Are four-wheeler riders a problem? Are you the problem? You are either the solution to the problem, or you are part of the problem. There has been a lot of talk about the four-wheeler riders. I personally love them. They are just kids enjoying the summer.

There is no movie theatre in Bullock County, no bowling alley, and nowhere for the kids to be kids. What would you have our children do? Are four-wheelers dangerous? Anything can be dangerous if it’s not handled properly. I enjoy watching them ride, but it hurts my spirit very deeply when I see them without a helmet to protect their precious heads. If you fall, your head is not protected and will hit the ground first, and that pavement doesn’t move.

Many say the police should give them a ticket, for what? I have never seen so many cruel and evil people in my life. They say four-wheelers are off-road vehicles. I don’t know, but I will find out. Many ride bicycles on the road. When my husband and I were operating Jernigan’s Citgo, Jeff was one of my favorite delivery men.

He drove the Budweiser truck. He was a young white man, full of life, and acted as if he never had a bad day in his life. I could tell it was Jeff at the store by the sound of the screeching his brakes would make when coming to a stop. One Monday morning, Jeff walked in with his head down.

I passed him my order, and he passed it on to his helper. Jeff stood in front of the ice cooler and crossed his ankles. “Mrs. Jernigan, may I talk to you?” Of course, I agreed; however, in my mind, I told myself; another marriage problem.

Jeff said, “My son’s teacher’s little boy was riding his four-wheeler and tried to take it up an embankment. He didn’t succeed, and it landed on top of him and hit his head. I wanted to know if you would go with me to pray over him?” Jeff offered to pay for my gas because the little one was in the I.C.U. in Dothan. I said I would need to talk it over with Mr. Jernigan that night and see when he could take me.

He agreed, and as he turned to leave, he said, “Mrs. Jernigan, he is a white child.” I told him not to play with me. I don’t care if he is the color of Barney! Jeff laughed and said, “I knew that.” That Thursday, my husband drove me down to Dothan.

The hospital waiting room was so full that people were standing up against the walls. When we walked in, we were the only African Americans in the I.C.U. waiting room. All eyes were on me when I announced to the nurses who we were.

The nurses told me all at the same time, “We know who you are.” They were only able to take us back three at a time, so his mother, sister, and I went into the boy’s room. I had my anointing oil with me. As I walked into the room, it broke my heart to see a twelve-year-old boy lying there lifeless. I rubbed my anointing oil on the boy’s feet and legs.

I rubbed it down both arms and hands and asked God to give this Mom a miracle. I kept praying and rubbing him over and over again. All of a sudden, he began to twist and turn. His mother shouted, “There is life in him!” His sister ran back to the waiting room and told the others. I prayed to God, and he spoke to me. I heard God clear as I have ever heard him before.

God told me, “He will be ok and will be awake and up in a few days. He will sing for me.” I asked his mother if he sang, and she replied, no, ma’am. I told her that he would join the Youth Choir and sing for the Lord. She hugged me, and we returned home.

The next Monday morning, I heard Jeff’s truck pulling in. I stood up to look out the window as Jeff was walking up to the store. He was walking very fast, so I came from around the counter to meet him. When he pushed the door opened, he asked,” Mrs. Jernigan may I hug you? My wife also asked to give you a huge hug as well as several other people.”

I opened my arms, and as I did, Jeff lifted me off the ground in the biggest hug I’d ever received. Jeff informed me that the child woke up and has no sign of any brain damage. He received a clean bill of health.

I wish our children had a safe place to ride. People are too afraid of them getting hurt on their property and having lawsuits drawn up against them.

They could even do like the carnival does and add a sign stating to “Ride at your own risk.” It bothers me when I hear all the negative remarks about the police giving tickets. That would put a hardship on the parents. The word of God say’s “Don’t oppress the poor.”

How cruel can you be? Every generation, in their teens, wants to enjoy life to its fullest. When I was a teenager, I wanted to listen to Rock and Roll music and dance. My parents never allowed us to go to the Friday night dances at school from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

They felt that you would go to Hell in a handbasket if you listened to that type of music. That scare tactic did not last long with us. We didn’t have a television, so we were in bed at nine o’clock. But when we went to the bedroom, we slipped out the window. We thought maybe by the time we got there, the handbasket would be full.

Maybe that handbasket is not quite all the way full, and there is a reserved seat for those who are cruel to the children. Then maybe God will drop the handbasket! I remember when the town had a problem with drag racing. I asked my son why they didn’t go to the drag track? He said, “They are trying to get together to do that.”

I offered my help. I told him to bring his friends to the store, and I would help organize everything. I got a call one night from him stating that everyone was at the store waiting. When I got there, there was a huge crowd of young men. I told them I wanted to help them get a club together, but they promised me that they would no longer race in the streets. I bought everyone a t-shirt and a hat that read Real 9A Racing Team.

Someone asked if I would make jackets? I told them I would design them, but they had to buy the jackets. The 9A Racing team lined up every week at the store and went to the track. That ended the street racing. You are either part of the solution, or you are part of the problem. It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness!

Prophetess Catherine Jernigan

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