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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The race is finished!

Let us start by praising our glorious Father for the last 28 years of joy with Mitchell Alan. Early this morning Mitch graduated to throne of God, completing a journey that has been predicated on devotion and obedience to our Lord and Savior. Most of you can attest to the different manners in which Mitch reflected God's love. There will be time to celebrate Mitchell's role here with us at an upcoming memorial service (details will be forthcoming...check this blog or timberview.org). Thanks for faithfully, prayerfully partnering with the family through this challenging process and know that God's glory has always been the goal and Mitch is now reaping the reward of more than 20 years of fruitful service.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!!
Blessings,
The Thomases
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (It's been Mitch's prayer and we encourage you to continue that prayer in your lives, even if you no longer desire to wear the "Mitch bracelet")

39 comments:

reginafl70 said...

Thomas family---my prayers are with you. Mitch has fought the good fight. May God continue to give each one the strength and courage to go on with good memories of your son, brother, husband. God bless you----Regina Louden

Julie said...

Dear Thomas family, My heart aches for you. After I received word about Mitch going home I flipped my Bible open and it fell open to
1 Corinthians 13, and verse 12 jumped out at me..
1 Cor. 13:12 "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known."
Praise God! Mitch is experiencing the "but then" portions of this verse and able to view things through God's perspective clearly.
It is so wonderful to know Mitch is experiencing the wonders of God's kingdom.
However, my heart is heavy for you, as you grieve the loss of your son, brother, husband, and friend. My prayers are with you. Asking God's peace to fall upon you.
In Him,
Julie (Downing) Davis

Swirvin Irvin said...

Mitch had been on my mind more than usual the last 2 days. Last night I had a dream about him. My heart is heavy but I am relieved that his fight is over.

rcleeton said...

How energizing it was to receive Mitch's "heavenly" graduation notice via email with "the race is finished" as the subject line.

Although it will be challenging for each of you in dealing with Mitch's graduation, our gracious heavenly Father will be your sustaining strength during this most difficult time of your lives.

Our thoughts and prayers have been with you in the past, and will now be with you as you anticipate the celebration of Mitch's life and of God's goodness. May his life be used of God to draw many more to God's saving grace.

May God's grace be your sufficiency and strength.

Rev. Roger and Jan Cleeton
East Michigan Conference

Lorna Doone said...

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting comfort and hope which we don't deserve, comfort your hearts with all comfort, and help you in every good thing you say and do.
2nd Thes 2:16 and 17

Mitch has his AUG degree(Approved Unto God) and is pain free.....I look forward, with all of you, to seeing him again but I agree in rejoicing over his reaping his rewards and being with Jesus.

bjw

John Rittenhouse said...

Thomas family - I am truly grieved for you. You have been models of joy amidst struggle and you shine the light of Jesus during the most trying of times. May you experience a wealth of God's presence and strength during this time. Sammy, if you read this please know that my prayers are with you my brother. I will continue to pray for you all.

John Rittenhouse - Living Spring

Your Mama said...

We are praying for your family!!! We never met Mitch, but he influenced our lives here in Idaho. You have a wonderful family, and we will continue to keep you in our thoughts and Prayers.

God Bless you-
John and Briana Katzenberger

Lizettemas said...

Dear Thomas Family, all I can say is that I will continue to pray for you as diligently as I had been praying for Mitchell. My heart is very heavy for you guys, while I celebrate that he is cancer-free. Please tell Chelsea, whom I don't know, that she, too, is in my prayers. Love you guys,

Lizette

Soraya said...

We take comfort in knowing that we will see him again. I will continue to pray for you all. I love you guys!

Custom Remodeling & Renovations said...

Dear Thomas',
We have never met Mitch, nore the rest of his family except that we are friends with Luck & Jennifer. We are both sad and joyful to know that Mitch is with our great and awesome Lord. We will continue to pray for you all through this time and what a ministry Mitch has left behind! May God bless and comfort you all, Cameron & Hollie Napora

Cathey said...

I will miss Mitch's presence here, but rejoice that he knew "the rest of the story" and has stepped into the glorious eternity God prepared for him.

I pray for all of you as I know how hard the separation is. May God overwhelm your hearts with peace and fill the sadness with happy memories and anticipation of a wonderful reunion.

God bless,
Cathey

Lenora said...

