Ren,

You may remember that last month Brandon shared about his father’s battle with a degenerative brain disease. He wrote:

My dad has struggled with mental illness and a degenerative brain disease for the last 20 years of his life.  Almost 7 years ago my dad was committed to Northeast Florida State Hospital (a state run mental institution).  Before that, he spent 2-3 years sleeping on the street, living in homeless shelters, crashing on my couches, in and out of mental hospitals, and in and out of jail.  Now, he is confined to a wheelchair, has a feeding tube, and the disease is slowly taking away his physical functions, and eventually will take his life.  Through all of my father’s sufferings, all he has ever talked about is helping other people, even though he was in the same situations they were (homeless, sick, poor, hungry, misunderstood).

Tuesday night Brandon’s dad’s long battle came to an end when he arrived home. Brandon gave this update:

At a little after midnight tonight, my father passed away. He will forever be my inspiration for who I am, who God designed me to be, and how to love. He loved with a relentless passion. He always put others before himself, no matter the cost. He suffered and he fought. He made me the man I am, and the person I strive to be. I pray that I can live up to his legacy of how he loved. He loved God, and wanted everyone to know God in the same way he did. Tonight he is without pain, without suffering, without hunger. Tonight my father was made whole.

As a church we rejoice that Brandon’s dad is experiencing inexpressible joy and pleasure forevermore (Ps 16:11). His hope, like a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, was grounded in heaven with Christ (Heb 6:19). As a people of God we grieve with Brandon, but not as though we have no hope.

Please pray for Brandon.

James