Three years ago today, on January 16, 2005, I was preparing to preach at the evening service in Ballinger, TX, when I received a phone call from Sarah Campbell. In tears, she began to share that on the way home from Winterfest, a youth rally in Dallas, a vehicle carrying 8 people from Highland had rolled over on I-20. One teenager had died. A few others were seriously injured. It was when she mentioned the name, Chris Cope, that my heart sunk and tears began to flow. The Cope's have always been my Abilene family. Chris had been injured and he was being flown to Fort Worth.
I was unable to make it through the sermon that evening. I drove straight to the Campbell's where I sat with Kevin, Sarah, and their dog Maccie for hours. Very few words were spoken. We just sat in a living room, staring, wondering, questioning, praying, etc.
My partner in life, Kayci, was gone on a trip with her girlfriends. I was terrified to share the news with her. Kayci grew up at the Greenlawn Church of Christ in Lubbock. In 1999, on May 2nd, the Greenlawn youth group was returning from a youth retreat when a bus wreck occurred killing 6 teenage girls.
Kayci became a voice of God through the healing that took place at Highland.
They are still healing. Today I remember the Bourland's, the Cope's, the Childers', the Campbell's, and the other families involved. I remember the Highland family, who I still consider my family.
It has been 3 years, but the pain from that day still stings.