Thanks to Matt Ritchie for these words he wrote this morning on his blog: A little over two hours ago, we put Levi, our oldest son, on a van that was headed to Houston for a youth mission trip. After January's accident, I don't think that I will ever take for granted that - when I send my kids away on a trip - they are guaranteed to come back in one piece. It was tough watching them drive away, and Sheila didn't even go. She was afraid that if she got upset, it would make it difficult for Levi to leave. I'm glad I got to go, though, because I witnessed something amazing this morning. Mike and Diane Cope's son, Chris, who was seriously injured in the January accident, climbed right into the same van with Levi, while his parents anxiously watched from a few feet away. Whatever Sheila and I are going through, it must be infinitely worse for these guys. It was hard. We tried not to fixate on exactly where in the van he sat. I went home for a while and was fine. A buddy who's an elder, probably knowing we'd be fear-full, came over for a while. Then I came to the church building for a while. And that's when fear started to grip me. But about 10:00 it lifted. I quit praying just for a safe trip. Somehow, a spirit of courage took over. I began praying about this trip to inner city Houston, remembering that three high school boys on graduation Sunday named it as one of the most formative parts of their spiritual journey. (That means it stuck with them five years -- which at that age is like a couple decades at mine!) I've been praying now that God would use them to minister for Jesus; that God would open their eyes to see a world that isn't safe and comfortable; that God would form my younger son to have the kind of heart for the downtrodden and poor that his older brother and sister-in-law have. Even as we watched the vans drive off, we received word that another Abilene kid Chris's age -- a kid I've coached in basketball, a great kid with a smile that would light up the room -- was killed last night. What I've heard is that he was out of town visiting his dad. Great sadness.