Every once in a while someone will send in an email into our podcast that grips my heart. This one came from Craig Piefer from Walla Walla, WA (see picture with Craig, a volunteer, and a teenager in his ministry. Craig is the one on the far right). I hope it does your heart well like it did mine. His note to me is below the photo:
Best moment and worst moment in youth ministry happened last week. Dominic a senior, his sister Elizabeth (a junior) and their little brother Benjamin (8th grade) lost their mom, Peggy, to breast cancer. Elizabeth was home when she passed, but the boys where at school. Their dad Tim, called me directly after calling the paramedics. Tim and I had planned days earlier for me to come and get the kids so they didn’t have to be there as they transferred their mother’s body, but now my task was to pick up Dominic from school and tell him about his mom. I won’t describe that moment, but I will hold it close to my heart forever. The day went on with lots of hugs and crying. Their small group leaders joined me at the kids’ home for more hugging and crying. It was tough. It was beautiful.
Now after that day, after the funeral, after the crying, I have a little time to reflect, and all I can think is this: What an honor. What an honor to have the love and respect of their father. What an honor to be drenched in the tears of students I love so dearly. What an honor to partner with Tim and Peggy in raising whole hearted followers of Christ. What an honor to look into the eyes of Dominic, who in the six years that I have known him has grown into a man, and deliver the worst news possible for a teen to hear. What an honor to be that families pastor. It’s more than words can describe, and I’m sure it sounds weird to many. But for those who have walked this road you know what I mean.
I praise God and even thank Him for calling me to this work, as much as it stresses and frustrates me, it is a blessing to be a pastor to students.
Craig: it’s guys like you who are heros! Thanks for doing what you do! It’s an honor to know you. df