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A Hero of the Faith Has Passed

My Aunt Karen inspired my faith and embodied Matthew 28:19-20

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

While I was never with her in the mission field, this mission was with her everywhere she went. As I grew up, she would visit every couple of years and tell tales of her time on the other side of the world, bringing the light of Christ to people in desperate situations. From what I know of my Aunt Karen, she always preached the gospel; sometimes, she used words.

I saw the depth of that commitment to serve others in love firsthand when she came to help my mother care for their mother, my grandmother. Despite Karen’s advancing years, she found the strength to serve. That dedication to serve left an indelible print on me as I worked to raise my children with an understanding of what it meant to go and make disciples.

Aunt Karen’s example was so contagious my children have a heart for missions and seek ways on their own to go and make disciples, even encouraging my wife and I to get out of our comfort zone and go with them on short term missions trips. I'll never know all the ways these trips have impacted others for the kingdom, but I do know that Aunt Karen planted the seed for these acts of service. So when Jesus talked about the sower and the seeds, Aunt Karen exemplified the good soil that produced a crop—a hundred times what was sown.

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