Many of you have been praying for my friends, The Childers, for years. Some of you have had the privilege of meeting them and some of you have walked this journey with them as prayer warriors without ever laying an eye on them. Either way, I would be willing to bet, you realize what a special family they are! Chris and Ashley are both on staff at First Presbyterian Day School in Macon, GA. Chris is the Facilities Director and Coordinator of the GOAL scholarship program while Ashley shares her gift of music leading the high-school chorus. Chris and Ashley raised two amazing and godly boys, Austin and Garrett.
In 2014, Austin passed away after fighting a mitochondrial disease for 12 years. In those 12 years, Austin taught many of us much about life and how to never take it for granted. He lived every moment to the fullest while sharing his love for Jesus along the way. There was never a doubt where he got his strength and until his last breath he never complained and trusted the Lord’s plan for him.
The Lord so sweetly brought Katie Ervin into Garrett’s life in that same year. She was exactly what he needed as he grieved the loss of his best friend and brother. Actually, she was like an angel to both Chris and Ashley too! Katie and Garrett fell in love and were married on April 23, 2016 and just as they started to plan their future, Garrett started developing some GI issues. Unfortunately, the GI issues were symptoms of the mitochondrial disease that had just taken the life of his brother. The past two years have been a fast progression of debilitation. Garrett and Katie moved in with Chris and Ashley so that together the three of them could provide the around the clock care that Garrett required. Garrett has not been able to eat or drink in months and is truly in constant pain and nauseated at all times. However, just like his brother, you never hear a complaint from him. Without a miracle, and we will never stop praying for just that, Garrett’s time here on Earth is minimal. They are doing all that they can to keep him comfortable and soaking up every minute that they can together.
Of course, the biggest gift you can give to this family is your prayers. We are reminded in James 5:16 that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective”. God has done great things through this family and as heart wrenching as this is, we are thankful for the hope of Heaven and the promise of eternity together with those who believe.
Many of you have come and asked how you can help. If you ask Chris and Ashley, they will say “nothing” and then quickly ask how you and your family are because that’s just who they are. When you live your life as “others oriented” as they do, it is very difficult to get their blessing in accepting help. Financially, this situation is bigger than any of us can imagine. The medicine and care adds up to a tremendous amount and they are far outside the realm of what insurance will cover. Their time with Garrett needs to be precious and as stress free as possible. The thought of them worrying about what they are going to do about the cost of taking care of their child is where our help comes in. Would you be willing to give an anonymous donation to the Garrett Childers Fund? ANONYMOUS is key here because they will try to thank and repay every single person that gives if they know who they are!!! They are very uncomfortable with a goal but this is a requirement of Go Fund Me so after praying about it, I am setting the goal as high as possible because who am I to limit the work of The Lord? We are so thankful to have an avenue to help and trust that God will use this to provide for them exactly what they need. The Childers were so humbled and grateful for all of you who are willing to love them in this way.
Thanking the Lord in advance for providing all they need,
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- JT & Tammy Ricketson
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