Its been a privilege to be a little part of a vision that, though now much bigger than Scot alone, began and was realized largely because of his passion, faith and intense drive. He is one of those rare leaders whose passion and commitment is truly contagious, who has nearly as much concern for the lives and careers of those around him as he does for his own. He is a unique individual who chose a somewhat rocky and often lonely path, out of a desire to serve others, because he was able to see what could be. He has a generous heart, and many people have benefitted from his near tireless giving of himself. He will be sorely missed.
In the last few weeks, he has been publicly attacked and personally threatened, and even his children have had to deal with some harassment at school and in the community. It is unfortunate that sometimes people sink to the lesser aspects of human nature. It is especially unfortunate when children are involved. But the fact remains that those who have engaged in such behavior can't destroy anything of true value--the Townsends are good people, and so no matter what they decide to do or where they decide to go from here, they will be blessed. Those who have treated them unkindly will likely go on living mostly unhappy lives (people who behave in such a manner almost always do so because they are themselves unhappy).
When we moved to Lindsay 4 1/2 years ago, it seemed quite a bit different than it does now. I've seen many miracles, large and small, in that time. Many of those miracles came as a result of a humble, dedicated young bishop who said, "Let's open those doors; we'll fill this place up," and a visionary city manager who said, "Let's build it; let's find a way." I am more grateful than I can say that I am blessed to call both these men--and many, many of the other people who were absolutely instrumental in helping so many miracles happen here--my friends.
I wish I could express in any clear and meaningful way everything that has happened in our lives and around us since we came here. But there is too much, and my talents are inadequate to such a task. There has been so much opposition, in the forms of medical problems, antagonistic individuals, financial difficulties, family misunderstandings, and all kinds of other trials, and I have seen person after person and family after family rise to the occasion and make themselves and their little corner of the world a better place. I have seen unity in places it would seem most unlikely, and services large and small that were given and received in love and humility.
What this change in leadership will mean for us in particular is not quite clear yet. I'm sure it will be over time. But I have learned much in the last half-decade and I have tremendous faith in the Lord's ability and willingness to bless his children. Whatever happens, it has been amply proven to me that the Lord takes care of those who trust in him. Trials will come, sacrifices will sometimes have to be made, but the rewards reaped in the end seem always to me to be disproportionately large to what is asked. I am grateful to know that there is a plan--for myself, for my family and for all those that I love, even if I don't always know exactly what it is at any given moment.
Dream big, work hard, be patient and the possibilities are nearly endless.