Thankful for my New Family at CCC

written by Lowell Entz for Jim Wagler
(the following was written by Lowell Entz, in conversation with his brother-in-law Jim—Sue’s brother)

Hi, my name is James Neal Wagler, but most people just call me Jim. I am 61 years old, and I live with Lowell & Sue. I grew up on a farm near Abbyville, KS, and most recently lived with my dad to help care for him until he died last December. I was baptized and became a member of my small country church in KS, and I also helped usher and sing in the choir. After my dad’s death, I moved here to Yukon.

As a newborn baby born in Sterling, KS, I contracted spinal meningitis in the hospital when I was born. I was expected to die as an infant from hydrocephalus, but an experimental device called a “shunt” saved my life.
This condition has limited me physically: I can’t run or play sports, or drive, or have a regular job outside the home (I’m pretty good at Yahtzee, though!). And it has impacted how I think: I have great memories from the relatives and farm people I grew up around— I can still tell you their old home phone numbers, birthdates, and many of their names and stories.  But I won’t usually remember your name, the Bible lessons that you teach me on Sunday, or even what Sue cooks for meals at our house (though I’d say it’s always really good!)

I am thankful for Covenant to be my home church now.  Even though you are WAY bigger than the church I grew up in, you have taken special notice of even the “little guys” like me.  You greet me on Sundays with my name-- though I can’t remember yours.  You’ve included me in the Legacy class and a weekly home group-- though I prefer to say very little. You keep me company and help me find my way around this big church-- when I lose track of Lowell or Sue. You’ve become my new church family.

You’ve even invited me to serve.  Helping with water coolers for Sports Camp.  Helping John set up the voting booths in the Fellowship Hall.  Helping Geoff and Alan at WaterServe on Thursday mornings.  You help me feel needed and useful—just like God says that every part of His body (at CCC) is useful and needed.

My favorite song is “How Great Thou Art.”  I’m glad we still sing that song here sometimes, because being at CCC has reminded me how great God has been in my own life.  And that is why I am thankful for my new family at CCC!
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