Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
What would you have me to do today, Lord?
Thanks to Gleason Portrait Gallery for creating this beautiful video.
Tributes to Nathan Buzdor from those who knew him.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Last time, I posted some scripture passages that I've had to turn
to way too often in the past few years. And these past few days
I've been running to them once again.
Wednesday morning, we lost a brother, a friend, a truly great man.
Buz was my roommate for several years, a friend for many more, a
co-laborer for Christ at UT, a piece of iron upon which many
others were sharpened. My Crusade friends will have known him
well; among Westgate folks, Lisa would have known him as "the
other Nathan", and my D-team guys would have possibly known him as
"the Deuce's brother".
He was one of those rare people who you remember the first time
you met him - for me, it was at the Crusade "welcome back" picnic
his freshman year; it struck me as kind of odd that he showed up
to be welcomed back to some place he'd never been. I just
remember him having ridiculously long hair, and being on such a
spiritual high after his recent trip to the Philippines that he
was actually kind of annoying. In such ways are great friendships
Buz was stricken with cancer about five years ago, went through
two marrow transplants, too many bouts of chemo (which spawned the
character "Chemo Buz", who was just Buz with his tact and
inhibitions lowered) some of the best things he ever said were
during that period), and experimental procedures. He had been
looking quite good until recently. He and his fiancee Amy had
been putting off getting married until it looked like he would be
healthy enough, and the wedding had finally been planned for
August 26 before he took a turn for the worse. As you pray,
please remember his family and especially Amy.
The last few days have been filled with profound grief. But we do
not "grieve as others do who have no hope". I'm shocked by his
sudden loss (even after about five years of preparing for it, and
seeing him look near death several times before), and saddened
deeply. But make no mistake - I am not grieving for him. He knew
exactly where he was going when he died, and he is far better off
there than he was here. No, the grief is for those of us who are
left - for his family, for Amy, for me and his other friends who
miss him terribly. But this grief is underlain with joy, knowing
without doubt that his mortality has been clothed in immortality,
that his light and momentary troubles have achieved for him an
eternal glory that far outweighs them all, that he is dwelling
with God where there will be no more death or mourning or crying
or pain. And especially in the hope that someday we will be
joining him there, in a wonderful reunion at the wedding feast of
So with the crying and shock has come joy and fond remembrance.
Last night I was able to sit with Brian and just talk about Buz.
About how he loved calculus waaaaaay too much, more than any
person should. About how he set the townhouse on fire with his
incessant meddling (rearranging stuff, which pushed a bag of old
clothes up against the gas water heater), and the only thing that
was really damaged was his fireproof safe. About how he shaved
off his hair for some reason I can't remember - maybe his Nazarite
vow was up, I dunno - and shocked us almost as much as when James
cut his because he was sick of being asked to play Jesus in every
skit. About how he'd have Amy stay at a hotel a few blocks from
the townhouse, until it was shut down because of all the drug and
prostitution rings that operated out of there, of which he was
somehow oblivious. About how he was my conscience for so long,
how we didn't necessarily have different standards, but he was
just so much more aware of impropriety - always asking "Is this
something we should be watching?" or "Should we be joking about
this sort of thing?" About how he started the "Heresy of the
Week" forum on his website as a tribute to our Random Heresy Game™
from Bible study, where we could suggest song lyrics, sermons,
articles, and other stuff with awful theology. About how he would
intentionally choose horrible movies to put in at parties - not
horrible in a "Boneyard" or "The Core" way, where it's so much fun
to ridicule, but just truly dreadful to watch - like "Leonard Part
6" for Rocky's bachelor party; his reasoning was that it's stupid
to get people together and have them sit silently for two hours
watching a good movie, better to throw in something people will
hate, so they start talking to each other and actual fellowship
breaks out (and once he explained it to me, I couldn't agree
more). About him playing "Starcraft" with us for hours, using the
cheap "hiding bunkers behind depots" AI exploit, lifting off his
barracks and flying it to the corner after he'd been essentially
eliminated, just so he could stay in longer. About how he was so
vehemently against premarital sex because it might lead to
dancing. About how shocked we were when we found out he was
dating, because we thought he might be asexual and reproduced
through budding or something. And about how, even if we're
