January continued to slowly trudge on as treatments continued and Brianna packed on more and more weight. Every day her hatred for the treatments and the medications grew and it was starting to become a major struggle to get her to take them. We were heartbroken each time we had to force her to do it. It seemed that nothing could mask the taste of some of the meds no matter what we used.
During this time something else began to grow. Our faith and commitment to Jesus Christ became stronger and only grows larger to this day. He always knew just when we were about to get that financial blow or when we were at our limit and he did not fail to step in and provide for us financially or spiritually. We carry a heavy burden but I am reminded of the poem “Footprints” and think of how He carried us and I envision the one set of footprints in the sand, His. (He still carries us to this day.)
God showed us He was with us in so many ways. We were amazed at every turn with a friend or even strangers offering hope through either prayers, a financial donation, meals, or even a car repair. In a world such as we live in it is easy for us to have our view of mankind jaded. The mainstream media does not hesitate to broadcast or publish all that is bad in the world and they seldom publish the stories of hope, the stories of God’s grace being shown to others. So, we were surprised to find out just how much compassion remains in this world. Compassion was indeed revealed to us.
Our name was submitted to an organization called Act of Faith. The Director, Kim Rodgers contacted me and said that the group had received a request for help on our behalf and had voted unanimously to provide us assistance. The way the organization works is that they earmark a certain amount of funds to help you and you submit bills to them or receipts for a bill and they will pay it. We met Kim one day at IndyWest Harley Davidson and Act of Faith blessed us by paying our mortgage payment for the month. Kim has continued to be a relentless prayer warrior for Bri. This organization helps families or individuals with terminal diseases pay some of their bills in order to ease the burden. The funds they use are from some small fundraisers they hold during the year and from money received as membership fees to be a member of Act of Faith. I beg you to look up this organization and become a member, a sponsor, or just donate. Follow this link to their website,http://www.actoffaithorg.com . Once a member you can get as involved as you would like. We send a special thank you to our friend Steve “Papaw” Pyatte, a member of Act of Faith, for submitting our name.
During January we also received a very welcome gift from members of our former church Mt. Gilead Church. The Hopwood family (Love you guys), my cousins, brought us some cards of prayer and hope from many families in the church. They also brought over this wire photo display full of gift cards for many restaurants and gas along with a few Visa prepaid cards.
These came in so handy as we were driving to the IU Simon Cancer Center for Bri’s radiation five days a week. Did I mention that the “rattlesnake juice” steroids were still making Bri hungry 24/7 so the cards to the restaurants were a great help as well. Thank you to our Mt. Gilead family.
Grace Church members and other friends and coworkers of Angie were awesome as well. Linda Hilligoss set it up for us to be fed quite often and the awesome people of Grace were stopping by with meals or groceries for us on a steady basis. Angie’s coworkers at the preschool would stop by on days off or between sessions to bring Ang and Bri food when we got home from radiation. At every turn we were being loved on by God’s people.
One day I was shopping at Walmart and was approached by two ladies. One I went to school with and she said that her daughter had heard about Brianna and wanted to give her something. This young lady was thirteen years old and had been saving her babysitting money to buy herself an iPhone or an iPod Touch. They stopped by the house and she gave Bri a necklace like one she was wearing and an envelope filled with her babysitting money. The envelope contained over $200.
It is not easy for us to accept all the assistance. It is truly appreciated and needed but Angie and I are bothered by others sacrificing for us. Some people who have helped us financially are struggling as well but God put it in their hearts to help us. I can only take comfort in the fact that they surely received their blessing for being obedient to Him. These are only a few of the examples of compassion that were revealed to us.
With each and every act of kindness tears filled my eyes. They still do.