From Mark’s blog of April 5, 2014: I’ve been meditating on heaven a lot lately, and I must say, it wells my eyes with tears of joy every now and then. What a beautiful thought that one day, I will be completely in the presence of God and will actually be able to feel the magnitude of all his love and peace with no earthly fears or worries to distract me. The joy that I feel now, the serenity I feel now, will finally be made perfect.
On Friday, May 30, 2014, 17-year-old Mark Rodriguez was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. Mark is the son of Rev. Carlos Rodriquez and his wife, Leigh Ellen, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, VA.
A news article on the shooting can be found at the following link: Officer, teenager and suspect killed in Norfolk shooting. [Editor’s note: the original URL (link) referenced is no longer valid, so the link has been removed.]
The following was on the Redeemer PCA web site.
Dear friends of the Rodriguez family,
We at Redeemer Presbyterian Church know that you are joining us in prayer for the family and friends of Mark Rodriguez as we mourn the loss of our son, our brother, our friend. No words can express the anguish and sadness we all feel in the wake of the unexpected news of Mark’s untimely death. In this season of grieving, as we cling to our only hope—the love of God in the redemptive work of His Son, Jesus Christ—we are reminded again of the power of love and life over death and loss.
Since the Rodriguez family is loved by so many, both in the Virginia Beach area and beyond, we hope to coordinate our efforts to serve them well as they grieve. To that end, the family has requested that we honor them in the next few days and weeks and months in the following ways:
* Please send emails to express your condolences rather than texts, phone calls, or personal visits.
* Practical help is appreciated. For meals, contact Erin Strickland by text at 843-901-5304 or by emailat [email protected]. To contribute in other ways, contact [email protected].
* An opportunity to give to the Mark A. Rodriguez memorial fund, for the benefit of his family, will be posted on the church website, www.redeemerVB.com.
* Information about a memorial service and funeral arrangements will also be posted at the church website as soon as it becomes available.
Thank you for your support and love and prayers at this time.
On April 5, 2014, 17-year-old Mark wrote the following on his blog about his longing for heaven.
I’ve been meditating on heaven a lot lately, and I must say, it wells my eyes with tears of joy every now and then. What a beautiful thought that one day, I will be completely in the presence of God and will actually be able to feel the magnitude of all his love and peace with no earthly fears or worries to distract me. The joy that I feel now, the serenity I feel now, will finally be made perfect.
The presence of God here on earth is enough to make me shudder in wonder. I’ve had some incredible moments in life that can only be explained as miracles where I see my Abba, my Father move in love for me so powerfully; it brings me to my knees in amazement. To think that one day I will be perfectly and totally in his presence….I’m definitely going to need a heavenly body because the joy he fills me with now sometimes makes me feel like I’m about to explode!
I love the image of Heaven because it is perfect, perfect peace. Every quarrel, every hurt, it’s all gonna be resolved. All of God’s children will be together and we won’t hurt each other anymore; we’ll finally understand how to love perfectly. And the fact that we’ll all be worshiping the Lord together in one place, forever….that amazes me.
It makes me so excited to think of the wedding feast awaiting us when we go to be with the Lord. I imagine streets filled with rejoicing, loud trumpets, wedding bells….I’m sure it’ll be far more incredible than I can comprehend now, and I love that.
God is super good. I can’t wait to be with him forever.
Read another story on Mark: Teen Killed In Shooting Pondered Heaven This Spring