Courage Kaden

Kaden (left) and his brother, Colton (right)

Growing up, I experienced death pretty early on in life. Shortly after my mom and step dad had gotten married, they had a baby girl named Kennedy. Kennedy was born with a very rare disease and she only lived for eighteen days. Being so young, about five or six, I didn’t understand what that meant. All I knew was that Kennedy was no longer with us.

In 2001, my sister Baylee was born. Praise God that she didn’t have the same disease Kennedy had. She was truly a miracle to our family. My parents next child, Zachary, however, was born with the rare disease that Kennedy had. He only lived a few hours. I never even got to see him.

The death that had wrecked me most however, was the death of my best friend Kaden. Kaden was diagnosed with brain cancer in kindergarten. Doctors didn’t expect him to live longer than two year. Defying all odds, Kaden lived to be eleven years old. Throughout his life, Kaden had to go through chemotherapy and had to take many other drugs that had deteriorated his health. One of my most treasured memories is when Kaden had recently gone through Chemo and had lost his hair. His brothers and I all decided to shave our heads that summer so that we could all be the same.

Kaden was a very loving person. In all my years knowing him I had not once heard him speak ill of another person. He truly had the love of Christ in him. Not only was he loving, Kaden was also courageous. Many children will never have to go through what Kaden went through. They will never know what it is like to lose their hair and being so sick that they don’t even have the strength to get out of bed and move around the house. Even in the face of death, Kaden had a joy that I had never seen, and have yet to see since his death.

It was in May 2005 when Kaden had gotten really sick. Sicker than he had ever been. He had to get his liquids from an I.V. and was fed with a feeding tube. On May 17th, my mother and I went to go visit Kaden. He was so weak. He could barely move. On May 19th, 2005, the horrible sickness that was raging inside of Kaden took him to be with Jesus. His grandmother called my mom on the phone. I knew right away that something terrible had happened. I asked my mom if he had died. She said yes, and I remember weeping. Weeping for what seemed like hours. My mom and I wept and wept. There was no¬†foreseeable end to the tears that were pouring from our eyes. The next few months were the most depressing in my life. If I was that wrecked over the loss of my best friend, I can’t even imagine how his family felt.

I have tried to model my life the best I could, first and foremost, after Jesus Christ my Saviour. My second role model is Kaden. I have tried to strive for that love that he had for others, and the joy that he had, despite the most bleakest of circumstances. I have learned that life is short. Why should we waste one day of our lives, when we could lose it before we even knew that death was coming. Kaden died at a very young age. He did so much for his community and could have done many more great things. It is up to us to not let the legacies of great men, women, and children be forgotten. We need to continue where they left off and to try our best to make our communities, our cities, our countries, and ultimately the world, a better place.

In God’s grip,

Alex

Hope

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I sometimes feel like there is only death inside
Pride, jealousy, anger, lust, envy, malice, hypocrisy
All these and many more raging like a turbulent sea, threatening to break through the very confines of my limited self-control
Is there no hope for an awful wretch like me?
Is there no end to this constant torment I can’t endure?
How is it every time things seem to be going good, the Darkness comes and tears the very Light away from me?
Will there ever be a point in this seemingly endless time we call life, where I can rest without having to look behind my shoulder to make sure the Darkness isn’t sneaking?
But alas, I do have a hope.
A hope that will bring an end to my suffering, a hope that will bring me rest.
For these things: pride jealousy, anger, lust, envy, malice, hypocrisy
You went up on a tree.
You became the murderer, the adulterer, the rapist, the pedophile, the sinner
All so that we could be forgiven.
Romans chapter 3 and verse 22 promises us righteousness if we have faith in You.
By the sacrifice You made, we obtain your fruit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control

Philippines

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God has blessed me with an amazing opportunity! This summer, June 4-18, I will be going on a mission trip with my youth group, Fusion, to the Philippines! I am really excited about this opportunity.

Here are a few facts about the Philippines: as of 2010, the population of the Philippines is 92,337,852. Most of the population is about 15-64 years old. The sex ratio for the entire population is about 1. The main religion there is Roman Catholicism, about 80%. People over the age of 15 and over can read and write. On June 12 1898 was when the Philippines declared independence from Spain and on July 4 1946 they declared independence from the U.S.

God has blessed 30 people with the ability to go on this mission trip. While we are down there we will be doing kids ministries, minor construction, and evangelizing. I pray that God does amazing things in and through us as we embark on this journey. I ask that you would pray that we could make our financial goals. We each have to raise about $2,000 for this trip. I also ask that you would pray for our safety, but most importantly, please pray that we could grow closer to God and that we could do the work He has planned for us. I thank you for your support.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27 NIV)

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