The church we had the opportunity to serve and serve with in the Dominican Republic just experienced a lose. A young man (early 30s) who was a part of the leadership team of the church passed away on Sunday.
He became suddenly ill the second day we were in the DR. After several days of inconclusive tests he was moved to the capital for more tests. It took 2 more weeks before a diagnosis. A tumor in his lungs–cancer. After it was determined the cancer had spread and there was nothing that could be done medically, he was released. He passed into the presence of the Lord less than two days later.
The young man didn’t have much family (he was engaged to be married) but the church was his family.
They were with him throughout the time in hospital–each day several would make the hour long trip to spend time with him. He didn’t have insurance–the church (though not having much) took his expenses as their expenses. When he was home, the church family was beside him the whole time, feeding, caring, singing and praying.
That is a great example of what the church should be–not an organization but a family. A caring community of people dedicated to the Lord and committed to each other.