Small church raises huge funds for young man in brain rehab

By Linda Mack

On Oct. 1, a young man in our community was involved in a tragic accident, which took the life of the driver who was driving in the wrong direction on the interstate.

Jacob was only given a 1 percent chance of survival. He spent months in a Spartanburg Hospital and was finally stable enough to travel to a Charleston hospital for rehab. After being hospitalized there for a short time, he developed some complications and was moved to the Medical University of South Carolina. After much searching and securing approval, he was accepted and admitted to the No. 2 brain rehab center in the country, located in Houston, Texas. The cost was astronomical.

Our small church, Mount Zion United Methodist Church, on the St. Matthews Charge in the Orangeburg District, decided to do what most of us do when a need arises: to do something. A Spaghetti Supper/Bake Sale Fundraiser was planned, with a date set for three weeks from the idea being planted. A goal of 400 tickets was set with 100 percent of proceeds being donated to Jacob’s Fund. An amount of what we hoped to raise through ticket sales and donations was set in the minds of those planning with no one verbally stating a hopeful amount.

The group met and prayed. Businesses donated food items, and surrounding churches baked cakes, pies and cookies by the carloads. Businesses and individuals gave monetary donations, and many hands helped with setting up and cooking. The fundraiser was not only about helping with the financial need but also opening our doors in love to our neighbors, inviting them to be a part of what God calls us to in sharing and caring. Our prayers were constant.

We invited those attending to write a message on a brightly colored card to Jacob, which will be delivered to him so he can see and hear the messages from so many and know of their love, their faith and their support for him and for his family.

As for our “imagined” amount hoping to be raised? Well, God gives us so much more than we ever imagine. Ticket sales surpassed the 400 mark, and food continued to exceed what had been planned and prepared with a portion left over.

God only gives what’s good. And ultimately, He gives gifts that are infinitely better than what we ask for. The monetary goal surpassed anyone’s imagination and still continues to grow.

Jacob’s journey is long and he continues to improve daily through God’s Grace. To Him, the One who loves us beyond measure, we give the glory for all He has done.

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