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Oct/Nov 2006








by Todd Smith

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IN 1993, ERIC BRADSHAW WAS DIAGNOSED with osteogenesis imperfecta, a disorder related to soft and brittle bones. In his youth, Eric had very few straight bones in his lower legs and feet. In 1998, due to his worsening condition, both legs were amputated above the knees. Doctors at John Hopkins Hospital who provide care for him have determined that nothing further can be done for his condition. In addition to his own health challenges, his wife Jolynn continues to deal with a significant brain condition—discovered after an automobile accident some years back. She has undergone 12 brain surgeries, and even lost her eyesight temporarily due to a drainage shunt.

Despite their disabilities and setbacks in life,
Eric and Jolynn are determined to let God use them
however He sees fit.

Despite their disabilities and setbacks in life, Eric and Jolynn are determined to let God use them however He sees fit. They have been members at Temple Free Will Baptist Church, Darlington, South Carolina, for almost a year. Pastor Todd Parrish, says that Eric is very faithful in the Lord’s work there. He serves as an usher and greeter, is a member of a FAITH outreach ministry team, works with Bible tic tac toe, and volunteers with the Master’s Men program. Earning his education as a Master Gardener from Clemson University enabled Eric to lay out all the ground work for the landscaping of Temple Church’s new 13,000-square-foot building.

In June 2006, Eric Bradshaw organized a Master’s Men ministry trip to Southside Free Will Baptist Home Missions Church, in Aiken, South Carolina. The team included former missionary to Spain Doug Chamberlin, Mike Jones, Wayne Woodham, Pastor Todd Parrish, and Eric.

As the pastor of the Southside church, I worked with Eric on that hot Saturday in June, and I saw a man who did not allow his setbacks in life to hinder him from blessing others. As we placed rubber edging around the raised flowerbeds, Eric said to me, “Brother Smith, God has blessed our church so much that we feel we should be a blessing to others.” In my heart, I knew that the concept of his statement was so true, yet coming from this incredible individual meant so much to me as a home missionary. Eric said this mission trip was only the first of many other mission trips that they hope to take.

I learned a great deal from Eric Bradshaw that day. So many of us have been blessed with good health, yet we often make excuses about why we can’t or don’t want to help in God’s Kingdom work. I hope Eric’s story causes you—as it did me—to realize how blessed we are and how much more we need to be involved in God’s work. Despite your circumstances, God can and wants to use you in His work! Are you willing to be a blessing?


ABOUT THE WRITER: Todd Smith is a home missionary in Aiken, SC.



©2007 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists