Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

We are home!! We pulled into the driveway this afternoon to signs and balloons welcoming Chris. Before long school let out and we had a house full of 6th grade boys. So very, very thankful to be here. The road ahead will be slow and hard. But for the moment, we're HOME! On the way back, we stopped at the site of the wreck near Putnam. The site where my precious boy could have died. The place where his friend Brody Bourland did die. There's so much to process. Our prayers continue for the Bourland family and for others who were injured in the rollover. Chris was the last child to leave a hospital. (The driver remains hospitalized.) So many stories to hear and tell. One that's filling my soul right now is hearing about the service on Sunday night. Six churches contacted Highland to ask if their teens could come over that evening to pray for our church, our youth group, the Bourlands, and all who were injured. They are First Baptist, St. Paul United Methodist, First United Methodist, First Central Presbyterian, First Christian, and Heavenly Rest Episcopal Church. These churches came to minister to my beloved church while I was gone -- to pray for my son and for the others. I have no words at the moment to begin to say what that community of faith means to me.

29 Comments:

  • That's music to our ears!! Welcome home.
    Patsy

    By Blogger P Watson, at 1/25/2005 04:10:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the update, Mike. It's a beautiful thing that in tragedy there are no denominations, only the cross, prayers, and the body of Christ. Maybe we can be like that all of the time, someday.

    I/we all are so glad to hear about Chris's recovery. We'll continue to pray. But all along, I've been wondering about the driver. I know there are still physical injuries, what an emotional burden she must be carrying right now. I know you all are. We're still praying all around the world for you, brother.

    Grace & peace.

    By Blogger Jon, at 1/25/2005 04:13:00 PM  

  • There's no place like home!

    By Blogger Kendra, at 1/25/2005 04:21:00 PM  

  • Welcome home, Chris! We are excited about this news!

    And, wow! What a Sunday evening! I would have loved to have been there for that time of fellowship and ministry.

    Our prayers for you and the others will not cease, however. But our prayers will contain thanksgivings for what God has done so far.

    We love you!

    Zac, Connie, Brad, & Blake Muncy and Eloise Muncy

    By Blogger Zac Muncy, at 1/25/2005 04:59:00 PM  

  • Welcome home, friends!

    You're absolutely right, Mike. The response this week has been incredible. When we visited the crash site with my son and some of his friends who were in the van behind Chris last Friday, a lady from Stephenville came up to us just to let us know that she knew why we were there and that she was praying for us. She even gave us some flowers, which were placed with the memorial that we built.

    Thats just another one among many stories about Christians from all kinds of places and backgrounds surrounding the Highland community with prayer and love this week.

    By Blogger Matt, at 1/25/2005 05:04:00 PM  

  • How wonderful!!!! I am so glad that you all were able to come home today and that you made the trip back to Abilene without incident. I'll keep you all in my prayers over the long slow recovery process.

    By Blogger Jenni, at 1/25/2005 05:21:00 PM  

  • Praise God and welcome home!! I'm so glad you guys made it back here safely. We will continue to pray for Chris as he recovers, and for everyone who's been touched by the events of the past week. Much love to all of you ~ blessed be the Name of the Lord!!

    By Blogger Katie, at 1/25/2005 07:57:00 PM  

  • i am blessed to be among the thousands who rejoice with your homecoming! may the GOD of mercy continue to heal.
    karen

    By Blogger karen, at 1/25/2005 09:12:00 PM  

  • I am so thankful that we have a faithful Father and that He transcends all of our boundaries and differences so that we can be ONE! I continue to pray for healing and recovery-welcome home!

    IN HIM, Katherine

    By Blogger Katherine, at 1/25/2005 10:32:00 PM  

  • You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Congrats on the homecoming! (Thank God for hospitals and the care they provide when it is most needed, but it's always good to be back in one's own bed.)

    This last Sunday was the end of the "Week of prayer for Christian Unity" and we marked the day by attending an Ecumenical Worship Service. How beautiful that it was the same day that Highland was ministered to by other churches in your area. What a great example of Christian unity at work!

    By Blogger reJoyce, at 1/26/2005 12:55:00 AM  

  • Welcome home! We are still praying for you and look forward to the day we can hug you all!

    The Wertheims

    By Blogger Robyn, at 1/26/2005 04:15:00 AM  

  • A "P.S." FROM MIKE

    I am using the rather impersonal "the driver" only because I don't know what issues of privacy there may be for the family. The driver is a beloved woman in our church.

    Also -- one other story. I just heard last night that PIONEER DRIVE BAPTIST CHURCH called and asked if they could bring their nursery staff to take care of our nursery during the funeral for Brody so that everyone from Highland could attend. Another blessing from our spiritual community.

    By Blogger Mike, at 1/26/2005 04:46:00 AM  

  • Mike,
    Welcome home! That's awesome! I got a lump in my throat as I read the list of churches who were there to help heal and minister. What a tremendous story of unity!!! Praise be to God! Blessings! sd

    By Blogger SkipD, at 1/26/2005 05:32:00 AM  

  • We're so thankful Chris is home now -- and so touched by the gestures from other churches in Abilene. Our prayers for your family and the others affected by the accident will continue.

    By Blogger Deana Nall, at 1/26/2005 06:13:00 AM  

  • Mike & Diane,

    I cannot even imagine what the host of angels looked like that escorted your drive home, each one there at the prayer request of one of us. I am so proud of all the churches that physically reached out to Highland during this time; they were our hands for those of us that are too far from you. We were in constant prayer this weekend during the conference, it was an incredible time of caring and hurting for our family. Sandra spent time Sunday morning just stressing the point that we are a family, from Nashville to Texas and all of us out West.

    Mike, I also just wanted to thank you for the message from you to Avery, it was the highlight of his very hard working weekend. I am so glad you have your little boy home; I have been holding mine very close during this time.

