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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Two students + one moment = new lifecomment (0)

August 27, 2009


When Sarah Grace Weaver thinks back to her memories from the summer of 2009, one particular face is going to hover above all the other people, activities and experiences.

That face belongs to Courtney — a 15-year-old with a mental disability, cared for by a foster mom and in possession of “a beautiful heart.”

Weaver, a student involved in the student ministry at Hunter Street Baptist Church, Hoover, met Courtney while on choir tour in June in Louisville, Ky.

The Birmingham Baptist Association church took 135 students and 35 adults to participate in Crossover Louisville and other activities surrounding the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.

The girls’ fateful meeting came during a concert. Smokey Gibson, Hunter Street minister of student education, gave an invitation for those in attendance to accept Christ as Savior. Courtney came to the group waiting to share, and Weaver was the one ready to lead her.

“She asked me a lot of different questions, and I was able to answer her questions but was leaving it up to God to let her understand what He wanted her to know,” Weaver said. “After I led her in the prayer, I told her that it was her birthday.”

Weaver explained to Courtney that that day was her new spiritual birthday.

“The Courtney from yesterday is a different Courtney from today. You are a new person,” Weaver said, noting she also shared with her that they were now sisters in Christ.

“She was so excited so then I proceeded to say, ‘Do you see all the boys and girls out there wearing yellow and blue T-shirts (the Hunter Street group)? They are all your new brothers and sisters in Christ. You have been accepted into the family of God and He loves you.’”

Courtney started weeping and said, “I have never been accepted before. Now I am accepted into a family.”

As the concert continued, Courtney could be heard weeping above the crowd, so Weaver went to her and asked why she was crying.

“I’m crying because Jesus is alive!” Courtney said. “These are tears of joy.”

And that’s when Weaver knew “whatever mental handicap she had did not prevail here. She understood fully the commitment she had made.

“God blessed me so much with her. ... Courtney is the home to one of the most beautiful hearts I have ever seen.” (TAB)

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