Inland Hills Church in Chino, California, is now seeking to raise $500,000 for the widow and sons of their late lead pastor, Andrew Stoecklein, who died after a suicide attempt at the church last Friday.
“So many of you have expressed a desire to support Andrew’s wife Kayla and their three young sons. Launched and managed by the #careforkayla team of Stoecklein family friends and Inland Hills staff, this campaign will provide education costs for the boys, day-to-day expenses for Kayla, and financial security during a very difficult season,” a GoFundMe campaign that had raised more than $70,000 in less than 24 hours as of Thursday morning noted.
“Andrew bravely confronted the topic of mental health in his last days, shedding light on illnesses that aren’t widely discussed in public or in the worldwide church. Kayla is committed to continuing his story by honoring the man he was, while calling for greater support for pastors in the burdens they carry. It is by their example that we can praise God and provide for their family in the midst of grief,” the supporters of the deceased pastor’s family added.
The suicide of the late pastor who recently turned 30, has attracted international attention and sparked serious discussions about how mental health is treated in the church.
In a post on the family’s blog, God’s Got This, which was established after Andrew’s father died in 2015 after he was diagnosed with leukemia, Kayla opened up about the devastation she’s suffered since her husband’s death.
“Every part of me longs to be with you. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t function and I feel so lost without you. You were my life. I was so proud to be your wife Andrew. I was so proud to sit in the front row and watch you in your sweet spot on stage. I was always so amazed by you, every single day. You could do anything you set your mind to! You were handy, you made every home we lived in look beautiful inside and out. You were creative, you were funny, you were thoughtful, you were passionate, you had vision, you had charisma, and you were so special. You are irreplaceable Andrew. There will never be another man like you,” she wrote.
She also pledged to never stop fighting for his cause.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair