Though these have been the two most difficult days of our lives, my family has been immeasurably blessed. We have received encouragement from close friends and distant strangers alike, each telling us of their love and their prayers. (I have gotten more emails and messages than I could ever respond to, but please know I have read each and every one.) We have been the beneficiaries of generous hospitality here on the campus of Boyce College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I had the privilege of speaking to the Boyce student body to thank them for so loving my son so well (see below). Last night we were able to Zoom into our church’s evening of lament and remembrance and it was a tremendous blessing to hear those friends tell of how Nick loved them and how he was loved by them. The Lord has been so good.
I know some people are eager to know what arrangements we have made. Because the border between the U.S. and Canada is (mostly) closed, we are going to have two services, one at home and one at his home-away-from-home.
Tomorrow, Friday, November 6, we will hold a memorial service on the campus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. It will be on the beautiful seminary lawn where there is plenty of room to spread out. All are welcome.
After we return home and serve out our mandatory quarantine period, we will hold a funeral in the Toronto area at a date and in a location yet to be determined (but presumably two or three weeks from now).
Do know how much I and my family appreciate all the love and kindness we’ve been shown. We often haven’t known how to pray or haven’t been able to find the words to pray, yet we’ve known that we are being upheld by your prayers. Those prayers have given us the strength we just haven’t had. We are so very grateful.
Here is what I said to the students of Boyce College when they gathered yesterday morning.
Nick loved Boyce College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
I don’t know how he felt about the property. I don’t know how he felt about the facilities. I don’t know how he felt about the institution. But I know how he felt about the people. I know how much he loved the students, how much he loved the faculty, how much he loved the staff, how much he loved the administration. I know how much he loved you and I know how much he was loved by you.
So thank you for being his teachers, his mentors, his supporters, his friends, his family when he was in America. He ran only a short race—just 20 years—but he finished strong. And I’m so thankful that he was able to finish his race with you, surrounded by the people he loved.