What began as a simple overnight hospital stay for newborn Stella turned into 22 days of complications and fear. Born with Down syndrome, Josh and Gina Grant’s little girl was having trouble keeping food down: she wasn’t thriving. Days turned into weeks as the experts at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Brenner Children’s Hospital ran a battery of tests and procedures. Exploratory stomach surgery was the last resort.
“That night, I said good-bye to my daughter,” Josh admits. “I prayed with her and told God he was in control. I didn’t think she was going to make it.”
The four-hour surgery worked: doctors discovered part of Stella’s small intestine was nearly closed. “Prayer works,” Josh enthuses. “She was brand-new!”
But, so were the medical bills; new ones arrived every day. The family was overwhelmed. As the bills skyrocketed, they talked about bankruptcy and were looking into refinancing the house for a second mortgage when, one day, the phone rang. And rang.
Josh, a magistrate, was at work with a room full of people but, finally, he picked up and got the news that changed everything.
“Our bills were paid in full by the Mother’s Day Offering,” he says. “I told the people in front of me that I needed a minute. They left and I just sat there and cried. I was crying so much, Gina could barely understand me but, when she did, she started crying too. Something lifted off of us. It was unbelievable.”
Since 1924 North Carolina Baptists have given to the Mother’s Day Offering to “extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, especially to the needy.”
The Grants shared the news in church and the whole community that had supported them for so long joined them in gratitude. “It was totally up to God to save Stella,” Josh remarks. “And, apparently, it was totally up to God to take care of us financially.”
Today, Stella is a busy two-year-old, adored by her big brothers and a blessing to her parents because she is a symbol of God’s love in action through N.C. Baptists. “We couldn’t have done it without the Mother’s Day Offering,” says Gina. “The people who participated helped save Stella’s life; they healed her. I don’t think thank you does it justice. It’s amazing how much you can love someone you don’t even know.
Visit mothersdayoffering.org for more information about the offering.