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Lower United Methodist Church
May 5th, 2021


“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Yesterday, I went to visit my friend at the hospital when I heard one of the most amazing stories of courage and faith. My dear friend Carolyn Shank lies in a bed in a nearby hospital. When she saw me coming into the room, she flashed that beautiful smile that can light the whole room. But she was hurt, I could tell by her bruises. That’s when she began to tell me about her terrible ordeal that brought her to that bed.

“I was so close to meet our Savior” she began as she narrated how she went around her yard to pick up some weeds and move some branches when she fell and couldn’t stand up. Just a simple misstep and suddenly, she couldn’t get up. She called for help, but no one lives that close to her except a couple in the next house. Her phone that she carries in her fanny pack every single time she goes out was still in the house, so far from her to call for help.

There she lay, for 23 hours, alone and cold through one of the windiest nights of the month. But my friend Carolyn is a strong and courageous woman. As her wind blew over her body and droplets of rain threatened to cover her, she prayed to God, “Don’t let me get wet, Lord!”.

Even though she was able to stay dry, her body temperature and her blood pressure kept going down. However, she kept on working at getting closer to the house by pushing with her legs. Hour after hour, against all odds, she inched her way back for 30 feet until she was close enough to be heard by her neighbors.

By the time they found her she was completely dehydrated, and her blood pressure was so low that the doctors were amazed that she was still alive. Her legs had pushed and pushed for so many hours that she can hardly move them now. Her ribs are not broken but, in her struggle, she tore the muscles on her left side of her body so it is extremely painful to lift her left arm and she will need to go to rehab until she fully recovers.

The doctors might be surprised, but I know who saved her life! The God Almighty, the same one who sent his angels to protect her throughout the night, the one she had called upon all her life. “You know what verse I kept reciting that night? said my friend with a smile, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ I have trusted in that verse all of my life and it has always given me strength!”

As I visited with her, we were able to laugh and enjoy each other like old times. You would think that someone who survived such an experience would be angry or bitter toward life, but not my friend. She has such a strong faith that she sees this ordeal as a miracle of love from God who has always guided and protected her.

What a blessing it is to listen and learn from a woman of such deep faith and profound understanding of God. My sweet friend keeps smiling, keeps trusting, keeps moving forward in faith and trust that the Lord who saved her life has something else for her to do in this world and she is ready to follow that call!
Rev. Ileana Rosario

Thursday, May 6th, has been designated as the National Day of Prayer.
Please pray for our government, the military, business leaders, educators, the media, all churches, and families.

Please pray for:
Richard Bankert 
Jim O'Sullivan (Sully the barber)
Walter Palmer
Jimmy Pitts
James Whitaker 
Ellen Schiavone 
Wanda Lewter
Gail Keefe                  
Family of Jean Folkes
Family of Carolyn Major
Family of Kay Roster
Family of Bonnie Clark
Carolyn Shank
Rochelle Payne
Judy Lyn Bristow
Keith Morgan
Bernie Thomas
Let's rejoice with:

Mark Hall
Mildred Townsend
Pastor Ileana
Cleanup of beautiful Middlesex County
Let's help JEANETTE ARMSTEAD celebrate her 100th birthday on May 25th!

Please send her a card or note at:

Jeanette Armstead
Riverside Convalescent Center, Rm 31-A
PO Box 370
Mathews, VA 23109
Last week:

Attendance:      55
E-giving  $  345.00
Total      $4,235.45
Needed for weekly goal:
Our offerings to date:
Our 2021 YTD Goal:
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Our mailing address is:
Lower UMC
120 Lower Church Road
PO Box 98
Hartfield, VA 23071-0098

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