I have spent a lot of time talking here about Jonathan and my grief after losing him a year ago. That has been intentional. I find it helpful to “talk” through this journey here.
However, in case you did not know, I have 2 sons! Jonathan was our oldest and Josh is our younger son.
I am so proud of this guy and I just wanted to brag on him for a minute! Currently 19 and a freshman at CSULB Josh is a man of depth and sincerity. He is one of the smartest people I know and he causes me to think deep. He stretches me and I am a better person for knowing him. What a gift it is to be his mama.
Losing your only sibling in the last quarter of your senior year in high school is enough to shake things up a bit, to say the least. Josh could easily have let his grades slip and just blow things off. Honestly, I don’t think too many people would have blamed him. Yet, Josh persevered. He finished his senior year with all the rights of passage including prom and grad night, and I think that is exactly what his brother would have wanted for him. We are so very grateful for the community who surrounded him during that time. His friends from OCSA and his youth group at Calvary were there for him, as were many of those kids’ parents. Sure, there have been and still are hard times – this type of loss is not something you ever really recover from. We are figuring it out, though. That is not any less true for Josh.
Over the last two summers Josh had the opportunity to travel and serve alongside other students at our sister church, Way of Peace in Lushnje, Albania. Josh first said he was interested in going on this trip while he was in his junior year. I was actually surprised, because even though he had done some local short-term mission trips to Arizona over the years, this kind of trip was way out of his comfort zone. He was accepted onto the team and it was an amazing time for him. He enjoyed that first trip so much, that he signed up to go again the next summer, even though it was a high school trip and he had since graduated. Josh was actually eligible to travel to Israel with the college group at the time, but instead chose to go to Albania saying that is where he felt God leading him to go. It was such a blessing to see him owning his faith, sharing it and really learning to listen to how God is leading him.
When I heard that the college group at Calvary is headed on a mission trip to Thailand and Cambodia this summer, I was sure that he would have no interest in going on that trip. Once again he surprised us. So, this June 16 -30 Josh and a small group of college students will be serving kids who have been rescued out of sexual slavery. They will be partnering with an organization called Destiny Rescue. If you want to hear about this trip in his words, you can read his support letter here: Josh Thailand Support Letter 2017 . If you are interested in supporting him and this trip financially, you can visit his personal fundraising page.
I am amazed at his heart to serve and love what God is doing in his heart.