Thursday, May 04, 2006

Losing someone we love

Today, Mississippi Valley Presbytery lost a dear friend and brother, Rev. Matt Baugh.

The news is sketchy but the gist of it is that he was killed in a motorcycle accident in Haiti. He leaves a wife, Shannon and five children (aged 2-10). Matt had been the minister in Tchulla PCA (where the Hutton family--of "Hutton Chapel") live. He had decided to move to Haiti as a missionary (he was born there) just a few years ago.

I loved him greatly as a friend and colleague. I have been thinking today of times I sat on his porch in Tchulla while he talked of the joys of growing water-mellons! He loved the reformed faith. And he loved his family. He reminded me of Winnie the Pooh for some reason (he was of similar build!).

Tears have filled my eyes most of the day as I have talked with our dear friends in Tchulla. I have felt anger and fear. I have prayed for Shannon as she informed her children, all alone and without the support of her family who are on their way there as I write. I have asked the Lord to forgive me for my anger when it has suggested that his providence has been unfair and unkind. And I have heard Matt in my head saying, "Derek! I loved the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, so don't let me down at the moment when my family will most need it."

Matt is with the angels and we are still in the war!

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21).


Anonymous said...

I did not know Matt but it grieves us all when we learn one of our dear Pastors hearts have been so wounded by the loss of a friend.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Thomas writes with the eloquence, sympathy, empathy, love, and doctrinal foundation of St. Augustine. Thank you, Derek for allowing tears mixed with joy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty, Dr. Thomas. Death is a rotten enemy but a vanquished one.

Anonymous said...

Matt was a really great guy! I was with him in Haiti just a few weeks prior to the accident. I really enjoyed every moment spent with Matt and his family! He will be very missed!