Monday, June 21, 2010

To Save A Life

"Something happened to David Camp and I don't know what. Can you find out? A lot of people are praying for brain function. :( "

This message from my husband greeted me at 10:42 am this past Thursday. I rushed to Facebook for details and read, to my horror, our dear friend David was in a serious car accident Wednesday afternoon and was rushed to St. Elizabeth's Medical Center in Utica, NY, completely brain dead and was put on life support.

Shortly after my husband (we weren't married at the time) accepted Christ, we began attending a local church in our college's town of Morrisville, NY - Resurrection Life Fellowship. There we met David Camp, the pastor's son and drummer on their worship team. We were already close to Pastor John's daughter and son-in-law and were quickly befriended by the whole family. We were invited to their home many times and even cooked breakfast there once. The family was wonderful to us and was instrumental in our spiritual growth throughout our college years.

Hubby was invited to play electric guitar on their worship team and he and David, 15 at the time, became fast friends. David loved the sound of electric guitar and aspired to learn how to play. God spoke to us one day and we turned over a guitar and petal to him, much to his surprise and joy. He did learn how to play and in the years to come lead worship for the college bible study and played at one of his sister's wedding.

After graduation, we got married, moved back to my hometown, and became active ministers in my home church. We stayed in touch over the years, but we couldn't find the time in our busy lives to go visit that wonderful family that had such an impact on our lives throughout college. Six years flew by quickly and suddenly we found ourselves with a youth group of high school juniors, seniors, and college students. We wanted them to experience the powerful move of God at a conference this past April put on by BASIC College Ministries, the same ministry that had touched our lives so many years ago drawing us to a close relationship with God and plugging us in to the ministry at Resurrection Life Fellowship. We wanted to reconnect with our friends who were leaders at the Morrisville BASIC group and introduce our college students and high school seniors to the wonderful people who helped to transform our lives. We agreed to come to their BASIC meeting the week before the conference to get everyone acquainted and then meet up for dinner during the conference.

David, by now, was a 21 year old college student at Morrisville and a part of their BASIC group. He led worship at the meeting and we had a great time fellowshipping and catching up with everyone. Our youth loved getting to know these wonderful people of God. We enjoyed having dinner together and after the conference we said our good-byes and promised to come visit again soon. Little did we know what was to come in the near future.

After seeing what had happened, I called our associate pastor's wife and asked her to put in a prayer request for David on our church prayer chain. She began to pray over the phone and the tears fell from my eyes as I thought about life without David. She paused at the end of her prayer and time stopped. The voice of God spoke clearly to me and said, "Everything is done for the glory of My name." I felt my faith rise up in me and I stopped crying. I prayed after her with faith and expectancy for the glory of my God to be shown everywhere because of the work he was to do in David's life.

That day at noon he was to have a final crucial test to determine whether he would continue with life support. People prayed for a miracle to happen and that there would be more time. Slowly his blood pressure began to rise and he would occasionally breathe on his own. He even showed signs of a grab reflex when his hand was being held. The doctors agreed to give the family authority to make choices for him. The prayers for more time had been granted! A young man who wasn't expected to even make it through Wednesday night was making progress! People all over the world began to pray for him and the membership of a group on facebook agreeing to pray for him climbed into the thousands! People fasted and held all night vigils. The ICU waiting room was packed with people praying for him. Our church softball team, believers and unbelievers alike, agree din prayer for David at practice that night.

At 3:30, the family was awoken with an urgency to pray. I awoke too and checked up on his condition on facebook, and saw the note that others were awake. I sat on my couch and asked God to show me the work that he was doing in David. I got a vision of a baby being formed in the mother's womb, cell by cell. God was creating a new brain for David, slowly but surely. He would not suddenly be instantly healed, his body wouldn't be able to handle it. Instead, like a baby in the womb, he would be rebuilt piece by peace and slowly come back to life.

Overnight he still showed no signs of brain activity and at 9 am Friday morning he was declared officially brain dead, in kidney failure and liver failure, and they gave the family 24 hours to say their good-bye's before taking him off life support. More than ever people all over buckled down to pray for him. The family called another minister to come and in and pray. No one was giving up hope that David would make a complete and total recovery.

