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Faith in Action: In Memory of Joshua

On August 25, 2012 Joshua passed from this world to the next after a life filled with purposeful actions to help make this world a better place.  It is not unusual or unexpected that he took the confirmation name of James (“faith without works is dead” James 2:17) indicating his great desire to live a life that revealed his faith in acts of love and compassion while working towards peace and justice in the world.  So the board of the Joshua Casteel Foundation decided that there would be no better way to honor Joshua than to appeal to those of you who loved and supported him and now also support his foundation to commit yourselves to carrying out at least one act of love and compassion or actions that will promote peace or justice in your world or sphere of influence on or around August 25th.  It can be a small gesture towards a friend, co-worker, or stranger or a more visibly grand action that may affect many. All actions done from a heart of good will are powerful and we never know the potential impact we may have.

As a wonderful illustration of the kind of action we’re talking about we want to share an example from Tim Roth, one Joshua’s closest friends and a board member of the Foundation.

There is a young man working at a local gas station who recently moved to America with his wife and children from Egypt. He is a Muslim who has a limited grasp of English and who is struggling to enter our society. Working behind the counter of a gas station mart is a thankless job that makes him vulnerable to verbal abuse because of his nationality and religion. I decided to do a small act of kindness by learning how to say “how are you?” in Arabic. Although my pronunciation was poor, he understood me and was touched. He simply replied by saying “Thank you for learning Arabic.” Who knows if this meant much to him and he has already forgotten about it or if it is something that impacted him in some way and that he will remember the rest of his life. I just know that in that moment a bridge had been crossed that cut across all barriers and a brotherly connection had been made.

We are also asking that (if appropriate) you post a small description of your personal choice of action and any responses or results that you might be aware of as either a comment on this post or send an email to Rebekah at rebekahnd@gmail.com, giving her permission to post the action on the foundation site as an encouragement to others.  You can use or name or be anonymous, but we want to know!

Our goal is to receive at least 25 responses by the 25th of August.  We’re expecting many more to be done as we reflect on the hundreds of acts of kindness that were poured out on Joshua and our family during his illness.  We are sure that he will be rejoicing in heaven and cheering you on as each act is carried out.

We will also be planting a tree in Joshua’s memory in Kristi’s yard to remind us of the fruitful life he lived while on earth as well as the new life he continues to live in heaven.  And we thank you in advance for what we know will be just a part of the redemption God promises to bring out of death and a life well lived.

God bless you all as you carry on the call to “love one another”.

 

August 2, 2013 - 3:38 PM

DM - I love the idea! Thanks for challenging all of us to think a little more intentionally about doing love and good works. I will give it some thought and let you know what I(we) come up with in honor of Joshua

August 25, 2013 - 11:15 AM

Shawn T. Storer - I recently read a news article that featured the words of a young man who was a former Marine and was haunted by what he had done while deployed to Afghanistan. The young man did not believe there was any possibility of forgiveness or redemption for him. I have begun writing a letter to that young man.

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