Thursday, July 18, 2002

Brent Noebel
Brent Noebel
May 20, 1961 - July 18, 2002

Supporter Of Persecuted Sudanese Christians and
Son of Summit Ministries President, Dr. David Noebel

Jeff Myers of Inspired Leadership writes about Brent Noebel…

I've known very few people whose life on Earth was so hard, and who desired heaven so much. Yet while he lived, Brent was an inspiration for thousands.

Since childhood Brent struggled with severe diabetes, kidney failure and untold years of pain and suffering.

Over the last 19 years I've seen Brent during the good times, when the suffering ebbed a bit, and during times when it was unbearable and he wished to die. I can't count the times Brent was rushed to the hospital and we were certain he would never return. Yet he did, time and time again.

I think Brent continued living far longer than expected because he had some unfinished business to attend to.

In the late 1990s, Brent found out about the suffering of Christians in Sudan and got personally involved. Every morning he made his way to the Summit classroom to give a Sudan report and to lead the students in singing “Amazing Grace.” He challenged everyone he met to give sacrificially to purchase items requested by the Sudanese Christians: Bibles, medical supplies, and Christian flags so they could identify themselves as soldiers of the Cross.

It's curious that Brent cared about Bibles and flags. You see, for the last 20 years of his life, Brent was blind. He couldn't read the Bibles or see the flags flying.

But Brent knew what it was to live in daily anguish and to perservere when there seemed to be no hope. He had faith that one day the Savior who had brought light to his soul would once again bring light to his eyes, and that this same Savior offered light and hope to oppressed people no matter where they lived.

I noticed in his office several framed posters with photos of chartered airplanes and loads of supplies, each with inscriptions such as, 'To Brent Noebel, for raising ‘x’ dollars for Bibles and medical supplies for the people of Sudan.' There were similar plaques for 2000 and 2001.

During the last three years of his life, while Brent experienced excruciating pain, the dreary rigor of thrice-weekly dialysis (having all of his blood removed, cleaned and put back in), and the struggles of everyday life without sight, he had led the Summit Ministries students in raising nearly $300,000 for the Sudan project.

Dr. and Mrs. Noebel told me that during dialysis Brent's heart just stopped, and that he had been gently ushered into the presence of his Savior. This is exactly how Brent had wanted to go. God is good.

My very first thought, echoed by everyone who has ever known him, was, “Brent can SEE now!”

Of all of Brent's infirmities, blindness had been the hardest to bear. He once told me, “I can handle just about anything, but the darkness of the last 20 years has been sheer torture.”

Well, Brent, congratulations. You've been singing, “I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see” for years. You used to sing it in faith, but now you know it is true. How wonderful it must have been when you saw Jesus face to face. I wish I could have been there!

Our love and prayers go out to the Noebel family and to the folks at Summit Ministries who loved Brent and cared for him for so many years.

Brent desired that the Sudan Project would continue. My family and I intend to participate. If you would like to join us, you can contact Summit Ministries at 719-685-9103.

—Jeff Myers,

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

Brent Noebel, son of Dr. David Noebel, president of Summit Ministries, while at dialysis, went into cardiac arrest and went home to be with the Lord, at approximately 3 o’clock central time Thursday, July 18th.

In January of 1993, Dr. Noebel encouraged Worldview Weekend founder and president Brannon Howse and helped him organize the first Worldview Weekend.

“Dr. Noebel and I spent many weekends traveling the country together and thus developing a close friendship. Through this friendship I came to know his son Brent Noebel very well. Brent was born with Diabetes and has had two kidney transplants, lost his eyesight, was on dialysis 3 times a week,” said Howse.

“Despite his constant trouble with his health, Brent Noebel was a passionate employee of Summit Ministries, serving as a bible study leader for a group of young men that attended each two-week camp throughout the summer. Each Morning at the Summit began with Brent Noebel leading all the Summit students in the raising of the American and Christian flags, pledges and a time of prayer,” Howse said in an e-mail to Worldview Weekend supporters.

“In addition to his passion for Summit and the young people that attended each summer, Brent had a burden for the persecuted church of the Sudan. About 5 years ago Brent began to challenge the young people that attended the camp throughout the summer to join him in contributing money for Bibles, the Jesus Film, movie projectors, and Christian flags to be shipped to the persecuted church of the Sudan. The last couple of summers, Brent and 1400 + that attend the Summit Camps managed to raise $70,000-80,000,” said Howse.

Howse remembered that Brent was found of saying, “Look what a blind guy and a bunch of teenagers can accomplish.”

“During each two-week camp, Brent would gather all Summit students together, discuss with them what it meant to be a Christian and would challenge to make sure they had accepted Christ and knew where they would spend eternity,” Howse said.

“As recently as 4 weeks ago, I interviewed Brent on my national radio program, as well as on another national radio program of which I was the guest host. I wanted to have Brent on so that people listen to these 300 stations could learn about him and be encouraged by his faithfulness. I also wanted to encourage people to consider a contribution to Summit Ministries and the Sudan project that Brent had founded and was running,” said Howse.

“Because many of you know Dr. Noebel from his many appearances at Worldview Weekend events across America, and because many of you know Brent's passion for the persecuted church of the Sudan from our radio program or from our talking about it during our Worldview Weekends, I wanted to send you this e-mail,” Howse said.

“I would like to ask you to send a note of encouragement to Dr. Noebel and the Summit Staff as the next few days and weeks will be very difficult,” said Howse.

Howse said that rather than sending cards and flowers, he would encourage those who know Dr. Noebel to send a contribution in Brent's honor to Summit Ministries and earmark it for the Sudan Project.

He added: "I am certain that Brent Noebel is with individuals not only the he led to Christ personally, but were also led to Christ through his work in the Sudan Project.

"I am honored I had the opportunity to get to know Brent. And I am thankful for the number of lives he's reached here in America and the Sudan."

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