somehow completely wrong on this whole Christianity thing, and it
really is salvation by works (we're not, and it's not, just
hypothetical), well, in that case he lived such a sterling life
that he'd be getting into heaven anyway. And how great of a man
he truly was, and how we're all so much better off for having
Buz lived for several years with an enemy that was destroying his
body, but his faith never wavered, and he lived as well as anyone
I've ever seen by the words of Jesus, "I tell you, my friends, do
not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more
that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who,
after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell
you, fear him!" (Luke 12:4-5). He was as keenly aware of his
mortality as anyone, and lived each day in light of eternity
instead of for the temporary. Several months ago I read this
article written by John Piper on the eve of beginning his own
cancer treatments, called "Don't Waste Your Cancer". When I first
read it, the person who immediately popped into mind was Buz -
nobody I've ever seen more exemplified the Biblical ideals of
trusting God above the odds, living for eternity rather than
today, using his cancer (and other hardships - this isn't limited
to medical issues, see Hebrews 12) as an ally to rid himself of
sin and enable the gospel to be spread, driving him to deeper
relationships rather than solitude, and especially in knowing that
"beating cancer" means living and dying for Christ rather than
merely surviving longer. The way he viewed life and death and
cancer was exemplified by his choice after the cancer returned
following his first marrow transplant. His doctors told him about
an experimental procedure, one that had a high chance of killing
him quickly. The way he explained his decision to go for this
procedure sums it up (I'm paraphrasing here): "I'm going to die
anyway someday, and when I do I know that I'm going to heaven to
be with Jesus, so I'm not afraid to die. And if my death teaches
them enough to extend someone else's life, someone who doesn't yet
know or believe the truth, I would gladly suffer and die to give
them longer and hopefully come to faith." I think of that, and I
remember what one of the missionaries in Jim Elliot's party said
about why they would not fight back if attacked by the Aucas -
"We're ready to die. They're not." And the thing about Buz is,
if you knew him at all, his decision was not even the least bit
surprising. I would've been shocked if he chose otherwise. And
he went through the second procedure I don't even know how long
ago, as full of faith as ever, trusting the one who had bought him
with his blood.
Everything about Buz radiated the glory of Christ, in his life, in
his sufferings, and now in his death. He was a dear friend. I am
so much better of a man today for having been with him for so
long. I know I am not alone when I say that he will be truly and
deeply missed. And that I look forward to the day when posts like
this are no longer necessary or even possible. My heart aches
today. I miss my friend. I am glad his pain and suffering are
ended forever. And I can't wait for the day I see him again, when
we're all home together.
-- Nathan Machel
I'm not sure there's much of a point to posting what I'm about to
type; most everyone who might read this page (does anyone read
this page?) already knows from the original email, or me or CEM
talking to them, or reading Marcum's blog. I certainly couldn't
think of a deserving title, as anyone can plainly see. Well, here
Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from my best man's family
-- they've been sending out weekly (or so) mass updates on his
condition for some time now -- that after multiple rounds of chemo
treatment (truly awful, I'm quite sure), various radiation
treatments (almost as awful), two bone marrow transplants
(probably not much fun, either), part of one clinical trial, and
numerous visits to hospitals and rehab facilities et al over the
course of the past several years, he finally succumbed to an
affliction of late-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma and went to be with
the Lord at 5 am that morning.
Needless to say, it is an enormous loss to those who daily or even
occasionally were privileged to share the company of perhaps the
single most considerate person that I have ever known, and almost
certainly the strongest influence on my own spiritual life.
We were all fairly shocked when we went to visit him last, seeing
how tired and underweight he was, and as bad as the host vs. graft
disease looked, but I suppose I still didn't realize the
seriousness of his condition. It isn't even fair to speculate on
the difficulty this must bring for his family ... though, knowing
them a little bit from visiting, they're probably a lot more
capable of accepting the perfect will of God than I would be.
I want to say that the reality of it, because I hadn't been able
to hang out with him much anymore, hasn't really sunk in yet. I
felt a little upset when I was typing out earlier today what I'm
sure amounted to a poorly-composed message of little comfort to
the clan in Lansing, but that's all ...
