Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rest In Peace Renee

My heart hurts today because a dear friend and one of my former youth ministry students has passed away. This was Renee's second battle with cancer. I got word early this morning that things were not going well and she has been on my mind and in my prayers all day. I checked her father's blog and when I saw that she was gone I felt numb. I will miss her very much.

Renee Dueck was a young teenager when Jobina and I became youth pastors up in Mennville, MB. I remember her back then as being quirky, kind, and very creative. When we decided to start up a drama team (the Bard's of Now) she was the first to sign up! Renee was one of the best actors I've ever worked with, she could handle any part I threw at her and was extremely dedicated. When she was younger she was a typical young teenage girl, but as she got older she matured. She went through Leadership Development Camp at BCBC. I remember very clearly addressing the LDC group that she was in and asking each one what they were afraid of about coming to LDC (all LDC's were a little nervous and if they weren't they should have been). Her response was silence, I could tell she was nervous but she wouldn't let it show! She had a great week and I saw huge changes in her.

Renee was a lot of fun to have on your ministry team and whether it was doing a drama or counseling a cabin of girls at camp, she was dependable and honest. I never worried about anything I had delegated to her. She touched many people's lives. I remember going for a walk with her after she had come back from YWAM and her telling me stories about what it was like and wondering what she should do next. I remember her as someone who was learning and growing, always interested in new possibilities. She could be quite emotional. And she never lost her quirkiness, a trait in her that still makes me smile. I was proud of her growth and what she accomplished.

Without sounding trite or weird or anything, I can honestly say that my world seems a little darker to know that Renee isn't in it anymore. It hurts to think of it. I will grieve for her even as I know she is in a better place. Please pray for her friends and family. I cannot imagine what they are going through.

P.S. The image is David Hayward's "No Words." I thought of it as soon as Renee died because that is the image I have of Jesus beside us as we grieve for her.


. said...

man, i keep starting to type, but my words don't fit together with each other or with my thoughts and it is hard to see the computer screen right now. i like what you wrote, mark. i have also been thinking about the bards of now, smiling at memories of renee and i as jack and lenny. 2 girls trying to be thugs, dressed in black with my beard and her nasty mustache... thanks for reminding me bout the other things. i also remember being student leaders together, and doing camp together... going to school together, growing up together, and of course countless family moments

Mark said...

You're welcome Dayna. I had forgotten about that nasty mustache! May God help us all during this tough time.

Anonymous said...

As a funeral director the comment parents make almost always as they make preparations for a son or daughter's funeral is "... it seems so unnatural. This is not the natural order of life. Parents are not supposed to have to bury their children". I have to agree. It does not seem natural. I don't know the people but I know of your involvement in their lives and even as her previous youth pastor I'm sure this seems unnatural to you too. I can't help but pray for these dear folks as they grieve their loss and their dreams for their daughter; as well as their community of support who have stood beside them as they journeyed down this road. These are the situations in which we find ourselves telling God "I don't understand this but I trust you". That is a good place to be through the healing and grieving process.
This morning I will ask my friends to pray with me for all of you.
Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of Renee's from music camp, and heard today that she has passed on. While I have kept in touch with her through out the years since we were young I have no contact information for her family and no news of where her funeral will be. If you would be able to send that information to me I would be very grateful. Thank you in advance.

Mark said...

Hi Courtney, I don't want to post their personal info on this blog without their permission, but I will point you to Renee's Dad's blog which should have what you are looking for. Peace.


Lindsay said...

Hi Mark

So strange that I would stumble on your blog this week of all weeks... I was one of many summer camp workers you met while you and Jobina were at Beaver Creek :)

Anyway. Just wanted to say that I miss Renee too, and I'm praying for all of you who were closer to her and the Duecks than I was. I'm glad I know that God is bigger and smarter than I am, because this is one of those things that makes no sense to me at all.

Lindsay Hildebrandt Wright

Mark said...

Hey Lindsay, of course I remember you! Thanks for your prayers, they are appreciated. God is good, but Renee dying sucks on so many levels. . .

The Duecks said...

Thanks Mark for sharing this at the memorial. You and Jobina were such wonderful youth leaders and a real inspiration to Renee