When I bent over the 55 gallon drum I heard something pop. I must have blacked out from the pain. I remember the doctor saying, “If you move the wrong way, you may never be able to walk again”. After weeks of pain, some very difficult rehabilitation, and a second surgery, they told me I should be able to regain the feelings in my legs, but I will have to learn to walk again. I began to question God and became very depressed. Will I be able to walk again? How will I support my wife and two children? I remember one day taking the fork from my hospital tray and stabbing it in my leg to see if I could feel it. Slowly the feeling came back. I did learn to walk again. But the emotional scars remained. I became angry and bitter. In my frustration, I began to lash out at my family. Something had to change.
I began seeing a psychiatrist and he suggested I take up a hobby. I had no idea what that might be. One day my wife brought home a child’s painters kit. I laughed and told her I could only paint a stick figure. But I gave it a try and found I really enjoyed it. I began doing research on famous painters. I read books on how to paint. I even reached out to some local artists for instruction and encouragement. They seemed to feel I had some talent. I now sometimes lose track of time when I am painting because I enjoy it so much. I have even begun teaching my daughter how to draw. It has brought us closer together. I can see a change in myself and in my relationship with my family. God gave me the talent to paint and he is the one that has caused the change in our family.
This is the story of Philip Hamilton from McDowell, KY, a client of God’s Appalachian Partnership. Our team worked on his house on our last trip to Kentucky. Philip has now become a minister and is seeking to continue developing his painting skills. On our next trip I plan to commission him to do a painting for me. Continue to pray for Philip and his family. They say he needs a third back surgery. He is an example of how God can take the painful things in our lives and make something beautiful of them. Never forget that missions is about relationships.
We send two teams to Appalachia in August and September and you will hear more about God’s Appalachian Partnership on Mission Sunday, October 15.
Tim Adcox , Minister of Missions