Monday (August 29) as I left the office, Lynn Dickey (with Beth Frederick’s assistance) gave me a prayer pager. At that time, the office e-mailed members my prayer pager number. Before I got home, the pager buzzed. At home, I put the pager on my belt. In seconds I jumped as it vibrated! With my arm as sore as it is, I promptly decided my belt is not the place for the pager since it is heard and felt!

All evening the pager vibrated until I turned it off at 10:30 p.m. A little after 6:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, I turned it on. Five prayers were uttered for me prior to my turning it on, and it went off in my hand! (I jumped again!) I knew I would never get my work done if I jumped every time it went off, so when I got to work I placed it close by. I hear it every time it vibrates—which is often!

I find it very humbling to realize so many offer prayers in my behalf! I never doubted that fact, but the pager surely puts an underline beneath that fact! Thank you so much for constantly reminding me (1) of your relationship with God and (2) your loving concern for us.

One of the most encouraging, heartening things for me in my “prayer pager experience” is this: receiving specific evidence of how prayerful this congregation is! Things happen because God acts, not because we are powerful. God uses us for His eternal purposes! We do not use God for our momentary purposes!

Hopefully you understand that Joyce and I do not care who knows about my health challenges. While the cause has not yet been determined, we understand (1) the conditions likely will slowly progress; (2) therapy should help symptoms; and (3) I must have considerable training/learning. Though the situation has just been discovered, it possibly has been progressing for a long time. It is unlikely anything will happen quickly (which is one reason we have not wanted to give my situation a high profile).

In your prayers, I have three requests. (1) Pray the progression will not rob me of my personality. (2) Pray I will respond well to therapy. (3) Pray God’s purposes will be served in ways that honor Him.

Thank you for your many kindnesses and thoughtfulness! Joyce and I are overwhelmed by the caring and love of so many here and elsewhere! Every day we are surrounded by so many blessings! Be patient with us—this is a marathon race, not a hundred yard dash!

If I just will not fall again; I hope to cease providing you visual reminders! Slings tend to attract attention! Slow movement does not mean I am worse—just that I am trying to be more deliberate in my actions. Joyce and I both deeply appreciate the prayers and encouragements! Being in Christ with you is a wonderful experience!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 1 September 2005

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