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Recently I organized a United Methodist Women’s Retreat on the theme of creation care. Nancy Sleeth was our retreat leader, and through discussion of the Blessed Earth Hope for Creation film series, we had time to swap stories and share ideas. I told the group about how living green through carpooling allowed me to pray with a new colleague who had lost touch with God. At the time of the retreat, I relayed how ride sharing opened a wonderful opportunity to do morning devotions together. Since then, the story has taken a dramatic turn that has revealed more clearly the greater purpose for our carpooling. Last fall the hospice team I work with hired a new supervisor named Denise. Denise and I discovered that we live only three miles from each other and decided to carpool to work. We realized very quickly that we had many things in common—love of fishing, family, and friends. We talked about many things in our lives, including our families. Our daily commute turned into morning devotionals when Denise noticed a new devotional in my car that had been given to me by a friend. The prayers naturally followed. During one of our conversations, Denise commented, “I think we are in this car for a reason.” Her husband lost his job a few years ago; since then, there has been much hurt as well as anxiety about losing their home. Denise had God in her heart, but their relationship had changed for awhile. The ministry in the car has been wonderful, and God works in us every time we ride together. A few weeks ago, Denise went to the hospital in great pain, and wound up having an appendectomy. The appendix turned out to be cancerous (with a rare form of cancer), and she needed follow up surgery to remove part of her colon. Since then, God has been with us in so many ways. We have talked and cried and prayed. Every devotion reminds us that He is there, holding her up as she goes. Even with faith, Denise and I are scared. We trust God, but we also live in the fear of what is going on. I have grown very close to this woman, and our relationship with God continues to grow every day. We knew God put us in this car together for a reason, and now we know what it is. I would like to ask friends of Blessed Earth to add Denise to their prayer lists. Pray for complete and miraculous healing. She also needs financial prayer as her husband is still out of work, house payments are overdue, and she is out of vacation time from work. She is now on leave without pay, and no there is no short-term disability. Carpooling opened a new opportunity for me to love God and love my neighbor. I pray that God will open new and unexpected “green” pathways for you, as well. Sherry Wagenknecht, UMC creation care retreat leader

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