A mother’s recollection of her son …
“Joey was born on the day he was predicted in 1986, a big blonde baby boy. As Joey grew he loved to play “out”, as he called it, with his friend next door. Joey was never one for computers, he would rather enact adventure games outside.
He had a sensitive side which I saw from an early age when he often took the part of the underdog in school situations, which earned him the name of “peacemaker”. Some children unkindly taunted him with this, but it was what he grew up to be – a peacemaker.
Joey was always active; he loved to draw, swim, play outdoors and was always laughing, smiling and full of fun – these are my dearest memories of Joey.
When he became a Christian at the age of 14 in South Africa, it was as if he had acquired wisdom overnight and he quickly became somebody you could trust to help you no matter what situation you found yourself in. He was always kind and caring, on occasions cycling 40 minutes to spend just 20 minutes with someone.
In Hout Bay, South Africa where we lived for a period of time, Joey had the opportunity to get involved with youth work in the church, which he continued in England when he returned aged 18.
When he was 20 he decided to pursue a career in outdoor pursuits, so he headed for Scotland, where he trained at Compass Christian Outdoor Centre. He excelled as a trainee instructor in climbing, walking and archery. He was in his element working with young and old, disabled and disadvantaged people.
We do not know how Joey died, but on the night of July 12th 2008 we received the devastating news that our dear Joey, aged 21, had been found on Buchaille Etiv Mor (Great Shepherd of the Glen). Joey’s short but very full life has inspired many people, both young and old, to adventure more and reach out to others as peacemakers. Joey’s life reflected that of Jesus and I am so happy that his friends have continued to be inspired by the way he lived his life and his faith.
To Joey “life was an adventure to live not a problem to solve”. When he was a little boy his prayer was quite simply … ‘Dear Jesus, Amen’ which for me sums up his simple and absolute trust in God. I guess that says it all.”
by Penny Pancaldi
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