Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I wanted to tell you of something that began on Saturday Sept 8th, and unbeknownst to me, partially concluded Weds eve. On Saturday I was working in the church yard as we had a day of cleanup and other work, during which I was stung six times by yellow Jackets. But God sustained me and we prodded on. Late in the afternoon a man that I had not seen for one year, almost to the exact week, came up into the yard. I had prayed for him many times after we first met a year ago. Here is Dave's story.
It all started during a Sunday morning service in Sept. 2011. I had just started filling the pulpit at FBC; I think it was my second week of pulpit supply. He came in just before the service began and I noticed him on the very back pew. I spoke with him and he shared with me how he had walked from Jacksonville with only the worn out shoes on his feet, his dirty jeans and a very worn out shirt. It was all he had to his name. He said he was now homeless but thought for sure he could get a job, he just needed some help. All I had was $10.00, so I gave it to him. After the service I went up to speak with him and he told me his story. He was sleeping in a park without any shelter. The Lord impressed upon him to come to Springfield for work, although he was not yet a Christian. He said he was just moved to come here. I asked him if he had visited the shelters and he said he was planning on it. After we prayed I told him he should come back; he said he would and he left.
The next week he came again. This time he wore a new shirt, jeans and even a tie. He spoke before the church testifying how God multiplied the $10.00 and he was able to use it for bus fare to find work. He got three part-time jobs. All he asked for was a sleeping bag. I went home and got one for him. After two weeks he came back again and said he got his first paycheck and would be interviewing for an assistant manager position at a restaurant. He took his check and was able to put the deposit down on an apartment. That was the last I saw of him. He never returned till Saturday. He said he was walking down 5th street and he made a wrong turn. He walked a couple of blocks and there Brenna and I were in the front yard of the church. He said, "Do you remember me? I had to come over and say hello. Brenna and I said, "Hello Dave" and immediately she blurted out, "Dave, have you ever accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior?" He said, "No, that's why I am here. I made a wrong turn and I saw you both and knew I needed to come over." That is the first time I ever heard Brenna just blurt that out. I asked how he was and what had been happening and he told me that for the last year he had been working a few jobs and had been frozen food asst. manager at County Market on south 6th. He still had his County Market chambray shirt on like he had just left work. He said he was just laid off because he got ill and after going to the doctor was diagnosed with terminal Pancreatic Cancer. I asked if he was still insured and he said he was for the next 60 days. The doctor told him he had about 30 days to live. I honestly did not know if he was telling the truth. So I said, "Dave, if you are serious about all this can you come to church in the morning? I will have you come forward and we will lay hands upon you for healing and God's blessing" He said, "Yes, I'll be there."
The next morning I came into church and there he was snacking on a doughnut. I shook his hand and took him down to a Bible class, and introduced him. Before the service started I asked him to come forward and pray. He confessed his faith in Christ right there and turned and confessed to the congregation. I asked him to kneel down and the church came forward and we laid hands on him and prayed. He was elated, and could not thank the church members enough even while we were praying. I could tell while he was thanking us it was sincere and desperate. We continued with the service and afterwards we gave him some food and one of the Deacons, Ed Savrigino, took him home.
Tonight, much to my surprise, he was at church again. This time with an old dirty baseball cap and an old pottery vase he had been carrying with him. My litte girl Gracey had made him an origami boat on Sunday and had given it to him as a gift. He came back that night to give her the vase and his old baseball cap. During the time we were taking prayer requests I asked if he would like to share with us. He got up and said he had been to the doctor that day and was told he only had a couple weeks to live. Through tears, fear and trembling he said, "I love you all, I want be baptized." I said, "Sure we can do that." He said, "I want it now." I said, "Ok I will speak with you after prayer." I took him outside and we sat on the steps. I explained to him what the purpose of Baptism was and how Jesus had commanded it in the Great Commission. He was ecstatic and we went inside. A couple of weeks back I told the congregation we were not going to empty the Baptistery because there were baptisms that I still needed to perform and sure enough there was. As soon as the Bible Study ended Jim Finn got up and read some Scripture, and Dave and I got into the shivering cold water. I never had time to heat it up. I asked, "Is there anyone that forbids that Brother Dave be baptized?" Loud shouts of "No, Baptize him" came back and so we went under the water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As soon as we were finished he shouted with joy and the church immediately sang a hymn in acapella.
It was an incredible experience. A couple came up to me and said we have this money we were going to give back to some who helped us out awhile back, but we want Dave to have it. So they gave it to him, even though he asked for nothing, and Ed took him home again. I will keep you apprised of what follows, because Dave's story is not finished. Brenna and I are going to take the old vase and baseball cap and put them in a prominent place to remind us how God moves and answers prayer. Please pray this evening, tomorrow morning and day for Dave Corwin, a new child of God and a brother in Christ. May God's will be done.