A little over a week ago our pastors were on vacation with their three teenage children when they got the news that our pastor's father had passed away. He went out on his sailboat in Florida and slipped overboard and drowned. They rushed from their Alaskan cruise down to FL to be with the rest of their family. They came back to Austin last Saturday and we all grieved with them on Sunday when our pastor courageously preached after just having lost his father.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck again yesterday. Their middle son, Caleb, who was only 17 died in a car accident.
Can you imagine what this family is going through? My heart is completely broken for them. It was sad enough that pastor's father died, but then his son? Not even two weeks later?
I am not saying that losing anyone older is not still painful, because it is. However, losing a child is completely different. I personally have never experienced this type of loss, but I have dear friends that have and I know that it changes you forever. No parent is ever supposed to out-live their children. It's just not right.
Our church family is devastated. We are struggling to understand why, but there are no answers. Only God knows.
Yesterday at church they had the chapel open for people to come pray for the family. Joey & I went when he got off work and met a friend of ours that works at the church when we got there. We walked to the chapel and as soon as we entered the tears came easily. We wrote a note to the family and then went over to some chairs to pray. As we sat there, tears flowing down our cheeks, I turned around and saw that the oldest of the three children was there. The tears came faster and harder. I can't imagine how he is feeling having just lost his brother. We went over and hugged him. I didn't know what to say, and having been through a tragic loss before I know that no words really help. So, I just hugged him tight and said "I'm SO sorry."
We normally have a service every Wednesday night at church, but tonight will be tough. Tonight will be a special service dedicated to Caleb. I don't know if our pastors will be there or not, I don't know if they are ready to face everyone.
I do know however that they have a church family that absolutely adores them and are lifting them up in prayer. And so I ask that you please join me in praying for this precious family. The Koke family of Shoreline Christian Center. www.shoreline.net
I couldn't stop crying yesterday, and just thinking about what this family is going through brought back so many memories of times I have lost someone in my life. I feel so incredibly helpless, but I know that God can and will provide them with comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding. I believe that we will see a testimony right in front of our eyes as this family heals and continues to praise Him in the storm.
Please pray for the Kokes and our church family. We desperately need to see God in this.