Hello friends. For the next week we will be posting a series of tributes written in honor Luke. If you'd like to write or suggest a tribute, please let me know.
Today's tribute is from Matt and Stacy Santen, who have been our close friends since High School. Matt was on my High School tennis team, and was the person who invited me to Young Life, which is how I eventually came to faith in Christ. Stacy (then Barham) and Matt were both on Work Crew with Laura at Frontier Ranch for a month after their senior year in High School. Fifteen years ago, Matt and Stacy planted River Ridge church in Charleston, West Virginia. River Ridge has now grown to 1900 attenders at two Venues. The Santen family owns a cottage up north near Petoskey, which allows our families to spend time together each summer. The attached photo of Matt and Luke shucking corn is from the summer of 2015, about a month before Luke was diagnosed. My guess is that Luke had just smoked Matt on that outdoor ping pong table, though I'm sure Matt remembers differently. :)
The link below is from Matt's sermon from yesterday, September 17, 2017, after spending the week here in Michigan for Luke's memorial events. Please take a moment to listen. We are grateful that Luke's life of faith is having impact in all kinds of places.
James & Lu
(for Sam, Jay, & Luke)