Chelsea, Bishop Matt and Marlene, and family members: Andy and I want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and that we can rejoice that Mitch is walking in God's presence and experiencing something so great and beautiful that we are still striving for. May God bless you and give you the courage to get through this difficult time. May he enfold you in his arms and carry you through the days ahead. We only knew Mitch a short time, but he left an enormous impression upon our hearts and shown us what walking with God, living his life in God and being a true servant of God is all about. We will miss the physical, but we can carry his spirit and love for Jesus with us every day, every moment of our lives. Thank you Mitch for what you have given us. God bless you all. Andy and Lenora

Sueso said...

A lot of your friends at North Coast Family Fellowship have been praying for Mitch and will continue to pray for you. I am really looking forward to meeting Mitch someday...and his whole family too!
Sue Bastiani
NCFF E-Prayer

Gail Biever said...

Thomas Family -- our hearts are heavy for you. We are praying for you and are trusting that the Lord's wonderful presence will comfort you in your time of loss.

We loved Mitch so much. Mitch was so full of life. The spirit of the Lord shined very brightly in Mitch.

We love you all,

The Bievers

Ernie B said...

It was a very somber day for me, having lost you and Mr Janney in the past 24 hours. GOD speaks mountains and your work is done and its time for you to rest, I have undergone 3 brain surgeries and GOD kept me here, perhaps to punish me, to teach me something more, our world is ugly. You will no longer suffer, you will never again be poked, never have to deal with the mean society that we physically live in. If I could give something up to trade places I would, I often prayed that GOD would take something away, and give to someone else.

There will be a day when GOD calls me home, until then I have to keep fighting for him. Mitch you ARE an amazing person, and you fought all the way to the end.. God's Speed!

Ernie

Janedoe said...

I am sorry to hear about the loss of Mitch.I found out about all that was going on through Craigslist and had only come across this blog yesterday. I will always remember him as that wacky guy who did anything to make people laugh. He was a unique person and it was a honor to know him. Praise God!

Hendrik said...

What a journey and what a destination! We weep and we rejoice with you. Over the past few weeks we have prayed for Mitch and all the family. Thank you for the privilege of lifting you in prayer before our Father. We won't stop now. In His mercy --- The Smidderks Family

Cinema Hal said...

Matt and Marlene...
My heart grieves, but I know how God can use our sorrows to build His kingdom. I will continue to pray for you as you walk through this difficult part of life. Please know that we love all of you very much. With deep affection... Hal Conklin

jaebn said...

Thomas family,
I'm so sorry. I wish there was something I could say to stop the hurt. Mitch has been such an inspiration to more people than we will ever know, and I know God will continue to change lives with Mitch's influence. You are in my prayers.
Jenny Johnson

kodi said...

Dear Thomas family. i will comtinue praying for you. mitch was an amazing person and made such an impact on my life and many others. everyone that met mitch was impacted by him and although we will all miss him very much he is in a better place now. im so sorry for your loss. I hope that God can bless you with peace through this difficult situation. God bless, love kodi

kodi said...

dear thomas family. i am so sorry about your loss. I will keep praying for you. Mitch was such an amazing person and made such an impact on me and so many others. anyone that ever met mitch and many that did not even know him were encouraged and uplifted by hime always kept a great attitude about everything even in the hardest of times which iswhat i love about mitch. i look up to him so much and although we will all miss him so much he is in a better place now. I hope that God can bring peace to you in these difficult times. God Bless, love kodi

kodi said...

Dear Thomas family, i am so sorry about your loss. I will be praying for you. Mitch was such an amazi=ng person and made such an impact on my life as well as so many others. Everyone that met mitch and even many that had not were uplifted and encouraged by him. He fought to the end and always had such a great attitude even in the hardest of times. thats what i loved about mitch. i looked up to him so much and although we will all miss him he is in a better place now. i feel so blessed for the time i had with mitch. God bless your family in this difficult time. love kodi

Kathy said...

Chelsea, Matt, Marlene and family,
Our hearts grieve and rejoice with you. Heaven continues to hold the reality of the fulfillment of our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing else can make sense in a time like this. We love you.

Ron and Kathy Baird

J. said...

Dear Chelsea, Matt, Marlene and all the Thomas family:

As I sat on the patio this a.m. I was praying for Mitch, I did not know at this time Mitch had already been warmly welcomed home by God.
I asked God if this was the final work He had for Mitch to do with this latest time in the hospital. An answer-I didn't receive.
Mitch, as well as all of you, have touched so many hearts, inspired so many lives and left footprints in our hearts.

