This Sunday we had the pleasure of being visited by a truck driver named Dan from Texas who happened to be in the area this past weekend when looking for a place to attend. His GPS directed him to us as the nearest church! He shared with us that his job has at times taken him through Sutherland Springs, a community that was recently devastated by a violent, armed attack of their First Baptist Church. One of the shooting victims there was a five year old boy named Ryland Ward. Miraculously, despite being shot 5 or 6 times, Ryland continues to make progress on the road to recovery, though not without difficulty. As far as I know, he is still unaware that he has lost his stepmom as well as two sisters to the violence that was experienced at First Baptist that Sunday.
On his long road to recovery, Ryland has expressed one simple desire for Christmas this year – for cards to be sent to him at his hospital bed. We can’t imagine the devastation and great feeling of loss that will be his when he learns of and comes to terms with the death of much of his family. We are grateful to Dan, our truck-driving friend, for sharing his story with us and giving us an oppportunity to get involved in making Ryland’s Christmas wish come true.
I will have the address printed in the bulletin this coming Sunday as well, but for now, if you’d like to get involved (And I highly encourage you to do so!) here is the address you can send the cards to:
P.O. Box 174
Sutherland Springs, Texas 78161
There is also a GoFundMe page set up to help with medical expenses should you desire to support that effort as well.
You can read more about Ryland and his story by googling his name or by going to this link:
12/08/five-year-old- Sutherland-springs-survivor- recovering-in-hospital-asks- for-Christmas-cards/