A call came from Jim Telman Wednesday night, March 29, and when he spoke we immediately knew something was very wrong. Then he said the words I will never forget, “Pastor JJ was killed in a car accident last night.” My heart sank to my stomach, waves of nausea filled my body, and utter shock took hold. I prayed to the Lord that it wasn’t true, not Pastor JJ. Not the man that loves Jesus with a passion I’ve seen in very few people, not the man that is the earthly father to five biological children, 80 orphans and countless street kids, not the man that protects others fiercely, not the man that leads so many people to Christ, not the man who’s laugh is contagious, not the man we call family, not Pastor JJ. How could this be part of any plan? This man was a father to so many orphans and now his own children are fatherless and the orphans have been left for a second time.
JJ was one of the most humble men you could ever meet and he served with his entire heart. JJ was a part of everything as we prepare to move to Uganda to join GRACE Project, he was our person of peace. I wrestled with the fact that he’s really gone; so many questions flooded my brain and so many dreams are forever changed. Who will minister to the street kids? Who will love everyone left behind? Who will take care of Harriet and the kids? Who will love the orphans through this hard time? Who will protect us? Who will guide us on our journey to a new country? As I brought each and every question and tear to the Lord I received an almost audible response, “I AM!”
I had never truly understood why that was God’s response to Moses when he asked, “What is His name? ‘what should I tell them?” in Exodus 3 until He spoke the same words to me. I AM is the answer to all of my questions, even the ones I haven’t asked yet. I AM will go before us to prepare the way. I AM will continue to walk with us along His path. I AM has provided for His call. I AM called JJ home and has a better plan that we cannot imagine. We will not waiver from Him even though the terrain has changed and our hearts are saddened. I am so thankful the Lord allowed me to know Pastor JJ and be a part of his vision. I will cherish every conversation we had and every laugh we shared. God is good, ALL of the time. ALL of the time, God is good.