In the Presence of the King

3 Aug

My heart is breaking. It’s breaking for a family who has lost a son and brother. This world is now missing a faithful servant of Jesus Christ.

Exactly one year ago, God gave me the opportunity to meet a young man (18 years of age) who had a passion for serving Christ and promoting His kingdom on this earth. That young man’s name was Chandler Brazell. He was called Jimmy by his friends.

We met at the Chicago O’Hare airport, excited to be leaving for Beijing China. He, myself, and Brooke Martens were entering a new chapter in our lives and looking forward to many new adventures together. We were heading to a strange land to teach character to boys and girls we had never met before and in a country we had never visited!

Throughout the three months that we spent together, we would share lesson plans, pray, eat together, visit new restaurants, attend church services, and soak in the Chinese culture.

I can definitely say that Jimmy was brave! He wanted to participate in everything and anything. He would make new friends so quickly. He tried his utmost to immerse himself in the culture, learn the Chinese language, and share His passion and love for the Lord by sharing a smile, greeting the elderly with a ‘Ni hao’ (hello in Mandarin), or spending time at his students’ homes.

I was blown away by his testimony and fervency for the Lord! I knew he loved God and God loved him!

Just two days ago, my heart sank when I came to find out that Jimmy was taken home to be with Jesus after a swimming accident. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it! I would have never thought something like this would have ever happened. I would have never imagined that the young man that I spent many hours with – while sitting laughing in conversation or catching the city train or listening to him sing from the next hall – would be taken one year later.

I’m stunned but I’m happy that Jimmy is home with his Saviour that he loved. He is worshipping Jesus in a perfect way. He’s most likely singing praises with a heart of gratitude perhaps while he skips down the golden streets of heaven – certainly beats skipping down the busy streets of Beijing like he would.

However, my heart breaks for his family and close friends. My prayer is that the Lord will strengthen them, give them peace that passeth all understanding, uphold them in His care, and surround them in His unfailing love.

Jimmy was a testimony of God’s faithfulness to me. Without a doubt in my heart, I know he will hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.


2 Responses to “In the Presence of the King”

  1. April Oliva August 4, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    Wow, what a testimony. It sounds like he blessed and touched the lives of so many. It is so sad to hear of someone that young, and so full of love for life and Christ to pass away. We will keep his family and friends in our prayers.

  2. Kuri Rikkers August 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    In the presence of the King; what a marvelous place for him to be…

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I didn’t know Jimmy for very long, but you have captured his heart… May the Lord comfort those he was taken from with the glorious reality that Jimmy is exactly where he wanted to be more than any place in the world. :]

    May God bless you mightily! I pray we all will have impacted as many people Jimmy did before we leave this earth.

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