Through hardships, a strong lesson

From Staff Reports

Kings Home President Lew Burdette has been through some unimaginable hardships during his lifetime.

At only 15 years old, and only two days after Christmas in 1974, Burdette was kidnapped and held for ransom. While he was leaving work at his father’s grocery store at about 6 p.m., he was forced into a light blue Mustang at gunpoint by two young men just a few years older than him.

“They proceeded to tell me that they were kidnapping me for a ransom of $250,000, and wanted to know if my dad could get them the money that night,” Burdette said during last week’s Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce prayer breakfast at the Pelham Civic Complex.

After realizing that their plan had some flaws and was far-fetched, the men drove to a remote area in the woods and directed him at gunpoint to walk away from the dirt road and through thick brush for about 30 yards. When they instructed him to stop, they hit him the back of the head with the butt of the gun leaving a big gash in his head.

Burdette was then stabbed once in the chest and three more times in the back before being dragged to an old abandoned well and thrown into the 30-foot-deep hole and covered with pieces of concrete foundation in an attempt to keep him in the well.

The men then fired several gunshots at Burdette, with one striking him in the head, before the men left him for dead.

Miraculously, Burdette said God gave him the strength to climb out of the well and crawl to a nearby shack for help. Doctors told his parents that there was a 5-10 percent chance that he would survive through the night. He had a collapsed lung and severe shock and loss of blood.

But to the doctors’ surprise, he survived and was released from the hospital in two weeks.

Through the ordeal, Burdette said he learned some valuable lessons, including to always have faith in God, even when the odds seem impossible.

What a wonderful message going into the Christmas season.

For many, this time of the year can bring about grief, depression and sadness. If you are facing any of these hardships, take heed of Burdette’s example.

No matter what you’re going through, you always have the strength to climb upward, seek help and overcome it.