A few days ago, a young man in our community, Arthur Garcia, killed another man, David Palm (his ex-girlfriend's brother) and then committed suicide.

It was a sad and shocking turn of events -- which hits awfully close to home. Just today, I discovered that Arthur attended services here at Hayward Wesleyan Church five out of the last seven Sundays of his life. I even prayed with him one Sunday after church last month.

It really breaks my heart -- and I wonder how this possibly could have happened. Oh, how I wish we would have reached out to him further.

Please remember the families in your prayers.


Anonymous said…

This should be a wake-up call to ALL of us. How many persons have visited our respective churches seeking help during a crisis in their lives, only to have left without the needed outreach and caring?

Our prayers are not only with the families involved but with all who knew them and did not reach them.
Anonymous said…
So sad. We will be praying
Anonymous said…
I had something similar happen at my church last year,i always wonder what i could have done different.You never know who is sitting there and the problems their having.
Larry said…
Whenever something tragic like this happens, people question themselves. The fact is, you and your congregation did the best that you could, I'm sure, to reach out and love this man. He knew he was loved.
Anonymous said…

I, like you, believe Mark and his church are doing a wonderful job at Hayward. But they, like me, should wonder if they could have done more or something different like anonymous number 3. To always excuse ourselves saying we have done our best keeps us from improving. Tough times like this makes us try harder and better the next time.

No, I do not believe this young man believed he was loved. People who know they are loved and wanted do not commit such tragic acts. He was at the end of his rope and could hang on no longer.
Anonymous said…
Something from a previous post comes to mind.

"a high-profile, high-stress job with nearly impossible expectations for success -- can send one down the road to depression"

This can be applied to any profession or position in life. Until we walk a few miles in someone's shoes (how about those without shoes} we never know what an individual is going thru.

We all can improve on our caring for our fellow man. We should never dismiss ourselves from responsibility.
Anonymous said…
This young man needed much help, perhaps more than he could receive from any church. So we can all make a vow to try and do better next time but we cannot beat ourselves up over what is in the past. We are guilty if we constantly excuse ourselves and never take a failure as an opportunity to improve.

My church members are so guilty of being more interested in where they are eating, as a small group together, after each service that they are usually totally unaware of someone new who should be included.
Anonymous said…
The newspaper article mentioned that he considered carrying out his murders in a church. Maybe what he saw when he attended the seven services here was enough to at least change his mind about that.

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