During worship yesterday it was announced that my good friend, John Dieter, had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away the night before. John was an extraordinary person who had overcome much in his life through his walk with Christ. For those interested in knowing more about his life and work, this is detailed in the book, The Gift Of Encouragement. There are also many video clips posted on YouTube of him speaking at various conferences .
While most of us are satisfied volunteering in the church or even helping in special outreach events, John was compelled by his faith to be a help and comfort for thousands of persecuted Jews throughout the world. His work has been recognized and honored by the governments of Israel and the United States. This work has taken him into very precarious situations in many countries, and he has met with many heads of states in order to promote his mission to assist Jews in their immigrating to Israel.
However, for me there will always be the cherished memories of how passionate John was in praying for and encouraging my family when my son, Seth, was paralyzed in a surgical accident. His "righteous anger" at the surgeons for showing so little care for what they had inflicted upon a ten year old boy was clear and present. Yet, at the same time, he was just as expressive regarding his desire for God to bring healing to Seth, and to use this "accident" in ways that will help Seth grow in Christ and bring glory to God.
I invite any who may read this little note to pray for John Dieter's family, especially his wife who lives in the Ukraine. Pray also for the continuing work of assisting persecuted Jewish persons through out the world.
So long, John. It seems far too early for you to leave us, but we know that even death will not keep you from sharing the Messiah's work.