Several months ago, Lee Norrie got serious about his spiritual life. After encountering his friends at a train station, he accepted their invitation to dinner. Prompted by the Spirit, they invited him to church the following day. He accepted the invite and began the studying the Bible that week. Over the next month, Lee studied the Bible and was amazed at the power and mercy of Jesus. He opened up about the last 30 years of his life. He expressed being uncomfortable in his own skin. Many health and mental challenges resulted in a life of consistent depression, anxiety, isolation, and suicidal thoughts. He longed for freedom, security, peace, and family. After a few short weeks of Bible study and fellowship, he made Jesus Lord of his life. Lee had a flair for the dramatic. At his baptism, he told the brothers, “I will muster all my strength to brave these dark waters. I know I’ll up rise like a phoenix and emerge victorious because I know I’m doing this for God.” We have never heard a statement like this at someone’s baptism and probably never will again. Five months later, Lee suddenly passed away in his sleep due to an epileptic seizure. While the church grieves and mourns his loss, we also rejoice in the hope of the resurrection. Lee finished the fight a faithful man of God. At his funeral service, family members and disciples shared eulogies. Each family member described the radical change in Lee over the past several months. They described a man who was free, a man who was secure, a man who was at peace, a man who had found spiritual family. Disciples shared how in a in a few short months, a man who was previously uncomfortable in his own skin came to life. At the end of the service, the transformative power of Jesus was crystal clear. While Lee’s passing was shocking and sad, God used it to remind us of several things: One, God is so gracious. He knows our days are numbered. Without question, God graciously arranged the perfect time for Lee to hear the gospel. Second, our evangelism matters. When prompted by the Spirit to share the gospel, share the gospel! We’re so proud of the couple who listened to the Spirit and invited Lee into their home. Last, our faith matters. Lee’s faith made an impact in his family and our church. In a powerful way, seeds of the gospel were planted in his family members. Also, our singles and campus have bonded in a special way. Their love for one another and their urgency for the lost have both increased. At the moment, there are three people counting the cost soon to be baptized! Praise God for his gracious timing and allowing all things to work for his good. God used Lee’s life and death to remind us all of these truths. And now, we all encourage one another with the certainty we have in Christ of rising like a phoenix: “For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” – 1 Corinthians 15.52 We love you Lee. We miss you. We’ll see you in heaven.