Jesus is my friend. He’s always with me, and He talks to me.” This is Mary’s assessment after being homeless and experiencing a potentially fatal accident last month. This is Mary’s song.
Mary Derr moved up to Portland and found a job as a cashier working at a Jewish shop. Surprisingly, she didn’t learn about Sabbath at work, but because Jesus brought the matter to her mind. She was intrigued.
When she suddenly found herself without a place to live, Mary left Portland and drove to Vancouver to sleep at an interstate rest area. That's where she met a couple who told her how they had been helped by the Seventh-day Adventist Community Church of Vancouver when they were homeless.
With a detailed map in her hand, Mary found the church, and asked for a possible place to stay. She was told the approval process would take some time, but she was surprised to hear soon after that the church would provide her with a place to stay. That was when she discovered the Bible seminar Prophecies Decoded would begin in just days. She decided to come. She owed it to Jesus to learn about the Sabbath.
Mary attended the meetings night after night, her heart connected with the leading of the Spirit in her life. She thanked Jesus for every new truth she learned, and determined to be faithful to Him. When Dr. Ron Clouzet spoke about standing with Jesus and for Jesus in baptism, she responded with an enthusiastic “Yes.” Of the 42 people baptized or accepted by profession of faith to date, Mary was among the first baptized, on Sabbath, September 26. There was joy and peace on her face. She had found the place where Jesus lived.
On the last night of the meetings, October 11, Mary and her new-found friend, Sharon Gutman, who had re-consecrated her life, were driving home when a drunk-driver plunged into them.
“His car looked like it aimed for us, and accelerated before hitting us,” said Mary. “Jesus said, ‘Hold on, you’ll be OK.’” The vehicle hit Sharon’s car with such force that it flipped over three times, and the driver's side collision did not deploy the airbags.
You could expect the worse. “Jesus told me how to get out of the car, through a window,” Mary said. She had only scratches and bruises, no broken bones. Sharon was hurt badly, and the EMTs had to pull her out with the jaws of life before rushing her to the hospital. Sharon has a cracked sternum and skull, but no internal or other injuries. Her spirits are amazingly high, saying, “Jesus saved us from the worst.”
Mary thinks that the enemy tried to snuff them out, now that both of them had surrendered all to Christ. But she’s convinced this near tragedy will serve to bring glory to Him.
And this is Mary’s song.