Isaac was dedicated to God by his parents on February 23, 1997. When we lived in Beresford, SD, our neighbor Gene Skyberg took Isaac to Awana at his church each week when we didn’t have an established church of our own. This was instrumental in developing Isaac’s initial understanding of God. Isaac made a public profession of his faith and was baptized at the First Baptist Church in Parker, South Dakota in January 2007.
In December of 2009 Isaac went on his first mission trip with his grandpa Darrel to Haiti. He helped run a Vacation Bible School for children of the community and helped build a school as well. Isaac was deeply moved and influenced by all he saw and experienced in Haiti. He returned to Haiti with his grandpa in December of 2011 with the Helping Hands of Haiti organization. Isaac always had a heart for the people he met there and was impacted by the work he had a chance to do there. Isaac also enjoyed helping his grandpa Darrel with food packs for Kids Against Hunger.
Isaac had a servant’s heart. Even as a teenager, Isaac was always so thoughtful and helpful. He worried about the needs of others. When we moved to Marshall in 2011, we met Mike and Joy Svatek. Isaac and Mike connected immediately, and Isaac joined the youth group at Swan Lake Church.
So many people had an impact on his faith walk during those years. Isaac had lots of questions about faith and God and the men in our church encouraged him and helped him work out his understanding of God.
In 2017, a time when Isaac was really struggling and in some of his darkest moments, Kristin prayed daily that God would bring a Christian mentor into Isaac’s life. Someone that would guide him and show him how to be in relationship with God. For a long time we were not sure that prayer was being answered. This last week, we learned that Isaac’s boss Joshua Nunn, who is himself a strong Christian, had been having lots of spiritual conversations with Isaac over the last year. Isaac even prayed with Josh and for Josh! Knowing that Isaac was seeking after God right until the end, brings us such comfort. And God never stopped chasing after our son!
So many people spoke into Isaac’s life over the years that helped develop and establish his faith, too many to name here. It is important that we share this because this is our calling and the legacy we leave for our children and those people in our sphere of influence.
Our prayer is that we would each leave here today encouraged to be a light for someone else. Be willing to answer the tough questions, be candid and forthright with our failures and imperfections, bold in our communities and the places we work. Chase after God and invite someone else in that journey. The impact is eternal.