Power Of Prayer: Nacogdoches Man Finds Strength To Help Others - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

7/23/04-Nacogdoches

Power Of Prayer: Nacogdoches Man Finds Strength To Help Others

People on the south side of Nacogdoches probably have seen him "wheeling" by. Melvin Vaughn doesn't let the fact that he's in a wheel chair stop him from much anymore.

Mel's journey began ten years ago. He was headed home from work near Houston when he stopped to help a woman on the side of the road fix a flat tire. A stop that would change things forever. Moments after the stop, someone would come up from behind...shooting Mel and the woman leaving them for dead. Mel remembers his prayer spending months laying a hospital bed.

"But I did not ever say why me and be bitter about this. I knew that God would give me the answers in his own time and way," remembers Mel.

The answers have not always been easy. A bullet from that shooting still remains lodged near Mel's brain. His sight and hearing are impaired and injuries to his legs keeps in a wheel chair and it is very difficult for him to even speak. But months of prayer led Mel to a conclusion about his disability.

"For months I laid there and asked why did He spare me? Why He did? And for months He did not respond. But it came to me this is what He wanted for me to be the voice of disabled and low income people," says Mel.

That calling to help the disabled has become Mel's passion. He started a group called Nacogdoches Community on Disabilities. And has successfully championed a campaign to put sidewalks on property across the city. Mel says prayer and his own disability has changed the way he looks at life.

"But now he's wanting to reach out and to touch other peoples lives and say hey, disabled people have rights to and they have needs and we need to all pitch-in and help one another. That's what its all about anyway," says Mel's wife Gail.

Ten years after Mel's shooting, the crime remains unsolved. He says his faith has helped him forgive those responsible. And in his pain and disability...he now looks forward to everyday and the journey that is being paved through the power of prayer.

Clint Yeatts, Reporting.

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