Friends and Allies of Wild at Heart, I have some hard news I need to share with you...
Most of you know that our dear Craig McConnell has been in a seven-year fight with cancer. So many of you have been praying earnestly for Craig and Lori over these years, and we are all so very grateful. Suddenly, over the past 6-8 weeks, there has been a startling turn of events. Craig's leukemia transformed into an aggressive lymphoma, and Craig is now in hospice as he nears the end of his pilgrimage here on earth. He wanted to share the news himself, so he dictated a few words to his daughter:
"Wow, things can change so fast. So fast it strikes you as wrong, unfair. I was a hair away from remission. Then a rather routine CT scan rang our bell. Now I am fighting stage 5 Richters Transformation of CLL. I want to say goodbye, dear friends. I want to thank you for the role you have all played in my life.
Til Heaven, Craig"
I know, I know - we are reeling too. It all happened so fast. And yes - every route towards healing has been pursued. But there is a time, dear friends, for every saint to take the sacred passage into the full Kingdom. This is not defeat; for the Christian, death is a mighty victory because we know that we do not EVER die. But at some point in life we do leave our frail bodies and step into the fullness of the presence of God. Every person takes this journey. "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die" (Eccl 3:1-2). Even Jesus took this journey. And now, Craig's time is drawing near. Hospice is always an unpredictable stage, he may have days or weeks left. He has fought a valiant fight. As Stasi and I sat with Craig and Lori yesterday I was able to say, "Craig - you won. In everything that is important, you won." He has loved God and people so stunningly well, through it all. He has championed the faith. He is about to finish his race now.
There is so much more to say and I know we will devote some podcasts and more to you on this story.
For now I need to alert you to a couple of things...
Please do not reach out to Craig and Lori at this time. They are surrounded by their children and grandchildren, and by a community of intimate friends. Further contact will be a burden and I know you wouldn't want to increase the burden.
I also need to let you know that after hours of prayer and deliberation, we hear Jesus counseling us to cancel the August Boot Camp and the October Captivating events. This has been a long and heartbreaking journey for our team, which is like a small family. We need to be honest about the cost to us, and what the next few months will be like as we grieve Craig's passing. We will contact those registered for the events immediately; please wait for our email giving you further instructions on how you can carry your registration forward to the next event.
Meanwhile, I know I can call upon your prayers - for Craig, and Lori. For their children and grandchildren; for our team as we navigate these deep waters. We do need your loving prayers.
I wrote this article
a few days after receiving Craig's news; I think it will help your hearts in this as it is helping ours.
I will be back to you with more as this story unfolds. For now, we remember that, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints" (Ps 116:15).
but held by Jesus so closely,
and rejoicing that death has lost its sting,
John and the Wild at Heart team