Its been a decade since I walked the are high school campuses with the my good friend and Area Director at the time, Mark Statema. We prayed, listened, and watched for where we should begin the second Capernaum Club in our area. One lunch hour at Sunnyside High School as I rounded a corner I laid eyes on a group of guys, all in wheelchairs who clearly had varying stages of Muscular Dystrophy. They were way too cool to talk to us, had their Slipknot tee shirts, ear buds in their ears, they were talking about the latest video games. “That’s it, we are starting here!” I declared to Mark. He looked a little surprised… but I went on to explain, these guys need Young Life leaders to walk with them. They are facing an ugly disease that will take their lives in the next 10 years, they need to know the giver of LIFE eternal.”
And so it was. We began with Friday nights playing life sized video games and pizza. Slowly, a club was born and we got to be a part of their family and families. Its been a privilege to take most of these guys to camp, to see them come into a relationship with Jesus, to walk alongside of them and their families as they face a disease that ravages their body with such courage.
These guys and their families have become my friends, my extended family. In spite of having moved overseas for 5 years, I’ve had the incredible privilege of walking their final days with most of them.. a gift to me. This week I am walking with the “last man standing” from our Sunnyside Capernaum team. JC went from being the most disinterested kid of the bunch to our friend, a leader, a brother. He is courageous and strong. His concern in these final days isn’t for himself, but for his mom and how she will handle his absence.
As I sat next to his bed today, I shared pictures from previous camp trips, told him stories of some of our crazy friends and leaders, and then we sat with this Scripture
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.