Friday, April 10, 2015

Faith Builders: From a First Responder

Today's Faith Builder post is from my dear friend, Debbie in Nebraska.  I trust her story will inspire you as much as it does me.

For approximately 10 years, his heart has wanted to serve others in emergency situations as a Volunteer Fire-Fighter and Emergency Medical Responder.  Throughout the years, he never knew the outcome of his selfless service.  The risks he had to take were worth it in order to help others.

Many people have been transported to area hospitals or coroners were called, and he was left with many unanswered questions after his duty was done.  On to the next call, always ready and willing to do whatever he could.

This Volunteer Fire-Fighter/Emergency Medical Responder is my husband, Charlie.  On October 28, 2014 after leaving a restaurant in a town 2 hours from our home, Charlie and I came upon a very serious car accident.  No emergency help had yet arrived.  Without hesitation he immediately stopped to help.

A young couple had been hit head on.  David, the husband, was out of the vehicle trying to help his wife, April, who was seriously injured.  Sticking his head into the car where April sat, Charlie introduced himself and assured her he was there to help.  He crawled into the car to stabilize her and ensure she stayed alert.  Within a few minutes help arrived.  He and the paramedics worked quickly and efficiently, side-by-side, ensuring she was stable enough to move to the ambulance.  Once April and David were loaded, Charlie walked slowly back to our car where I waited, praying without ceasing.  Our 2-hour drive home was full of conversation by him trying to figure out what happened and wondering if April would be OK.  Again, lots of unknowns.

The next day at work Charlie told a co-worker about the accident.  Days passed and we prayed and he wondered.  Once again, no closure for him.  When appointments took us back to that town, we would go through that intersection and wonder again.  Then one day his co-worker said, “My niece’s boss was in a really bad car accident.”  Yes, you guessed it - - it was the same accident.  Immediately, his co-worker called her niece and told her about Charlie.  When April found out a common friend knew Charlie, she asked if it would be OK to contact him.  This was definitely a blessing from God.  God had a plan that this time there would be closure for Charlie, as well as for April and David.  The three of them could answer questions for each other.

This week (18 weeks after the accident), a doctor’s appointment summoned us to that same town, just minutes from where April works.  Walking into her place of employment was exciting as he decided to surprise her.  When Charlie introduced himself, her face lit up with a huge smile and she screamed, ran to him and hugged him so tight.  She told everyone around her this is my hero, he saved me.  She touched his beard and said all she remembered was he had facial hair, told her he was there to help and she would be OK.  She called her husband and he came right over to meet us.  After talking through the events of that night, taking pictures, trading phone numbers and hugs, we vowed to stay in touch.  She said, “You are now family.”

Charlie has received many comments of gratitude from her friends and family including her dad and father-in-law.

April and David’s story is amazing how family, friends, and co-workers have stood by them.  She is recovering well, yet their life is forever changed.  So is ours, we have new friends who are amazing people.  Serving others brings great blessings to those who serve.

We never know how or when our acts of kindness and love will be needed, but God does.  He calls us when needed and wants us to service with all we have, even if we never know the outcome of our service.

I Peter 4:10     Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Romans 8:28    And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

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