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Thu, Aug. 01, 2013 Posted: 08:43 AM

I have followed the story of Trayvon Martin’s murder. I have observed his parents as they endured this challenging season of their lives. As I watched them and read about their struggle, I have often said to myself this is the face of courage under fire. Reportedly, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin divorced in 1999 when Trayvon was three years old. Despite their divorce, they made a conscientious decision to put aside their differences and to co-parent their child. For fourteen years after the divorce, his parents did their best to ensure that he felt loved, cared for and protected. Together they established rules and guidelines for his life. Together they provided discipline and structure for him.

As a parent, I empathize with their pain for this is any parent’s worst nightmare. I am reminded of Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel Pendleton who experience tragedy of their murder child 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton. Only a parent who has experience this can truly say they share their pain. These parents represent the portrait of courage under fire. They have not had the opportunity to grieve properly for their child privately. Their grief has been open for the world to see. They have carried themselves with grace and dignity throughout this ordeal. they have continued to HONOR THEIR GOD AND TO SHOW THE WORLD THAT HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT.

Tracy Martin shared this thoughts after the verdict of the trial was announced “Even though I am broken hearted my faith is unshattered I WILL ALWAYS LOVE MY BABY TRAY”. Sybrina Fulton recently stated, "At times, I feel like I am a broken vessel." At times, I don’t know if I’m going or coming. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is using me and God is using my family to make a change, to make a difference.” I encouraged you to read the following:

When I think about this season of testing that they are going through it reminds me of the refinery fire of God. These scriptures come to mind: 1 Peter 1:7 So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 48:10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. Job 23:10 But he knows the way that I take; when he hath tried me I shall come forth a gold. This indicates that while you are in the fire that the master never leaves your side but sit there waiting and watching for he knows the exact moment to bring you out. We have his promise that he will never put any more on us than we can bear and that he is always with us.

I wrote a song in 2008 titled “Where do they go? This is part of the lyrics to that song:

Verse: Kids can't even go to the candy store

Another child caught in the crossfire

Broken hearted mothers cry how many more

Another stray bullet has changed so many lives

Chorus: Where do they go the innocent soul?

Their lives were cut short now

They will never grow old

The innocent soul where do they go?

Bridge: The angel with tears in his eyes

quickly takes away the innocent one

from earth to heaven he flies

into Jesus’ arm he places the child,

Into Jesus’ arm he places the child

SPEAK THE ANSWER NOT THE PROBLEM. THE ANSWER IS IN THE WORD OF GOD. Heavenly Father, we lift up this family and every family that are in similar situations to you. We pray for their strength according to Psalm 28:7 NIV

 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.

· We pray for their courage according to Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

We send the word of healing to them according to: Psalms 107:19-20 Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. 20 He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

· We pray for their faith to be strengthened and remain steadfast according to Mark 11:22 KJV And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

· We encourage them to remember 2 Chron 20:15,17 KJV And he said , Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's. Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed ; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.

God you are the only one who can take what the enemy meant for evil and bring good out of it. We stand in agreement with them in faith, trusting you to right every wrong. We weep with those who weep and ask you to comfort them through the power of the Holy Ghost. We yet bow down and worship you for you are God; all knowing, all seeing and you hear the cry of the righteous and will answer. You reign and all power belongs to you.

Yvonne Perkins