Dear friends and supporters,
I want to inform you about the loss of a first-year student who died on Sunday night (click here for the news article). He was a Christian and a member of Reformed University Fellowship; any death is a loss for all, and, moreover, many of our students (especially first-years, as he was) were friends with him or knew him.
It is often our desire to run from pain and grief and dwell on other things instead but we know that we have to face the grief and not bottle it up. As Jesus says in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” This is the promise for relief at this very moment, when the blessed hope and truth we intellectually know cannot pierce the pressing and immediate hurt. His family undoubtedly is going through unspeakable pain.
Please pray that students and especially his family would experience this powerful comfort both now and through the long road to grief. Pray also that his family (some are traveling to get here now) would have mercies for travel, and that people would rush to serve and comfort them as they bury their son.
Today there was a time of prayer at the Center for Christian Study and obviously many of the students are taking the loss very hard. There is a lot of pain right now, and questions, and shock and there is probably more to follow in the coming days and months. The campus ministers and the staff of the Center for Christian Study have been working hard to give comfort, prayer, and support for those who’ve been hit by this loss. One of the staff mentioned that students were streaming in continually on Monday crying and very hopeless. And of course it is hard for all of us, I feel the shock and awfulness of this loss even though I am not close to him. It is season of serious pain.
Please pray for the staff of the Study Center and for all of us campus ministers that we would gently lead students into the love of Jesus and guide them in their grief.
The timing of this death as been particularly hard for Matt, the ministry intern (like myself) for Reformed University Fellowship. The head campus pastor is out of town this week for a conference and Matt was scheduled to preach at their large group tonight (Tuesday) at 8pm, and moreover is now charged with addressing and guiding the chapter through this tragedy.
Please pray for Matt and the other RUF ministry intern Libbie, as well as the student leaders — that they’d have strength, wisdom, peace, and that first would experience God “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Thank you for your prayers in this difficult time.