Hello Everyone! So before I tell you what has been happening at Campbell I want to let you into some events that have happened in my life in the past couple of months. On February 9 my grandpa, Bennie Hart, passed away suddenly due to a car accident. My Papa was an incredible man who had a big influence in our family. My siblings and I spent many summers and weekends at my grandparent’s house and got to see how hardworking, loving, and sacrificial my Papa was. He was a man of God and a memory that will live in my mind forever was walking into my grandparent’s house the night of February 9 and seeing his old tattered leather Bible sitting on the counter, where it always is, marked on the passage that he had read that day. In the front of his Bible was a letter I had written him thanking him for supporting me and my ministry and for giving me some furniture for my house at Campbell. My Papa called me two weeks before he passed away and told me that he had read my updates and that he was proud of me and loved me. I will never forget those words he said to me and I will never forget the love he showed to everyone that he knew. He never met a stranger, was willing to help anyone in need, and always said “I love you” before he left anywhere.
That being said, it has been a difficult season for me and my family. My initial response was to shut down and distance myself from God because I couldn’t make any sense of what happened. I have never lost anyone close to me so this was the first time I’ve ever had to process something like this so I initially did not deal with it at all. I was angry at the person who had caused the accident. I was angry at God for the pain that my family was experiencing. I was devastated that a man that I saw every couple of weeks that supported me so much was just gone. I was frustrated that I was away from campus and couldn’t invite as many students to our winter retreat as I had planned on. I had no control over what was happening and it left me hopeless and fearful. After a month of engaging with God and seeking counsel from friends and family I am now at the point where I am starting see God’s mercy and grace through this tragedy. I came to see where I had not been trusting God for a lot of things and working out of my own strength. God revealed where I was trying to have control of my ministry, of students’ growth, of my job as a minister at Campbell. I was broken down and saw how needy I am of God for absolutely everything. I realized how precious every moment with family and friends are and how another one is not promised. I am still in a process of mourning and grieving and I am in need of your prayers as I engage with God over my emotions, my sin, and the rest of my semester at Campbell. My family is also in need of your prayers as they mourn the loss of an incredible father, grandfather, and husband. I am thankful for many of you that reached out and supported me and my family during this difficult time. It made me see how blessed I am to have such an incredible support system and people that love and care about me. I am thankful for my family, especially my Grandma, that exemplified love, sacrifice, strength, and reliance on God during this season.
Since New Year’s Conference I have really focused my time on my Bible study and pouring into the new Christians. It has been incredible to see the growth that God has given these students through studying his word, getting involved in Christian community, and through conversations about the gospel. The day I came back from being at home for the funeral a student that came on New Year’s Conference came over to my house and told me and my coworker Madison how God had been moving in his life since conference and that as he was reading through some scripture he realized how God had been pursuing him. He decided that night to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior. I was gone for an entire week from campus and God moved in a powerful way without me even being here. It was awesome for me to see fruit that I could take no credit for at all and give God all of the glory for it!