Monday, December 7, 2009

Some Amazing People

I had the opportunity to reflect on some pretty amazing people in the past couple of days.

Heather Mattern. Heather was my doctor and was tragically killed in a car accident last weekend. She was in her mid 30's, and was a wife and mom of two young kids: a 2 year old and a 4 month old. I can't say I had a really close relationship with Heather, but here is why she held a special place in my heart.

1. My first visit to her in 2007 was when I was first experienceing symptoms related to my cancer. She had a hand in diagnosing what was going on with me.
2. She ALWAYS, ALWAYS expressed a deep interest in our family. She never rushed us in and out of the office. She always took time to talk, ask more than a simple "How are you?" and always seemed geniunely interested in what was going on with us.
3. She initiated conversations with us OUTSIDE of the doctor's office. There were times when we saw her in various places outside of the doctor's office and she would be the one initiating the conversation. She never turned down another aisle to avoid us, but seemed to go out of her way to talk with us even when she didn't have too.

Her death really had a deep impact on my wife and I and we will genuinely miss her. She was a follower of Jesus and I'm sure is in heaven right now worshipping God!

Kandice Robinson. Kandice is a missionary our church supports. Her ministry is so unique. She was going to Asia to work with a team of missionaries there to help reach the deaf population in a specific area. Kandice is very gifted at sign language and has studied it in order to be able to bring Jesus to people with this disability. A few months before she was to leave for Asia, she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She is 28 years old. She has been going through treatments since early this year and doctors have now staged her cancer as a Stage 4 spreading during chemo. She is in some clinical trials in Indianapolis.

I do the mission stuff at our church as well which gives me the opportunity to connect with the missionaries we support. I had the opportunity to connect with her last week. She had just finished a round of chemotherapy and was traveling back home from Indy when I talked with her. Her attitude was amazing. She was very positive and was an encouragement to me as we talked. I know what it's like to go through chemo and it's not fun at all. I know there aren't always times when you are positive and encouraging, but, honestly, Kandice had such an amazing spirit and I was inspired by her strength.

The Hostetler Family. Trent, Cindy, Allison, Tyler, and Tim are a family that have been coming to Grace Community for a few years. We wrapped up our We Are series on the family yesterday and for 4 weeks we have been encouraging people to write essays on a family that has been an inspiration to them. The chosen family would receive a prize along with the person who wrote the essay. The Hostetler family was chosen and what an incredible essay to read. I hope to be able to post the essay soon, but just hearing the various ways that their family has help others, brought others in to their home, sacrificed, and are now facing the struggle of their teenage daughter receiving radiation treatments for a brain tumor ... what an inspiration.

I've just been reflecting on these various people over the past week and have really been encouraged and challenged to leave such a legacy as theirs. Thanks for your example!

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