First, here is the link to a higher quality video of the memorial service for Peter. The slideshow is also visible on this video, unlike the video on facebook. https://vimeo.com/217748027. Yes, you may share it. We don’t want our son’s death sensationalized, but as I said at the funeral, Peter’s life preached a better sermon than I ever could. Good stories are meant to be told and good sermons are meant to be heard.

 

“How are you?” A lot of people have asked us that, and for good reason: our eleven year old son died nine days ago, after suffering for six months with cancer.

Well, we cry every day. We miss our son. We are tired. We don’t feel like having a lot of visitors. There is a low-grade depression that sometimes seeps in. It still seems unreal that he isn’t with us. The number five feels incomplete. There are constant reminders of his absence. He is always on our minds.

But we are doing remarkably well. We are not incapacitated by grief. We are not hiding. We are not numb. We are grateful for Peter’s life and so, so glad he was unafraid of death. We are confident that he is in God’s presence, which is light, and life, and love, and joy. We can say with confidence that God is good, and he has been good to us. The words of 2 Corinthians 1:5 are very real to us: “For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” How are we doing – are we suffering, or are we comforted? Yes.

There are a few reasons why I think we are doing so well:

  1. Our grief was spread out over several months. If, back in November, he had been diagnosed and died the next day (which was possible), our experience of grief would have been much different. Instead of a sudden drop, we were lowered down in several stages. That gave us time to prepare ourselves and Peter. We grieved together while he was with us.
  2. Peter’s fearless and uncomplaining attitude gave us strength and confidence. For a kid with a tendency to whine, this was an unexpected gift of God.
  3. We feel the prayers of so many people. I am well aware that not everyone experiences so much comfort in their grief.

 

“What are you doing?”

Our kids are back in school, but there are only two weeks until the end of school. And then the ball that got stuck begins to roll again, and we expect a straight track to Belgium now. I thought we would need a good bit of time to recover enough to be ready for the move, but we are finding that we are eager and ready to go. My work here is complete; the only thing keeping us here was Peter’s illness; a new adventure will be good for us all, so sooner is better than later. So we put in our 30 day notice on our rental house today, we are collecting the documents we need to apply for a visa. When the application is in and we are out of the house, we will spend time with family and friends, we may travel, we will hike, and I will write.

I have a book incubating. I’ll let you know when it breaks out of the shell.

One place we may visit en route to Belgium is a certain spot in Scotland. The first song played in Peter’s slideshow is by the Piano Guys, who film videos of classical and cover songs (often combined) in beautiful locations around the world. This video was filmed at Eilean Donan castle. Peter had decided that this was the place he wanted to go after cancer was behind him. As with many experiences in the future, a visit there will include heavy shades of sadness. We will go and remember our beautiful and beloved son.

 

 

“How are you doing financially?”

So many people have been so generous, and we are so grateful. Our oldest son saw some checks yesterday and I said, “Now you know that there are a lot of people who love us.” I know that is what you wanted to communicate; the message got through. So now you can direct your generosity to another person, another cause. Again, the words of the Apostle Paul have become a reality to us: “It was good of you to share in my troubles…I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied” (Philippians 4:14, 18).

If this isn’t clear enough, let me say it another way: Please stop sending money to us. Send it somewhere else. Again, I would direct you to Partners International. Or International Justice Mission. Or World Impact. Or Voice of the Martyrs. Maybe in six months or a year I will have a project with refugees in Antwerp that you can support. But don’t wait for that. There are people who need your help now.

Feel free to share this
“How Are You?” (and higher quality video w/ slideshow)

11 thoughts on ““How Are You?” (and higher quality video w/ slideshow)

  • May 18, 2017 at 6:42 pm
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    💖we love you so…played Abide With Me today…prayed and cried myself to sleep the other night…Sunday night…needed some release from holding it in on Saturday… we MISS you guys…feels like we’re together a lot then not at all for too long of weeks, months. Hoping to get together with the kids soon. We love you. We continue to hold you all up in prayer.
    ~rachel 💕for the Posey, Jones, Rivero Clan

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    • May 18, 2017 at 9:10 pm
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      Thank you Rachel. We all would love to see you again.

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  • May 18, 2017 at 8:50 pm
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    Thank you so much for writing and sharing your plans. When I pray for you and Rebecca and the kids, I’m reminded of the verse in Romans – “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts, knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” Love to you and yours. Lavonne

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    • May 18, 2017 at 9:10 pm
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      Thank you Lavonne. We appreciate your prayers so much. And yes it is good to know that the Holy Spirit himself is on our prayer team.

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  • May 18, 2017 at 9:54 pm
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    Zeke,

    I will miss you guys and, but I wish you all the best in Belgium. I hope to see you before you go, but understand your lack of desire to have visitors. The number 5 has been bothering me as well. The prayers of people can most definitely be felt. I never felt more loved than when people were seeking God on my behalf and I hope you feel His comfort and strength at every point that you all need it. I am glad that you are doing well financially. God is good. May you continue to feel held and comforted and be blessed. Much love to each one of you and I will continue to pray for strength and comfort for you all.

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  • May 18, 2017 at 10:12 pm
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    Continuing to pray for your family. When we lost our little guy, the house felt empty even with 4 still in it. The empty room, the empty crib, all the extra time for me to fill that had been filled with his round-the-clock care…We love you and wish you the best as you move to your next adventure and we know Peter’s love will travel with you always. Hugs and prayers go with you and if we never meet again this side of Heaven, we will meet again by the beautiful gate where we can get reacquainted in eternal glory and reunited with our children who have gone on before us. I long for that day.

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  • May 19, 2017 at 7:50 am
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    There are so many things that you shared at Peter’s service that have been feeding my spirit. So many things that have encouraged me, and many others I am sure. Thank you for sharing Peter’s and your families story, you have brought so much life through the telling. That is what God does for all of us, he brings life out of death. And for me as a follower of Christ I sometimes forget just how good God is. I get bogged down with my day to day. And when a child (especially a sometimes whinny child) faces it with so much courage, it pierces deeply. I feel convicted about complaining about my little aches and pains and really become thankful for the grace of our Lord Jesus. May God continue to bring you and Rebecca and your kids, His peace that passes all of our understanding.

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  • May 21, 2017 at 1:44 pm
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    Hi Zeke&Rebcca, We almost stopped by to see you on Friday. We were driving from Pasadena to Seattle to share at our home church today. But we got behind schedule. As it was we have pics of Nik and I infront of the redwoods at 10 at night. We had the brights from the car shining on the trees. God bless you guys, and we will watch the sideshow this afternoon. Love, Doug&Wendy

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  • June 4, 2017 at 6:44 pm
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    Write that book, Zeke, when the timing’s right.

    Seeing you and Rebecca here, speaking about God’s faithfulness to and through Peter, was incredible. Twenty years ago, you ministered to me and others in En Christo … here you are, doing it all over again so poignantly.

    God bless you abundantly, Nelson family. We are with you in prayer.

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    • June 14, 2017 at 12:25 pm
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      Libby, thanks so much. So good to be in touch with you again.

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  • July 17, 2017 at 8:22 pm
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    Dear Zeke and Rebecca,
    I am a friend of Rebecca’s dad who shared 12 years with him at Fresno Pacific University (I teach music and love math). I just called up Dave two days ago to see how he was doing, and to ask him for help for my sister-in-law who has Parkinson’s and needed encouragement to bicycle. He shared your news with me. I have been in mourning for Peter, too, and hope I can at least be a silent comforter to you, though a stranger. Praying for you and for your good transition to Antwerp. Thank you for your blog.
    In Christ,
    Walter Saul

    Reply

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