It has been a tough week here at with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Early Friday morning we got word that my boss here and the Volunteer Village Coordinator for PDA, Rich Cozzone, died in a car accident on Thursday night. It was a single car accident and he was driving back home to Gulfport, MS from New Orleans. I was supposed to have a meeting with him early on Friday morning and he didn't show up. Soon after that we learned the news.
It's been a tough week for all of us here and I'm sure for his family. He was married and has 3 kids who are all somewhat close to my age. It all was so sudden and unexpected. He was a great man whose heart was in the right place. He loved being here and being a part of the relief effort. He touched many people's lives here and was living his life in God's service. I know he is in heaven but it is still a shock.
Also, yesterday Don Valencia, one of the adults from the Christian community I lived in during college, passed away. He fought cancer for the last 15 months and yesterday the pain finally left him as he went up to heaven. He has an amazing, loving family with two boys who are high school age. During these last 15 months Don kept a blog documenting his progress and keeping his friends and family updated. This blog served as a huge encouragement and testament of faith to so many people, myself included. The perspective he kept during such a difficult time absolutely amazed me. He would often end his posts "God is good all the time" and had so many stories of God's faithfulness and love. God truly was carrying him through these last 15 months and now he can truly be with Him. There's a link on the right-hand side of my blog that says "Don" if you'd like to check his blog out.
Please keep Rich and Don in your prayers. Please pray for their families and friends. Also, please pray for PDA as we trying to make up for the loss of our leader here. Our PDA family has really come around one other in support during these last few days and we are very thankful to have each other's love and support during this time.