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Friday, March 25, 2011

Diving for James

All of the local readers are already too familiar with what happened to James Eunice. A few months ago our community (and surrounding areas) pulled together to find James. He was 17 years old and drowned in a local pond while hunting. It took weeks to find him as our area didn't have the proper diving equipment. These special suits that are made for diving in COLD waters are $3000 each. Thankfully TONS of people came out to help in the search efforts and many divers had such suits that allowed them to stay in the water longer than those divers could without the equipment.

I personally never met James but his story is inspiring to me. He LOVED the Lord with all of his being and his short life has been such a testimony to others. This is a short essay that James wrote in honor of a friend of his who had passed on too soon before he himself passed away. If you visit Valdosta you'll often find people wearing shirts with this on the back in James' memory. What an amazing devotion to God this young man had and what a reminder this is to live our lives right as we never do know when judgment will come.

 The Time is Now

Take time to love someone. Today, Tomorrow, For the rest of your life. Because when that unexpected day comes that they pass on, you'll be left wondering what you could've done better. How you could have made them feel more welcome, and show that you do care for them. Don't wait until it's too late like I did. Show the love that Jesus has for you to everyone you see. Let your heart break for what breaks His. Christ is enough. Let Him show you life. You never know who He may touch through you. It is so sad that it takes a tragedy like this to comprehend how our days are numbered. Only He knows. Keep your faith in Him. He will bless you beyond belief. Our job is right now. This very second. So often, God gives me a little nudge towards someone.. and I put it off until the next day.. and then the next and then the next. Stop stalling. God put us on this earth for HIS glory. Not ours.. and so many times, the things I do always point back to me and my stupid self righteousness. So do something with me. Everyone. If this just touches one person, I will have done my job. Don't stall. Judgement is a heart beat away.
James "Brahbrah" Eunice

I have not met James' mother but have heard from so many people how incredible she has been throughout this entire ordeal. A friend shared this with me. This is the letter she wrote to her son on his facebook page after his death:

Dear James,

Finally I get to sit here and tell you about the difference you have made in my life, Truly a treasure since birth, you brought so much light into my life. Your smile, contagious laugh and funny faces were such an important part of your makeup. But, there was a depth to you that few, including me really realized. You were on a mission with a passion and zeal like I have never witnessed before. Do you remember all those times I told you that I had never known anyone like you? I don't believe there will ever be another person that encompasses the love you have first and foremost for your Heavenly Father and then for everyone who had the pleasure of knowing you. (even if they only knew you through facebook). There was always an urgency about the way you tried to "be there for others" That person who was struggling needed you and you felt as if you would burst if you couldn't get to them.

I'm so sorry about all the yelling and being so consumed with your grades and school. Oh yeah, you managed to keep your grades up whle trying to help others with their deficient areas. But you got the bigger picture! In spite everything being thrown your way, you still knew that God had more for you than just being a great student!

I'm so proud of the man you decided to become and that you allowed God to use you to further His kingdom for His glory! Oh how I long to see you again and tell you how YOU showed me what was "The Main Thing" and that is only Jesus is enough. It's kinda funny how you never missed an opportunity to share you faith with others. I tended after being burned a couple of times to kinda see where people stood before i shared "Jesus" with them. Well you know what, I will never do that again! When i see the lives you touched simply because you were available to anyone at anytime it makes me sad because of all the missed opportunities God placed in my path that I just didn't want to concern myself with.

Get my mansion ready because I'm going to see you again! I'm forever changed because of your life. People say, "You'll never get over this or you'll never be the same." Praise God I don't ever want to be the same. I want to make a difference for God's kingdom.

You are my precious boy and will always be my baby. I'm just so thankful God entrusted you to me. "I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always. As long as I'm living my baby you'll be!" #23 you are my hero and I love you and will never stop missing you until I gaze on you in heaven.

Thank you for being so easy to love!
Mom

No mother can imagine losing a child but Mrs. Eunice has such a wonderful bond with God that could never be broken. When many people would turn away from God in these type circumstances, she is turning towards Him and reminds everyone that James was not her son, but was God's son.

Several people in the community have put together a fun to raise money for the diver suits needed in the search for James. Hopefully we can have enough of these suits where if something like this happens again that they would be able to find someone MUCH quicker. I'm proud to be hosting a garage sale tomorrow in honor of this cause! Many families have volunteered to do a sale and contribute $100 of their earnings to raise money for a diving suit. We have already raised our $100 thanks to the HUGE response to my preview sale on Facebook (you can see some of the items we're selling here!). We will also be collecting donations tomorrow at the sale or you can email me (esparker33@gmail.com) if you're interested in contributing! It is a tax deductible contribution :) If you're local, here is a list of all the addresses hosting sales tomorrow:

1) 3820 Brookfield Drive 31605 (toward Moody on Bemiss, right on Studstill Rd.)
2) 4676 San Saba Dr (Grove Pointe Subdivision on 41 across from Stone Creek)
3) 3942 Carter Terrace Valdosta (across from Dewar Elementary)
4) 2306 S. Sherwood Dr., Valdosta
5) 5113 Cannon Drive, Lake Park
6) 15763 Valdosta Hwy (West over I-75, past Troupeville Rd. & just past Fellowship nursing home)
7) 3788 Mt. Zion Church Road, Valdosta (east of Dewar Elementary)
8) 5102 Camelot Circle, Lake Park. (Behind post office in off of Carriage Drive/ Hammock Lake subdivision)

Hope to see some of you in the morning! We're also hoping to be selling donuts to contribute more towards the efforts and my new diet says I can't eat any so I need some people to take them off our hands :)

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