Larry Webster loves the out of doors.  Especially gardening. 

But he wasn’t tending roses in 1981 when he was rushed to a hospital and declared close to death just because of a sting!  Larry was not allergic to bees or wasps.  He had had stings before and except for a little pain and lots of itching, they were never much more lasting than mosquito bites.  But this day, in 1981, was different.  He was busily painting a house when a bee or wasp stung him.  He began to feel faint and in distress and climbed down off his ladder.  His painting crew member heard him and ran up, shouting, “Larry, are you alright?”  Larry gave his big smile and said almost inaudibly, “Sure, it was just a little sting.”  But, Larry was not all right.  He lost consciousness.  He was dying.  Doctors discovered that the sting was on an artery and that he was very close to death.  Larry didn’t remember being taken to the hospital.  He didn’t know how little chance there was that he would live.  It was only in the amazement of the doctors and the relief and tearful joy on the faces of his family standing by his bedside, that he woke up to, understood what a gift he had been given.  The gift of Life itself!

Larry turned to God.  He knew that his first act of gratitude must be to join a church.  He also wanted so much to repay God for saving his life, but how?  He’d love to give more money to the church but he helped support a family member with special needs so he couldn’t.  Still, he prayed and prayed to God to show him how that could be possible. 

Larry kept on with his teaching of biology, chemistry, physics and environmental education.  He had had experience and had natural abilities in many areas, so he supplemented his teaching income by developing “Webster Handyman Services”. 

But, still he wanted to give more to help the church, it continued to bother him until one morning he knew the answer, and he knew it had come from God!  In 1985 he had married his wife, Peggy and they were strong members of The Historic First United Methodist Church in Rogers, Arkansas.The very first visit had made their minds up.  This was the church they had searched for.  They loved it deeply and its members were “just like family”.  Since He couldn’t give extra money to the church, he would paint it.  He knew he could save the church thousands of dollars.  So, week after week, Larry painted– He painted all alone, perched on tall ladders, until every wall up to the high ceilings was pure white.

It made him happy and satisfied.  His volunteer skills had already landed him on the Trustees Committee, and as a volunteer he continued for four three-year terms.  He found there was no limit to improvement projects in the century old facility. 

God had answered Larry’s dilemma by helping him see that there was a unique way to express his gratitude by using his own talents.  God also gave him an assurance of Guidance and Fulfillment and Presence in his life.

Larry continues to give of himself at the church and in other ways: While Don and I were restoring a Methodist Camp in Chile, we heard that Larry and Peggy had lost their daughter to death. How amazed we were when they joined a mission work team and came four thousand miles to help us do jobs that we could never, ourselves, have afforded to hire done!

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As a Master Gardener, Larry not only plants and beautifies his yards, but also finds joy in teaching and demonstrating to others, the newest methods for successfully growing trees. 

Comments: 1

  1. does he save bees? Looks like he’d be afraid

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