Tom Puddy, principal of Christian Faith School in Federal Way, sent the following letter home to parents following the deaths Sunday of Andrew Lusink, a 16-year-old junior, and graduate Ben Skagen, 18, in a hiking accident near North Bend.
Hello CFS Family,
We have lost two young heroes of the faith in a tragic hiking accident that happened over the weekend in the Snoqualmie area. Andrew Lusink a 16 year old Junior and Ben Skagen an 18 year old recent graduate of CFS headed for the Marines. The hearts and prayers of everybody here at Christian Faith School go out to all of you.
It will take some time and many prayers to go through this together, so today, we spent most of the day praying, sharing, crying, laughing and hurting and we have just begun to learn what an amazing impact these two young men have made on us all. They will not be forgotten.
All of our staff and many of the pastors of Christian Faith Center have been on hand throughout the day to deal individually with the kids and we have had Chapels with both the elementary and secondary students to help address some of the questions. We don’t understand, nobody does, but we can trust God. We know these two had made and lived a strong commitment to Jesus Christ. They were both here to love people and love God with the plans He had for their lives. Was this from God? No, absolutely not. It was a tragic accident made by mortal young men who made a bad decision in a moment of time and it cost them their lives. But they had made so many right choices in life and so they live on! This is what we will remember them for.
And from this tragedy, we will all hopefully be a little more kind and a little more loving. We will all hopefully live with a stronger sense of purpose and destiny and cherish the days we are given. And hopefully we will all be more compassionate and understanding of others. I believe God will get the glory and the lives of these two young men will make a greater impact through this than they even had in this life. They are in glory and we must go onward. You are loved.
Together We Shall Reign With Him,