Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Last Letter e-mailed to Tim, April 18th

I remembered sending Tim this e-mail after spending Easter week at the Outer Banks with him and decided to share it so that everyone might know that we have been aware of his struggles these past two years and have done everything he would let us do to help him through this time. I hope it gives some insight into how we have tried to encourage and support him at the same time respecting his decisions as an adult.

Dear Tim,
I hope all is going well with you. We really enjoyed your company on vacation. We knew you had a lot on you and didn't expect you to be care free. It was good just to be around you: your gentleness, kindness, the servant's heart you have, the quiet strength you project, the way you orient yourself to others, and the respectful way you treat each of us. It is easy to see Christ in you- I think that's why people enjoy being around you. God has graced you with many qualities of His Son. It's not the flashy stuff that some others might have, but Christ certainly wasn't flashy. At the end of the day you can't sit down and add up the impact you had on anyone, yet you've had a great impact on everyone who's ever known you. God has given you many gifts and it is easy to see Christ in you. God has clearly gifted you for what he has called you to do. You have faithfully followed His lead and He is sovereign over every aspect of your life right now. There are so many lessons in all you're going through. Don't minimize the pressures that you have and are living with at this present time. Trust whatever doors God opens or keeps closed for a while and don't let Satan convince you that it's your fault if things don't go the way you or others think they should. Think how going through these times of testing are going to grow your faith if you keep your eyes on the Lord and your confidence in Him and Him alone. You seemed surprised when I told you how well you did with the Bible reading at the Easter Sunrise Service this past Sunday. Every time I've heard you speak, I'm amazed at your ability to connect with the listners, project your voice, present the gospel with clarity, and bring the Word of God to life. I realized this week that I haven't told you how many evidences of God's grace I see in you and your life. I think I haven't trusted myself- I'm your mom, it's only natural for me to think you're great, maybe I'm not being objective. As I started thinking about this, this week I remembered what a critical spirit I have and how I always see any weaknesses or faults in people (especially my kids) before I see the good. Yet, every time I've heard you speak I'm blown away and amazed that God would have placed you in our family. I hope you are continuing to journal and I hope this summer you have a lot of time to reflect on all God has done in your life and that He will show you what He has allowed you to walk through these past two years. As I've thought about you this week, two hymns keep coming to mind. I hope they're in your hymnal- What a Friend We have in Jesus and Count Your Blessings. Also, the Casting Crowns song- The Voice of Truth. When I heard it on the radio yesterday, I thought of you and who's voice you might be listening to. When you find yourself stressing over things, what scriptures are you holding to? , are you taking your thoughts captive and replacing them with God's truths?, are you disciplining yourself to take your fears and worries to the Lord and leave them there after expressing them to God in prayer, are you able to leave them there? This morning I was struck by a few lines from Hebrews 12: 1-3 let us throw off everthing that hinders..........let us fix our eyes on Jesus......consider Him..... so that you will not lose heart! For these next 3 weeks just do whatever you have to do for school. The finish line is in sight for this season of your life. Don't rehearse your failures, but think of all the ways God has brought you through these 4 years. He won't abandon you now. Go forward in faith that God will complete what He has started. Get everyone you can to pray for and over you during these last few weeks of your race so that you may finish amazed at what the Lord has done in and through you!
Love,
Mom

8 Comments:

Blogger Chi-Yin Hsu said...

Dear Mrs. Barranco,

My tears continue to be dripping down my cheeks as I read your letter. I want you to know that I share your grief, sorrow and undescribable loss of your son. I admire your words of encouragement, comfort, and exhortation to Tim, at the same time, your unconditional embracing him as a godly servant of God. I could not have done any better than you have demonstrated to us in your letter. There are many questions I want to ask God when I go to heaven, this will be one of them. Because God never slumbers nor sleeps even at the moment of the accident, I need to admit that there is something beyond my understanding, and God sees it is good for me. Tim is at the best place that he always wanted to be, please rejoice for him. We will see him when we meet him there in heaven. Please take good care of yourself and the family at time of sorrow. We are with you, in prayers, in tears, and more importantly in our resurrection hope in Christ. We love you. Chi-Yin H. Hsu

5:49 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

Dear Barranco Family,

When I think of Tim, I think of one of the most godly young men I know. His depth and love for others always encouraged me. His preaching was powerful.

