(The following is in regard to the horrific dog attack which left Joslyn Stinchcomb, a Barrow County teenager, in intensive care in the hospital. She attended church in Jefferson.)

Dear Editor:

If you ever met Joslyn Stinchcomb in person, you would instantly notice her big, bright smile.

The first time I met her was in September of last year. I was a new Pastor in town and working hard to get to know everyone in the church and meet people in the area. One of my first Sundays, Joslyn and her grandparents visited our services. In this sea of new faces, her smile and sweet spirit beamed out through the crowd with a playful spirit and a joy about life. Soon, we learned that she was also a jokester. She often had a new joke or riddle for me when she arrived at church. Many jokes she had heard somewhere, but others she had thought up herself and was eager to share. Music is another integral part of her life. Her family sings together and she enjoys both singing with them and listening to others sing. When my daughter first heard about the dog attack, she was so saddened about the damage to Joslyn’s throat. She told me that Joslyn had recently said to her, “I love to sing, it makes me happy.”

So it was both heartbreaking and encouraging when her grandfather, Paul, told me that a few days ago, despite breathing tubes and other difficulties in her hospital room, she was trying to sing along as ‘Amazing Grace’ was playing in the background.

As many of your readers are aware, the recent dog attack has left Joslyn first clinging to life and now fighting to regain the life she had. Some things may never be the same for Joslyn, but I am asking God to help her keep her smile, her sweet spirt, and her ability to sing. Today, none of these are guaranteed, but with God all things are possible.

I’m so thankful for the outpouring of concern from the local communities. People are following her story, praying for her, sending cards and notes, donating towards her medical expenses, and offering to help in any way needed. I’m thankful for the deputy and first-responders who saved her life.

I’m thankful for the physicians who worked tirelessly, especially the first night, to preserve her life.

I’m thankful for the health care workers who go above and beyond to help Joslyn and to strengthen her grandparents, Paul and Sandra.

Most of all, I’m thankful for Joslyn. She is a sweet and precious girl whose genuine love for the people around her and for her God are the epitome of Matthew 18:4 – “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

 Sincerely

Matt Booher

Pastor, Jackson County Baptist Church

Jefferson

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