Andy and his twin brother Josh were adopted at a young age. After a friend of mine had spoken with Andy’s parents John and Ann, she relayed the fact that there had been a note.
… he had been picked on some...but mostly, the feeling of abandonment and time spent in the orphanage and an empty feeling inside him, just never quite went away... -Sarah Jes Molnau
Everywhere we turn there’s a story of someone being bullied, but it wasn’t until the day I found out my own nephew was facing it that a switch flipped inside of me. It’s so important to encourage kids today. We should constantly be encouraging one another, starting with those that have faith like a child. It’s hard to be a kid these days. Society has such a picture perfect way of how things should be that the simple days of playing in the sandbox have turned into something very different. Every one of us has felt lonely. Every one of us has felt insecure. And so many people out there are battling depression. It’s so important to take every opportunity to build a child’s confidence, not just as adults, but as kids too!
It all reverts back to the golden rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated. When did that rule start rusting away? Not just kids but the example that we lead as adults. Let this be a shocking reminder to love everyone and to hold tightly to Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
My intent is not to preach, but to encourage every reader, and myself, to encourage our youth and to build them up. They are the future generation and will determine how life goes on long after we’re gone.
One of the most beautiful things I came across in beginning to unfold this story was a facebook page that has been created for Andy entitled “Prayers for Andy Hendel.” The page currently has 3,017 “LIKES;” 3,017 people who are truly jealous of the angels. This page is a place where friends can share memories, pictures and videos. It’s beautiful to see how much one young man affected this world in his short sixteen years.
Here are a few comments left on "Prayers for Andy Hendel" that particularly touched me:
Death is like the cold winter snow
From where the frosty air wind blows
all of heaven's angels gather
To morn the loss of the one who mattered
People weep and cry with sorrow
But hopefully things get better by sunrise tommarow
-Joshua Hendel (twin brother)
Hi Andy:) It snowed again last night. A pretty blanket of snow covering the earth. You keep giving all of your family signs of your love. But then again, that was what you have always done was give. Your heart is so generous in all you do. You are loved right back so many many many people. YOu and I talked at Christmas about the book Heaven is for Real. I know you are sitting at the feet of Jesus and mother Mary is right beside you. I imagine your smile is contagious in heaven and you are in dazzling colors that light up heaven. We know God sent you to do work here on earth for a short time. The impact you made will forever change lives. God bless you Andy. Love your Aunt Lori David-Jaeger
Sixteen years ago we found out we were getting you and our lives became so much better from the moment we laid eyes on you. You had that beautiful smile until the day you died. You made us proud every day. Your love for life was contagious and we will fulfill your dreams that you left for us to finish. God has you now. The Heavenly Father is holding you and Mother Mary will be your mother until I can join you. Do not be afraid anymore. Do not be sad anymore. We love you and we will see you again. Love Mom and Dad
Hey Andy. I love you to the moon, around the universe a billon times and back. . -Olivia (Sister)
I ask you to pray for Andy's family, John, Ann, Josh & Olivia. They’re hurting right now. It amazes me that their faith has led them to already begin finding a glimmer of light in all this darkness.
They really are taking solace in the fact that they had Andy for most of his 16 years and that he was able to donate some organs, one of them being his heart. VERY fitting, since he had the warmest smile, and a BIG heart. His plan was to apply to med school and his dream was to be a cardiologist! Already he is living on in another person and his heart went to a cause that he wanted to have as a profession. God truly works in the most mysterious ways. –Sarah Jes Molnau
For those of you that knew Andy Hendel and/or would like to pay respects to this young man, his funeral will be held on Friday, January 27th at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Cologne, Minnesota, at 11AM.