Sermon Illustrations

Medical Volunteer Transforms Life of Man Previously Thought To Be In A Vegetative State

The simple point to what God is reminding us of is, “The Extra Mile” can change a life and win a soul to Jesus. To me that makes the pain of going the extra mile a pleasure.

I listened to an interview on Jeremy Vine show this week on Radio Two. At 10 years old, Martin Pestorious was taken ill with a sore throat and flu ,and within a year was in, what they called, a “vegetative state.” Doctors said there was no hope and sent him home to die.

For 14 years Martin existed in a home for the profoundly disabled, living in his own world but fully aware of the world around him, hearing every conversation and comment about him, but unable to respond.

Martin lived a lonely, bored and frustrated life, desperately wanting to communicate all that he was thinking and feeling and on many occasions wishing he would just die.

Nurses and Doctors did all that was required to keep Martin alive, believing there was nothing more they could do, and most likely thought he would be better off dead.

A turning point came in Martin’s life at 24 years old, when a volunteer came into his care home and took the time to talk with Martin. For two years she spoke to him like he was there and he understood. This volunteer watched a TV program about augmentative and alternative communication. She got excited and believed this could help Martin. She spoke to Doctors and Nurses but they were not interested. She spoke to Martin’s parents who, for a year, worked at helping Martin with augmentative and alternative communication.

Martin, today is still totally paralysed but, with the use of an inferred device attached to his head, a computer communicates what he feels and thinks and, what’s more, Martin now works as a web designer and tells the amazing story of falling in love over the internet and getting married this year.

Martin’s life and future was transformed because one volunteer went the extra mile. She did more than was required. Doing just enough for Martin would have meant he would still be living his lonely, bored frustrated life, wishing he was dead.

A man lay on the road naked, beaten, battered and bruised, most likely close to death. But his turning point came when, unlike the many religious people who past him by, a Samaritan went the extra mile to help and restore this stranger. Luke 10:25-37

From a sermon by Joe Hayes, The Extra Mile pt 1 The Pleasure is worth the Pain, 1/3/2010

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