The father of 7-year-old Eva Sherbondy, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling from a golf cart, tells CBN News, "God is drawing people towards him through Eva's story. If God didn't have a plan, He would have taken her home."
In an interview with CBN News, Dugan Sherbondy walked through the initial moments following his daughter's accident.
Thursday, August 22nd 5:40 pm
"After getting the call from our neighbor saying Eva hit her head and was unresponsive, I just assumed she had hit her head really hard and had a concussion. But when I arrived, which was at the same time the ambulance was arriving, and I saw her, I knew something was wrong."
Paramedics intubated Eva on the way to the hospital, where she immediately underwent emergency brain surgery.
That evening, Dugan publicly called on the church to join him in prayer, while invoking the healing words of Jesus in Mark chapter 5:
Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!") Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. - Mark 5:41-42
Eva: The Hebraic Derivative for "Life, Life-Giver"
Dugan described the medical staff's prognosis as "grim" but holds his faith strong that God has a bigger plan ahead.
"The likely outcome looks very grim. Doctors are saying that Eva will likely not be able to see or walk, and possibly not move her arms again. But we named Eva after the biblical term for 'life' and I don't think we named her that by coincidence."
One of the words that has continually been rattling around in my spirit through this process, especially in the last few days, has been the word: Expectant. I am so EXPECTANT of what God is and will do in healing Eva. Of course I wish the Lord was doing it quicker, but I am choosing to 100% trust His timing but as I wait, there is this buzz in my soul of expecting Him to move in an undeniably powerful way. The word expectant is also the perfect word to describe Jesus in two major accounts of healing. So often Jesus is thought of as being this very somber, stoic Swedish guy who never smiled and used big words nobody knew how to spell. But the more I study Scripture, the more I see that Jesus was fun! (In fact for more on this subject, you can check out an entire sermon I did all about how Jesus was funny here: https://vimeo.com/259008831) Jesus was fun! He liked kids, teased the religious leaders, and drew random stuff in dirt with his finger! The two accounts where I see some of Jesus’ expectant joy are: 1). When He healed Jairus’ daughter, and 2). When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. In looking at Mark 5, despite all the fear and sadness of people around Him, it seems very clear that Jesus knew the story would have a good ending. After a messenger told Jairus his daughter had died, Jesus immediately said: “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” (vs. 36). Then upon arriving at Jairus’ home and seeing all the people wailing, He said: “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” (vs. 39) So it seems clear Jesus knew what was coming, He expected the miracle. Similarly, in John 11 when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, there is zero evidence throughout the account that He is anything but expectant and excited about the miracle that was going to happen! Here’s the evidence: ⁃The first time Jesus is told Lazarus is sick, He responds: “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” (vs. 4) ⁃Also right after this, Jesus decides to stay 2 extra days before going to see Lazarus. (vs. 5) (Please Continue reading in comments!)
Grieving Parents Lean on Jesus for Comfort
Lindsay and Dugan's social media posts reflect the Psalms. At times there are moments of praise, and then at times there are transparent cries of darkness and sorrow.
In an August 28th Instagram post, Lindsay describes her and Dugan's moments of frustration.
"We find ourselves wondering out loud, 'God, what is taking so long?!!!!!!' The prognosis is grim. I can't go into it, because I want to speak life, so I will just say that this is going to take the miracle we've all been praying for."
"God is able to handle our darkest prayers. I think God would rather hear an authentic 'I hate you' than a fake 'I love you.' There are moments of confusion. I think of stories where guys' parachutes don't deploy properly and they survive with a broken finger. Eva falls two feet and might not be able to walk or see again," Dugan told CBN News.
He went on to describe the ups and downs as having one constant element: Jesus.
"None of this changes who Jesus is. Not everything in the life of a Christian is easy, but Jesus is with us the whole time. My perspective on eternity is miniscule and I cannot base my knowledge of God on this sliver of temporal knowledge I have on a God outside of time."
The Church Is on Full-Display, and God Is Bringing People In
The Sherbondy's local church and the entire body of Christ are on auto-pilot in their prayer, care, and logistical support. The couple has two children: Eva and a three-year-old son. Dugan described the church as being extremely helpful with everything from food to taking care of their younger son. The way the church has reacted to Eva's story has become a means of God drawing people to Him.
"One of the most encouraging elements to this is seeing God drawing people towards him from all different places in life."
Dugan is an author, speaker, and teaching pastor at Heartland Church in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Lindsay runs a popular calligraphy and art business called Lindsay Letters Co.
Through their platforms, they have been able to reach many people who have not put their faith in Jesus.
"One follower told me that they had wandered from their faith some years ago but seeing the church's response to Eva has reignited their faith. I didn't know what God was up to on August 22nd, but now I'm like, 'heck yea, God is working!'"
It’s Ash again- Eva is out of surgery and in the words of the surgeon “she did great.” As a matter of precaution- he decided to put a drain in, which means- due to protocol- we’re back in the PICU. BUT- the team down here is amazing and we know Eva is loved and in good hands (both God’s and the nurses & medical team) She’s peaceful and resting and even got a new hairdo. Lindsay said today that it feels like we are playing a real life game of Chutes and Ladders- working so hard to climb the ladders and then one step forward and all of the sudden feels like a fast slide down. To which I said, “best description ever.” So today we’re focusing on resting and stretching and celebrating how far she’s come. And we’re expectant for all that is yet to come. And prayerfully there are more ladders and less chutes #evalove
Dugan and Lindsay update their Instagram accounts routinely on Eva's condition and transparently share how they are walking with Jesus through this dark season.
A GoFundMe has been registered to assist with medical and logistical expenses.