Several hours later I read the email from Marlene that Mitch had finished his race. Tears came to my eyes-not for Mitch for I am so happy for him to be home, but tears for all of you as you go through one of the greatest sorrows in life, loosing you husband, son, brother, uncle and friend. But take heart my friends for now Mitch no longer suffers the pains of this earth, he now shares in the fullest of God's love. And you all will make it through your grief, with prayer, with time, with each other and with the many friends that are here for you all.

I am asking the Lord to fill your hearts with His peace and strength, good memories of Mitch and His ever lasting love.

"For every tear in your eyes, there is a prayer in my heart for you."
Jean

bu said...

Matt and Marlene and all Thomas', we breath a sigh of relief for Mitch and know he is smiling and praising our Lord. We will continute to pray for your family because Mitch will be missed and always treasured. Mick said about Mitch when he was 10 "that guy's cool!" God is Good! Love you, The Sinclairs

chaffin said...

I had a group of upset youth with me yesterday and as I listened to them talk they said Mitch is dancing with Jesus and he is healed.

What a blessing those kids had in Mitch. As a parent I am humbled by the wonderful leaders that surround our kids and I am thankful for the time the kids had with him.

Kristina said...

Dear Thomas Family,
Our thoughts are with you. We miss you all and will miss Mitch dearly. What a wonderful person to have had in our lives! He was such a gift to us and so many, and his memory will continue to bless us. Much love to you all.

Kristina, Megan, Sheryl Demain

d-Vo said...

This is sad. I have been following this story since I came across videos of Mitch on YouTube. This is awful. I would have thought the health care system would have found proper ways to fight cancer by now in 2008. I can't believe so many young people still die of this disease. I lost my mother not to leukemia, but to breast cancer..Awful thing for a family to go through. God bless the ones who still suffer

kkelly said...

Thomas family and my darling little Chelsea, lover of the one true and everlasting God. Allow Him through this season of sorrow to hold you so tightly to His chest that you can feel His healing breath upon your face.
The love that you shared with Mitch is as you said is something that some of will never experience in all of their earthly life and Chels God chose you to be the one passionate, loving, joyful and faithful wife to Mitch and love him you did, so fully and completely. I thank you God that your view of this is eternal. I thank you also for the souls that will be saved and the lives that will be moved because of Mitch’s life and the love and faith that you have all shared through this most difficult of times. Great will be your rewards! I trust God for his word and promises;
For Mitch who was indeed a true and grateful servant of our loving God. I stand on the glories of 2 Timothy 4:8 which says; “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on the day—and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearing”
2 Corinthians 5:8 “We are confident, I say and would prefer to be away from the body and home with the LORD”
Revelation 14:13 “Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on,” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them”
And for you my sweet girl, I wish wipe this hurt away for you. The pain is deep I know, after I lost my brother there was only one comfort…….the lap of God.
I send you these verses;
Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who morn, for they will be comforted”
Hebrew 6:18-19 “We who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure”
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Do not be afraid or terrified for the Lord you God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.
I also send you my love and prayers. You show the beautiful presence of Christ in your life Chelsea, your walk is an example to many. Mitch would be proud of your continued faith. You are not alone, ever! Mitch’s life will live on through his powerful faith and unending trust in God the father and what a powerful testimony of the love that you have all shared. I love you and Ed, myself, Kristin, Kaylee, Kameron and Kurtis are all here for you. We will continue to pray. Thank you for sharing so many wonderful and powerful aspects of your lives and this journey you embarked on together with all of us.
Immersed in the blood of Christ Jesus,
Kim Kelly

Megan said...

Dear Thomas Family-- I am still in shock after hearing the news, but I am also amazed at how one soul can impact so many people. Mitch was truly an outstanding friend, and a joy to have been around throughout highschool. I wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. Again, thank you for raising such an excellent person to grow up with-- he was most definetly a great impact in my life!

All my love and prayers,
Megan White (DeMain)

Bethany said...

