A letter from Chuck Steddom to the congregation of Kilkeel Presbyterian Church

July 30, 2016

To Reverend Stephen Johnston and the congregation of Kilkeel Presbyterian Church – Grace and peace to you

On behalf of my wife, Carol, my daughter, Allison, the Steddom family, and Bethlehem Baptist Church family,

I want to express personally my deepest, heartfelt gratitude for the kindness shown to us in the incredible acts of service you performed surrounding the events of our son, Alex’s death a year ago.  As parents we were comforted with your sensitive communication; and we felt your loving concern demonstrated as difficult medical, immigration, and police matters were successfully navigated.  We were so encouraged by the notes and cards sent to us, also. God’s grace came to us through you, the Body of Christ here in Kilkeel.

Alex loved the Irish people.  He found great joy in expressing his faith in Jesus through music, worship and the many relationships he developed with people here in Northern Ireland, and in particular, the community of Attical.

Psalm 16 was Alex’s favorite psalm.  Even at age 22, he was already very aware of heaven, longing to be in God’s presence where there is fullness of joy, at His right hand where there are pleasures forevermore.  Alex was also anxious that everyone would know this “joy in Jesus”. Death is our enemy.  I am so thankful that death will soon be cast into the lake of fire forever.  Right now, Alex is more alive physically and spiritually in heaven than ever before.

Reverend Johnston, we want you to know that we were honored that you made the effort to attend the funeral in America. We will forever be grateful to you for and the congregation of Kilkeel Presbyterian for caring for Allison, Daniel and Natalie Viezbicke and the rest of the Bethlehem team. You will always be in our hearts. We feel like we have real friends here. We want to extend a special thanks to Robert Graham and Roy Graham, Gordon McCullough, John and Ruth Bird, John and Joan Peacock, and others who helped the lovely mountain ash tree memorial.  Even as we plant a tree here to commemorate Alex’s life and ministry here in Northern Ireland, we pray that the power of the Gospel will continue to draw people to Christ.  We also want to see many more worshippers of Jesus here in this world as well as around God’s throne, just as Alex did.

His life was dedicated to worshipping his Lord and Saviour.

With love and gratitude,

Chuck Steddom (for the Steddom family)