The following is the testimony of my friend, Daniel Barham. Daniel and I attend the same church. I wish you could see the amazing joy Daniel constantly displays. If you have a few minutes, please read this:

God gave me loving parents who have done everything they could to give me a normal life.

I was born in 1960. I was an identical twin. My brother David (first twin) died at birth. I was damaged at birth. I have Ataxia a form of Cerebral Palsy. My disability is speech, Dyspepsia and slight dexterity problems. I had an underbite, my tongue worked backwards and I drooled. I couldn’t use my tongue or lips to eat or talk. My face has little feeling.

My mom was once asked “Are you going to put him away?” My parents were strong for me.

At the age of two I attended Easter Seal School in Washington, DC. were I received therapy to help me with my many problems. Then I attended kindergarten and grade school at Holly Park School in College Park, Maryland. I was in the Special Education wing; there I saw children who were a lot worse off than me. I was one of the few that could run and play like a normal kid.

A few years went by Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore said that I was not receiving a good education. They encouraged my parents to have me moved to a regular class room. My parents did everything they could to get me out of the special school. My parents were told “ Danny will not make it in regular school and if you take him out he won’t be able to come back”.

God continued to watch over me. My parent’s main streamed me into regular school before that was acceptable. I was put in 5th grade, two years behind my age. I had a great male teacher and classmates. I learned to play Chess. Some of the boys in my class were in the Lewisdale Boys Club and played on 70 pound Lewisdale Lions football team. I joined the Lewisdale Boys Club and started playing football. I won a starting position on the defense line.

The next summer we move to Bowie, Maryland were I started 6th grade. From 6th grade on I saw how mean kids and the real world can be. I had to be strong to face each day.

When I was fifteen years old, sitting on the living room floor like an Indian cross- legged watching the Washington Redskins, and eating ice cream. At that moment I had a seizure and my face turned blue and stopped breathing. My parents called for help and tried to get me breathing again. I believed in God but didn’t know God! I left my body not knowing what was going on. One minute I was watching the game the next minute I found myself somewhere else. I found myself moving, like floating in the air. I could see but as I looked around I realize my body was gone! I asked myself: “Where is my body”? It was almost black around me, but as I was floating it was getting brighter and brighter. I could see ahead of me in the distance a Gate. It was gold with two lion heads on the gate. In the Bible, God is the LION of JUDAH, KING of KINGS. The gate was closed, it was God’s way of saying it wasn’t my time. The next thing I knew I was outside my house on my way to the hospital. As time went on I started to compare my experience with the Bible and realize they both match up! That can only mean one thing
God is real and Jesus is our Savior. The answer is Faith!

God continued to change my life ; always keeping me strong.

A few years later, I continued to have more corrective surgery. This time to have all of my my saliva glands taken out. This solved my drooling problem – no more drool. I was the thirteenth person in the world to have this type of surgery. It took all my courage to face my classmates and keep focused on my lessons. It was hard for people to understand what was wrong with me and accept me. (This is true even today.)
But God was there for me.

In 1977, I started classes at Bowie High School. God continues to open doors for me and he gave me special friends. I was given a chance to join the Bowie High School Cross Country team. My friend Jim Bouchard was the captain of the team. . His family was my second family. We have been friends for the past 35 years

From 1978 to 1980 there was more surgeries. My tongue was shortened and my jaw moved back. I was wired shut for six weeks.

In 1980, I received my High School diploma.

My mom help me get a job with Volkswagen Of America as a warehouseman. It was a great job; but the unkindness continued. But, most of all I was able to stay strong because of my faith.

Then in 1989, I faced a life threatening situation. My jaw had moved forward again. The doctor’s thought I would not be able to survive another surgery. I had too much scare tissue. We found another doctor who though he could help me. Staying strong – I knew that God had kept me here for a purpose. My jaw was moved back again, cheek implants and my chin shortened. For first time in my life I could put my lips together.
I had been working at Volkswagen for fourteen years. They moved the warehouse to New Jersey. I prayed to God for direction . I decided not to make the move to New Jersey. I started working part time at the US Naval Academy Gift Shop and took classes at Anne Arundel Community College. In 2000, I got my Two Year Associate of Arts Degree.

This was about the time I started listen to Christian music. God was at work again!

I got to go see “The Darins” a Christian singing group. They are four sisters. Two of the sisters have epilepsy. I met them and told them my story. They asked me to be able to use my story in their newsletter. We been special friends for 13 years.

God continued to open doors for me to be a volunteer at Meals On Wheels. For two years I did a 50 mile route three days a week. After my family move to Arkansas, God opened the door again for me. I had another Meals on Wheels route here in Conway. I deliver meals for 18 to 32 seniors at two apartment buildings. I been doing this route, three days a week for seven years. At times I maybe the only person my clients see that day. I found that I need to be strong for others.

I am a sports nut! I play basketball and softball with my brothers in Christ. That is how I met my good friends Robert Isby and Daniel Faulkner. This is given me an opportunity to have fellowship with my brothers. I was playing on another church team and meet my good friend Brooks Ruhman who was on the Antioch team. We were friendly rivals. We were the top two teams in the league.

Two years ago, my family came to Antioch. Daniel and Jessica Faulkner who been my friends for 8 years attend Antioch. They made me feel welcomed.

Brooks saw me when I walk in the door of Antioch. He remember me and he said “ He is the one who beat us in the softball game”. I caught two pop ups. That was the year my softball team and Antioch end up with a 15-1 record. Now I am on Brook’s softball team. We have fun beating the another Antioch softball team…. and needle my brothers.

Stay strong! God is in control! He has plans for each of us. Anything is possible with God on your side! God’s Word, my parents, fellowship and singing Christian songs to God help me stay strong!

I have been asked – ” Do you think you could be healed by prayer?”
My response – “That would be nice; but I don’t think so. GOD USES ME THE WAY I AM.”