The following stories are tributes to ER heroes – those who have lived sacrificially in order to serve others. We hope you are inspired by their lives.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, Ed Newman went to be with his Lord. He had been visiting family in Colorado when he was struck by an aneurysm. Ed, who lived in both South Africa and the U.S., leaves behind a legacy of dedicated service to people around the world. See Ed’s obituary here.
Loyal. Generous. Huge heart. Servant. Friend. Mentor. Compassionate. Encourager.
Those are a few of the accolades friends are sharing about Ed Newman, a long-time ER volunteer. If you’ve worked or volunteered alongside Ed, you’ll recall his deep passion for serving others.
Ed invested heavily in changing the plight of people living in poverty and oppression. He was generous not only with his resources, but with his time and talent. He appeared to have endless energy (possibly fueled by coffee and chocolate!), to pour into those who needed help.
From the Heart
“Our good friend Ed Newman passed away on Saturday while visiting his family and grandkids. He has been a part of Extreme Response since it started and helped me out a ton over the past few years in South Africa. – Nick Carnill
“We lost a wonderful friend and co-worker in Ed. We first met Ed when we took a team from Hinsdale Baptist Church (Illinois) to Honduras in 1989 – 30 years ago! Ed started helping Jerry lead work/ministry teams and with anything we needed. He accompanied Jerry on his very first trip to South Africa in 1998. Ed and I lead a couple of women’s teams together. Oh, the experiences we had! Ed was one of the most generous people I’ve ever known. He was always looking for ways to help and to encourage. When I think of Ed, I think of loyalty, servant’s attitude, eating candy for dinner, coffee, getting lost in Cape Town, recycling chasing birds, and once again – generosity. He will be greatly missed. He’s going to leave a huge hole in all of our lives.” – Dawn Carnill
“Our hearts are heavy. Ed’s huge heart touched so many people. It is such a shock. We’ve thought several times Ed would out live us all. While our hearts are broken, it is awesome to know that Ed is in the arms of Jesus!” – Amy Townsend
“We celebrate his legacy. We will miss him. Our loss is heaven’s gain.” – Ellis Pitman
“Ed Newman = Compassion + Generosity – which he so loyally has shown to ER. I’m so sad he is gone.” – Gina Cline
“Ed sometimes had a gruff exterior, but he had the biggest heart on the inside. Ed wore many hats with ER. He traveled with me to visit partners around the world, he led short-term teams, and recently, he was a mentor, encourager and servant to our staff and volunteers in South Africa. Ed also supported many missionaries, volunteered in local churches and helped with troubled youth. Ed continually sought opportunities to serve others and always went above and beyond expectations.” – Jerry Carnill
“We are so sad to hear of Ed’s passing. Ed went about the father’s business with such humility and humor – from helping out with finances to tirelessly running errands. He was personally my gentle giant on our women’s trips to South Africa. I will miss him tremendously.” – Kelly McClelland
“I’m so thankful to Ed for the many times he served here in Manila. Ed appeared rough and tough, but the more you got to know him, the more you saw a kind-hearted, tender and loving man who simply wanted to serve God and His people with everything he had. We thought we would see him again. But God knows best. He will surely be missed. Ed is home. That’s the most important thing.” – Joshua Benavidez
“It was easy to love Ed because of his kind and loving heart. He was very dedicated with his service to the Lord. We felt appreciated and honored working with him here in the Philippines. He will be forever missed!” – Andrew and Carmel Suarez
“Ed had the kindest heart. He is sweet, loving and caring.” – Richyll Torredes
The ER family extends its condolences to Ed’s family, friends and the servant community he has developed over many years. Watch this space for additional updates.
Celebrating ‘Aunty’ Pam
By Amy Townsend, Co-Director, South Africa Dream Centre (July 19, 2019)
ER’s Amy Townsend shares a heart-felt tribute to Pam Keightley, AKA “Aunty Pam” to thousands of children she poured into at God’s Little Lighthouse (GLL). Pam died in her sleep.
It’s a sad day! But heaven is rejoicing that Aunty Pam has arrived. She will be greatly missed. She walked through the journey with us as we figured out how to start the South Africa Dream Centre. She helped us make big decisions. Mostly she was a great encourager and friend. The kids at the Dream Centre (and hundreds more) have been blessed to be served by her.