    Just know how much we love you and your family and can't wait for the next time we can be together.

    Lex

    By Blogger Lex, at 1/26/2005 06:32:00 AM  

  • Mike and Diane,

    The Cunningham's are praising God even louder this morning! We are so thrilled that Chris is home!! What a great answer to many, many prayers!

    Reading your posts, Mike, I can only wish that somehow you could know every loving act that has been poured out from God's people in our community...it has been truly overwhelming... even to those of us who are merely observers and not impacted directly like those involved. I have witnessed an in-breaking of the kingdom like never before. Truly what Satan intended for evil, God has used to build unity and community that is breathtaking in magnitude!

    Please know that you and your family have been CONSTANT in our prayers and ever present on our hearts!

    We are thrilled you are back!
    Love,
    Rob & Cheryl

    By Blogger Cheryl C, at 1/26/2005 06:33:00 AM  

  • Praise God for his love and mercy! The Central family in Wichita continues to keep all of the Highland family in our hearts and prayers.

    Two of our ministers were at the Christian Educators Conference in New Orleans when word arrived of the accident and David Wray and another Highland shepherd left to be with their flock. What a blessing there is in a family's love!

    Our prayers also continue for Julie and her family although word of her condition has been slow to arrive back here. We pray that the Bourland's are surrounded by those who love them!

    Yours in Christ,
    Dennis Hogue for the Central flock in Wichita, KS

    By Blogger Dennis Hogue, at 1/26/2005 06:52:00 AM  

  • Our hearts are full of rejoicing, because we know that you are rejoicing! What a foot washing it must have been to be at Highland on Sunday night, to see the love of God being poured out on you by those believers in your community! It is a blessing to all of us to just HEAR about it, so I can't imagine what it would have been like to be there!

    "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." I John 4:7

    WELCOME HOME CHRIS! :)

    Love,
    DU

    By Blogger David U, at 1/26/2005 07:09:00 AM  

  • I went past the lump in the throat to tears streaming. How beautiful when adversity lets us put our differences aside and love one another as God intended.

    Thank you for sharing all of this with us. My prayers have not ceased for your family and the others involved, especially Brody's family and the driver. Long row to hoe, but abundant blessings in the relief workers lined up to help.

    Praise God!

    By Blogger DJG, at 1/26/2005 07:47:00 AM  

  • That's great news on at least two counts! I'm ecstatic that Chris is back home, and I'm thrilled that so many different flavors of believers pulled together as one during this difficult time.

    We'll keep those Georgia prayers coming!

    By Blogger Matt Elliott, at 1/26/2005 07:53:00 AM  

  • "work everything to good" for them who love HIM! Love to you,Diane,Chris and all the others we've never met, but love as brothers and sisters in Christ. Andee

    By Blogger annie, at 1/26/2005 07:54:00 AM  

  • Mike--praise the Lord! I am so glad to know you're home. What a gift!

    What a special place Abilene is. Amazing families of faith in all denominations! You are helping to unify the believers there, bro. Take some time to heal and rest YOURSELF. Tell Chris we love him and continue to pray.

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 1/26/2005 08:55:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    I'm so grateful to read this news ... our prayers continue for "the driver" (we know the name to pray for, and were inspired by the support given by the Bourlands).

    Like so many others, I'm just overcome by the response of the community of believers.

    And, once again, keenly homesick for my home of only three years.

    By Blogger Keith Brenton, at 1/26/2005 09:17:00 AM  

  • Glad you are home! Chris will continue to be in our prayers.

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 1/26/2005 10:29:00 AM  

  • Rejoicing with you and praying for you in the months to come.

    By Blogger bdp, at 1/26/2005 10:47:00 AM  

  • The loving care of God and of His children one for another leaves me speechless--so I will borrow from Fanny Crosby:

    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
    let the earth hear His voice!
    Praise the Lord, Let the people rejoice!
    O Come to the Father thru Jesus His Son,
    And give Him the glory,
    GREAT THNIGS HE HAS DONE!

    By Blogger Vkls, at 1/26/2005 12:36:00 PM  

  • I know you don't know me... but I wanted to make sure this message (below) got to the families involved... I hope & pray you can pass it along. Thanks. -- Lindsay

    Hello, I am from the band Audio Adrenaline. We played at the convention the young people who had the accident were attending and I wanted to send a note to say how we were deeply upset to hear of the terrible accident that took the life of this young gentleman, Brody Bourland, and also hurt several others. I wanted to know if you could pass along our sincerest thoughts for the family, the rest of the children and their families and also the members of the church. We actually have a song called “Underdog” which talks about how God our abba father looks out for the underdog and those who get picked on by the world. It was bitter sweet to know what a wonderful young man this Brody was as he looked out for the underdogs as well. I know and would love for the family to know too, that God has Brody now and he is in a wonderful place. I have lost both of my parents and it hurts so bad at these times but we have to cling to God’s promises. We will be praying for this situation and if there is anything we can do let us know. Thank you for your time.

    Will McGinniss
    Audio Adrenaline

    By Blogger nashgirl, at 1/26/2005 01:20:00 PM  

  • "We are home!!" Beautiful words!!! Someday, we will all be in our "home for good."

    Thank you Jesus, may your Holy Spirit continue to heal the broken bodies and hurting hearts.

    By Blogger David Michael, at 1/27/2005 08:25:00 AM  

  • Mike - I am Corydon Elliot Stephanie Grosz's dad.
    I just want to let you know that Mary K. and I have had your family our thoughts and prayers. Steph. keeps informed on regular basis.
    I enjoy your blog and look forward to each one.
    Corydon Elliot

    By Blogger Corydon, at 1/27/2005 03:11:00 PM  

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