Kristen Parker - Letter to Editor/Houston Chronicle
September 20, 1999
My beautiful, sweet, vibrant, best friend was killed last week and I feel compelled to make at least part of her story known. Kim was killed in her church, praying, giving her life to God, as she was committed to doing every single day for the past few years. She was twenty-three years old, and was the nicest person I have ever had the privilege of knowing.
Kim was always happy. She loved the Lord so much, and she wanted to give praise to Him in everything she did. Negative comments were not part of her speech. Optimism, hope, and love for people were evident in every fiber of her being. Kim was spontaneous. She lived the life that we all hope for. No one was too out of the way to visit, nothing was too inconvenient for her to do for a friend. She loved to laugh, be silly, and be with people.
Kim has been my best friend for twelve years, and I have always taken our friendship for granted, like we do with many relationships in our lives. I know for a fact that she is in the most amazing, wonderful, perfect place imaginable right now, but I am selfish. I wish she was here, serving as my inspiration, someone I could talk with and feel energized by. I grew up with her, and figured there would be many people like her in my life, and in this world. I've come to the realization that there are not, but there should be.
Her death cannot be in vain. I will personally not allow it. Someone, somewhere, will be helped by this tragedy, and it will no longer be a tragedy. It will be a triumph. It will become a victory for Kim's mission here on earth, and that was to let people know how to obtain real happiness, the kind that is unmistakable, and shines as bright as the sun. Kim wanted me to know that she had found that happiness by having a close, personal relationship with God, through Jesus his son. That means she took the time to really become acquainted with God, and admitted that she needed him and his help.
That was Kim's biggest goal, her one desire...letting people know about the Lord and his love for us was what she lived for, and what she died for. Her work in this world is not finished. It must be carried out by each of us, every single day. So, smile at each other, help one another, make a commitment to become closer to God. It's the least we can do for my friend.
The following article is written by Inez Spruit. Inez is a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Hoensbroek, the Netherlands. She wrote the article for the 30th anniversary of the church.
On January 17, 1999 Emmanuel Baptist Church members in Hoensbroek, the Netherlands, met their new youth minister, Kim Jones. That day, membersí lives were changed as they listened to Kim give her salvation testimony.
ďI made a profession of faith in elementary school. As an eighth grader one of my friends accidentally shot his twin brother and this made a huge impact on my life. It was like a hole ripped open in my heart. I tried to find anything I could find to fill this hole. I was pretty much an alcoholic, giving up all hope. I just hated what I saw in the mirror. One night I fell hard. I hit rock bottom. I said to the Lord if He is real and if He is true He needed to change me. That night I met Him and peace and joy flew into my heart like Iíve never known before.Ē
We could see the love for Jesus just pouring out of her while she was sharing this testimony. It was very apparent to all of us that Kim was a very gifted speaker. The moment she shared her testimony she began to move into the hearts of us who attended the morning service. She started to write stories in each one of our hearts and each story would become a unique story in a very deep, personal way.
Kimís last Sunday as a youth minister was on May 2, 1999. Little did we know that when we said goodbye to her on this day that she would die four and a half months later as a martyr. On September 15, 1999, a gunman entered Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, and killed 7 people. Kim was one of them. When she died she was praying, not for safety but she was praying how awesome God was.
On September 19, 1999 Emmanuel Baptist Church held a memorial service through testimony. We all were given an opportunity to share what Kim meant to our lives. For two hours we heard very moving stories of how God used Kim to bring us to a closer relationship with Him. The testimonies had one thing in common; we all were able to witness first-hand the manifestation of the Living Christ inside of her.
She made an impact on all of us who met her. Some of the testimonies during the three-hour memorial service held after Kimís death reflected:
- She was like a flower of the field, the aroma of Christ that comes to us on a gentle breeze and the brightness of the color of the glory of Christ reflected in that flower, in Kim, comes to us into our eyes and transforms us. She was the physical manifestation of the Living Christ. She had the joy of the Lord.
- She showed me how to really walk a Christian walk.
- I think there was no brighter light for God than Kim.
- She always had a smile on her face. She was an inspiration to let His glory shine through her.
- She had so much joy. I would watch her every day and she was always smiling; being in her presence you knew she had a love for the Lord.
- She was a glorious Christian.
- She touched more peoplesí lives and made more of an impact in her two and half years being a Christian than I in my twenty years of being a Christian. I hope that two years from now I will be more like Kim than I was in the last twenty years.
- I was immediately drawn to her radiance; I could see that she loved Jesus so much. Iíve been inspired to live every moment for Jesus.
What more can I add myself to all these testimonies about someone who was totally sold out for Jesus? Never ever did someone touch my heart as deeply as Kim did. The passion I saw for her Savior was bursting out of her whole being. Her heart was fully possessed by the Lord. She was not a part time but a full time Spirit-filled Christian. Spending time with her was spending time with Jesus because she reflected so strongly the Living Water of Jesus Christ flowing through her whole being. Seeing Kimís radiance was seeing the glory of His grace. Her radiance showed a victorious life in Jesus.
While Kim was serving our church, I also got the chance to work side by side with her. We worked intensely with the youth through the Disciple Now weekend. This weekend made a huge impact on the youth. It was during this weekend that Kim would celebrate her 23rd birthday with us. We did not know than that it would be her last birthday here on earth.
I also spent time with her when she was not working at the church. We witnessed many times together. We toured around through the Netherlands and one of the most memorable trips was to cycle through the tulip fields. What a joy it was to spend so much time with her.
After Kim served at Emmanuel Church, God granted me ten extra days with her. I was invited by her and her mother to travel with them through Europe. It was an unforgettable voyage to see the Lordís beauty of the breath-taking countrysides in all the countries we traveled through. More incredible for me though was to observe the radiance Kim portrayed of the Living Christ inside of her.
On this travel, I watched daily how she went through an astounding sanctification process. I will seal all these precious memories in my soul for the rest of my life.
After Kim left the Netherlands, she served also as a youth minister in the Middle East. Two months before she died she gave a talk entitled ďA Path of PurposeĒ to her youth group. God revealed Himself in a mighty way through her life and now also through her death. God allowed her to inspire even more people all over the world. Her life had a purpose and now, also her legacy will have an everlasting purpose.
She gave a clear message: ďThere are only two basic reasons why we are alive. First it is to get to know the Almighty Creator of this whole universe through a relationship with Jesus Christ and second to do what God called us to do. The only place we can be fully satisfied is in the Lord. We are strangers and aliens in this life. We are forced to live out the rest of eternity based on the decisions we are making today and in this life.Ē
Kim closed this powerful message with a prayer: ďDear God, I just come before You and I ask You that You would touch each personís heart. Lord, help us to live a life that is going to count for eternity. Lord, just give us life abundantly. Help us to stop holding on to the things that are going to perish, but to store up our treasures in Heaven. God, do so much more than we could ever ask or could ever know. In the precious most holy name of Jesus I pray. Amen.Ē
Her closeness with the Lord made an incredible impact during her life for the ones who were in touch with her. Kimís legacy to this world is to continue to stir up hearts through her final message called ďA Path of Purpose. This DVD is a fulfillment of Kimís dream to travel the world telling the life-changing story of Jesus Christ.