To bring God’s hope and healing to grieving and hurting families, to minister to people who are suffering from depression, and to bring awareness to others to pray for those Christians in persecuted areas throughout the world.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV).
Approximately one year before Katie’s accident and her going to heaven with the Lord, she visited briefly with me in my office. She said, “Daddy, I was spending time in prayer with the Lord this morning, and He wants me to share something with you.”
I must preface, before sharing what she told me, that I knew Katie had a gift from the Lord to prophesy even at a very young age. (See Romans 12:4-8 in the Bible.) She had on many occasions been used of the Lord to share a message with those she was instructed to tell. She once wrote a three page letter when she was thirteen years old to our then Senior Pastor and his wife outlining future plans from the book of Jeremiah for their lives. Although unable to understand what the prophecy meant at that particular time in their ministry, it did come to pass and to full revelation about five years later when they were in prayer services in West Virginia.
So now I asked Katie what it was that she was so urgent to tell me. She said, “Daddy, the Lord has revealed to me to share with you that you will not be doing your business in the near future.” I was a bit stunned at first, but asked Katie, “What, if not my business, am I to do?” Her reply was simple and brief: “He hasn’t told me that, but HE will reveal that to you when the time is right.” She then left me sitting in my desk chair, and my only thought was what is this all about Lord? On her final year on earth, Katie repeated this word to me on two other occasions (one six months later then three months before her accident). I guess she just wanted to make sure I didn’t forget it or at least did not disregard it!
On December 21, 2006, nine months after the accident, I was driving home alone from a store in the neighborhood. My wife Pat, who was working that day, and I had talked about all the comfort we had received from so many others. We both were sensing that we should share this comfort with others along with all that Katie left us in song and in writings. While driving, I did something I had never done before as, audibly, I said these words: “God, I’m ready.” This truly jolted me as I wasn’t in the habit of speaking out loud to God, let alone say those words. I drove two more city blocks, and then said another sentence: “God, I’m ready and I know Pat is too!” Saying this felt better because I, at least, was not the only one telling God I was ready. It was but a few blocks more, feeling somewhat guilty of including my wife into the mix, that I found myself for the third and final time during that drive saying, “God, I’m ready but I only want to be used when You are ready to open the doors for us to share with others.”
When Pat came home from work, I told her about what happened while driving and how it had startled me to openly say those words to God. It was a few minutes later that our mail delivery came, and in the mailbox was a letter from a Christian counselor who was going to teach an upcoming college class on grief and loss. The eighteen students in the class were about the same age Katie would have been. The counselor had heard about Katie’s life and listened to and was blessed by her song “Remembering the Persecuted.” She asked Pat and me, if we were able emotionally, to come and speak to her students and if so to pick a date of three possible openings on the schedule. Well, to say the least, my first reaction and statement after reading the letter was, “Wow, I guess if you tell God you are ready, you better be!” Pat and I both knew we were meant to go, and the only day of the three open dates that worked out was Pat’s birthday, January 22nd.
So, we prayed and asked the Lord to help us put together all that HE would want us to share that day. It was, suffice to say, a supernatural moment that we encountered as the Holy Spirit settled upon all present; as we finished sharing our hearts and Katie’s life, writings, and songs with them, there was not a dry eye in the classroom. I sensed a healing presence for all, as many of the students taking the class, had experienced recent loss in their lives and were in need of healing from grief. The talk ended by all the students singing “Happy Birthday” to Pat, and I could not help but sense Katie was singing along with them for her mom. The counselor challenged each of the students to create their own new song to the Lord and to not allow the spirit of depression to stand in their way of all that God had for their lives. Pat and I knew as we walked with Katie’s picnic basket (now empty after giving each student her writings and copies of songs) back to our car that this was the beginning for us to start this ministry.
I have recently asked the Lord a simple question about when this ministry was begun. I asked the Lord, “Was it when I said I’m ready, and you opened the doors for us to go share with the students at Trinity College?” The answer was “No.” I asked, “Was it when Katie came into my office and told me I would not be doing my business much longer?” The answer was, “No, but that was the word I had for you then to prepare you for what was to come.” I asked a final time, “Lord, when was it then that you put this desire into our hearts to begin Katie’s Comfort Ministry?” He so tenderly told me in my spirit the following: “This ministry was birthed the day your precious daughter Katie said yes to ME.“ He continued by saying, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. I knew the plans I had for Katie’s life and when I would call her home to be with me. I also know the plans I have for you and your family and I will use your brokenness for MY GLORY. I will not abandon nor forsake you. This is the purpose of why you were created!”
It is with a very deep sense of saying “Thank You” to the Lord for the privilege of having Katie for nineteen years that we follow the plans HE has for us. We are truly broken but open to share with others this ministry HE birthed through a daughter and sister who really was always HIS but left us so much to share with others.