My husband (Josh) and I worked with Tim at Beachmont Christian Camp and went to Chesapeake with him. I know he touched so many lives through his various forms of ministry. We're saddened by his unexpected death and will be praying for you all as you deal with your grief.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Matt Seilback said...

to the barranco family,

my thoughts and prayers are with you each at the death of your brother and son. i worked with tim at Beachmont camp several years ago. i respected tim. he was a man whole-heartedly delighted in God's word. tim was also a clear model to so many of christ like love and patience.

my condolences to you each. may you today know the comfort of Christ.

matt seilback

8:40 PM  
Blogger josh chen said...

Dear Barranco family,

Though nothing can replace his presence in our lives, it is an incredible encouragement to me to be reminded of how Tim was a blessing used by God in the lives of so many. I hope and pray that our shared memories may be a blessing to you as well. The entire campus here at seminary has been greatly affected by his loss. We miss Tim. I deeply cherish the memories of my friendship with him in the four years that we lived in the dorm together here at Westminster. It was wonderful to meet a brother who was so passionate about the things he cared for - the Lord, people and their needs, the heart issues of those he was working with, and even the music he listened to. I smile now to remember, but one of his most passionate discussions with me was simply over the greatness of Sovereign Grace and Indelible Grace's redone contemporary hymns, which he promptly proceded to share with me, taking great care to point out which ones were especially good. I still listen to them...

Because we lived in the same dorm, we would randomly run into each other all over - in the hallways, the stairwell, the dining room, the kitchen, or each other's rooms - and inevitably, we would end up in discussion over anything and everything that God's grace and power touched in our lives - from our friends and family to our ministries, from personal struggles and sins to reasons to worship and rejoice, from the contemporary problems of our society to what needs to be done in our local churches. I don't think there's anything we didn't cover. Tim felt the weight of certain sins that he thought he needed to work on, particularly pride this last year - I remember one instance, the only time where we engaged in a discussion that became heated over the dinner table. We left with the conversation resolved, but Tim later came to my room to apologize for taking the issue too seriously and "letting his pride take over." But with that perceived problem of pride, I think Tim failed to realize something that all of us here recognized very quickly and very early on - the depth of his humility and his servant heart. Tim was unfailingly considerate, polite and softspoken at all times (except perhaps regarding sports on TV, like the whole dorm), thoughtful and deep, and he went out of his way to care for the entire dorm. He was a brother who embodied grace and humility, whatever he may have thought of himself, and I rejoice that he can now see himself clearly in the loving embrace of our Lord.

In the hope of Christ,
Josh Chen
Fellow student
Westminster Theological Seminary

11:23 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I agree with what Tim’s mom said about Tim’s passion for preaching the gospel. I remember working with him in the “I agree with Tim” campaign at Towson University. The climax of the campaign was Tim sharing his testimony at a coffee house on Campus. As a mark of his humility, he gave me his testimony to read over before sharing it to see I had any suggestions for how better to communicate the gospel. I had none. But I thought others may want to read his testimony. I will miss Tim’s listening ear, hospitality, and most of all the example of godliness. My prayers are with his family.
Mike

