This week I found out that a friend from Spokane passed away. I spent my elementary and middle school days growing up in Mead, Washington, and we moved to Oregon right before I began high school. We had started attending a new church and my parents had become official members at Timberview Christian Fellowship. My dad had helped with some of the building of the new church.
We felt welcomed and at home at this new church, and this was largely because of Pastor Matt Thomas and his family. This week one of their sons "graduated to the throne of God," as his family described on the blog they kept. Mitch was diagnosed with Leukemia in May of 2007. He married his sweet wife in the hospital just a couple months ago. If you have a few minutes to read the blog, it's a wonderful testimony of God's love and grace during a difficult time.
My memories of Mitch are few, but it's been a blessing to be reminded of the kind of person he was by the comments on his blog and by all the support him and his family received.
Mitch taught me to snow ski. He was a couple years older than me, so at the time he was a sophomore in high school and I was an eighth grader, which is worlds apart at that age. We went on a youth trip and he spent the entire day with me. I had never skied before, and he was a patient teacher.
I also remember a time when Spokane was hit with a crazy ice storm, and we lost power for over a week. Mitch and his family came over and we played pinochle by candlelight.
My heart aches for the Thomas family. Please pray for them as they are grieving and finding Christ in all this.