SYRACUSE — More than 100 came out on a snowy and icy evening to share with others stories not only of Jeff Rostochak, Kim and Stephen Conrad, but also Dana Arthur, all prominent residents in the Wawasee area who touched many lives in many areas including as teachers, coaches and athletes.
Pat Park, pastor at Wawasee Heights Baptist Church and Brent Joy, Syracuse Baptist Church, shared scripture with those in attendance at The Lodge, formerly the Smith-Walbridge Camp, in Syracuse.
Kris Long started the evening of sharing followed by many others including Joe Salva, Jack Elam, Bob Carlson, Harlan Steffen, Monica Lambright and many others who did not give their names.
Their memories were from personal experiences to business related, watching a young man enjoying his favorite sport – golf, and his greatness showing at an early age.
Amanda Baugh, accompanied on guitar by Tom Eisenhower, provided uplifting songs of “10,000 Reasons” and “Amazing Grace.”
“We’ve just had a few rough days. Our community is hurting. Our community is hurting because of the loss of loved ones. Our community hurting is because of events we just don’t understand. Our community is hurting because we want answers and there’s no answer there to be grasped this is why it has happened,” said Park. He shared from the gospel what we need to realize and know when that happens.
“There are people here from every area of life, people here from a lot of different communities, many different churches … there are people who are hurt … we are here to seek comfort,” said Park. He read from the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth, 2 Corinthians 1: “Blessed be the God and father of our lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies, the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction.”
“Tonight is a night to seek God’s face, to seek God’s comfort … it is there for the asking,” said Park. “We’re here as a community, but also as individuals with individual hurts who have individual memories, individual losses, we’re here as a community to find comfort for our community, to find comfort for ourselves and to be comforted by the God of all comfort.
“Tonight, we come together as a community that needs one another, a community that needs God a community that needs to know God’s comfort,” concluded Park.
Joy, while he spoke of how he came to know Kim Conrad, stated “she was such a blessing to our church, she had such a positive attitude … she was a blessing in a lot of ways people don’t know about … the thing with Kim, she was probably the busiest person I’ve ever known,” said Joy.
He continued stating the Bible tells us there is a time for everything. He referred to Philippians 4 that tells God is a God of peace who surpasses all understanding and Ephesians 5:15 about making the best use of your time, as the days are numbered. “I thought about Kim … she used her time wisely, she made the best use of her time … as God’s people we can help redeem the time we have here from evil … the anger, the uncomfortableness of all of this … Just knowing them is a gift.”