Dear Thomas Family--
My name is Bethany Coupens. I am a Spokane native, graduate of Ferris HS. My good friend Amy Deandre sent me Mitch's blog link. I am currently running for the Spokane Chapter of Team In Training group and raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
His story brings me to tears of joy for the wonderful faith in God that he exemplifies through his journey. Mitch's story inspires my heart, my faith, and my training. This is why I run, why I raise money for LLS. I felt compelled to share with you how Mitch has impacted a person he didn't know directly.
I would be honored to run with Mitch's name on my shirt in the San Francisco Marathon on 10/19/08, to honor is faith, dedication, and perseverance. I would like a family member's permission to do so. You can visit my website to learn more about me.
http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/nikesf08/bcoupens
I will only put his name on my shirt with permission from family.
You can email me at bcoupens@comcast.net
"I can do all things through Christ who stregthens me"
Blessings to your family,
Sincerely,
Bethany Coupens

Bethany said...

Dear Thomas Family--
My name is Bethany Coupens. I am a Spokane native, graduate of Ferris HS. My good friend Amy Deandre sent me Mitch's blog link. I am currently running for the Spokane Chapter of Team In Training group and raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
His story brings me to tears of joy for the wonderful faith in God that he exemplifies through his journey. Mitch's story inspires my heart, my faith, and my training. This is why I run, why I raise money for LLS. I felt compelled to share with you how Mitch has impacted a person he didn't know directly.
I would be honored to run with Mitch's name on my shirt in the San Francisco Marathon on 10/19/08, to honor is faith, dedication, and perseverance. I would like a family member's permission to do so. You can visit my website to learn more about me.
http://pages.teamintraining.org/wa/nikesf08/bcoupens
I will only put his name on my shirt with permission from family.
You can email me at bcoupens@comcast.net
"I can do all things through Christ who stregthens me"
Blessings to your family,
Sincerely,
Bethany Coupens

Autumn Barta said...

Our prayers go out to you guys and Chelsea today! No one will really know why he was taken at such a young age, but while we were praying for Mitch yesterday morning at my Bible Study at church one of the women said, " No matter what happens everything we do on earth is for God's glory solely and that is all that matters!" So we know that in this God will have ALL the Glory one way or another! We love you guys and you will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers!

Autumn Barta (England)

Karli Kristine Zimmermann said...

How incredible it is that Mitch will continue to bear witness to the King of Glory here on earth even though he is rejoicing with the Father in heaven!! Our Sovereign Lord will continue to inspire faith in others through Mitch's story. Praise our heavenly Redeemer!!! He is good and His love endures. Praise Him for His servant Mitch and his continuing ministry here on earth AND in heaven! Mitch, you are with our Daddy, and that is reason to celebrate!
To Chels, I love you so much and am so inspired by your heart and strength. I know the God of all peace and comfort will cover you and hold you in His arms. Never hesitate to call on your brothers and sisters when you need a hand to hold or a shoulder to lean on. I am on my knees for you and the family. Please let me know if you need anything at all..no matter what that may be.
I love you.

Samuel said...

Dear Bishop Thomas and family

The student and staffs of Holy Light Theological Seminary were just praying for Mitch in our weekly seminary wide prayer meeting, and today we hear that the Lord has taken him into His bosom. We all grieve for you and your family. But we all knew that God love Mitch so much wanted him more than all of us to serve our God before His throne.

May God personally shepherd you and your family during these days.

Live Jesus,

Samuel Chiow

Linda said...

Our love and prayers are with you Thomas family. Know that we care so much. May our Lord bless you and comfort you at this time. We will be with you in Spirit on Saturday.

Love in Christ,
Gene and Linda Keene

Kl├╝ndt said...

Matt and Marlene.
We love you, and are so sad knowing you are all in such pain. We will continue to pray for your family's comfort, and that God will lift you in his arms and carry you through this difficult journey.
In Christ.
Jean and Darin

Stephanie said...

I just happened on to the blog from Facebook. Bob and I have been away from the FM family for a few years, but we remember you all well. What a journey you have been on--and what story you have to tell. It appears that Mitch will be having an impact on people for years to come. God Bless, Heal and Transform you all. Our prayers, Bob & Stephanie Nelson Coeur d'Alene, ID

ABigDifference said...

Mitch and I went to Camp together at Twinlow in high school and the Lord laid him on my heart today. I was doing a search on facebook today and found out... I don't know everything, but I know a God who does and He is the comforter. Bless you in this year since...

2 Corinthians 1 has been tugging on my heart. Blessings, Amy