Strengthening Community Through God

Hally Yust was a 9-year-old water skier and basketball player who loved God, when she was little she begged to get baptized, she read the bible just about every day, and she loved Gods word. She kept a prayer journal and She raised money to donate hundreds of bibles to those who couldn’t afford them. And she was one of the nicest and most giving people I ever met. Until July 7th 2014, when she died from a waterborne brain eating amoeba, and forever changed many lives, including my own, forever.

A few nights before we sat around the campfire at a water ski camp telling stories about Hally and remembering her and how she and her family changed our lives. We shared stories about many different things she and her family did that radiated Gods love into the world. Things like, how her parents were able to still proclaim God’s love for us and how he is good ALWAYS, even very soon after the death of their child (can you imagine how extremely difficult that would be). Her father shared another story about how he stopped feeling fear of anything for a period of time after her death and how he could say things he wouldn’t usually have had the courage to say. He stopped fearing things like death and the opinions of others, but after a while  the fear started creeping back into his life, fears of getting into the water where his little girl had obtained the deadly amoeba,fears of what others thought of him,  and the fear of death.

He made a point on how fear shouldn’t control us. We should do what God wants us to do without fearing anything at all. The next day, In memory of Hally we all gathered and did a bible reading/study and picked out our favorite verses and wrote them down  just like Hally used to do just about every day. All of the people at the ski camp attended, even though some of them are not even Christian. One verse that her mother showed us was 1 Peter: 24-25 “for all flesh is like grass, and it’s glory like the flower of grass, the grass withers and the flower falls but the word of the Lord remains forever.” This verse goes along very well with the awful death of our friend and gives us comfort, knowing she is up there with God in a place glorified forever not just temporarily like our lives here on earth. None of the campers missed a single bible study even though they very easily could have just stayed outside and gone swimming or played for square. I thought it was just an absolutely beautiful thing that we were all able to sit under the same roof and all be united under Gods word that Hally loved so much. Her memory unites all of those who knew her, she changed us all, and after we got over the grief of this loss we all got one big step closer to God through this struggle.

Because of Hally’s mission to distribute bibles to those who cannot afford them, her family is continuing to raise money for bibles at the website is still under construction, but when it is completed I highly encourage all of you to donate.

Ray H.

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