My heart is broken. The word says we weep with those who weep…tonight I weep for my friends the Fangmans. Leaving the church where you have served for over 8 years seems more like an amputation than a resignation. I know deep pain that comes from within the body of Christ is some of the most difficult to heal because we are family. God’s grace and mercy are the only remedy for such a wound, and they must come in abundance. Many questions will be left unanswered. Many of us will feel shell-shocked for some time. Others will move on quickly. We each have our own ways to grieve, as once again, we face the sorrow of losing friends who have dedicated their lives to serve us and our children. Tonight in the wake of such news, and with heaviness of heart, I am at a loss for what to say. So I will say nothing, and choose instead to celebrate this family.
Gary came to our church to help out with our organizationally challenged staff.  He willingly took the administrative duties, which included many jobs no one else would want. He brought order and direction. He knew what needed to be done to pull off different objectives set forth by the team. Details were his strength and he took his job seriously. Then in our church’s most devastating crisis, he stepped up to the plate. Suddenly thrust into a role no one is trained to deal with, he handled investigators, publicity, concerned parents, and accusations. He and the staff not only did their own jobs, but waded through the myriad of difficult details surrounding the trauma. This heavy load came so quickly there was not time for him to process the loss and pain of such a shock. Yet he did not quit or give up, he pushed through for the sake of the body. He held on and did his job in the midst of great pressure. For that, he should have our utmost appreciation and gratitude.
His family is equally to be commended. His wife, Shelly, has handled the pre-school ministry beautifully. Scheduling preschool workers is not a highly sought after job. Yet she always did it with a smile and a good attitude. Her friendly face at the pre-school desk warmed the hearts of parents and kids alike. Shelly was a hard worker, always pitching in wherever needed without so much as a complaint. In whatever area there was a need she was there. All four of their kids have also been very active in church life. Molly and Halley came up through the youth group and served in it in several ways over the years. The boys Levi and Joel have been participants and are now growing into young men who also have hearts of service. Levi plans a career in ministry, just like his dad.
No matter what the issues are in this moment, the fact will always remain that they are part of us. I pray that God will lead them to a place where they can continue to serve and minister. I pray that their hearts will heal, and that God will hold them closely in this time of pain. His mercy would wash over them and us as we all move forward from here. I ask that he would surround them with his love and care. And that the Holy Spirit would comfort them and speak his peace to their hearts. I ask God to bless this family and to honor their years of service to us and that he would draw them closer to his heart during this difficult time. I pray that the friends around them would lift them up and demonstrate Christ’s love in tangible ways. Most of all I pray that God would have his way in all of our hearts and that this season of hardship will help us to be grateful for his amazing grace and forgiveness.

One thought on “Brokenhearted

  1. To everything there is a season, and a time to every
    purpose under heaven : A time to be born, atime to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted: a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to morn, and a time to dance .
    Ecclesiastes 3:1-4. In our relationships it is not ours
    to know which time , we will know. In God’s hand
    we trust.

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