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March 2022: Home, Work, Ukraine, and a tribute to a lost student, Tia. March 13, 2022

Filed under: Family,Updates — GoWests! @ 10:32 pm

You can view this update as a video directly here. For a few more written details, keep reading below. Tia’s story and video link, and some family pics, are at the end. Love to all!

Jeremy and Molly

Hello friends!

Time for an update. It seems that if we don’t do these regularly, so much happens between communications that it becomes a challenge to describe life over here.  This is a bit longer than usual because I would like to cover some important updates. Read on for…

  • Family Update
  • Work update
  • Ukraine involvement
  • “In memory of Tia”.  Oct 2002 – Mar 2022

On the home front, Joel is a Senior (12th grade) and working on his final thesis project. He just turned 18 and is taller than me! He is a great young man, growing and maturing so well.  He keen sense of justice, concern for people, and a steady head are becoming obvious trademarks of his character.

Eden is loving 8th grade, and especially Volleyball, both for school and local club.  Now 14, and taller than mum, she is growing up so fast! She loves school, and frankly, is quite good at it.  She also has wonderful relationships with her teachers, which is not only pleasing, but quite fun.

Samuel just turned 20.  We can hardly believe it. He has just returned from his own DTS. He did his in Tijuana Mexico, with his outreach in Egypt and Jordan (as you most likely know). He loved it. He has grown in his love of people, the lost, and the marginalized. He is currently connecting with the YWAM campus here in Montana, as well as working at his own window cleaning business to make money for more studying later this year.   

March is already here, which means on the work side of things, last month we graduated our Fall DTS. While they were on outreach the Winter DTS started, and are now about leave for outreach themselves, sending teams to Columbia and Panama.  Then in April we are running our leadership school, DTS Equip.

Many have been asking if we (YW) are involved in Ukraine. The answer is yes. Ukraine is one of our campuses focus nations, sending teams there regularly and supporting various missionaries and locations across the country.

In February I made the call to withdraw one of our DTS outreach teams from there early, just before the hostilities started. I have been there a few times myself and have worked with many of the staff who serve there. They are good people. Committed, caring, and responsible. All the YW locations in Ukraine have been impacted intensely. Some are closed, while others have remained with their own staff as well as consolidating staff from other locations and serving the locals.

For security reasons I have removed a lot of information about this topic online. Apologies. Just know that our people are wonderful and working sooooo hard.

I would like to wrap up with a short testimony, and encouragement, in a very sad circumstance. This last week, one of our Fall DTS graduating students Tia Cordell (19), died at home.  She was a wonderful young lady, actively involved in her church youth and college group, passionately devoted to her own discipleship, the discipleship of others, and missions. Tia was about “5ft-nothing” tall, yet she was large of heart. To get to her DTS in Montana, this small lady drove 7 days across the country, by herself, sleeping in her truck, to join us last September. She went to Thailand on outreach, where she ministered to kids, women in prostitution, and local villages, and prayed with people to accept Christ. She was scared at times, but loved it, Tia also suffered from Cystic Fibrosis, was diabetic, and had issues with her liver and kidneys due to her history of treatment. But she never gave up or complained. She was selected to share for the Thailand team to the entire campus upon their return (you can see her brief 5-minute report via the link below).  She left here the day after and was doing ok, just a little run-down. By the time she returned home, she was very ill. She had picked up influenza and was fighting that with a bad liver and kidneys. Deteriorating quickly, she was moved to Johns Hopkins hospital to await both lung and liver transplants. She never recovered enough to undergo the surgeries. 

Tia’s death last Wednesday shocked all her team, classmates, friends, and staff.  In communicating with her parents, I was astounded at their grace and poise during this unbearable loss. But knowing their daughter, they knew that everything she was about was centered on knowing Jesus and making Him known, their desire is that through her life, and death, other young people will be so motivated that they would also consider the value of going when they can, and not waiting for a better time.

We never know when we may meet our Lord. My prayer and take away from this have simply been hoping that each day I spend my life on earth, would be a day well spent. She lived her life fully, with no regrets. 

Thank you following and partnering with us Together we are making a difference. Not only with us, but with the countless numbers of those we work with, like Tia.  We can’t do wat you do in your space, so do it well!  We do what others can’t do in our space, and so we try to do the same.  It’s a privilege working with you all and knowing so many are praying and joining with us.  Love and blessings,

Jeremy and Molly.

Samuel’s DTS graduation in TIjuana. He is in the dark bule shirt center left.
 

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