The reason for the season

Dear Editor,

In remembrance of the reason for the season, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who has joined ‘Team Zeta ‘in praying for healing for our daughter.

2010 has been the most challenging, but also the most rewarding time of my life! The birth of our daughter has been followed by wondrous joy and depths of darkness. During this year I have had the opportunity to re-evaluate my spirituality and my purpose in life. I have re-learned to rely not on my own strength, but to pull from all that is good and those that God has put in my life. I have learned that I do not have to have a great career in order to serve a wonderful purpose – that I will never be rich or famous, and that I will not always please others. I have learned that I cannot and will not ever be super-mom. I have learned that nothing in our earthly life is perfect, but none of that really matters. I have learned to be much more appreciative (and tolerant) of the ‘small stuff’. Most importantly, I have learned that God is the ultimate maker of plans and that I have no choice but to let go and let God. We would have never been able to make it through this year without God and His work through others.

We have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with many wonderful doctors and nurses. Some are top in their fields and many are tops in our hearts! Some doctors have worked tirelessly doing research and consulting with other doctors around the country in order to help us find how to best help Zeta. There is much to be said about doctors that display faith, hope, optimism, and enthusiasm!

Quality health care has played a big part in our life this year, but the most fervent source of stamina and comfort has been from those who have become such intimate and intricate parts of our lives. Some of the people involved remain nameless or faceless. Others have been integral parts of our lives for years, still some are friends that are new, but all involved are very dear to our hearts. These are the people who have prayed for our daughter and for our family. God has used so many people to witness to our family – to serve as a testimony of unhindered and unconditional love and concern. Every day Steve and I are in utter and complete awe of the prayers being lifted up for us. Often times, we are aware of the prayers. Many times we are not privy to the prayers being offered, and we’ve learned that there are people we don’t even know praying for our little girl. We cannot possibly explain the encouragement this gives our hearts! Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth.” This has never been more true to my heart than this year. We have been asked, “How do you do it?” My response remains steadfast – “God, and those that surround us in love.” There are days and times that seem much harder than others, but I’ve found that these are the days that I try to handle things on my own. When I ‘trust the Lord’ I find that things, no matter how frightening, go much smoother.

When I resigned from Barnwell Primary School, my husband and I both knew that it was the right choice, but we still worried because we would go to a one income family with three children (with one needing extensive medical care). Very early on, while praying about this decision, Matthew 6:25-26 was revealed to me: “So I tell you to stop worrying about what you will eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or gather the harvest into the barns. Yet, your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?” I can honestly say that God has more than provided for us this year. I had no choice but to trust. It has still been an adjustment for us though. We were used to being on the giving end. We were used to a different life, but still we trusted and God has given us a different outlook. He has also blessed us through the giving of others. Things that we once thought were very important are really not that important anymore. He has granted us humility – and – He has provided. We have certainly never gone hungry, and others have given us the opportunity to ensure that I am always able to be with Zeta at the hospital. For all of this we are so very thankful.

It is my belief that part of God’s plan for Zeta, and for me, is to continue to bring people together to show God’s awesome power and help others understand the need for an open heart. It seems that often times it does take a life changing event to strengthen our relationship with God – but this should not always be the case. It is my desire that Zeta’s story - our story - will touch and lead others to all the same riches and blessings that we receive daily.

But nothing is impossible for God!

Angel C. Brabham, Ulmer

Thank You

Dear Editor,

Thank you Bamberg County for another successful Toys for Tots and TEENS Program. Over 350 kids will have at least three toys each on Christmas morning because of your support and volunteering. This is an American Red Cross of Bamberg County project. Their volunteers and of course the retail stores, industry, businesses and churches who participated by having toy boxes on their premises. We thank you!

How do we know these are the neediest kids? We get the names from DSS and contact them by mail. The letter we send them is their admission on toy distribution day. Not only did DSS provide the names, but provided people to get the boxes out to the stores etc., and actually helped with the toy distribution.

Another helper was the Bamberg Job Corps providing help with the distribution of toys.

Then there was the Men’s Club of Trinity United Methodist Church of Bamberg – not only assisting in box delivery but made a large cash donation to the project.

It would be impossible to name all the people involved this year but we would be amiss if we did not congratulate the Co-Chairs, Genie Bellamy, Beth Pregnall, and Gray Pregnall for all their great help for a job well done! Thank you from the Red Cross.

Last but certainly not last, the Bamberg City Council, Mayor McCollum, and Bruce Watson for use of the Civic Center and providing storage space for the toys and gifts, and the Times and Democrat and Advertizer-Herald for their support in getting the word out.

God bless you all and a Very Merry Christmas!

Harvey Kling, Executive Director
American Red Cross of Bamberg County