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Angels in our Midst (Ray of Hope)

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:43 PM CDT
Eight years ago, a member of Woodbine United Methodist Church noticed a man struggling to get inside his home in a wheelchair.
That struggle led Jimmy Ray to start a ramp ministry.
When Jimmy Ray died last year, the members took his legacy and continued providing ramps, and rays of hope.

He was 24 weeks when he was born.  He only weighed one pound, seven ounces.  He was in the hospital for eight months before he came home. 

Brayden was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.  He's now seven years old and a growing boy.

Joellen Corp, Brayden's mom;    "He's 65 pounds.  Carrying him up and down, it's kind of hard on my knees and my back."

Gordon Gipson, Brayden's dad;  "Getting him in and out of the house is a struggle for me and her."

But, not much longer.  Thanks to the wheelchair ramp ministry of Woodbine United Methodist Church.

Stan Holmes, Leads Ramp Ministry;  "This is ramp number 296.  All volunteer labor.  All money funded by some really wonderfully generous people in the church."

The ministry has now been named, Ray of Hope,  in honor of founder, Jimmy Ray.  The members are still on his mission; lifting the burden of others.

Stan;  "We built for a guy a couple of weeks ago who had not left his house in six months. Hadn't been able to go to the doctor, hadn't been able to go anywhere for six months.  That Saturday at about one o'clock in the afternoon, he hit the ground."

Mark Sopris, Ramp Ministry Team;  "To see the joy on his face when he wheeled out and we prayed over him ...   it's such a blessing to us."

They're  keeping Jimmy Ray's vision and following the word.

"The Lord said, when you do these things for the least of mine, you do them unto me.  And that really is the Bible verse that we base this ministry on."
  
Mark;  "Just for people like that.  It's what we're called to do.  We're called to put our feet to the ground and go, so that's basically what we do."

They measure, design and build each ramp to meet the needs of each family; a need they couldn't meet themselves.

Mom;  "It's just one more stress off of everything that we have to go through right now."

Dad;  "This is a 15 hundred, two thousand dollar ramp.  It's just hard to come by with the way everything is nowadays."

The cost is one thing but the value, well, that is priceless.  A family's relief and the the look on Brayden's face, you can't put a pricetag on that.
  
Mom;  "Uhhh, I was just really, really appreciative.  So grateful that we could have somebody come help us.  We really, really needed it."
 
Their job is not complete until they've offered a prayer of thanks.

Leaving a grateful family, they'll be off to bring another Ray of Hope in another little corner of their world.

Angels in our Midst is brought to you by Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.Angels in our Midst (Ray of Hope)


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