Leaving a Legacy

Well, it is that time again for our annual Family Freedom Walk (our 7th!!!), May 9, 2015. We are having a little staff competition to see who can raise the most money. We would like to invite you to support one of your Victory Call writers. Click on their link below and it will take you directly to their individual webpage for the walk. You can give directly through their webpage. If you prefer to send a check, just mail it to America’s Keswick 601 Route 530, Whiting, NJ 08759 ATTN: the person’s name – and mark your check FFW in the memo. Thank you for your support.
Mary Ann Kiernan
Stephanie Paul
Dina Seaton
Kathy Withers
Diane Hunt
If you would like to help us raise money for the Addiction Recovery Ministries – to help men, women and children, we would love to have you walk with us. If you are interested please go to our website and sign up today then start raising sponsors.
Thank you so much for your support.

Leaving a Legacy

Matthew 6:20-21, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

John 13:34-35, “A new Commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

We all face a day when our eyes will close in death and our faith alone determines where we will spend eternity, either with God or eternally separated from Him. We will leave our loved ones behind along with all our earthly possessions. Each of us will also leave a legacy of some kind. For those who will mourn for us… how will we be remembered? Will their conversations be about how we loved and served the Lord, how we loved our families, friends and even strangers? Or will we be remembered for our selfishness, our lack of love for others, or perhaps for the hurt and pain we left behind?

There was a man who lived a life of alcoholism, destroyed his family and was the cause of the death of his child. And if his life ended there what a sad legacy he would have left behind. And over 100 years after his death he would have been barely a memory.

Praise God his story didn’t end there. In the midst of his pain and suffering in alcoholism he cried out to God. For the rest of his life he lived and served the Lord. And because of the legacy William Raws left behind, my son Daniel found freedom from his addiction at the Colony of Mercy that was established by William Raws in 1897.

Another young man, John Hanna, came to the Colony in 1997. He was 26 years old. This is where he met Jesus, surrendered his life to Him and lived out Jesus’s greatest commandment to love one another. John lived his life with a passion for the LORD and others.

In 2005, only 8 years after he left the Colony, John was in a tragic car accident that left him with a severe brain injury. He would live only nine days after the accident. But during that short time John’s atheist, cold-hearted neurosurgeon would be impacted by John in ways he never could have imagined.
The neurosurgeon finally asked John’s sister Caroline:

“Who is John Hanna?…First, I hear that he was an addict, hence the people visiting from different rehabs, then I hear he is a pastor, hence all the religious people visiting, and then I see men visiting from a homeless shelter who knew him well. Is he an Egyptian movie star, is he famous, who is he? Above all, I receive a phone call from Egypt yesterday from a doctor who tells me he is now a monk at some monastery and wants an update on John’s condition. Caroline, who is your brother and what makes him so special to hundreds of people? I want to know him.”

Caroline answered, “John was an ordinary man who became extraordinary through Jesus Christ. John sought to change the world by changing himself first. He stopped blaming others for his mistakes. He owned his mistakes, he owned his faith, and he became a new man after living a destructive life. He was redeemed, restored and reconciled by God, through God, for God. This gift was not cheap but costly. John then gave this gift to hundreds of people by loving them the way God loved him. He never judged or labeled a person, he did not see rich, poor, black, white, believer, or non-believer. He just loved and served people every second of his day, expecting nothing in return.”*

Even though we look though human eyes and think why? Why so young? Why so soon? And one hundred other unanswerable “whys” . . .we can see the powerful legacy that John left behind. Not that John Hanna is glorified but that the LORD is glorified through John’s life, lived for Christ.

Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” William and John lived out this greatest commandment. Their legacy lives on because of it and impacts lives today and they continue to glorify the LORD long after they have been called home.

What legacy will you leave behind?

Mary Ann Kiernan
Mary Ann serves as the Intake Coordinator for the America’s Keswick, Colony of Mercy and as a Biblical Counselor. She is a contributor to “Crossing the Jordan,” and “Real Victory Real life” Volume 2. She and her husband John have 2 grown, married sons and 6 wonderful grandchildren. Her life verse is Romans 8:28.

*Quote taken from Caroline’s testimonial at the dedication of the Colony of Mercy Library in memory of John Hanna, February 2014.

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