My best friend Kittie and I were quietly playing in our living room when I heard a howling that made the hairs on my arms stand up straight.
My eyes became saucers as the howling drew closer. It became deafening as the person emitting the eerie noise passed over the threshold of our front door. It was a sound that tore at the pit of my stomach…her pain tangible.
Even our dog, who would normally be barking a warning, recognized the hysterical nature of the woman. He lay perfectly still as she came through door tripping over him.
My parents sent us to my room their eyes never leaving our neighbor. Even back in my room, Kittie and I could hear her struggling to breathe as the excruciating story poured out of her.
Her two oldest boys had been fishing with their dad and friends when their boat capsized in Mosquito Lagoon. It was the middle of winter (an extremely cold one). The water was frigid beyond belief. They had both been wearing waders and boots. Their dad had been unable to find them after the boat flipped over.
My dad and Mr. Johnson, Kittie’s dad, immediately gathered a group of neighborhood men (and others) together to begin searching for the two teenagers and the others. They took their boats, searching every part of Mosquito Lagoon. The group of men continued the search, day and night, for three days. They never did find the teenagers. The boys’ father was the sole survivor.
But what was found, was an amazing outpouring of love from family, friends, and strangers – a group of people coming together to search for the two boys. They put their own lives on hold to focus on what was truly important…helping a family in desperate need. This outpouring of love helped the family to cope with their loss.
Years later, thinking about how all those people rallied around the boys’ father, mother, and younger brother still brings a tear to my eye. It was the first time I’d seen a community of people join together in crisis. It was awe inspiring! I witnessed hope and peace rising out of the ashes of devastating despair.
When people join together, united, to help others in Jesus’ Name…we are unstoppable! That is God’s calling on our lives. I feel blessed to be a part of a ministry where we see that happen every Tuesday evening. At the Healing Service we are a community of people coming together to offer up prayers for people in need of every sort of healing that you can imagine. God works in amazing ways through the corporate prayers, individual prayers, and shared testimonies of His people at the Healing Service.
Please know that you are making a difference in someone’s life every time you offer up a prayer to the Lord on their behalf!