You hear different descriptions when people write about Pastor Russ. Things like an Apostle, General, mentor, leader, and so on. While all of those are true, the one a lot of people say was he was a father.
Since his passing, I have wanted to write what the Dean means to me. The problem is when I start to think about it emotions start raising and I would end up crying. His life impacted me more than I can even imagine. He was like a father to me. He believed in me when I didn’t. He saw something in me and called it out. He pushed me and corrected me. My gratitude runs deep. I am so thankful I had the privilege to have him in my life.
I was reading my Bible and I realized the Bible I was reading out of was given to me by Pastor Russ. How appropriate. A man of God who loved the Word of God so much would give to one of his spiritual sons a Bible. I remember the day he gave it to me back in the Philippines.
I was preaching on John the Baptist a couple of weeks ago. I was saying how John the Baptist wasn’t looking for honor from man, but pointing to Jesus the Lamb of God. And because his focus was on pointing Jesus over everything else, John the Baptist is now honored before God and man. I believe this is also true of Pastor Russ. He didn’t seek to build his name or his legacy. He was not building his kingdom but the Kingdom of God. And because of that, I believe Pastor Russ is being honored in heaven before God and also before us today on earth.
I am still grieving. I still find myself crying. But my tears are mixed with the gratitude of knowing such a man.
In his last Facebook post on Dec 26, Pastor Russ told us that he had COVID and said he would see us on the other side. I don’t think he was referring to heaven, but it is true, we will see him on the other side.
Joshua 1:1-3 is a passage that keeps coming to mind. Let us continue to live out what Pastor Russ lived for.
Dustin has been serving as a missionary for 24 years. Here is where he places some of his teaching, thoughts, and updates.