This week has been an emotional one. Let me start with the high (or the Life).
This past weekend, we had a Spring Retreat (In place of a weeklong Spring Break trip) for our students in Eastern North Carolina. We had 25 students, 1 volunteer, and 5 staff from 6 different campuses. We held it in Raleigh, mainly because we were trying to make it as cheap and easy for students to attend as possible. The theme of the weekend was Love God, Love Others, and Love the World. The students got to enjoy hearing a few talks, talking in discussion groups, fellowshipping and eating good food together, spending extended time with the Lord, and spending their free time at Adventure Landing playing putt-putt and laser tag. The students learned so many things about the Lord, about themselves, about others, and about how to reach their campus and the world. I am excited to see how they take those things back to campus!
But the best part of the weekend was that we saw on the of the students there, a freshmen from Durham Tech, place their faith in Christ! As 1 John 5:11-13 states “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.” Praise the Lord that this student now has life!! It is also a fun testament of how the Lord is moving in Eastern NC – as Kai, one of our other staff pointed out, we had one student at Spring Retreat who accepted the Lord last Fall Retreat, we had one student there who accepted the Lord last week, and we had one student accept the Lord there! So fun to see the Lord moving! This picture shows our students playing a game during the start of one of the meetings.
Now for the low (or the death). My granddaddy’s health has been declining for the last 6 months or so, and like most older people, he had his good days and his bad days. My mom called me this past Wednesday and told me he had been put in the hospital for a urinary tract infection and a high potassium level. They ran lots of tests and couldn’t find much else wrong. Then, on Saturday afternoon while we were at Spring Retreat, she called to say he had been put in ICU and had taken a turn for the worse. Then, she called again later that evening to say he had passed away. I was absolutely shocked as it was all really sudden and happened so quickly. I am grateful that he didn’t suffer long and it wasn’t a long and drawn out death; but it is so hard to lose someone who has been in your life forever.
His funeral was yesterday and it was a wonderful celebration of his life. One of Granddaddy’s nephews, John, is a pastor in Florida and performed the service and he did a wonderful job! I was humbled, honored, and emotional when John suggested that I do the eulogy. The Lord really gave me the words to say as I shared a few personal stories about Granddaddy that are dear to me, shared about Granddaddy’s faith in Christ, his hope that all of his grandkids would find a relationship with the Lord, and about the excitement I have in seeing him again one day soon in heaven. When I got up there, I was so emotional and then the Lord gave me an immediate calm (I didn’t think about anything different so I know it was the Lord). I am so grateful that my Granddaddy was such a lively, upstanding, loving man and excited to one day party with him in heaven.
Please continue to pray for my family as I know it will be really hard for my dad, aunt, and uncle. They have been caring for him around the clock for the last 6 months so it will be quite an adjustment for them. I can’t imagine losing my parents nor what they are going through, but I do know the Lord promises to comfort them so that is my prayer for them.