To our brothers and sisters,
Below is a letter I wrote last night after much prayer, and one I hope can be comforting. The letter is followed by introductory funeral details.
Thank you for your prayers, love, and support. These are very trying times on us all. The most important thing you can do now is pray. Pray for all the victims’ families including mine. To give you an update on my mom, she is making a miraculous recovery. Then she was taken into the hospital, she was doing very poorly. God intervened. Mr. Monson, who had been at the hospital on and off all day was told he should tell the family that she had died and did so. One nurse who had been operating on her came away crying saying, “I’ve lost her” God had other plans for her though, and she is continually making progress. Today, Mr. Bryce and Mr. Munson were there to help me tell my mom the news, which she was already somewhat aware that my little brother and Dad had been shot and killed. It went as well as could be expected and her strength motivates and encourages me. She will most likely be taken off the ventilator and is now only on it to help her lungs expand and receive oxygen. The bullet went through her lower lung and into her abdomen from what I understand, and she is improving daily. Keep praying that she has the faith and the strength to get through this. For me, pray that I have the faith and wisdom to get through tough decisions and seemingly insurmountable problems. God will never give us more then we can handle, and my friends and family h ave helped me through this so much along with the victims’ families who are also dealing with this tragedy. At times like this it’s easy to doubt, lose faith, and be overwhelmed. I have felt this, and will continue to as I grieve but God will be with me and with all of you if we stay close to him. “Draw near to him and he will draw near to you. Pray that God’s spirit be with me continually and for the faith to look to him, to give my burden to Christ, and for the wisdom to know the right choices to make for my family. I’m currently surrounded by my immediate family, brothers and sisters in Christ and together we, with the help of almighty God and Jesus Christ will push forward and grow stronger as we await Christ’s return. Look to God and his word through all of this and know his love never fails. As Winston Churchill said, never, ever, ever, ever, give up. I refuse to give up my calling and do not give up yours. I know I’ll be very weak at times, and I will need you all to get through this. Plea se don’t call me yet. Any messages that need to be sent to me can be funneled through Martin, or sent to my e-mail. Thank you so much for your prayers. We will all be weak sometimes, but I will need you all to get through this. Please don’t call me yet, words of encouragement of hope, of details of your life, anything. Even if I don’t respond, I know you all love me, and I hope I can reciprocate that love. I am blessed to have all of you, and I could not ask for better brothers and sisters in Christ. I know you’ll be there for me and I will be there for you too. Christ’s kingdom is coming soon, and my Dad will be there to reign, and my brother will know a life more rich and joyful then we can imagine.
Tentatively, the funeral will be for James, Dad, Bart Oliver, and Harold Diekmieir. A place has not yet been determined for the service, I will write you with those details later. For now, TENTATIVELY the funeral service is scheduled for Thursday at 7 PM somewhere in the Milwaukee area. All of you are invited. Do not put your future on hold for this though. If you can’t make it, I understand, and those of you who knew and loved my Dad and James, were known to them, and focus on your faith in God, and put first things first, and pray that I do also. May God comfort all those who mourn, and may those who are persecuted for righteousness sake inherit the kingdom.