Undated courtesy photo of Jamison and Kathryne Pals, with their children, from left, Ezra, Violet and Calvin. The family, from St. Paul, were killed Sunday, July 31, 2016 when their van was struck from behind by a semi-trailer truck on I-80 in western Nebraska. The couple was on their way to missionary training in Colorado. Photo courtesy of WorldVenture.

Photo courtesy of WorldVenture

The Ultimate Love Comes Forth.

Welcome! I am launching this blog about extraordinary acts of love, what I call Love Lived Large, by paying tribute to a friend, Jamison Pals. I first met Jamison through Feed My Starving Children, a Twin Cities based charity providing meals to hungry children across the world. For eight years I’ve volunteered as a spokesman on behalf of this organization. Until recently, Jamison had been a grant writer and scheduler of the FMSC speakers.

I was surprised when several months ago Jamison announced that he was leaving FMSC. It turns out he and his wife had a lifetime dream to do missions work in Japan. They sold almost all of their worldly possessions, began training, and planned to finish that up in Denver early August. This “all in” dedication to the next chapter of their lives was an example of Love Lived Large, in and of itself.

In a flash, however, their plans all changed on July 31st in Nebraska. In a construction zone on the freeway, their van was rear-ended by a semi-truck with an inattentive driver. All the Pals family members–Jamison, Kathryne, and young children Ezra, Violet, and Calvin were killed. The painful news shocked many. God had taken them all so soon!

The funeral service followed soon thereafter at Bethlehem Church in Mpls. Eulogies for each of the family members tried to lift spirits, but five small urns in the foreground were a constant reminder of how tragic this horrific accident had been. For those hundreds who attended or watched the live streaming, what then transpired may have surprised some, but not those who really knew the faith of these devout families.

Before all, Gordy and Nancy Engen expressed, on behalf of the Pals as well, their wish that the reckless driver had access to the program broadcast. They were not so much concerned that he could view the proceedings. They wanted, rather, to personally invite him to connect with the forgiveness they already held in their hearts! The truck driver had just tragically ended the lives on this earth of their daughter, son-in-law, and three young grandchildren, yet they were already talking about forgiveness. How loving is that? A most remarkable example of Love Lived Large, and an appropriate, albeit tear-inducing, way to begin this series.

Since the Pals family deaths, there has been an outpouring of love and an interest by others in fulfilling their dream of becoming missionaries in Japan.

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:24)

One Response to “Family of Five Gone”

  1. Carol Messmer says:

    Very touching and inspiring story. I am always amazed at some people’s ability and willingness to forgive—a truly loving act indeed!

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