Saturday morning, just 30 minutes before taking him off life support, David had a bowel movement on his own. They had to reduce his blood pressure medication because mis body was regulating his pressure so well on its own. The hospital revoked the time limit on the life support and agreed to let him stay on it until he had completely recovered. Throughout the day he continues to show signs of progress. Swelling in his face went down, he would squeeze a hand when it was put in his, his eyes would move behind his eyelids and he continued to take breaths on his own. His facebook group neared 6000 members and people all over were giving testimony of what God was doing in their lives because of the miracle being worked out in David's life.

My husband and I went to the hospital that evening to visit. We stepped off the elevator at the ICU and immediately felt the holy presence of God. His peace hung heavy throughout the entire floor. The waiting room was packed with people praying for David young and old. We couldn't go into the ICU to see him or the family, but we stayed and prayed and did speak to a few friends and acquaintances. People who had been with David walked out of the ICU with faces like Moses, glowing with the presence of the Lord. It was an incredible feeling! After we left we agreed that it was as if someone was having a baby. Everywhere, people had excited smiles and the feeling of expectancy and anticipation were electrifying! We drove home full of faith and encouraged by the prospect of the incredible miracle God was about to do.

Sunday morning at church I stood up and gave a testimony at how my faith had been transformed by David's circumstances. I was amazed at how God was using this situation to transform OTHERS, let alone to transform him. After me others stood and recounted how their lives and other's lives had been changed by David's story. God was doing a huge work in the body of Christ and I was overjoyed to be right in the midst of it. That night our church held a prayer meeting and David was on the agenda. Our pastor was given the words "For My glory,for My glory, for My glory." God was using David's life to bring glory to himself - what a testimony of his greatness!

At 9:00 pm, I received a message from my mother, "You better look on facebook." I got online expecting something wonderful had happened, but instead my heart sunk as I read the newest update. David had coded on the life support, his heart was no longer beating. If a person's heart stops while on life support, there is no point in using an AED, they are gone, for good. The hospital disconnected all of the machines. People all over joined the family in a prayer vigil hoping in God for a resurrection from death for David. At 2 am, Monday morning, my mom felt God was saying that it was enough, at the same time, so did his parents, Pastor John and Kristy. David had given up the fight for his earthly life and was enjoying his eternal life in the presence of his Savior in heaven.

The ending to this story is bittersweet. I will miss David so much. I am so grateful that God enabled us to meet one last time in April, to worship together, laugh together, and make new friends. I wish we had more time, but time is a valuable gift, there is never enough of it. Instead I look forward to the day when we will meet again to worship our savior together face to face.

The sweet part is over 6000 people and their families have been touched by the life and story of David Camp. Many of them strangers, but all of them united in faith and hope in the God David served with his life, and his death. God's glory was truly shown throughout the 5 days of David's struggle as the body of Christ united with one hope and one purpose. People all over are giving testimony of how praying for him had changed their lives forever, I am one of them. I was even luckier to be touched and changed by him as his friend, and I am forever grateful that God had purposed for our lives to intersect and I could be a part of a huge faith movement on behalf of my very good friend and brother in Christ.

Please keep his entire family in prayer as they grieve the loss of this wonderful young man.

Until we meet again David!


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your heart, thoughts and journey. I want you to know that I have experienced a move of God in my own life specifically in my prayer life through this 5 day journey of David Camps life. I did not know David personally but know his parents quite well. Wonderful people. I have been touched in a deep way that has caused me once again to rise up and take the things of God seriously, and for that I am and will be forever grateful.

Tracy:D said...

You tell this story so beautifully! I'm glad you wrote it out to put the pieces of your week together in one place - perhaps part therapeutic work, but also part memorial to a great friend. I pray God's comfort on you and your husband as you share in your quiet times the good memories you have of David and come to terms with his loss from this life. But I also rejoice with you that you will see him again in the presence of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Morgan Gagnier said...

Wow...I updated my background for my blog and so I lost a lot of the blogs I had, yours included, but I finally am back to keeping in touch with yours. Your testimony really hits close to home for me, and ultimately we know that God is in control, and has David Camp where he was meant to be. Thanks for your words, and it would be so nice to live closer and get to know you and your family better!!