Features

Saving Seth

"Saving Seth" Continued...

Issue: "The Battle for Africa," Feb. 8, 2014

In Deborah’s Sovereign Grace Church, her pastor Trey Richardson and his wife lead a small group for caregivers once a month. About four families meet at a local Applebee’s to share Scriptures and struggles, check up on each other’s progress, and pray for one another. “It’s very encouraging,” Deborah said. “We’re very open with each other, and we laugh about things we probably wouldn’t on a regular day.”

It took some time and guidance, but Deborah said members of her church have learned more about her son Seth’s illness. They seek ways to interact with him and take him out regularly. She said that members are learning that her son and others are “not unreachable—but they’ve been neglected for so long.” A doctor often only treats the brain as an organ with symptoms. The church, however, can treat the whole person by lifting the hopelessness, unhappiness, and self-worthlessness that obstruct a person’s ability to worship and glorify God.

Once a week, Seth meets with his pastor, Trey Richardson, for biblical counseling. Seth’s love for his church hasn’t wavered, and even if sometimes he walks out in the middle of a sermon, Richardson uses that incident to teach him about the fruit of the Spirit. Recently he asked Seth, “What was your happiest moment this week?” Seth replied: “When I’m in church.”

One afternoon at church after his biblical counseling session, Seth prayed, “Dear Father, I pray that you enlighten us today in our walk with you. … Thank you for our church and family. May we come to love you more and more. … Amen.”

“Well said, well said,” replied Richardson.

Later, Richardson told me that Seth and his family have blessed both him and the church, as members have watched God’s promises transform into real fruits through the Geeslings’ trial: “It’s amazing to see someone not just talking about it, but living it out. You can read a book or an article about it, but it’s not the same as when you see a life actually living it.”

—This was part one of Sophia Lee’s investigation. In part two she writes about a young woman dealing with bipolar disorder, a young man whose condition tortures his mother and himself, and what government and churches are doing—and not doing.

The sources for the information in the graphic are the National Institute of Mental Health, National Alliance on Mental Illnesses, National Alliance to End Homelessness, and Treatment Advocacy Center.

Sophia Lee
Sophia Lee

Sophia is a features reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the University of Southern California with degrees in print journalism and East Asian language and culture. She lives in Los Angeles with her cat, Shalom. Follow Sophia on Twitter @SophiaLeeHyun.

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