Aunty Pam spent her life in service to the littlest ones of this world, teaching them their worth, loving them, and filling their bellies. Her legacy of GLL will continue to shine in her absence. Together, we must work diligently for her legacy to continue.
Pam’s family met recently with the GLL teachers and invited us to join them. The gathering started with a wonderful reminder of Pam’s vision for GLL. Each staff member was given an opportunity to share memories of Pam. We all cried and laughed and cried some more.
Going forward the family recognizes it is a huge endeavor to continue Pam’s work. ER plans to continue walking this journey with them and support their decisions. Most of the kids who attend the Dream Centre today previously attended GLL.
Some of you have asked about donating to a memorial fund. If you would like to give to the Pam Keightley Memorial Fund, click here and designate your gift “In Memory of Pam.” The family is considering options for the donations, but is leaning toward a scholarship program for children.
ER Tributes: Paul Cripps – Faithful Leader, Life-Changer
By Tim Fausch, ER Communications
(Sept. 21, 2015)
There are many ways to measure the value of one’s life on earth, but perhaps the greatest is to consider the lasting impact he or she has on those they encounter.
Paul Cripps, co-founder of ER Canada with his best friend and wife Linda, was someone who had a life-changing impact on the people he touched. Soft-spoken, thoughtful and selfless, Paul was a friend and encourager to people wherever they were in their life journey. And when he met people who were poor, sick, uneducated, abused, abandoned or oppressed, he showed them deep compassion and love.
Hugging Street Kids
“I have had the privilege of spending time in all three of our regions and have witnessed first hand many stories of changed lives. There is nothing more impactful than spending time in a squatter village, or picking up a street kid in need of a hug.”
ER CEO Jerry Carnill shared Paul’s willingness to battle through obstacles in order to serve others:“Paul set an example for all of us on many levels. He loved his wife, kids and grandkids with all of his heart, yet he also set aside personal comforts to help people in extreme situations. During the past several months Paul served others in extreme heat, with very little sleep while living with physical pain due to sickness. His legacy will live on through the lives of people across the globe.”
Paul did much more than show compassion. He and Linda turned their concern for others into a life mission. They focused everything they had on helping people in very tangible ways.
Russ Cline, ERs Chief Advancement Officer, recently profiled Paul and Linda’s strategic use of their time and resources in the Leader Mundial eNewsletter:
“But the biggest thing they have leveraged has been their lives. Not only do they serve the staff, partners and ER family around the world, but they have invested their lives in relationship. They have visited, they have served, they have helped set vision, they have coached, they have explored, they have listened, they have come alongside so many of us (I speak for many) and just helped us to do better.”
A True Leader
Paul impacted people around the world, including many ER partners who are on the front lines working to help people living in distress. Pierre Rioux, Director of ATAIM, an ER partner that serves indigent people in South Africa, shared this:
“Paul’s approach to life was a huge example to me. He always put others first, in spite of how he felt physically. He never wanted people to know he was suffering. Paul was a true leader that I plan to imitate. I hope I can be half the leader he was.”
ER’s Asia Region Director, Joshua Benavidez, shared this regarding Paul:
“A big guy with a big heart. Thank you Paul for everything you have done for us and the people whom we love so much, especially the kids. You will be greatly missed. You will always be in our hearts.”
Paul and ER Canada were big supporters of the programs in Haiti run by ER partners Lemuel and House of Hope. This Facebook post by the folks at Lemuel captured Paul and Linda’s impact in Haiti:
“Paul Cripps was known and loved by all of us. He had a genuinely compassionate, servant’s heart and we are grateful for all the ways in which he touched our lives and served Lemuel through ER Canada.”
Paul and Linda led volunteer teams to help at-risk people around the globe, introducing hundreds to the concept of serving others cross-culturally. Paul was tireless in his dedication, working long hours at their auto dealership only to come home and work just as hard for ER Canada.
Led by his strong faith, Paul strived to bring hope to the hopeless. Those who knew him would say, “Well done faithful servant, well done.”
Author’s note. It’s rare when you meet people you immediately love and trust. That’s what took place when my wife Deb and I first met Paul and Linda. We saw their character, compassion, selflessness, generosity and willingness to sacrifice and we were inspired. We wanted to be more like them…and still do. Thank you Paul and Linda for living lives that are authentic, and for helping show the way.
