This past week I received word from one of our longtime board members, Jimmy Dorrell, that his 32-year-old son, Seth, had died of a heart attack while on a missions trip in Mexico City. Seth had a difficult bout with cancer over the last few years, but that did not keep him or his wife Sarah and daughter Finley from continuing to live out their calling of serving in very poor communities around the world.
On Friday I boarded a plane and headed to Waco, Texas for Seth’s memorial service. I, along with a few other CCDA leaders from around the state of Texas, were there to express our love and support for the Dorrell family.
When I spoke to Sarah, Seth’s wife, I was reminded of the importance of community among like-minded brothers and sisters committed to the kind of ministry we in CCDA embrace. It is essential to our well-being and longevity in ministry. Through 25 years of being involved in CCDA, we have been at the gravesites of many friends and co-laborers, have cried and prayed with others around the country in their time of grief, and we have also celebrated the joys of life and ministry together.
At the core, being family for one another, especially in difficult times, is what CCDA means to many of us who are part of this association.
Beyond attending the annual conference, the trainings we organize and the growing amount of issue related advocacy that we find ourselves engaged in, I am increasingly convinced that simply being a support to one another is what many of you, as members, desperately desire from our association.
Even as I write this, my heart goes out for Ian Danley and his family as he was recently diagnosed with cancer. I am broken hearted for the Provence family in Indianapolis who are dealing with some very difficult health issues and community struggles. I am prayerful for Stephanie Sawyer who is also recovering from cancer. And, I continually pray for long time CCDA members Ted and Shelley Travis and the Jehle’s in Kansas City who are in the midst of huge ministry transitions.
I’ll never forget when Marianne and I transitioned away from our our ministry in La Villita over 10 years ago and how difficult that was. I know we would not have survived some of the pain and struggle of that transition without some dear friends and partners in CCDA being at our side.
I want to encourage you to consider coming to New Orleans in September to stay connected with or to rekindle some key relationships that are vital to remaining faithful to the ministry of working in under resourced communities for years to come.
Let me close with Paul’s prayer to his brothers and sisters in Philipi that captures my prayers for our CCDA Familia:
Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (Philippians 1:3-6 NLT)