Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why I started Footprints

Why did I start the Footprints Ministry? Well, for any mother I went through one of the hardest but most amazing experiences ever. I had John Parker on Friday September 29th 2006. The next night he had a lung collapse at Jackson hospital. They immediately did emergency surgery. I can remember sitting in the room at a complete loss for words. Why? Why is this happening to me? Why couldn’t I have the normal delivery like all of the other moms? The only thing I could do at that point is call Brother David, our pastor, and ask him to pray with Glenn and me. We felt the Lord’s presence in the room with us. We knew he had John Parker in the Lord’s hands. Sunday morning the pediatrician came in and said “we’re going to have to transfer John Parker to the NICU at Baptist South” I was completely by myself, Glenn had run home to grab a few things. As soon as the doctor left, Brother David, Tammie, and Dr. Hall came in the room. I wasn’t alone; the Lord knew right when to send them to see me. Dr. Hall prayed and Bro. David and Tammie encouraged me as they had been through this before. Shortly after the ambulance staff came by my room with John Parker in the incubator, they were taking this child that I had carried for 9 months to another hospital. I hadn’t even held him or fed him yet. We couldn’t go with him we just had to tell him we loved him and would see him soon. I felt like my heart had been completely ripped out. My doctor was able to discharge me a few hours later. I really wasn’t in any condition to be discharged but I had to be with our son.

I still remember everything about the NICU, the smell, the sounds of the monitors, and the cries. The cries were not only from the helpless babies but also from the parents. Our son was lying in an incubator with a chest tube, oxygen, IVs, and monitors connected everywhere. The nurses were using medical terms that we couldn’t understand. We had to learn quickly what everything meant. It was so indescribably overwhelming. We wanted to stay up there every second of every day. I can remember those long drives down Taylor Road and Troy Highway. Would today be the day I could hold my baby for the first time? Would he be better today? Would today be the day they would tell us we could take him home? It was such an emotional rollercoaster. One day he would be doing good and the next day he regressed. No one could tell us exactly what day he could go home. Everyday I would think I can’t do this anymore. We received hundreds of phone calls, emails, and prayers from so many people from the church. We still remember every single one of them. This is the only thing that helped us through this devastating situation. So, today I have my answer as to why. The Lord put me in this situation so I could begin this ministry. It was all in his plan. John Parker was only in the NICU for 10 days which seemed like forever at that time but now I know it was only a glimpse of what these parents are going through. There is no way Glenn and I could have made it through this alone. I think of all of these un-churched parents. How do they deal with this with no church family support? I pray that the Footprints Ministry reaches out to each of these parents and provides support and encouragement during this difficult time. I also pray that this will be a ministry that brings un-churched families into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ. Today, I can say I am truly grateful for this storm in life that we went through. I am so thankful for the Footprints Ministry, not only has it impacted the lives of so many families but it also has greatly impacted me!

“For I know the plans I have for you“says the Lord “They are plans for good not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11

In the NICU
John Parker 1 year old

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sweet Caroline!

Here are a few pictures of Caroline, our precious Footprints baby from Atlanta. Look how far she's come! She was born at 3lbs and is now around 6lbs!! Praise the Lord for the great things he has done!!

"He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes." Deuteronomy 10:21

In the NICU

Her Daddy's wedding ring

Her tiny foot, so precious!


Sunday, April 27, 2008

March of Dimes-March for Babies

We had a wonderful walk yesterday at the March for Babies! Our Footprints team raised $1150 for the March of Dimes! We got to see one of the families that we have been praying for-Rick and Emily Marks(see picture of the Marks team below). They are doing good, please continue to keep them in your prayers. The money raised for March for Babies supports lifesaving research, services, education and advocacy to help babies get a healthy start. We have a wonderful local March of Dimes chapter here in Montgomery for more information please click here

A big thank you to the following people for walking with us!

