I'm sad to say I'm writing once again about death.
When I first moved to America, we started attending Trinity Covenant Church. There I was welcomed into open arms by the youth at the church, which was headed by the most amazing youth pastor and most generous and loving man. His name was David Bowden. He was a very tall man and we nicknamed him "Tree." He has a wife and two daughters, who are a couple years younger than I am. I remember him always smiling and happy. He found joy in every part in his life, through his work and through his ministry serving God. Everyone loved him and loved being around him. He willingly made fun of himself and acted crazy in front of everyone to make them smile. He headed up our church musicals and VBS and youth group. I remember him dying his hair blonde at the end of VBS because we had raised enough money for the Upward Basketball program. I remember him picking me up and throwing me into the 12ft deep pool in Myrtle Beach the summer before sixth grade. There were tons of memories and every one of them makes me smile whenever I think about them. Although we switched churches halfway through seventh grade, the three years with him were pretty amazing, and I think anyone who knew him would agree with that.
I found out about Tree's passing today through a text from my dad. I immediately started writing. I can't believe he's gone. It seems like just yesterday I was going to youth group singing songs with everyone while he played the guitar. The last time I saw him was at a Mexican restaurant two years ago, although I hadn't realized it had been that long. I'm sad about his passing. Really sad in fact. He left a great mark on my childhood and I will always be thankful for that. But mostly I feel sad for those who really knew him: his family. His daughters and his wife have suffered such a huge loss and I can't even begin to imagine their pain. I pray for them and wish them all the best and hope that they can find comfort and happiness in his loving memories at this time and in the future. He was very young. Too young to die. But he's in heaven with God and we all know he is safe and happy there. Although it hurts right now, we will see him again someday. We will never know why, but I believe that it was God's plan to take him and there must be a reason for that.
David Bowden is loved and missed by all. While his body may be gone, his spirit will forever live in the lives he has touched through his ministry to God, to the church, and to the youth. He was and always will be a loyal servant, great father, friend to all, and amazing man.