A Praying Friend by Faith Sandel
One thing that really sticks out to me when I think of Christiano is that he was extremely genuine and had a huge heart. I remember in youth group, our youth leader asked if anyone wanted to be filled with the Holy Spirit. It was something that I really wanted, but was having a hard time with. I was pretty shy in those days, but I got up the guts to go anyways. As the music played and I prayed to God to help me, I remember feeling someone laying their hands on my head. I opened my eyes and there was Christiano, praying for me. I was so surprised! It seemed like a lot of kids at that age would be timid to do anything that bold, but Christiano was far from timid. After praying for me he gave me one of his famous hugs that caused him to pretty much bend his whole body in half just to reach me. That moment touched my heart in so many unexpected ways. It made me want to be more open with my Christianity. It made me want to love more and reach out to my peers more. Christiano has inspired me in so many ways, and I wish I has taken time to tell him what an impact he’s always had on my life. I am so honored to have known him, and I can’t wait for the day that I can finally tell him how much he’s inspired me.
This is an entry from ‘A Beautiful Life’ book project. This book was put together by a friend of mine who wanted our family to have these wonderful stories about our son, Christiano; who in eighteen short years touched the lives of more than we could ever have imagined. We have decided, as a family, to read a few a week before bedtime. Thank you, Krystal – in doing this, you’ve blessed us beyond what we could’ve hoped for. We love you.
Losing our son has taught us that every day we are given counts. All the ‘live life to the fullest’ and ‘make every day matter’ quotes go from cliché tag lines to absolute heart cries. I am so thankful my son lived that way and that, through his legacy, I’m learning, too.
‘Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.’ – Billy Graham
This was the d2L (now named Impact) student staff all dressed up for the Christmas Party. Faith is pictured on the bottom right.