It was 3:00 in the morning when the phone rang, piercing the silence of the night.  Pastor Goodman awakened from a deep sleep, struggling to answer the phone.  Hello, Pastor Goodman, this is Jocelyn Brody.  My husband has been rushed to the hospital.  Would you please come to the hospital right away?  Pastor Goodman arrived at the hospital 45 minutes later.  He stayed with Mrs. Brody and her family until late that evening when Mr. Brody passed away.  The Brody family was so thankful for Pastor Goodman’s steadfast love and support during the days, weeks, and months that followed Mr. Brody’s passing.

Pastor Goodman and his wife, Jeanine, were a constant witness to the congregation and community in which they lived.  For 5 years the Goodmans and their children had been a great blessing to countless people. 

Trying to balance the constant demands of his congregation and his own family, Stephanie, age 16, Joseph, age 13, and Timothy, age 8, was a daily chore for the pastor.  More than once he had disappointed his wife or children, having missed a school event, ball game or an evening out with his wife, in order to attend to some emergency or urgency, some real and some not, for a member of the congregation or someone in their community.

Mrs. Rolland recalls the day a church member told her a ridiculous bit of gossip.  Mrs. Rolland severely chastised the church member, telling her she should be ashamed of herself for vocalizing such gossip.  The gossiper replied “Oh, I don’t believe a word of it myself, as a matter of fact, I just let it go in one ear and out the other.”  Mrs. Rolland looked at the woman and said “in that case you need to make an appointment with a plastic surgeon.  It appears that one of your ears has developed lips.” 

It wasn’t long before the message found in James 3 chapter of the Bible became one that members of the congregation should have read and taken to heart.  Pastor Goodman and his wife, Jeanine, stayed strong in the Lord always, showing their love and kindness toward those who had become flame and blame throwers, never trying to defend themselves, as they had faith the Lord would make the truth known to those who looked to the Lord for answers, and not man.  When the Goodman children started to become emotionally upset by the unkindness being shown towards their parents, the Goodmans spent considerable time before the Lord asking for His wisdom and guidance.

It was only a matter of weeks before Pastor Goodman received an invitation to become the pastor of another church about 100 miles from where they currently lived.  The day they moved, Pastor Goodman was walking past the living room when he happened to notice his wife sitting on top of a box she had just packed, looking out the window, lost in her thoughts.  Of all the people in the congregation where they had served the last 5 years, only two people showed up to help with the packing and loading the truck.  Even though it was kind of a lonely feeling, she was thanking the Lord for the good hearts of the two that had shown up to help, as they could not have managed without them.

A few short months after they had moved and were thriving on the love and support of a most loving congregation, their 16 years old daughter, Stephanie, was hospitalized in critical condition.  The church began a 24-hour prayer vigil for her and the Goodman family.  It was the very next day that Dr. Landon and his family returned home from the mission field, not having been home for 3 1/2 years.  They were thrilled to be back with their loving and supportive congregation who had faithfully supported them during the 7 years they had been serving as missionaries.

Dr. Landon was told about the new pastor and the situation with his daughter, Stephanie.  Dr. Landon had been recognized as one of the best surgeons in the entire region before he left his practice to become a medical missionary.  The doctors at the local hospital knew him well and welcomed his help in trying to determine the cause of Stephanie’s illness.  Her vital signs had weakened to the point the doctors had given her only a few days to live.  Dr. Landon immediately diagnosed her illness; a very rare disease in our country, but quite common in the country where he had been serving as a missionary doctor.  He had seen this type of illness many times and had actually served on the mission field with one of the foremost authorities of this particular illness.  Because of Dr. Landon’s quick diagnosis and treatment of Stephanie, her life was saved and she quickly returned to full health.

Pastor Goodman and his family were shedding lots of tears for their daughter’s return to health, tears of joy, accompanied by words of praise to the Lord and Dr. Landon for the miracle they had just experienced.

Everyone present at our regular Saturday night get-togethers were still talking about the miracle the Lord had provided for the Goodman family and how He had blessed them for their Godly hearts during the difficult times they had experienced.

Based on a couple of true stories.

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