Shortly after 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, our dear young friend, John LaFontaine, passed away. He was only 32.
We've been praying much for John ever since he was diagnosed with aggressive cancer about four months ago. He fought valiantly.
Yesterday, he was in a lot of pain. It seemed like a Gethsemane of sorts. Then, today was his Calvary.
I am heavy hearted right now. John was such a strong and faithful soldier for Jesus. His only aim was to bring glory to God. This is true in his death as well as his life.
Last summer, John organized an event on the Reservation called "Heartfest." Singlehandedly, he built a bridge between the Christians from the LCO Reservation and the larger Hayward area. We ate together, sang together and shared our stories. It was a beautiful experience I'll never forget.
Also, John volunteered at the jail several times a week, leading Celebrate Recovery Groups.
He gave his life away to others -- and it's no wonder that hundreds showed up for the Chili Benefit Fundraiser we held for him two weeks ago. That night, to everyone's amazement, he showed up (had just been released from the hospital), stood up (nobody thought he could stand), and spoke up (and we thought he was too weak to speak!) He shared a powerful testimony of God's grace, and encouraged everybody to live for Jesus. There was not a dry eye in the place.
John's precious wife, Candice, is expecting twins in just a couple of months. She certainly needs our prayers and support more than ever. I am amazed at the depth of this young woman's faith and trust in these very dark and difficult times.
I see Jesus shining through her. God bless Candice.
This verse went through my mind again today, "Unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it only remains a seed. But, if it dies, it produces many seeds."
May it be so for John.