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A few months after a devastating traffic collision left Wesley and Stephanie Collins seriously injured, students at Dunnville Christian School surprised the couple with donations they raised with a school project.

The grade 7/8 class created colorful wristbands designed to encourage prayer from the wider community. With the inscription “Don’t give up Pastor Wes and Steph,” the bands were distributed to the whole student body, at the nursing home where Stephanie Collins worked, and to the congregation of Riverside Christian Reformed Church (Wellandport, Ontario) where Wesley Collins served as pastor.

The accident on August 28, 2014, left the couple with severe trauma requiring weeks of hospital care and later specialized brain injury clinic care for Wes, who was released to continue recovery at home in mid-November. Both are now walking and improving their mobility day by day with physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Wes continues with speech and other therapies as well.

The wristband project started as a math application problem in teacher Hannah VanderWeir’s class after a student suggested ordering bracelets as a prayer reminder for the Collins. A group was assigned to research the details of how many bracelets to order and how much various features cost. After a parent donated some seed money, the production became a reality. 

To date, the project has raised $850. “We exceeded what anybody thought we would,” said Kristen Oudman, 13, who attends Riverside CRC with her family. “I was happy with the amount of donations that we have collected. The prayer that Pastor Wes and Steph have been receiving is amazing!”

Wes said he was uplifted by the gifts and knowing that his community is holding him and his wife in prayer. “It’s dependence on God that has got us through this,” he said.

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