Brian and Robyn Bernier, Chris Best, Hunter Brendle, Nikki Brouillette, Lindsey Carroll, Pam Carroll, Betty Cody, Sharon Cook, Diane Cook, Christy Cronier, Kelli Griffin, Kim Keefe, Ellen McBee, Kadra Parkman, Mike and April Reed, Carli Rock, and Dusty and Whitney Wilson.
And our little ones: Cooper Bernier, Parker Cook and John Parker Wilson

"And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth!"
Psalm 116:9

Our cute t-shirts!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Incredible Faith

The Lord has blessed me with amazing friends! There is a very special couple Mike and April Reed that have truly touched my life! Mike was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 1999. He is still battling it today. He was recently on an experimental drug treatment that seemed to be curing him. This past Tuesday while in Houston the doctors found another spot on his spine. This means he is no longer eligilbe to participate in this drug treatment. We know that the Lord is closing this door to open another one to him. Here is a link to their caringbridge site The faith this family has is so inspiring. Mike added a journal entry yesterday. I encourage each of you to read this. It has truly touched me today!

On a side note, Mike and April have been very supportive of Footprints! April designed this wonderful blog! Please keep them in your prayers as they continue on this difficult road!

“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." Matthew 17:20

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Footprints in the Media

We had a wonderful visit with Leslie Bailey on AM1170 last week! Leslie is so supportive of Footprints! We appreciate her inviting us to be on her show. A big thank you also to Jeff Barranco for calling in and sharing their story! I had two of my biggest supporters go with me, my husband Glenn and sister Robyn. They thought they were there as an audience but Leslie put them on the spot! They did great! I also met Bill Rice from the Montgomery Independant last week. We had a great interview. The Footprints article will be published in this Thursday's newspaper. Be on the look out for it! Praise the Lord for opening all these doors to us! Everyday the Lord amazes me more and more!

"For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." Luke 11:10

Monday, April 21, 2008

Visit with Very Special Family

I had the privilege of visiting our Footprints family from Atlanta on Saturday night! We delivered a bucket of snack foods for their "rooming-in" stay and baby items for Caroline! A big thank you to my sister, Robyn Bernier for making this precious bucket. My visit with them was incredible! Caroline is an absolute angel. This is a family that is very close to the Lord. We talked and prayed together, it was like we've known each other for years. Tyler, the mother, told me she knows the Lord has special plans for her through this experience and she believes Footprints is a part of that plan. It bring me to tears, knowing that the Lord has a plan for Footprints to expand to Atlanta! This whole situation with Tyler having a 1 in a million rare disease, just happpen to be in Montgomery when she delivered, and her connecting with Footprints is no coincidence. I know the Lord has great plans for this family. What a great joy to know that the Lord has bigger and better plans for this ministry than we could ever imagine!

"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. They are plans for good not for disaster to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

Anonymous Note

I received an anonymous note today. I wish I knew who sent it. It is a note of such great encouragement!! What a great reminder that the Footprints Ministry is touching so many lives! I know that this is everyone's prayer for this ministry. Thank you for all of your support and prayers for this ministry!

"Our family was in the NICU for only a short 9 days, but wanted to let you know how blessed and touched by this ministry we felt. We pray God will continue to bless Footprints ministry and that through it many will come to know the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Prayer Request for the Hickman Family

Precious friends of mine Will and Tabitha Hickman are expecting twins! They have a 19 month old named Parks. Tabitha is 9 weeks pregnant with these wonderful miracles! Will, the daddy, will be running in a marathon in September. He was required to pick an organization to run for and he picked Footprints! He has to raise a minimum of $5,000 to participate in the race. We are so grateful for their amazing support for Footprints! Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for the wonderful world of twins. I will keep you posted on their progression.

Thanks for all of your prayers!

"Children are a gift from the Lord;they are a reward from him." Psalm 127:3

What is the Footprints Ministry?

