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A Community grieves

Tragedy struck our state today. A young man gave his life in service to his community.

How often do you really think about those who volunteer their time and abilities to the local fire departments? I recall my first encounter with our local fire department (Frametown) while stuck in traffic on the top of Big Run Hill. A tree had fallen across the road. We were third in line as we waited for help to arrive.

Soon trucks showed up, not fire trucks but individuals who arrived in their personal trucks, wrapped in yellow rain coats and chain saws in hand began to systematically cut up the tree and remove so that traffic could continue. I recall serious faces as they directed the process, other faces had a light in their eye performing their duty, possibly because they held a power tool in hand in destroying that which obstructed the road. I recall the intense feeling of community as I observed these individuals working diligently in this task. It was a blessing to witness.

Recently during revival a few fire department volunteers came to service. To ease their minds we connected their devices to the wifi to ensure no call was missed. Every call could mean life or death to the one placing the call. Each call delivered to these brave, determined volunteers can very possibly change a life. The gravity of that statement... every single call could be the life of a fellow.

Today it not only meant the life of the two trapped in the vehicle in the Elk River but it also meant the life of the young man giving of himself to his community.

This act of commitment to community overwhelms me. These incredible people give of their time for training, for meetings, for fallen trees. Today it breaks the community's heart when a young man gives his very life.

All three drowned today. The grief felt throughout the community can be felt in a deep sobering way. We end this Sunday with the very brutal reality none of us are promised another day. We mourn the loss of life. We look deeper into the eyes of those who belong to us. Our spouses, our children, our parents, all of those whom we love.

Most importantly we are reminded we are eternal beings. Our earthly bodies die, they pass away. But the soul lives forever.

"May your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus" (I Thessalonians 5:23)

Lost today in service to his community! Fireman John Dean Forbush Gassaway Volunteer Fire Department Braxton County, WV Fireman Forbush was attempting a water rescue following a vehicle accident with a car in the Elk River at Sutton, Braxton County, attempting to rescue a mother and daughter trapped in the vehicle. All three drowned in the rescue attempt. John 15:13 KJV "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

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