Beliefnet
Inspiration Report

pixabay.com

pixabay.com

A college-bound freshman from Macon, GA received an answer to her prayers. She considers it a small miracle.

Eighteen-year-old Mykehia Curry wrote a letter to God when she realized she was short on dorm supplies. She decided to attach the prayer request to some balloons and send it up to God.

“God help me to go to college. God this is me again, please help me get everything I need to leave Wednesday.  I love you, Amen,” wrote Curry.

Curry is the first one from her family to go to college and is going so that she can give her little brother a better life. As she started pulling her things together, she realized she needed some outside help. She couldn’t do it all on her own. She also needed a refrigerator, a comforter, stuff for her dorm and school supplies, Curry said.

She hoped her message would reach God, but she didn’t think anyone would read the note. At the end of the prayer, she included her phone number but she was doubtful that the message would go far.

“I just thought somebody may pick it up and throw it in the trash,” Curry said.

And someone almost did.

“It was just there by the dumpster. I walked over and picked it up and there it was,” said Jerome Jones.

Jones, who was working at a construction site in Jones County that day, spotted Curry’s balloons.

“It was God calling me saying, ‘You need to answer this,’ and I did,” said Jones.

Jones is a part-time minister at Springfield Baptist in Monticello and both he and his church decided to help. They tracked her down at her home and delivered a mini-fridge and comforter to her doorstep.

“It was beautiful. It’s kind of hard to explain. She was like, ‘Is this mine for real?’ and I said, ‘It’s yours. God answers prayers.’” Jones said. “I like helping people, especially young people. They’re our future.”

Jones also plans to keep in touch with Curry, telling her not to hesitate to call him if she ever needs anything. Look at God at work!

Public Domain Pictures

Public Domain Pictures

As wildfires continue to ravage California, Bethel Church is reaching out to help those who have lost everything.  An influential charismatic church based in Redding, California, Bethel Church has a congregation of several thousand and wishes to help its wider community recover from the destruction of the 2018 Carr Fire. The fire is ranked the sixth most destructive fire in California’s entire history and is less than 50 percent contained. In order to assist people who are looking to get back on their feet, Bethel Church has pledge to donate $1,000 to every household that lost their home in the massive fire.

When the church originally made the pledge, the number of homes they expected to donate to was noticeably smaller than it is now. That, however, has not caused Bethel to back out of their promise. “When we first made the decision to give a financial gift for the people in our city who had lost their home, the numbers being reported were 150 to 200 homes,” Bethel said. “Within just three days, that number had climbed to over 1000 homes, and the amount we had expected to raise and give went from $200,000 to over $1,000,000 dollars.”

The original plan of $200,000 worth of donations would have been challenging for the church, but it would have been “doable in [Bethel’s] own strength and resources.” A number higher than a million, however, is “a God-sized step of faith” according to the church, but it is still an amount Bethel is determined to raise.

“We are believing [in] Him for it, and are now in the process of reaching out to our friends around the globe to be the hands of Christ to our city in this moment. We are determined to honor this commitment,” Bethel said, “whether the generosity comes from gifts from the global community or from our own church finances.”

Only Redding and Shasta County residents who lost their primary residence will qualify. Bethel will not be covering those who lost vacation homes, second homes or rental properties.

In addition to the monetary gift of $1,000, Bethel has been deploying hundreds of teams of “Ash Out” volunteers to help residents sift through the ashes of their homes for valuables that may have survived the blaze. The church also offered to open its doors and give shelter to evacuees, but it was deemed too close to the fire zone to act as a shelter given that there was only one road in and out of the premises. Bethel has been, however, serving as a Salvation Army aid distribution site in addition to assisting with the aftermath of the fire.

“We cannot begin to describe the feeling of helping someone who lost their home find something that they thought was gone forever. This is part of what it means to live like Jesus– to link hands together as we move forward,” Bethel posted on its Facebook page. One can only hope that the fires come to a swift end so the entire community can focus its whole energy on recovering rather than continuing to split its attention between healing and battling the still raging flames.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Everyone has heard the stories of big dogs that think they are lap dogs. Kernel the Great Dane, however, takes that to a whole new level. The massive pooch loves to sit in the lap of his owner, Alyssa, and snuggle up with other family members. One of his favorite ways to interact with his humans, though, is through hugs. Alyssa has Kernel give her a hug every morning and lets him jump up on his back paws so she does not have to bend down to reach him. Alyssa’s hugs are one of Kernel’s favorite parts of the day, and he pouts when he does not get them.