The Footprints Ministry began in August of 2007 at Heritage Baptist Church. We began serving Baptist South hospital in Montgomery. In December of 2007 we expanded our ministry to Baptist East hospital through the support of Grace Pointe Church. The Footprints Ministry distributes gift bags to parents who have a baby admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Units at Baptist South and Baptist East. These hospitals serve 800 babies per year and 20 surrounding counties. We have already distributed over 350 bags! Each bag contains a Bible, disposable camera (for the nurses to take pictures when the parents can't be there), gift cards to local restaurants and stores, burp cloth with monogrammed footprints, a scent blankie with a poem attached for the mother to sleep with and return to the baby, travel necessities such as toothbrushes, a prayer request card, and promotional items such as pens and notepads. Each of these items are very important as most babies are premature and the families are not prepared to have a baby when they arrive at the hospital. We also do seasonal events such as our Santa visit, we delivered 1st Christmas stockings and the Easter Bunny delivered Easter baskets.

This ministry has touched the lives of so many families! We've had opportunities to meet these families and pray with them. We've also made many friends through this ministry. Our prayer is that we will share the love of Christ with these families and provide comfort and encouragement to them during the most exciting and difficult time in their life.

"Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done." Psalm 105:1

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

1st Footprints Family

Brooke was born in August 2007 at 2lbs 30z. She stayed in the NICU at Baptist South for 9 weeks! Her family had to travel an hour and a half to visit Brooke everyday. They were the 1st family that Footprints ministered to. They are such a blessing to my life and many others involved with the Footprints ministry. They invited us to the hospital to meet Brooke in the NICU and we were able to pray together. They always kept us updated on how she was doing and even still today send us updates. Brooke is almost 8 months old now and is doing great. She just rolled over for the first time! Brooke also had her first TV appearance on Alabama Live on WSFA for the Footprints interview. She will be at our Family Fun Day at The Waters May 17th! We are so grateful for the support this family has given the Footprints Ministry! This is a family of great faith that inspires so many! We love our precious Brooke!

"Come and see what God has done: He is awesome." Psalm 66:5

Easter Bunny Visits the NICU

In March 2008 we had our 1st Easter Bunny Visit to the NICU at Baptist South and Baptist East Hospitals! We delivered Easter Baskets which included the jelly bean prayer, bunny kisses, bunny picture frame, egg filled with candy, rubber ducky, a footprints book mark, and a hand painted cross. We also took pictures with all of the babies for the parents to put in their baby books. The families were so excited to have us there! We also had a special helper with us Tapley Cronier. He was born very premature and now is a healthy 5 year old! His mother Christy headed up expanding Footprints to Baptist East Hospital. Our Easter Bunny visit was a great success! Thank you to everyone who helped us assemble the baskets and to my husband Glenn for being the Easter Bunny!

Here are a few links to our Easter Bunny visit from the Montgomery Advertiser:

"But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God." Acts 20:24

"Feasting for Footprints" Pancake Breakfast

We had our 1st Annual Feasting for Footprints Pancake Breakfast at Up the Creek restaraunt in February 2008. We raised over $2500 for Footprints! We had an amazing turnout and great food too! Thanks to all of the volunteers from Grace Pointe, Eastmont, and the Alpha Sunday School class at Heritage! Thank you also to everyone who purchased a ticket!
"You are the God of great wonders!" Psalm 77:14

Santa visits the NICU

In December 2007 we had our 1st Santa Visit to the NICU at Baptist South. We delivered "1st Christmas Stockings" filled with a Christmas bottle, bib and other items. These stockings were donated to the Footprints Ministry by Grant and Debbie Jones from Heritage Baptist. They were a huge hit in the NICU. We also took pictures of the babies with Santa and returned the pictures to the parents to keep in their baby books. Pictured above is one of our babies we prayed so hard for Cassandra. She is now at home and doing great! A big thank you to my husband Glenn for doing a great job as Santa! His support for this ministry has been amazing!
"When God's people are in need, be ready to help them."
Romans 12:13