I remember stumbling across Ryan and Jess’s blog soon after we moved back to Memphis.
We moved back to Memphis to start a church, and even though we had been involved in helping to start other new churches, we knew this was going to be different.
We had a strong desire to put down roots in a community and pour ourselves into the people there. To really live where we live and truly love the people God put into our lives. To even live sacrificially for them.
I was drawn to the Woods family because they were part of a community of people in Vancouver, WA dedicated to living like Jesus with and for those in their neighborhood.
My heart resonated with theirs & I was encouraged by them as we began our new journey in Memphis.
Ryan passed away this week, and this is a TRULY BEAUTIFUL video documenting their family & his last days.
I’m so encouraged by their faith and trust in God. I have no idea how people make it in life without knowing him.
Watching this video this morning made me grieve deeply for their family but also reminded me that life is short and there’s a lot of loving to do while we’re here.
It made me sad for those who don’t know the peace and joy and contentment that comes through knowing God.
Because when you’ve experienced that kind of life, when you’ve experienced him, you KNOW how GOOD it is. How satisfying it is. How he fills your soul like nothing else can.
I’m thankful for Ryan’s story and for his beautiful, precious wife and children who have loved and served him well.
“We’re all in the process of dying, so the question is – What kind of story are we going to live out as we’re dying? I would just invite people to live out a beautiful story…regardless of what kind of brokenness they have to deal with. On our journey toward death – which is inevitable – we have the opportunity to let a beautiful story be told. And I think it’s up to us to allow that story to become something beautiful. “ - Ryan Woods
“I want to invite you to cultivate a sense of love and community where you live, where you work, and where you play. For us it’s been as simple as shopping locally at the same stores over and over again. It’s meant that we drink lots of coffee as we go to the same cafe over and over again. And it means we have people over for meals often – whether it’s a large community meal or just one family coming over. For you it might mean something completely different because of your own imagination and your own context…” - Ryan Woods