I am still overwhelmed with what took place at Ridge Church on July 12th! Never in my wildest dreams did I think that we would get the response that we got. Especially since many of us are on the verge of Ridge Church meal burn-out. July has to be the craziest month of the year with our 3rd of July party, the float in the parade on the 4th , the corn crib for the youth at the Jazz and Blues Festival, and then, of course, Vacation Bible School. Working in one more thing seemed not only overwhelming, but impossible.
Back in June, shortly after Tim Lukoshus headed up to Mayo’s to battle his cancer, one of his friends, Chris Bakker came by to ask for my help. He said that Tim’s friends wanted to do something to show their support, and to help Tim out. Chris asked about a pancake breakfast, and I suggested, why don’t we try a spaghetti dinner. Chris, Nicco and Nick took off running with the idea. They secured donations from Zuni’s House of Pizza in Dyer, The Olive Garden in both Lansing and Merrillville, as well as a huge donation from Giovanni’s right here in Munster. They lined up the football team to help, and friends and parents, and together, along with a number of people from Ridge Church, (especially Nancy Caddick, Beth Kitchell, Jack Conley and Chuck Horton) they did the impossible!
Our best estimate is that we feed about 1,400 people (an average fish fry has been around 250 people), and more than that we received donations so that the total amount raised for the Lukoshus family was close to $16,000.
Tim is home right now, and came by the church on Thursday. He looks great and is doing well. On August 20th, he will head back up to Mayo’s to have surgery on the 22nd. This is going to be a BIG surgery, so keep him in your prayers as they seek to remove all of the cancer from his knee. Following the surgery, Tim will go through an extensive period of rehabilitation.
While Tim was at the church, he visited with Julie Crary’s V.B.S. class. They had been praying for Tim every day and writing him notes. What a treat it was for the class to meet Tim, and for Tim to meet them.
To be honest with you — July 12th was a life changing event. Everyone who was involved witnessed firsthand a miracle and was changed by it. The Lukoshus family too, was changed by your love and generosity.
One of the Bible passages that came to mean a great deal to me following the death of my brother Stewart is Psalm 81:16: “With honey from the rock, I would satisfy you.” I came to understand that God does not cause the hard places in life, but that, if I am willing, I can experience, ‘honey” — good things — from those hard places. God did not give Tim cancer, but because we refused to let the rock crush us, we found “honey” in the midst of the rocks. When I came to see the “honey” that came out of Stewart’s life and death — I was a new being, and had a new and healthier perspective on life. After WE experienced that “honey” on July 12th, I know that Ridge Church will never be the same — and for that I give God thanks!