I very much look forward to seeing him when the Day comes. I pity
those that don't know the Lord, for not being able to look at
death this way.
Oddly enough, I just talked to him late Sunday night. Buz called
(actually left a voice mail -- boy, am I glad I called him right
back!) to catch up briefly, and to let me know about my email
account, of all things. (I have an account his website hosts,
which the company that manages it was recently purchased. Due to
changes they'll be making to the server, saved messages will be
wiped out if not moved elsewhere.) Machel, if you're still
looking for answers to how we might "lay our lives down for one
another", practically speaking, this would be an example, I think.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
I struggle greatly with what to say at times like this (without
putting both feet in my mouth), so I'll try to be brief. Please
also forgive me for my wording, which must be wholly inadequate.
Let me simply and truthfully say that Nathan was probably the
single most considerate person that I have ever known, and to
this, point the most influential person in my spiritual life. I
look forward to seeing him again when the Day comes.
Thank you for keeping us posted with regard to his condition and
spirits during his time of illness. Your family, including Amy,
will continue to be in our prayers, since we know that his passing
must be very difficult for all of you. May the Lord comfort you
in the midst of His perfect will, albeit challenging.
In Christ always,
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
My friend ...
I received an email this morning from a friend from college. He
told me my good friend, sometimes classmate, and always big
brother, Buz, has passed away. He has fought a fight against
cancer for the past 5 or so years, and Wednesday morning, he went
home to be with Dad. My dear friend, how I will miss you. As you
read this, would you lift up my friend's family, his fiancee, his
friends. I wish I could go home. I wish I could be with them in
body, hear their stories, get their hugs. I wish I could
understand Dad's reasoning in all of this -- someone so young with
so much to offer. A brilliant man, and a kind one. But I thank
the Father that I was able to tell him those things were true of
him while he was with us, and I know that as he arrived home, his
loving Father looked down on him with eyes full of love and said,
"Well done, good and faithful servant!" Buz loved China. He's
one of the people who has helped me stay here. His thoughts were
invaluable -- they were strengthening and empowering. He will be
Thursday, July 27, 2006
... I got a wonderful email from a beloved friend's dad today. He
reminded me how much that friend loved my home, and how much he
longed to be there, serving alongside me. "There was a part of
Nathan that was a little envious of you being able to go to China
..." he said. "He had a special place in his heart for China." I
had a special place in my heart for him. What a good friend.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
... I want you to know, too, that Nathan still has an impact on my
life and the life of our friends from college in many ways. He
was an unforgettable friend, and his heart for Dad was to be
admired. His life challenged me to love Dad with my whole heart
and to be self-sacrificing. I was talking to our friend James the
other day, and we were talking about how Dad can use people like
Nathan to spur others on to Dad-likeness. I can't wait to hang
out with him for eternity. Isn't it a blessing to have hope? And
I can't think of anyone I'd rather have in the "great cloud of
witnesses" watching me than Nathan. I can't wait to hear him
lifting his voice in praises to the King!
love to you and yours,
Saturday, November 4, 2006
Roy & Lois:
... I wanted you to know that I recently went to a seminar on
biblical exposition in Marion, IN and there was a pastor there
from Dayton that reminded me through and through of Buz. I was so
blessed by him!
A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
... My grandmother and half the neighborhood met Nathan when he
helped me move back from Toledo. They all just loved him and send
their love and support to you. My grandmother has been praying
for him ever since he got sick. She, my great-aunt and my uncle
Russ (a math professor) all really like him. Well, you know,
everyone liked Nate. So I wanted to tell you My family just loves
your son. (as well as my high school English teacher whom he
stayed overnight with when he was here).
-- Abigail Smucker
It is a truly rare event when one gets to know someone who is
truly great. There are few such individuals, who come along far
too infrequently. Today, the world has lost one such person. I
never knew Nathan as well as I would have liked, but every time I
was around him, he treated me as if we had been best friends for
years. His ability to have a genuine interest in everyone around
him is unmatched in anyone I have ever known. To know Nathan was
to like him, and want to keep him in your circle of friends. His
greatness came not through any spectacular accomplishments, but
rather through his enduring love for all people. As a young
adult, his ability to sense just what a person needed was
something that is rarely seen in those who are much older and more
experienced than he ever got to be. If ever in my life I have
seen the love of Jesus, I have seen it embodied more fully in
Nathan than anywhere else. My friend, Nathan Buzdor succumbed to
cancer this morning, 19 July 2006. I know he will be missed by
many, many people.
