Episode 558

Father of Slain Student Teaches Forgiveness, Drug Dealer Turned Church Planter & Grieving With Hope

Mar 5, 2024

The father of the 18-year-old student who was murdered at Campbellsville University in Kentucky spoke at the school’s chapel service last week and asked those assembled to choose forgiveness because “it’s the center of what Jesus is.” In Sterling, Virginia, Jefferson Hernández had not given a moment’s thought to what he and his wife Carol would call their new church in Sterling. And, “Grieving with Hope” by Terry Dorsett reflects on his journey through grief after losing his wife to pancreatic cancer.

Transcript

The father of the 18-year-old student who was murdered at Campbellsville University in Kentucky spoke at the school’s chapel service last week and asked those assembled to choose forgiveness because “it’s the center of what Jesus is.”

The emotion-charged service centered around the life of Josiah Kilman, who was found dead in his dorm room early the previous Saturday morning. He died by manual strangulation, according to preliminary autopsy report from the state medical examiner’s office. A wrestling teammate was charged with his murder.

University President Joseph Hopkins said in a statement to the campus community Saturday that Kilman was a “bright light, and a person of incredible hope,” adding that his faith was contagious.
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In Sterling, Virginia, Jefferson Hernández had not given a moment’s thought to what he and his wife Carol would call their new church in Sterling. Not until one day, when he was unexpectedly asked the name of his new church plant, and Jefferson said the first thing that popped into his head.

The words were “white harvest” – based on what Jesus said about non- believers being ready to trust in Him in John 4.

God called the Hernández family to follow all those immigrants to Loudon County, the county Jefferson now calls “White Field,” to show them what a “better future” really looks like. And that calling – to plant a church that would make Jesus known – was a calling Hernández never would’ve imagined for himself.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.
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“Grieving with Hope” by Terry Dorsett reflects on his journey through grief after losing his wife to pancreatic cancer. He shares how his faith provides comfort, knowing she is in heaven and free from pain, yet acknowledges the profound sense of loss he experiences daily. Dorsett draws strength from 1 Thessalonians 4:13, emphasizing that while Christians grieve, they do so with hope—anticipating reunion with loved ones. He encourages those grieving to embrace their feelings and find hope in their faith, emphasizing that grief in Christianity is marked by a unique blend of sorrow and hopefulness.

Dorsett also emphasizes the importance of community in the grieving process, encouraging those who mourn to seek support from their church and loved ones. This shared experience of grief, coupled with the hope found in Christian faith, fosters a path towards healing. He underscores the power of hope in Christ to transform sorrow into a testament of faith, offering solace and strength to navigate through loss.

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