if I die young…
And I’ll be wearing white
when I come into your Kingdom…
On a rainy night in July 2011, Amber passed away in a car accident. Seeing hundreds of people pack into the church the next week showed how much she had meant to the people around her.
I vividly remember watching pictures of her short, but full, life on the screen at her service with this song playing in the background. Pictures of her with her dad and mom, pictures from mission trips and retreats, pictures with friends, at school and on the field. Every time I hear this song, those pictures scroll through my mind.
Hearing The Band Perry play it live this week made those pictures even more real. It also reminded me of what came next.
The morning after Amber’s service, our high schoolers left for a mission trip to Novinger, Missouri, a small town in northeast Missouri, ravaged in recent years with tornado, flood and fire. One of our leaders said, “Let’s start ‘Amber’s Team'” so our students and anyone who knew Amber could support this community we were going to serve.
A basketball court was built, fenced in and painted, new athletic supplies were purchased for the school and the students of this community — all because of Amber’s Team. This basketball was presented to Bill, the superintendent of Novinger schools, and sits in the trophy case in their school lobby.
I’ll remember Amber for a long time. I hope the Town of Novinger will be impacted by her even longer.