-- Mike Donald
My wife, Tina, and I just wanted to say how proud we are to have
known Nathan. He was always someone who thought deeply, and
sincerely wanted to walk with Jesus with his whole life. I can
remember all the conversations with him in college and how he was
very good at playing devil's advocate, not to be mean, but to
challenge everyone to think through what we were discussing and
what we believed. I remember him being faithful to go out and
share with guys at the I-house [the International House, a dorm
for international students ... Nathan lived in that dorm for three
years while he attended the University of Toledo] about Jesus. I
will always remember him wanting to really grow in personal
character as well as ministering to others. We will remember,
very humbly, how in the midst of his own financial burdens, he
wanted to be part of what we were doing. We are still amazed at
his faith. We will miss him and his wit, but we know that we will
see him again! Praise God for the time we had with Nathan!
-- Darin and Tina Bufkin
Monday, December 11, 2006
I just want you to know the I often think of your son and it
motivates me to continue to share with young students on campus
and to pour into their lives.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
You all continue in my prayers. Did Nate know how closely his
ministry was to his Grandmother, Nancy?? C.S. Lewis was one of
her fav's also. Nate was so brave and valiantly struggled to
live. He could not have done it without his family's strength,
courage and faith.
God bless you all.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
The testimonials to your life and spirit today touched my life and
re-awakened my drive for the Spirit. How blessed your family and
friends are to have walked this journey by your side and to be
greeted by you and the Lord on the next journey.
Thanks for living as you did.
Much love to you and yours,
Your Mother's friend -
Saturday, December 16, 2006
I wasn't sure of what the word tribute meant so I looked it up in
the dictionary. Mr. Webster said it meant to show respect and
gratitude. How true this word fit my brother in the Lord and
friend Nate Buzdor. The last time we talked to Nate and Amy was
in Jackson, Michigan at the rehab center. When we arrived and
went into see Nate we hardly recognized him. His illness had
ravaged his body but hadn't touched his spirit. We talked in
length about his upcoming wedding day and all the promises that
union held for him and Amy. God started talking to me about the
wedding day He has in store for His Church. We have to remember
that Jesus' Church is making herself ready just like Amy was.
She had her dress, veil, shoes, invitations sent and was ready to
be Mrs. Nathan Buzdor. Nathan, with a great smiling face, was
ready to have Amy as his wife. He was so excited that you could
feel his happiness when he talked about the event of a lifetime.
I see so clearly now why God allowed us to know and love Nate even
for a short time. God does not care how long we know Him, but
that we know Him when He comes for us. Nate knew Jesus when he
saw Him. Jesus knew Nate when He saw him. He orchestrated Nate's
life, blessed him with Christian parents, a loving brother and
then blessed us with his life and presence. We will never forget
Nathan because we are part of the wedding party. What a day of
rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus we will sing and
shout the Victory.
-- John and Andrea
Nathan has gone. He is now staying with God. He will live in my
Nathan and I met in the University of Toledo. I was very lucky to
meet him. I am a graduate student from China. It is really
difficult to have a real good American friend here, because of the
language problem, the difference in culture. But Nathan seemed
different from other Americans. He spoke slowly and tried to use
simple words, so I could understand him. He was nice and polite.
Sometime I even think he was too nice. He was and is really
At beginning, we just said "Hi" when we met. Until one semester,
only two of us registered "topology". We began to know each other
better. It was very interesting class. You can imagine only two
students in the class. Nathan was very smart and very creative.
It is a pity than he didn't continue for Ph.D. He could imagine a
four-dimension space and showed me on the blackboard. Since our
offices were close to each other, we often chatted when we had
time. The friendship between us was getting deeper and deeper.
