I don't do "goodbyes" very well. I can barely see through my tears as I write this, because the loss is so great. In the beginning of the service, before the feed went out, the minister there said "we pray that God will light MANY lamps, to replace this ONE that was so bright".....
I hardly knew Derek, outside of his family's experience in saving those three precious, blonde angels you saw in that webcast this afternoon. Their adoption journey with us was HARD..harder than most...and yet they persevered...they did not walk away from this calling to save these boys. Derek blogged about redemption, his feelings were so raw and so real. I never met Derek, but I knew his heart, I knew him enough to grieve him not being here anymore...enough to miss the leadership and example he was for ME personally, and enough to celebrate the true gift he was to so many. I am honored to know him, his wife, and to count them among my dearest and closest friends, because that is how they make you feel from the first moment you speak with them. I hope one day we can actually meet and celebrate together as one family. I feel empowered by the gift of Derek's life...his passion, his energy, his purity of love....empowered to continue this fight for the babies...and confident we will WIN.
*** And so, I should feel so strong about Jesus in my life too. Derek Loux is the closest human, contemporary example I have ever known to what Jesus Himself may have been like in the flesh. My faith has never been stronger than it is right now, so thank you, Derek...just for being you. And to witness the grief, but the simultaneous strength, of everyone in that congregation...to hear his own mother say "I dedicated you to God when you were born, and I dedicate you to Him now"....that was powerful and humbling. (because I feel quite sure I would not be that nice about it if something was to happen to my own child).
I can not think of a more beautiful way to change perspective on the sense of loss we all feel than to know we are simply returning God's gift to Him. That makes letting go so much easier. Renee's faith is a rock, and although I am sure she has shed her tears, she lets Derek go with an incredible sense of hope and certainty. She knows she will see him again. God entrusted Derek to this dark world, just as He entrusted His own Son, Jesus. He used Derek and his whole family to be a voice of hope and light and life for those who have none....to carry that into the orphanages and the dark places in this world. And in our ministry here at Reece's Rainbow, we take one step forward every day, in the loss of Derek and in the gift of Derek. We will use the light he shared with us to push forward, JESUS' light, to bring light and life and hope to these waiting children with Down syndrome and other special needs. We will do that until there are no more orphans. Anywhere. And the attached blog button/graphic can be found on our blog at www.reecesrainbow.blogspot.com to share on your own blogs.
Not every family is called to adopt, to actually bring a child into their home. But God does place that burden on every single one of us, and He expects each us of to do SOMETHING. Your tears count....your prayers count...your time counts...your donations count...whether you adopt a child yourself, whether you fight against abortion, whether you visit the orphans and love them until their forever families can come...whether all you can do is post about RR on Facebook and MySpace....whatever you do, do SOMETHING. Don't let people tell you that you can't save the world...prove them wrong by doing it anyway.
So what I get out of Derek Loux and his sudden, tragic death....live every day like it really is your last. You are your own legacy. What you do, how you act, things you say, how you love others, and how much others love YOU....that is all up to you. Because these things happen every single day, you can't ever know when it's your time, and you better be living right and doing everything possible to serve others...that is what God call us to do.
We have just had our most successful CHRISTmas Angel Tree ever. We now begin a month of "New Year Warrioring", and seeking new families to adopt those children who have raised sizeable adoption grants through the Angel Tree. If you are a Christmas Warrior for a child who has not yet found their family, please consider extending your focused efforts during this New year Warrior time.
We will continue to pray for growth and opened hearts in more regions of RUSSIA...for opportunities to save lives in Latin America and Africa and Asia....to open doors and break down the financial barriers for all the families who are ready and willing to save these children. We pray for the chance to witness to foreign birth families, that they might stand up and choose to keep their children with Down syndrome, despite their fears and lack of resources. We pray they will band together and work for the benefit of those babies and fight for their own societies to embrace them. We pray for Timosha's family, as they celebrate their first days together again as a family. We pray for each other, that our hearts be healed from this loss, that we recognize Derek's passing as a chance to be strengthened and to draw nearer to You.
Derek Loux, we give you back to God, my friend.
Because He Lives,
Andrea Roberts, Executive Director
Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry
Reece's Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Ministry