"LOVE & HOPE"
Family, Friends and all God's Children,
I write this final sermon, not to be given from the pulpit on Sunday, but from my recliner surrounded by family and close friends! This is the not the end, it's preparation for a new beginning!
Read this and imagine me standing before you, on a bus, on the way to New York City for Night Watch, at the Episcopal Youth Event, a Province III event, watching football as friends or sharing communion at a lock-in! If you see (parenthesis) those are my expressions and extra commentary I’m known to do from time to time! Thanks for taking the time to read and learn of my "LOVE & HOPE"!
As many of you know about a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I have fought the good fight. There have been ups and downs, new highs and lows. I have met many wonderful nurses and doctors along the way, my family, friends and church support network have been there every step of the way. I became interim Rector at Christ Church of Port Republic. A Rector! God always works in mysterious ways and provided me a place to rest and fight in the quiet country setting while God’s Love & Hope was shared in growing the community! (WOW)
God has a plan and we don't always agree with the path, but when we put our faith in his hands, miracles begin to happen! (TA-DA!)
I have always tried to share where my miracle, my calling to God, my calling to serve in God's name came to be. Many of you already know the story, but I want to share one last time the miracle of Honduras with you!
Vivienne and I were a young married couple looking to help the world! We joined the Peace Corps and we eventually ended up in Honduras. It was here where my current journey began, God had plan. (WOW & Whistle)
Working with special needs children, abandoned children of streets and rural areas beyond the city of Tegucigalpa, I found my way to El Hogar de Amor y Esperanza. "The Home of Love and Hope". What a journey it has been!
I encourage you to read about their beginning with 5 homeless boys living in a cardboard box in 1979 and the members of the Episcopal Church stepping up to begin what is now a thriving 4 school campus teaching the educational basics and sending productive and skilled students back out into the city and surrounding areas to help improve the lives of their neighbors and neighborhoods. http://www.elhogar.org/about/the-history-of-el-hogar/
I was there near the beginning, in 1983, working with the children especially the special needs cases. A child, Pedro, who was found living in the wilderness at 10 or maybe 11 years of age, didn't speak and had survived a Tarzan like life from a young age on his own. God has a unique way of bringing his presence and allowing us to speak, not through common languages, but through HOPE, LOVE and PEACE! A TA-DA here, CLICK & CLUCK, a WHISTLE there...God speaks in all ways!
Honduras and its people were God's way of communicating a plan, a path, and lifelong love to me.
Honduras also brought me my first born, Jessica, into our lives and the beginning of fatherhood and now even being grandfather to the amazing Eloise! WOW the sights, scene and ride!
The Honduran people, their spirit and culture left a lasting impression on me, Viv and our family. As I drew closer to God, my mission was clear, bring the LOVE and HOPE of Honduras to all that crossed my path whether in Church, at a bar watching the Jets ( J-E-T-S! JETS, JETS, JETS! GOOOO JETS!) or while bebopping through the grocery store.
In time I was ordained and began a ministry of more than 25 years of annual trips bringing teens and young adults in my parishes in Grace Church in Madison, NJ, St. Margaret's of Annapolis, MD and sharing the gift of the Honduran People with the Diocese of Maryland as the Youth Missioner for a decade!
Amazing trips, LOVE & HOPE shared in God's name! Nothing is better than God's Love. (WOW!)
Can you believe God LOVED me so much that he gave me this gift to share cultures, to share the needs of the Honduras Children, to lead me to become a Priest, a Father, a Padre to minister to those in need. God has given me many gifts and I tried as best and in the best way possible to lead the way to share God's LOVE & HOPE!
It is now that I must pass the cross! Just as Jesus needed help to carry the cross in his final test, I too need your help. I need your LOVE & HOPE! I am reminded of Matthew 27:32
"As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross"
Well as my time draws closer I need a "Simon". I ask you to be my Simon. If you feel compelled, if you feel moved, if you feel God's LOVE & HOPE, I ask one last time to bring LOVE & HOPE to Honduras on my behalf in the name of God.
This also reminds me of the parable of the "Good Samaritan " in Luke 10:25-37
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise"
One of my last wishes is that you remember me by remembering Honduras! In particular El Hogar de Amor y Esperanza and the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras. I ask in lieu of flowers, I ask your support of God’s LOVE & HOPE and make a difference one last time in my ministry!
I hope you consider both now and in the future to remember me through my Honduran Ministry! To share God's LOVE & HOPE with all!
Please share your gifts with both El Hogar and the Episcopal Dioceses of Honduras. I have set up an account to receive donations that will be split 50/50 between these two organizations a few months after I move on to God's greatest promise, Eternal Life and Salvation.
To know that I have had your HOPE & LOVE this past year has been just been an overwhelming experience. God is Great! (WOW! WHISTLE! HALLELUJAH!)
I ask for your prayers for my wife Viv, my children & spouses, Jessica & Ciarán, Jacob & Riane, Sarah, Gabby and Michael and I ask for prayers for my mom, Arvilla, my brothers, Jeff, John and William. I ask you share my LOVE, HOPE and your experience of Honduras with my granddaughter Eloise and future grandchildren if Viv and my children are so blessed. (YEAH!)
I thank you God, family, college alum, church family and friends for this wonderful ride. My journey may end here in your presence, but I will join Jesus at the table and given his sacrifice, I too will have a life of eternity and shall see you again! (TA-DA!)
God's PEACE, LOVE & HOPE until I break bread with you again at the greatest table...
Wes Wubbenhorst +
Notes from the the organizers: We are close friends of Wes who asked us to set this up on his behalf. Please see additional information below regarding the organizations and our intent to donate funds in the future.
Donations will be divided equally between El Hogar and the Episcopal Church of Honduras. Once money has been donated, we will disburse to these organizations in Wes's name. If you would like to find out more about these organizations, we have provided links below. You will also find the ability to donate directly to these organizations, if you so choose, on their web pages.http://www.elhogar.org/http://www.episcopalchurchhonduras.org/
If you would like to share stories about Wes, we have set up a Facebook Group where family and friends can share stories and pictures. You can find the group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/weswubbenhorstmemorial/
Lastly, if you have questions regarding the Memorial, please email us at [email protected]