This story is shared by an anonymous donor, who is a member of Osceola Grace Church in Osceola, Ind., (Greg Serafino, senior pastor) and the brother of the young boy in the story. He shares it after the completion of Osceola’s recent initiative to build a new children’s wing and hire a family pastor. With the financial contribution of nearly $2 million from the donor, along with the donations of many others in the church, the initiative was completed in December of 2016.
Often we look at tragedy and we have trouble seeing the hand of God in it. Sometimes it isn’t until years later that there is any evidence of God’s fingerprints on an event in years past. Sometimes we may never know – but what God desires for us is not to give us all the answers to “why?”, but to show us how to trust Him through all of the questions.
This is a story that took place in 1962 and is about a 12-year old boy named Tom.
He was a good kid that never gave his family any trouble. One day, he went to the store for his mom and on the way home, he was in a bike accident. He came on home and nothing seemed to be wrong at first. During the night, he had severe pain in his side. In the morning he was taken to the doctor and was told his appendix would need removed. They did and nothing seemed wrong with it.
A day or two later, Tom died.
It turned out, the handlebar poked him in his side so hard that his intestine ruptured and he died of peritonitis. The surgeon knew he had blown it so much so that he didn’t charge the family for the surgery. He was sorry, but Tom was still dead.
Here’s where the story gets interesting. Tom grew up in a home where spiritual things were not top priority to his parents. His parents never took the kids to church and didn’t see the need. There was a neighbor lady that was very concerned about the spiritual needs of all the neighbor kids, so she invited them all to church and even offered to take them in her car. There were five families on that same road – all with kids. Today, there are people from four of those homes that are in heaven or headed there today because of that one neighbor lady. Tom was one of the kids that rode back and forth to church for several years with that neighbor. While in Sunday school, Tom put his trust in Jesus.
That church was called Bethel Brethren Church of Osceola. Today, that church is Osceola Grace Church.
One day Tom’s mom asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He told her he wanted to be a pastor like the one at church. The money to build and renovate all of this was given in honor of Tom. It represents a life time of tithes and offerings that he most likely would have given had he lived.
Besides the fact that we have and will continue to dedicate this building to further the message of the gospel, this building is dedicated to every person at our church that looks around their neighborhood and invites children to church to learn about Jesus. The building is also dedicated to every teacher of children that presents Jesus to children in a way that makes them want to put their trust in Him.
I recently heard someone say, “You can’t live long enough for something like this to STOP impacting your life.”
This is not all about one person though. This, all that you see, is about reaching people for Jesus.
Click here to read more about this story on GraceConnect.us.