Friday, May 12, 2006

It has been an interesting journey to begin to get to know those who knew my son on the mission field. The BJ they knew was not always the same one I knew. The differences were sometimes minute, yet differences nonetheless.

You have heard from many of them through the last 8 or 9 months as several have been faithful writers. The connection we have is a very special one. The stories I hear are significant to me.

I spent a week in Mexico with one young lady who told me that she knew my son, because her team (Thailand '05) were the last ones to arrive back in the U.S. They got to debriefing in the middle of the night. BJ came out and carried her backpack in for her. Her connection was short, but memorable.

I spent time with BJ's "POP" (an acronym for Passing On Principles- the entry level of leadership) from Peru '04. I had the privilege of seeing him at BJ's funeral, Leadership training last November, and here the last couple of days. I met his mother and brother at a Christian bookstore recently.

Another of his team from '04 was at the same Christian bookstore, at the same time. I have met her on several occassions as well. She and her sister are both alumni of Awe Star. She has been a source of inspiration to me. BJ came home in '04 with much to share about her. She is precious.

Still two more who were hugely important to Beej may come to spend time with us in August! I pray that comes to pass.

These are just a sampling of the many I have had the honor of spending time with. I have met many parents as well. I am moved each time I have this privilege, because I know what it takes to surrender your child to the Lord's care. Each of them are encouraging, and have a story to share. This is such a huge blessing.

Recently, I am told, a discussion began over whether or not I would allow my son to go to the mission field if I knew then what I know now. I was very quick to say, "YES, I WOULD!" When God calls you to an area of obedience, the wrong thing to do is say "No."

Yes, I miss him. Yes I would love to have him by my side to continue making memories together. Yes it is excrutiating to live each and every moment knowing he is gone. But truly I say to you that you only have to read this site for a moment to see how much God is doing in the lives of others, as well as our own!

Many lives have come to the Lord Jesus, because he layed down his own. He was a willing participant in this. Not that he knew specifically what was happening or even that it would happen this way. He knew he was called to martyrdom. He had written much about each of our need to be similarly willing to lay down our lives.

He could have saved his earthly life by being disobedient to God. Back in the winter of '05 he struggled over returning to Peru... he wanted to go to Thailand. God said otherwise. BJ obeyed. His direct obedience to God's call resulted in his death.

I understand that had he been diagnosed much sooner, he could have been spared by being on doxocyclene. Do I grieve over this? Of course. I would not be human if I didn't. Do I blame the doctors? NO!

I know that what happened to my son has from the very beginning pointed to Christ. BJ was known to quote Phil. 1:21, "to live is Christ, to die is gain." There is no question in my mind that his death was great gain. Great gain for him, as he sees Christ in all His fullness. Great gain for those who have come to Christs' salvation as a result of BJ's story. Great gain for many readers who would not willingly seek to benefit from his death, but in fact do as the Holy Spirit moves on us. Great gain for his family in that we have each drawn closer to the Lord at the sacrifice of our only son/brother.

Does life go on as though none of this matters? Yes, if we allow it.

I will not do so, easily. I will not perseverate on his life forever, because the real story is Christ and Him crucified and resurrected. But I will tell his story as long as the Lord draws others unto Him, through him.



At 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Brent for the incouraging word. I struggled with letting my son go to Mexico this week. However, I also knew that it was what God wanted him to do and I had to totally surrender and put him in God's hands. He has called several times on his way down. The van which they are traveling in has had many problems. First the brakes went out on them, yesterday it totally quit running. They were just a mile from the border, so I dont know if they have made it or still in Texas. They should have already been in Saltillo.
Knowing what a journey that you and your family have gone through I was reminded that it is for the Lord and the many souls that will come to know Him.
Thank you again for your daily journals and the blessings they are to me. RC in Indy

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are an inspiration to so many. i know that you draw strength from your son's earthly walk, but it is also clear that his family was a huge part in the amazing person he became in such a short life. keep following His lead. have a great weekend!!

in him,

for those of you praying for lattany's nephew corbin... i am a medical student who knows him from volunteering at the hospital during my time at michigan so i'll fill you in while lattany is in this busy busy time (graduation!)...the latest updates have been moving in the positive direction. i believe he is still very critical but taking "baby steps" to becoming better. they identified one of the major sources of infection as his ventilator tube and agreed that they had to remove it yesterday to switch it out and give him a sterile one. when they did, as of last update, he was able to go several hours breathing on his own with just oxygen support. this is great news! even if he is reintubated, it is a great sign after a month that his lungs are working and he has eliminated another source of infection. i ask you to please keep this little guy in your prayers. he has a long way to go, but is showing what a fighter he is already at 21 months old. specific prayer requests are for elimination of infection/fungus (he had 4 distinct infections at one point in different organs/systems), ability to come off of the vent permanently, minimal side effects as they wean his narcotics, protection of kidney and organ function while he is on high doses of steroids and antibiotics, and protection from human error by medical staff.

also, lattany's family has been caring for his 3 older siblings for this month as well and they have been away from their parents. this family is incredible and could use your prayers for strength, perseverance and rest.

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you

At 12:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right! When God calls a child to serve Him however and wherever, we best not hinder obedience to that call. When each daughter participated in mission trips, friends were often puzzled that I was not overly anxious. But I knew they were in the safest place they could the center of His will. Praise the Lord He is not the author of fear but of peace and assurance. I was never able to explain why I wasn't anxious (in fact I sometimes wondered myself!)--I just knew God was in control. Thank you for your continued encouragement and sharing from your heart.

At 11:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


praise the Lord for your testimony. When i share my the BJ story with people, i am sure to include this part. That you, your wife, and girls are still faithful. That you miss him, but there's no blame. Thank you for that. I think it makes our grieving processes easier as well.

I'm glad you're excited about Mary and i maybe coming. that makes my heart happy. I hope (and pray) and will beg my parents that it will happen!

Mom--HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! i know this day will be rough, especially being away from Brent, but i'm praying for you. It makes my heart ache that Beej isn't here to give you a hug and a card, but its all for the glory. I love you mom.

I love you both. praying always

At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I Have Heard BJ's story and i have a friend who went on a mission trip with him. his story has touched the hearts of many. thank you


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