I first met James about a month ago, when he wandered into our church, looking for a fresh start.
I was preaching that day on "Blessed are the poor in spirit" and about halfway through the message, James walked out. He didn't feel that what I was preaching was possible, at least not for him.
Thankfully, one of our team felt led to follow him and ask him his story.
James was severly distressed. He told us about his home, one of Nashville's most dangerous government housing projects, where he lives with his wife and children.
He had recently been let go from his job, lost his healthcare, (which he desperately needs for his diabetes) and had his identity stolen from a family member.
James had no food at home, no money in the bank, and no hope for the future.
We decided to help. That day, we surrounded James and prayed for him, gave him some money for food, and exchanged numbers.
I wish I could say it all got better from there, but unfortunately, it got much worse.
A few days later, James' 3 year old daughter, Hayden, was playing outside their home and contracted a brain ameoba.
All in less than 24 hours, precious Hayden spiked a severe fever and was rushed to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, where she tragically passed away.
I received a frantic call from James the following morning, pleading for help.
He had no where else to turn. James has no family in town. No money. No food. No insurance. Nothing. And he'd just lost his only daughter.
I prayed for James, and our church helped out once more with food and money that same day.
But, these most basic necessities were still not enough.
James had to bury his beautiful 3 year old.
The coroner had taken Hayden to James' family's hometown in Louisiana for her funeral, but James had no money to get there or pay for the service.
Perhaps the toughest question I've ever been asked, James asked for money to go to Wal Mart to buy his daughter a dress to bury her in.
I cannot imagine. I do not know the pain and suffering this man has been through. All I have been able to do is mourn with him.
We're cried together. Prayed together, many, many times.
I've given and will continue to give. But, the need is greater than I am able to bear on my own, which is why I am asking for help.
At the time of putting this together, James and his family were eating peanut butter off a spoon for dinner.
They are in debt to pay for Hayden's funeral.
He can't afford his insulin.
His truck broke down while he was out hunting for jobs.
This man has nothing. But, this man is my brother. I am asking for help.
If I can raise 5K or more, I can help James get back on his feet. With the 5K, James and his family will have enough food for the next few months, medicine for his diabetes, his truck can be fixed so that he can find a job, and importantly, we can pay for Hayden's funeral expenses.
Friends, please pray. If God leads, please help. It would be a great blessing to James, his wife Mika, his sons, and to me.
God bless you all!
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