A prayer for Ina

  • Monday, July 7, 2014

SITTING IN HER coffee shop in Kingstree, Ina Miles tries to take in the generosity and kindness of friends who gathered not only to join in her weekly “prayer camp” but to offer financial support after a contractor was paid to fix leaks in the building but disappeared leaving a mess and no immediate means for Miles to complete the work. PHOTO BY MICHAELE DUKE

Ina Miles has been a giver all her life.
Since 1954, she's dished up hot coffee, good groceries and a heaping side of religion at The 2nd Mile Coffee Shop and Variety Store, where highways 527 and 377 fork. Around 1995, Ina and her husband, the late Lavern “Vern” Miles transformed what was a gas station/grocery store into a haven for musicians and every third Friday of each month the sound of gospel music and the voices of the spiritually filled flood the night sky. After Vern's passing she went a step further to include a “prayer camp” where the community is invited to pray and enjoy Bible study.
But two months ago the music and the praying stopped. In April, a contractor who was paid a hefty sum of money to fix leaks came in; mangled air-conditioning ducts; then walked away - never to be heard from again. Since then the weather has taken its toll on the building that has withstood hurricanes and ice storms. Rotting ceiling tiles lay crumbled on the floor, water pools in drainage traps and the carpet is rotting.  

The less-than-ideal conditions haven't dampened Miles' spirit. She continues to hold prayer meetings and depends on her faith, family and friends to see her through.  Her grandson has offered to help but the work will be expensive.
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“He's helping me but I'll just have to do it as I can,” said the soft-spoken 81-year-old.
Her prayers are being answered. Miles was in for a surprise when on July 1, the community came together to provide financial support.

The members will also reach out to their respective churches for support as well. The outpouring of love made Miles cry.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Miles who could only thank the group - and God - over and over again.
“Ya’ll have really been a joy and a blessing to me.”
The group returned the salutation for opening her business and her heart to them.
 “We have really enjoyed it,” said Bible teacher Nadine Gause “This has been a place where everybody loves everybody and we feel the real presence of a living God.”
Gause then led the group in prayer and songs of praise that very well may have reached the heavens.

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