Christian Chronicle

Despite ‘unthinkable’ grief, Christian couple has hope for the holidays

Oklahoma parents who lost a daughter — and then a son — work to help others.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

EDMOND, Okla. — Twelve days before Christmas, Allen and Jeanette Wiederstein celebrated the graduation of their 22-year-old grandson, Hunter, from Oklahoma Christian University.

They thought about how proud his mother, April, would have been. The Wiedersteins lost their beloved daughter in 2003, exactly a month before Hunter’s sixth birthday.

They wished, too, that his Uncle Brent could have shared in the happy day. Before his sudden death two years ago, Brent had become “like a dad” to Hunter and his younger brother, Clay.

But above all, the Christian couple praised the “God of all comfort” — as described in 2 Corinthians 1:3 — for the joyful moment.

“I hear that Scripture quoted in my family more than any other,” said Hunter, an aspiring minister who legally changed his last name to Wiederstein in 2017. “Losing two (adult) children in a family as close as ours made me question God so much. I can honestly say my anchors were my grandparents, who were unwavering in their confidence that God was with us every step of the way.”

For Allen and Jeanette, longtime members of the Edmond Church of Christ in this suburb north of Oklahoma City, burying two of their three adult children brought overwhelming grief.

But rather than turn away from God, the couple — who met and fell in love as Southwestern Oklahoma State University students a half-century ago — leaned into their faith.

They even developed a GriefShare ministry at their home congregation.

Read the full story.

This story appears in the January print edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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