Church celebrates ‘Miss Juanita’ and her Good Samaritan

Published 7:27 pm Monday, April 4, 2011

Sunday was a day of celebration at Mount Zion Baptist Church in Brundidge – a celebration of life and also a celebration of those who honor life.

The church family and friends came together to celebrate the life of one of its most loved and cherished members, Juanita Wilkes, and to thank a “Good Samaritan” for “saving the life of Miss Juanita.”

Destany Gobin, a sports medicine major at Troy University, gave the breath of life to Wilkes when she collapsed at the Santa Fe Cattle Company on Valentine’s Day, as “an instrument of God,” said Pastor Jerry Wilkes.

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“I want to thank Destany for allowing God to use her in saving Juanita’s life,” Wilkes said. “Destany used what God has given her for His glory.”

Gobin is a waitress at the Troy restaurant and is certified in CPR. When Juanita Wilkes collapsed, Gobin used her skills to get Wilkes breathing again and sustained her until paramedics arrived.

Jennifer Sanders said God had placed Gobin where she needed to be and gave her the courage to do what had to be done.

Wilkes was taken to Troy Regional Medical Center and then transferred by helicopter to a Dothan hospital where family and friend gathered in prayer.

“The doctors didn’t think that Miss Juanita would make it,” said Michelle Long. “But they didn’t have the last word.”

Church members and friends began to pray without ceasing for Wilkes and “God called his angels together and gave them a special task – performing a miracle for Miss Juanita.”

School children bowed their heads in prayer for Miss Juanita, their church teacher and friend.

“In one class, a little boy asked if the children could get down on their knees to pray for Miss Juanita,” Monte Carter said. “God saw them and heard their prayers.”

Jody Floyd said that Wilkes has a tremendous impact on all of those who know her.

“Miss Juanita has the ability to make all of us feel special,” he said. “She reaffirms my faith in God.”

Wilkes wiped tears away as she search for adequate words to say “thank you” to Gobin for giving her a chance at life and to all of those who prayed so earnestly and diligently for her recovery.

“I always thought that I would have time to get my life in order but I know that there’s not always time for that,” Wilkes said. “But there was a reason I didn’t die. There was a reason for me to come back.”

Then Wilkes added in true “Miss Juanita” fashion, “God was not ready for me and the devil didn’t want me.”

Wilkes expressed deep appreciation to Gobin the young woman “who didn’t know me.”

“Destany didn’t hesitate. She stepped up and I am so thankful to her,” Wilkes said. “She is my Good Samaritan.”

Wilkes said that she has tried to live her life in accordance with God’s plans but now that is even more important to her because “I know that people are watching me.”

“I’m going to live every day doing more of what God wants me to do,” she said. “When my life is over, what will I be remembered for? I am satisfied with Jesus, but is He satisfied with me? Oh, I want my Lord to be satisfied with me.”

Long said Wilkes has touched so many lives and many that she might never about. “God leaves his fingerprint on all that He touches and He has left a large fingerprint on Miss Juanita,” she said.