The Dead and Missing of the 35W Bridge Collapse

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : August 5, 2007


  1. Julia Blackhawk, 32, Savage
  2. Paul Eickstadt, 51, Mounds View
  3. Sherry Engebretsen, 60, Shoreview
  4. Patrick Holmes, 36, Mounds View
  5. Artemio Trinidad-Mena, 29, Minneapolis


  1. Richard Chit, 21, Bloomington
  2. Peter Hausmann, 47, Rosemount
  3. Greg Jolstad, 45, Mora
  4. Vera Peck, 50, Bloomington
  5. Christina Sacorafas, 45, White Bear Lake
  6. Sadiya Sahal, 23, St. Paul
  7. Hanah Sahal, 20 months
  8. Scott Sathers, 30, Maple Grove

These names fill me with sadness.  Especially Sadiva and Hana Sahal…a mother and child.  Why do these things happen?  Why Lord?

Father, bring peace to the families of the dead and missing.  Bring healing to the survivors.  Help us to be the church–to mourn with those who mourn, and to bring hope in a dark world. 

I’ve though about responding to the foolish, erred response of John Piper.  His response has been predictable.  But Graham Old’s response sums up my own thoughts.  The important question isn’t “What is God’s purpose in this?” but “How can we, the church, embody God’s response to this tragedy?”

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5 Responses to “The Dead and Missing of the 35W Bridge Collapse”

  1. Mark on August 6th, 2007 3:49 am

    I think it is good to remember in times like this that we need to remember the reality of death. It is not something to be feared because Jesus conquered death. The lesson to learn is to live life like you are going to die. Keep things in perspective, live like you really mean it. Ultimately peoples time here on earth is in the hands of the Lord. How long we get to spend here is up to him. We have to be careful not to respond out of emotion and say that God has done something wrong for taking these people from their life on earth at the time he chose.

    Our response as the church should be to comfort those who mourn and assist them in coping with their loss, but to refrain from getting angry over something that is in God’s hands. He is the maker and giver of life. The end of our time here on earth is not the end of life, but only the beginning…its about time we as Christians acted like it. Live life like you are going to die…because you are going to…

  2. Aaron on August 6th, 2007 8:32 am

    hey man - i recently found your blog, and enjoy your posts. i hadn’t read Piper’s response until now… sheeshh… do many in the Twin Cities hear his response?

  3. markvans on August 6th, 2007 9:38 am

    A lot of people look to John Piper for leadership and guidance on a regular basis–but especially during times of difficulty.

  4. toddh on August 6th, 2007 7:11 pm

    Piper’s response was awful. It makes me angry every time I think about it. I just have to keep reminding myself how much I too can be a jackass who leads people astray. I like your counter-question that points people in a better direction.

  5. JVD on August 15th, 2007 9:23 am

    Mark -

    Well said - I was thinking through the response by our well-known twin-cities pastor and appreciate your thoughts.


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