Close to the Brokenhearted

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”    Psalm 34:18

We first met Sarah Powell when she came to our Jr. High Youth Group many years ago.


Her Aunt Sandy was one of our Youth Leaders, and still is to this day.


Sarah was such a sweet girl and had a great group of friends all around her.


And, as is often the case, because we met Sarah, eventually we met her younger brother Zach.  He started coming around when he was in Jr. High as well.


He also, was a great kid.


And also was often surrounded by a great group of friends.


Zach came to our Jr. High Youth Group as well.  Throughout those years, we really enjoyed getting to know him.


He joined us for our Breakaway Winter Retreat.


And funny enough, the year he finished Jr. High I was hired to come and take pictures at his final 8th Grade Dance.


Zach would go on to attend Center Moriches High School and we’d see him on and off over the years.  It’s funny, because last night around 11pm, I was feeling nostalgic about our over 13 years of Youth Ministry here in Eastport, New York.  Jeremy and I both consider it such a blessing to be able to do what we do.  Working with teens, no matter how long or short our interactions may be, is something that we love and value so much.  I’ve learned that teens will come and go, but that it’s always our goal that they would know that they are loved, by not only us and our youth ministry, but most importantly, by Jesus.


When Jeremy came back home this morning, and told me that he needed to tell me something, I knew right away that it wasn’t good.  With pain in his eyes, he shared that last night, around 10pm, Zach Powell was killed in a car crash.  Another young man was also killed and a young woman airlifted to Stony Brook in critical condition.

It’s hard to know what to write.  This is a heartbreaking situation.  My first thoughts were to our very good friends, Sandy and Mark and of course, to Zach’s parents and sister Sarah.  Zach was 20 years old and the accident happened only ten minutes away from Eastport.


All that being said, tonight, there are families and friends and communities that are grieving.  And I can only know that God promises to be close to us when we are brokenhearted and ask for prayers for everyone who is hurting.  I know that I always feel such sadness for lives that are lost during times when it seems as though they should just be beginning.  So please join me in prayer for the loved ones of both Zach Powell and Christian Goody, for healing for the young woman who was also in the car and who is currently at Stony Brook and for the difficult days ahead for their many friends and loved ones.


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I love Jesus, my Youth Pastor Husband and our two beautiful children. I'm a professional photographer and I love people, especially kids. My best days include time with my family, Hot Yoga and a Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream cone.

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