OUR BROKEN WINGS
The story of Linda Byce and Geneva Thorbourne, The struggles their families endured and how God's Grace brought them together and enabled them to soar above their hardships while also helping others.
GENEVA - A nurses aid who came to help with my husband for 4 hours a week.
David had suffered severe brain damage after being dead for over an hour due to Cardiac arrest on Christmas Morning 2006 at age 49.
Geneva touched my heart the first time I ever met her.
It was easy to see that I had meet a sister in Christ.
Little did I know what this precious lady had been through or what she was about to face.
Because of her kind heart and devotion to family she gave up her career to not only
care for her husband, who ended up blind, with brain damage and in a wheel chair, (He is now walking and can see with the aid of the thickest glasses I have ever seen) and taking in and raising 4 of her grandchildren who know her as "Mama".
There has been little to no help for her no matter where she has turned.
Not long after she and I met she received devastating news.
It was the week of Thanksgiving 2007 when while she was at our home she received a phone call
informing her that the rundown duplex she had been force to rent, after the apartment building they were living in had been turned into condos and those who could not afford to purchase a unit were evicted, had been sold and was now scheduled for demolition. They had to be out by the end of December.
With no money, a car that was on it's last leg and six hungry mouths to feed, she had No Idea what she was going to do.
She left that day with tear filled eyes and a broken heart.
Trammell, our 14 year old son, and I sat in silence after she left. "We have to do something." I said. "I know." Trammell agreed. BUT WHAT?
As we look back now we see that's the reason God moved us to Charleston, SC. It was to meet Geneva. It was to be there on that day when she received that call.
It was to be the hands and feet of Christ. To carry out HIS Will.
Thanksgiving came and we made the 3 hour drive to the Upstate to spend time with family.
The following week, after our return, we found out that on Sunday Geneva's car had broken down on the highway. After towing it in she received the news that the car was beyond repair EVEN if she had the money to do so.
So now there she was with no car, no way to get to work, no money and along with her disabled husband and four small children, about to be homeless.
BUT GOD Had Other Plans.
I hit my knees and my computer.
I asked Geneva if she would be willing to move her family to Greenville, SC. She agreed.
I then packed my family in the car and drove back to Greenville in search of an affordable
apartment in which to move her family.
God lead us to a 3 bedroom 2 bath townhome with a beautiful view of the swimming pool
and rent afforded enough for Geneva with a little from us.
The sweet manager was so touched by our story that she allowed us to rent the apartment without a deposit. We paid two months rent with the last of our own money.
We then borrowed my Mom and Dad's closed-in trailer they used to haul their Honda Trike.
We returned to Charleston and began filling the trailer with everything we could live without.
I began picking Geneva up (after finding out she lived only a mile away from us) and taking her to work and taking food to her family.
I told her that we had found her an apartment BUT that's all I told her.
The week before Christmas I packed my husband, our son and our cat in the car and pulled the trailer full of furniture and household items to Greenville. We literally moved into the apartment
we had rented for Geneva, for a week while, Trammell and I completely set it up while also acring for David.
I had contacted a dealer who found at auction, purchased and had detailed, a 2002 minivan. He was kind enough to set up a payment plan in which, with our help, Geneva could pay it off with her modest up coming income tax return.
My sister had forwarded the emails I had sent out asking for any used household items, to Fox Carolina. The local Fox Affiliate. They called and asked if I would mind if they did a story. I was very excited for them to do so.
They arrived as I was decorating a Christmas Tree that had been donated by the manager of Hollywood Video. I had told her what our family was doing as I was renting a movie to watch
that night. (We were camping out in the living room floor of the apartment on blow-up mattresses and watching the TV with a DVD player we had taken from our home to give to Geneva's family.
After the interview aired we were bombarded with donations of everything from furniture to clothing, dishes and more. One person even sent a $250.00 Wal-Mart gift card which we also presented to Geneva on Reveal Day.
Stanley Steemer trucks began picking up furniture, cleaned it and delivering it to us.
My sister bought and wrapped Christmas gifts for the family to be placed under the tree.
By December 22nd the entire apartment was set up with EVERYTHING right down to toothbrushes and toilet paper. Beds were made, clothes hanging in the closet, the table was beautifully set with a red tablecloth and Christmas dishes, also donated by my sister, and food in the refrigerator.
What a joy it was to drive back down to the coast and pick Geneva and her family up. They still had no idea what was in store for them.
(You can visit our website at www.Ourbrokenwings.weebly.com and see their reaction when we arrived and surprised them with their new home and minivan!)
Shortly after that on Feb. 3rd, 2008 our family was devastated once again when our son,Trammell, became paralyzed from the waist down due to a rare virus called Acute Transverse Myelitis that strikes only one in a million. That put me caring for my bedridden husband and paralyzed son 24/7.
God has continued to Bless both our families during these past 5&1/2 years. But the devil is always present trying to knock us down at every turn.
Later we got Geneva's family into their own Habitat for Humanity home only then she lost her job. By God's Grace they are hanging on to the house while others around them have lost theirs.
She then made the mistake of borrowing money for her house payment from titlemax who repossessed their minivan 3 days before Christmas 2011 after she had given them her last penny trying to keep them from doing so.
Then through God's Grace we received a donation to our family from an organization in Charleston who had heard about us.
They drove up the day after Christmas and presented us with a gift of $800. Trammell and I knew what the money was to be used for. We had to find a car for Geneva. Trammell had $300 saved from Christmas money he had received and added it giving us a total of $1,100.
We went to Ralph Hayes Toyota where they made another miracle happen. They sold us a 1996 Lincoln Continental that looked like new. They detailed it and put new tires on it all (tax, title and out the door with a full tank of gas) for the $1,100 we had.
Trammell could hardly wait to surprise them with it. He has his drivers license but is very uncomfortable with driving because of his disability BUT he wanted to be the one to pull the car into Geneva's driveway.
We got a friend to take care of David while Trammell followed me from Anderson to Greenville. Right before we got to their house I pulled over and let him go around me. I then followed as Trammell pulled into the driveway honking the horn. You should have seen Geneva's face when I jumped out of our minivan and Trammell rolled down the window of the Lincoln shouting MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
Geneva and I both struggle daily trying to care for our families but that has never stopped us from reaching out to others in need. We know that God brought us together. As we put it, we each have a broken wing but together we can fly.
There are times in our lives when God is leading us to do something that is so far out of our comfort range that we totaly egnore His commands.
We have this strong unexplainable feeling that we need to doing something so out of our character that our friends and family think we have "Lost It".
What they don't realize is that we haven't "Lost It". We have Found "IT".
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high
on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not
faint. ISAIAH 40:31
(Linda or Geneva Are Available For Speaking Engagements at no charge)
BUT THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD WILL FIND NEW STRENGTH. THEY WILL
SOAR HIGH ON WINGS LIKE EAGLES. THEY WILL RUN AND NOT GROW WEARY.
THEY WILL WALK AND NOT FAINT.
This is the news story that aired when our family surprised Geneva and her family with a new fully furnished, fully equipped home (an apt.) and a mini van.
ALL POSSIBLE BY THE GRACE OF GOD!!!!!
ALL POSSIBLE BY THE GRACE OF GOD!!!!!