May 25, 2012 These are busy and exciting times for Living Water, but today we pause to remember and pay tribute to Shanon Dickerson, who founded this ministry in 2001. We lost Shanon 10 years ago this past Wednesday (May 23), but his light shines brighter than ever despite the passing of time.
Those of us who were involved with Living Water from the start have wondered aloud recently whether Shanon envisioned it becoming this thriving ministry that has touched and even saved so many lives around the world. While we’re not sure of the answer, one thing is for certain: Shanon knew he was planting seeds in our hearts for a harvest he probably wouldn’t see here on this earth. I’m sure that I'd heard before 2001 that millions around the world lack clean water, but the statistics were lost on me until Shanon inspired me to take a closer look. If not for him, being involved in a ministry like Living Water might have never even crossed my mind.
Over the past 10 years, many, many people have been impacted by Living Water who never had a chance to meet Shanon. His story has been told over and over, and those who hear it are often inspired to consider what impact they are having on the world around them, and whether they are using God’s gifts to the fullest. Even before his battle with cancer, Shanon lived as if life was a gift to be treasured and lived passionately. Cancer only further revealed and magnified what was already inside him. This excerpt from the Living Water website says it well:
“Shanon took discipleship of Jesus seriously and used his life to serve others. When a rare cancer forced him to leave full-time mission work in former East Germany, Shanon remained contagiously positive about life, using time between his cancer treatments to serve and befriend those in need.”
Shanon had an uncommon presence that made people feel at ease – both those he knew and those he was meeting for the first time. He invested deeply in relationships and encouraged us to live in community with each other. Simply put, we are better people for having known him.
In 2009 Shanon’s parents, Bobby & Jerri, founded Shanon’s House of Compassion (www.shanonshouse.org), a “home away from home” for families caring for a loved one in medical crisis in Huntsville, Alabama. The house is yet another expression of love inspired by Shanon’s life, serving those who are often facing life’s most difficult moments.
As we look back and remember our friend today, we also look forward with excitement to his continuing legacy. I have a feeling that this is only the beginning.
Jon Lee Director of Operations The Living Water Project