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February 5, 2012

Talents have been a recurring theme here at St. John recently. Gary has preached on it, Chuck touched on it today, and Nichole will have tested you for them by the time this reaches you. I believe that Lydia's talent is singing and mine, well, I hope to learn what it is on Wednesday.

We have experienced first hand what so many of your talents are during this difficult time. We want to say thank you for sharing your talents with us. We are blessed to have all of you as our church family. You have shown us so much love through your thoughts and prayers, cards, phone calls, donations, and so much more. We couldn't have handled all this without you, and we are humbled and grateful for your support.

So many people have helped us along the way that we fear we might have missed someone and if we did, please forgive us. So bear with us through thank you after thank you.
First, to Beth Dixon for organizing meals for both hospital and home. Thank you to those of you who prepared and delivered the meals to us. Thank you for the unceasing prayer. Thank you to those who kept a steady supply of coffee coming for Lydia.

A warm thanks to Bonnie Hodges for lending us Mike's prayer quilt until one was made for Jason. It was an honor and a source of great comfort for us. Lydia slept under it several nights at the hospital. Thanks, of course, to Paula Matson and the prayer quilt ministry for the wonderful Clemson blanket. For all the prayers prayed over the knots we thank you and we recognize that it may have been hard for some of you to tie knots in a Clemson blanket. Thank you all for the visits and those who continued to tie those knots and kept our spirits up those first two weeks. I don't think we even knew how much we needed them at the time. Thank you to the choir for invading Jason's tiny little room and singing "Happy Birthday" to him- it was beautiful!

Thank you to Mark Maund for having perfect timing and showing up in Jason's hospital room in Atlanta the first night they were there. Everything had finally slowed down from the move and Lydia realized she was by herself and was a little "freaked out." Thanks to Nancy Buchhannan for continuing the food delivery and visits in Atlanta. Thanks to Pam, Stephanie, and the youth group for hanging out during their recent day trip to the city.

Thank you to those of you involved in the fundraising with the bracelets, Especially Kimberly and Russell Blanchard, and those of you that purchased them. Seeing them on your wrists brings a smile to our faces. Thank you Lizzie for organizing the Zumbathon and to the members who participated. We have been shown time and time again here at St. John what is possible with Christ and what prayers can do. Thank you for your prayers for us and thank you for loving us like you do.

A huge thank you to those who volunteered their time in the office during Lydia's absence. She can't wait to get back to the job she loves.

Finally a thank you to Gary and Luanne. They were there at the emergency room at 3am. They called or came by every day at the hospital. They talked and prayed and cried and laughed with us and helped keep our sanity. And they kept you all informed of our plans and progress. They were and are wonderful shepherds. Aren't we all blessed to have them here at St. John! God is good, all the time.

And St. John you are the best family anyone could ever have.

With Love and Thanks,
Eric and Lydia Presnell