ER Tributes: Celebrating Craig Duffield
(Dec. 8, 2016)
The following tributes were provided by ER’s Dawn Carnill and Russ Cline.
It is with great sorrow that I write. This morning our dear friend and ER partner, Craig Duffield (Mosaic Life – Port Elizabeth, South Africa) has left this world and entered into the presence of his Savior. Please pray for his wife, Carryn and kids, Luke and Sarah. I found this photo (above) of the family taken last year around this time.
Craig lost his battle on this earth. Carryn Duffield just shared this post about Craig. Let’s continue to lift up Carryn, Luke and Sarah.
A great man, dancing with Jesus!
A great dad, an incredible husband…
Love you tooo much!
God is good…. His son is home.
Rest in PERFECT PEACE my love.
A Vision for Unity
I met Craig about 16 years ago at a Youth Worker Training in the US. We became friends and I was able to see his church and his work in Port Elizabeth. I also saw his vision come together to bring youth workers, churches and leaders together in his city, networking together for training and leverage. He taught me a lot about leadership needs in South Africa, and helped me understand the challenges and needs of leaders in that part of the world.
When we started our first Leader Mundial Summit in 2006, he was a natural choice because of his growing organization in Port Elizabeth, and incredible results with community partnerships and impact.
Craig taught us all how to be vulnerable, how to walk through really tough days and how to learn to rely and depend on a group of brothers. His years at the Summit in Ecuador, Costa Rica and Georgia allowed us to get to know him, to enjoy his love for life, for his family, for his country, for sport and for his God.
Craig valued the relationships from the LM Community as well as his partnership with Extreme Response.
I’m sad that he is gone.
I hurt for Carryn, Luke and Sarah and so many others.
I celebrate his life, his legacy, his passion.
He challenged me many times. He shared his life, his family, his country and his joy with me.
He left an impact. He continues to leave an impact. Let’s celebrate his life together.
ER Tributes: Celebrating Randy Pepito
(July 5, 2017)
On Monday July 3, 2017, Norand “Randy” Pepito died of cardiac arrest in Manila, Philippines. Randy’s passing is a huge loss for the Pepito family, as well as the kids and staff of Arms Of Love (AOL) children’s home. AOL is an ER partner and part of our Children’s Home Network in the Philippines.
Randy was Executive Director at AOL, located on the island of Bohol. He provided compassionate and dedicated leadership at AOL, which cares for up to 40 orphaned, abandoned, abused or neglected children through shelter, food, education, healthcare and loving house parents.
Dr. Steven D. Bagley, AOL Board President & Chairman, shared a heart-felt tribute to Randy via social media. “Randy’s servant leadership expanded the influence of Arms of Love and built partnerships everywhere he went. His irreplaceable smile and good natured attitude was magnetic, drawing others to him. His drive and compassion provided relationship networks of support that encouraged an army of caregivers to fight the battle for justice, healing, and dignity of the vulnerable. Please join us in prayer for his wife Esther and family.”
A Warrior at Heart
ER Asia Regional Director Joshua Benavidez has known Randy for four years and offered these insights into his passion to help vulnerable children.
“We lost a great leader, friend, brother, co-worker and a warrior at heart who touched so many lives,” Benavidez said. “I first met Randy in 2013 when I visited him in Bohol a few days after a strong earthquake and a super typhoon hit their province. I immediately sensed his great passion and heart to help not just the kids of Arms of Love, but also their community.
“The respect he received from the people in the community, the unwavering support of his staff and the love the kids of Arms of Love showered Kuya Randy all point to the impact he had on them. His life ended here on earth but his legacy will live on in our hearts. He will indeed be missed.”
ER Chief Advance Officer Russ Cline offered this tribute. “Kuya Randy Pepito will be greatly missed. We are saddened to hear of his passing. Randy was a wonderful man and visionary, and he had a huge heart for his family and his extended family of children that called Arms of Love home. Randy contributed to our network of partners in Manila and he and Esther were active in our Summit Community and were friends. Prayers to the Arms of Love Family, and to Esther and the family. He will be missed! His impact will live on!”
ER President & CEO Jerry Carnill added these sentiments. “Randy’s love for the children and staff at Arms of Love was evident whenever I observed their interaction. He will be missed as a husband, father, mentor and friend.