i found out this morning that my friend, nathan neel, has gone to heaven. i am still in shock but wanted to keep all of you who were also his friends, updated.
nate’s current facebook status still reads, “Nathan is sore after his awesome run last nite!! He is looking foward to going to chill in the Canyon and Amarillo Thursday and Friday. Nathan needs some time to himself!!” –he had gone to palo duro canyon to spend some alone time with God, and something terrible happened. the next day (yesterday) some picnicers in the area found nathan’s body.
the amarillo paper covered the story and you can read the full version here. there was no sign of a beating or gunshot wounds. he was very muddy, so authorities suspect possible drowning.
i’ll keep you all posted as i hear updates on funeral and autopsy reports.
i wanted to take a moment to say a personal word about nate. he started coming to first baptist and was a part of our college ministry several years ago. i had the honor and privilege of knowing him personally and watching him, time after time, choose Jesus to overcome sin and idolatry in his life. his faith was infectious. he was driven by the love of Christ, to reach others.
nate had just been voted in as youth pastor at new home baptist church. he had a beautiful girlfriend, nicolle, who my heart breaks for.
my favorite memory of nate is mission trip to cali, 2006. he, leanne lagasse and i, spent a day painting together. we were working on a ceiling, too and at the end of the day we were all covered in paint! i have a picture of the three of us somewhere. i will look for it to post. he had the most positive outlook in life. i learned so much from him by watching him love God.
i have to say. although i don’t know what the last moments of nate’s life were like, it must have been amazing. sitting in the beautiful canyon, spending time with God. i just picture him in the open night sky, singing, praying, feeling God’s love surround him. and then he was with Jesus. it’s so beautiful.
miss you, nato potato. thanks for being my friend.