Since then, we went out for lunch and dinner a few times. It is
always a difficulty for me to order dishes. Because I don't
understand what is in the menu. Every time Nathan would explain
to me. One time, I was surprised when I saw him using chopsticks
in a Chinese restaurant. He told me he went to China before in
the summer. He liked China. Another time, we went to lunch. The
only things we ate were chicken wings. Many, many wings! Every
time, we would argue about the bill. I said I should pay by
myself. He said no, he would pay it since he invited me. Then
after several days, I invited him and I paid the bill. I think
that made us have more chance to have meal together.
We talked about God sometime. I think he guided me to follow God.
From what he said and did, I can feel he had a gold heart. He
always did good, and not angry, at least I did not see. When I
left Toledo, Nathan gave me a student Bible which I keep it and
carry it wherever and whenever I go. I believe it is God made us
meet and be friends. It is really a tragedy for me that he left
us so young and so suddenly.
I still remember the moment to meet his roommates in his
townhouse. We had BBQ and enjoyed Simpson movie and played games.
So nice memory! He loved computer. One day, we went to a
computer market, where you can buy some used hardware parts. He
bought an old CPU (maybe 8088) for one dollar. He said, "It is a
real antique!" He was a good programmer and had his own website.
He helped me a lot. I still remember the moment he taught me
driving. He was a good teacher. And after I had an accident, he
tried to make me comfortable. He told me one of his roommates had
average two accidents per year, so it was nothing to me. The most
important is my life. When he heard the victim accused me, the
first thing he said was, "I am worried about you. Because you are
a foreigner, someone might use it against you." What a man! Why
God took his life so early! Now I have no chance to see him in
It is really bad when I heard he got cancer. At beginning, he
told me it was just allergy. I knew he suffered a lot. Many
times, when I called him, I was told he was in hospital. I prayed
for him. But ... one time, he told me when God made so much pain
to him. He said "I do good and obey God, but why?" The only
thing I could tell him at that moment was, "God is fair and
believe." When I heard from his father that Nathan said, "Don't
be mad with God" before he left, I believe he understood at the
May God bless you!
Nathan's love for Jesus and his love for people have changed so
many lives. His strong convictions have been a challenge to us
all. My first memory of Nathan was during our high school years.
We attended the "Bible Study Club," at our public high school. He
caught me skipping one study and confronted me. It was impressive
that a junior cared about a freshman. From that day on, my
respect for him grew and he became a good friend. His love for
the Lord and sharing the gospel was very evident as he interacted
with our friends in high school. He went on various missions
trips throughout high school and college. It was so fun to hear
stories when he came back home about how the Lord had worked in
his life through those trips. He went away to college and we saw
each other about once or twice a year. Finally, while he was in
graduate school my prayer was answered and we began dating. The
last five years were especially a blessing. I learned so from
Nathan spiritually and academically. Some of the most enjoyable
days were spent watching Nathan and his friends quoting their
favorite lines from movies. They provided great entertainment.
It was also fun to watch Nathan work with the children at his
church in Toledo. The children called him "Mr. Nathan."
The lesson that sticks out the most from Nathan's last few months
here on earth was that as believers we should not be afraid to
face death. He repeatedly told me he was not afraid to die. The
peace that I saw overflow through him those last few months was
amazing. We grew to become close friends. He endured so much
pain and fought harder than I've ever seen a person fight. He
would refrain from taking his pain medication for as long as he
could while I visited so that we could talk. He put others before
himself. He fought the good fight and finished the race strong
with his eyes on Jesus. During the last few hours while we were
holding hands, he let go and reached upward as if he was taking
hold of a hand, instantly it became obvious that he was entering
the presence of the Lord. As he entered the presence of the Lord,
he heard "Well done."
Thursday, February 1, 2007
I had just thought of Nathan again the other day or actually the
last few days, as I have had a hard drive crash as of late and had
to get a replacement. It's not in the replacement that
is significant, but Nathan used to always be excited to get
something that had broken so as to have the opportunity to take it
apart. So when the dead hard drive came out, I was thinking of
Nathan and how he would have been happy to have it to disasemble
into small pieces.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I hope my son is able to have a childhood friend like I did in
Nathan. I remember playing so imaginatively with him, but when
trying to play the same way with other friends, they just never
understood what to do.
