joy and happiness after renewing my faith in God and accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. The feeling of something missing in my life is now gone and I feel at peace with God and myself. I know now that I will have a place in Heaven with my Lord when my time comes to leave this world.