“[One] morning,” Alyssa said, “I did not give him his morning hug because we were rushing out. And when we got home from our hike, he was sitting on the couch whining at me. Whining, whining [and] waiting for his hug because I did not give him his cuddle yet.”

The lovable pooch is known for making friends easily and has a talent for brightening up people’s days. As such, Alyssa wondered if people outside her friends and family would appreciate Kernel’s good cheer as well. With that in mind, Alyssa reached out to the Boston Children’s Hospital.

“I used to work at Boston Children’s Hospital,” Alyssa said, “and [I told them I] would love to befriend a patient that Kernel and I could go see. Someone wrote to me and said, ‘One of my patients is in Boston right now. Feel free to reach out if you want to go meet her.’”

Alyssa did. The little girl whom Alyssa and Kernel met formed a fast friendship with Kernel, and she always looks forward to Kernels visits. “We go visit her when she’s in-patient,” Alyssa said. “She comes up every six weeks for treatment. They’re such a good match together. She walks him around the hospital. We went into the elevator, and she announced to everyone ‘THIS IS KERNEL.’”

Given the success Kernel has had with his favorite patient, Alyssa has started training Kernel to be a service dog. “I’ve started teaching him some tasks,” Alyssa said, but his training is far from over. Still, there is no doubt this gentle giant would love an excuse to make more friends. More human friends means more hugs for Kernel, and to Kernel, there can never be enough hugs.

pexels-photo-266011

Craig and Hannah Chaney of McKinney, Kentucky truly have a miracle baby. They didn’t have an easy road to pregnancy, and were first told they could never have children. When the couple finally proved the doctors wrong, Hannah was in a scary car accident.

Due to the accident, the couple’s son, Samuel Kase Chaney came early in 2015. While this was a blessing, the bumpy road was far from over. At just two weeks old, their baby would turn blue.

Terrified, the parents rushed Kase to the hospital. The ER doctors transferred Kase to a University of Kentucky Pediatric Emergency Center, where all tests came back negative. The doctors didn’t know what to do, and sent the baby back home with a diagnosis of a virus. The parents were taught how to perform sternum stimulation should he have another “blue spell”.

Several weeks later, the spell happened again. Hannah was able to get him breathing again, she and rushed her baby to the hospital. She was told he couldn’t be seen by the doctor for a few hours, and she refused to wait. She packed up her baby and headed to the Pediatric Emergency Center. But by the time they got there, Kase was completely back to normal.

The cycle repeated again, and the couple wound up back at the hospital with their son. Just like the previous time, he was back to normal by the time they were seen. But this time, as a nurse drew some blood, Kase had another spell.

Finally able to witness Kase’s symptoms firsthand, hospital staff realized the baby boy was experiencing cyanosis. It’s a condition where poor circulation or inadequate oxygenation of the blood causes the skin to turn blue.

Kase was admitted for eight days for observation and testing, during which a chance encounter set Kase’s treatment into motion.

A doctor, looking for another patient’s family, entered Kase’s room by mistake. As he apologized for his error and started leave the room, Hannah asked him a question that made him stop in his tracks.

“Can you fix blue babies?”

As Hannah explained Kase’s mysterious condition, the doctor smiled, held out his hand, and introduced himself as Dr. Krishna Pancham, a pediatric pulmonologist.

“I’ll be your son’s doctor,” he said.

“When I first saw Kase, he seems to be just like any other normal child – born healthy, no issue during his birth and growing and developmentally meeting all the goals,” said Dr. Pancham. “But after talking to the family, I realized how dangerously sick he was from a respiratory standpoint. He had intermittent dead spells when he was turning blue with oxygen saturation dropping into 40’s — normal levels are 90-99 percent. These events were not just scary for a family but also for any health care provider.”

Three months later, Kase was diagnosed with laryngotrachobroncheomalacia. His entire airway was collapsible from above his voice box to the bottom branches of his bronchi. Kase’s doctors collaborated with other doctors around the world about his condition and prognosis. There wasn’t a child alive that had Kase’s condition.

“Just because you’re hearing negative things, you don’t have to let that sink into your heart,” said Hannah. “We just decided to ‘speak life’. Finding those positives is how we made it through…”

This positive outlook influenced every conversation about Kase, even as his oxygen levels dropped daily.

“The question wasn’t ‘how many times did Kase try to die today’, but rather ‘how many times did Kase defy that?'”

After being told initially that Kase might not live past six months, he is now a lively, inquisitive three-year-old. He has been in the hospital over 200 days of his life, but he still has plenty of normal childhood experiences, including riding the combine with his dad, riding on parade floats and visiting the pumpkin patch with ventilator in tow.

“Something we take peace in,” said Craig. “Just listening to him breathe.”