Read about God’s work in Tim’s life…
I have grown up in a church-attending, Bible-believing family. As a child I was taught that certain behaviors are right and others wrong. I learned that in the Bible God has given laws like, “Thou shall not steal,” “Though shall not covet,” and “Honor your father and mother.” I learned that God had given us laws that were to be obeyed. I lived my life to obey the laws that had been taught. I tried to live a good life, because I thought that by doing it, I would please God.
My view of God was that He was a kind, cosmic lawgiver of sorts. I thought that God had given me moral laws telling me what to do; I was to do my best at obeying the laws, and God would be pleased. I was self-reliant in that I thought, “Hey, God I can handle this, you tell me what to do and I’ll do it and everything will be ok.” I saw God’s role as instructing me how to live and then approving of my actions when I did my best. Sure, I broke a few laws here and there. I lost my temper every now and then, didn’t always honor my parents as I should have, and got into petty arguments with my siblings. But those things did not happen too often, at least in comparison to those around me. I relied on my own good deeds to please God and thought that I would be let into heaven because I had tried my best.
For a while in life I thought that the things I heard at church and read in the Bible confirmed how good I was. I thought that since I tried my best God would be pleased with me. I thought that God approved of my self-reliance.
Then I began to notice that God’s law offered a very high standard of living. In Leviticus God said, “Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy” (Lev. 19:2). To be holy is to be morally perfect. God commanded—not suggested—that his people be holy. In the New Testament Jesus commands people to “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Though I had lived a pretty good life relative to others, I definitely could not say that I had been perfect. Certainly not as perfect as God.
Then I learned that the punishment for sinning against God or not being perfect is death. I heard that Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” I recognized that because I am imperfect, or sinful, and God is holy, I cannot live in God’s presence. I deserved an eternity separated from God.
The Bible speaks of God as not only just and holy, but also loving and gracious. John 3:16 says that, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I learned that because I cannot keep God’s law, He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world as a man. I learned that Jesus obeyed God’s commands perfectly, both in His behavior and in his desires. I heard that Jesus loved sinners so much that He died in their place on the cross. After three days Jesus rose from the dead so that people might not have to experience an eternity separated from Him. Since I could not perfectly obey God’s law, Christ obeyed God’s commands perfectly on my behalf.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Daniel Cole said...

The first time I met Tim was at a Tuesday evening beachmont where he had been asked to speak. Tim shared the gospel that evening using a school analogy. He shared the love and grace of God that evening with such authority, clarity, humility, and obvious care for each person listening.

Years later I attended Towson University where Tim volunteered for the “I agree with” campaign for Campus Crusade. Many Students wore bright orange shirts to class which read “I agree with Tim” in large print. After stirring up interest Tim printed his testimony the campus newspaper The Towerlight and the gospel went forth to the 17,000 students on that campus. Concluding the campaign Tim boldly read his testimony (as Mike shared) at a coffeehouse for students. I’m confident many lives were impacted for the gospel through his boldness.

I personally have been spurred on in my desire for doctrine and have a deeper understanding of the Gospel of Christ as a result of Tim’s friendship and example.

Well done good and faithful servant,
Danny Cole

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Greg Hash said...

While I didn't know Tim quite as well as some, his impact on me was no less significant. I knew Tim mainly from the singles care-group at Chesapeake while he was attending Towson. He always had a smile on his face, and a warm, disarming way about him. He immediatly made you feel welcome and took time to talk and ask what God was doing in your life. You did not have to know Tim very well to know that God was the most important thing in his life. You could see that from just being around him and observing the way he interacted with people, and the passion he had when talking about scripture or what the Lord was showing him at that point in his life. I will miss talking to him, I will miss not having the opportunity to have gotten to know him better...mainly I will miss Tim. But I take comfort in the fact that I will someday see him again. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mom,

Thank you so much for sharing the letter you wrote to Tim. I can not emagine the pain of a son going in this way. Your words to him touched me in a way I can not discribe. I am so sorry you are going through this. Our GOD is so big, He can handle anything. I have a cousin who did the same thing Tim did. My heart aches!!!! I didn't know Tim very well but saw his servant heart every week at Grace. Thank you mom for being so strong. I will pray for your family.

9:41 PM  

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