62-Year-Old Pastor Killed in Christmas Eve Hit-and-Run: What Her Husband Did After Will Break Your Heart
Perhaps one of the most meaningful things one can choose to do on Christmas Eve is to participate in volunteer work where one knows a difference is truly being made.
It would seem that this was the case for 62-year-old Pastor Trina Newman-Townsend.
On the afternoon of Dec. 24, she and three of her foster children were dropping off toys at a south Los Angeles shelter, according to Church Leaders news.
Her children made it back into the vehicle safely, but they witnessed the tragic killing of Newman-Townsend by a hit-and-run driver as she was getting into her vehicle, according to LAPD online.
The driver of the vehicle that struck her never stopped.
Their daughter, Amarrie Nicasio, said they were also raising some grandchildren.
"She helped everybody. She gave back to the community in every way she could," Nicasio said, according to ChurchLeaders.
A memorial was held in Newman-Townsend's honor on Dec. 29, according to KABC.
"The community is here honoring my sister, somebody you didn't even know," Dwayne Newman said to the mourners who assembled.
He went on to say that his sister was, "somebody that was doing something in the community that you never knew, until her death.
Daughter Callie Harvey said, "My mother was a phenomenal woman. Love is a verb -- people forget that. She showed you that she loved you."
A suspect in the hit-and-run incident was arrested Jan. 5, according to The Christian Post.
A warrant was issued for the arrest of 55-year-old Carlos Mayor on the charge of vehicular manslaughter
A $50,000 bail has been set, with a court appearance scheduled for Jan. 25.
Amazingly, Newman-Townsend's husband, Curtis Townsend Sr., said he has forgiven Mayor.
"Carlos, I forgive you. You panicked. Things happen," Curtis said.
Losing a loved one is never easy, especially when that loved one is a spouse.
In a case like this, forgiving would have to be a part of the healing process in order to prevent a stronghold of bitterness from becoming a destructive force in a person's life.
That doesn't make it easy, but it is necessary.
In some cases, it might even be a daily process of asking for God's help, with the humble understanding that it is something Jesus asks those who follow Him to do.
Certainly, something like this leaves a person asking the question, "Why?"
But since we live in a fallen world, there are some things that just aren't going to have an answer on this side of eternity.
The best we can really do is trust that God is with us in the middle of it, and that He is the one who can most effectively provide for us and help us work through the pain.
A GoFundMe account was set up by the family to "celebrate and honor" Trina Newman-Townsend's life. As of Thursday, it had raised more than $8,000 toward a $20,000 goal.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.