Raising children is never an easy task nor one most parents take lightly. Children don’t come with an owner’s manual or instruction book. So we rely on what we know from our own childhood, what we read in books, and what we learn from other parents.
I believe that the more strong, smart, loving, and faithful adults my children have in their lives, the better chance I have of not messing them up. I had great parents, but I give thanks that my parents also surrounded us with other great, loving adults - who were there to encourage us and celebrate with us in the good times, and also there to help hold us up in the hardest times.
My ‘village’ was made of my friends’ parents, folks from my church and my church’s youth ministry team. I knew I could tell them anything and they would still love me. I knew if I was in trouble I could call them and they would help. And when I was mad at my parents, these other adults helped me put things back into perspective.
As our community faces yet another tragedy, I am proud to see how our church is being the village for the family of Max Smith. Through phone calls, texts, and physical presence at the hospital, individuals have been Christ for others. I am proud to be the pastor of a church in which members take intentional steps to be part of making the unconditional love of Jesus come to life. And I am especially proud of how our youth ministry is part of that village.
I want to thank Chad and all the adults who work with our youth. In the wake of this tragedy they have done a fabulous job addressing the difficult topics of depression and suicide this week. They are part of a strong village surrounding our youth and families at Faith and our community.
Please continue to pray for Steve, Mindy, and Josie Smith as they grieve the tragic loss of their son and brother, Max Smith. Pray for the village that surrounds them. Pray for the students at Guyer High School and in our community that are feeling the ripple effects of Max’s death. Pray that Faith Church might continue to equip individuals and families to be the village for the people in our community.
Thank you for being the church and village.