Even though Smithville and Kingston are a four-hour drive from each other, Christian Reformed congregations in the two Ontario towns collaborated to provide care for the victim of a random and brutal attack.
Rev. Kevin te Brake, pastor of First CRC in Kingston, was given a news clipping about Darren Gibson, a Smithville man who sustained serious injuries while in Kingston.
Te Brake, a Smithville-area native, said he would pray for Gibson. “Not five minutes later,” he said, “Hilda Vanderklippe, a member of Smithville CRC, called.” She knows Gibson and his partner, Sue Shortridge, who attends a Coffee Break group in Smithville.
Vanderklippe said she felt convicted to call, wondering if something could be done for Gibson, though she was uncertain what help might be available. Te Brake responded with a trip to the hospital and then to the motel where members of Gibson’s family were staying.
“I was able to pray with Sue and ask, ‘What can we do for you?’” te Brake said. Shortridge asked for a meal. Within 15 minutes people were peeling potatoes.
A couple from the Kingston church also helped Shortridge acquire lodging for just $15 per night.
Vanderklippe said the Smithville church community is pitching in by babysitting Gibson and Shortridge’s toddler, chopping wood for their furnace, and providing meals. “And we pray for God to do a miracle in Darren’s life,” she said.
“God opened doors and prompted people’s hearts in multiple ways. We were simply being obedient,” said te Brake.
Despite the severity of his injuries, Darren Gibson was making a good recovery at the time of this writing.