Most of our play revolved around Nathan & Michael's massive Lego
collection. I clearly remember the sound of digging through those
Legos to find that "one piece". In fact there was a rule in the
Buzdor house that we weren't allowed to build anything until after
8am, because the sound of three boys digging through plastic
blocks was always in opposition of parents trying to sleep.
Finally, the Lego space ships that we did construct were usually
so massive and/or fragile that it usually took more than one of us
to "fly" them around.
Aside from Legos, there are plenty of great memories that included
adventures with Nathan's stuffed Possum (that also spun off into
him writting comic strips about his Possum), camp outs with our
church boys group, watching Saturday morning cartoons together,
and spending hours and hours at the apartment complex pool.
Nathan was always a loyal, kind, gentle hearted friend.
When I was eight years old, my father died of cancer. That day, I
was with my friend Nathan. He rode with me to meet my mom at our
house. Nathan and I were very close friends through childhood,
and the Buzdor family was kind enough to have me stay at their
house for those final days while my mother stayed at the hospital.
A few years ago, Nathan and I had the chance to see each other and
have dinner together. I remember being a little worried that we
would be too different now. That we wouldn't have much to talk
about because time had passed since we used to be so close.
But Nathan had character that stayed with him through out his
life. He had such a gentle heart. He was so full of genuine love
for other people. Talking with him was as if our lives had never
separated. My wife and I remarked afterwards that we had left
there being so encouraged by someone whom we had prayed WE would
be an encouragement to.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Tribute to Nathan From His Mom
As a Mom, you know I could write 28 years of stories on Nathan,
but I'll limit myself to just a few that tend to envelop Nathan's
character through the years.
One day, when Nathan was about 18 months old, I was working at
the table when Nathan walked up with three letter blocks and said,
"Mom, A, J and Q." And that's exactly what the blocks were. We
always watched Sesame Street, but I didn't know he knew his letters
that well. Most kids that age would have put any blocks on the
table and said "A,B,C". When I talked with one of my friends who
was in education, she said that now we knew why Nathan was so hyper
- it was because he was so smart and that we didn't stimulate his
brain enough. After that, we developed several things to keep his
mind busy. I never thought that would be a life time endeavor.
Nathan constantly, I really mean constantly, asked questions. I
could never figure out how he could come up with so many questions
about everything. He would absolutely wear me out hour after hour
asking questions. Then, to keep my sanity, I came up with a plan.
When my brain was exhausted, I would set a timer for 15 minutes and
tell Nathan that until the timer dinged that he could not ask me
any questions. He didn't know what 15 minutes meant, but he did
understand that he was to keep quite until he heard the timer go
off. That was usually enough time for my brain to get refreshed.
However, that did have to take place several times a day. Then
there was Roy ... he thrived on all the questions Nathan had, so he
took over that department when he got home from work. I didn't mind
When Nathan was four, he had already understood and asked Jesus to
come into his life. Michael was two years old, and Nathan four,
when one day I saw Nathan holding Michael by the shoulders and
shaking him saying, "You've got to ask Jesus into your heart!" I
could hardly keep from laughing but I did stop him from shaking
Michael and then talked to him about the fact you couldn't force
someone to ask Jesus into their lives. I also explained that
Michael was too young to understand that. See ... those "strong
convictions" were always a part of Nathan's life.
When Nathan was about 10 years old he came home from school one day
and I had been very sick all day. I couldn't get up off the couch
and had not eaten all day. He came in and knelt by me and asked if
he could make me some tea and toast and patted my head. It was the
best tea and toast I had ever had.
Precious memories ... oh how sweet.
If you were Nathan Buzdor's friend and have some words or a
story to share, please send it to "Memorial
com". If you would like it added to the memorial page, or
just would like to share your memories with Nathan's family,
let us know of your experiences with Nathan.
I am going to rent the Space Shuttle next week and fly it into
orbit. I think I can manage that. I've never flown anything
before, but I'm figuring there's a steering wheel, buttons, or
something. After all, I have a driver's license. Now, who wants
to go up and fly in the shuttle with me piloting?"
I asked that question in front of several hundred people, and
only one person responded (and he wasn't serious). But that was
the attitude that I had toward life growing up: that I was
qualified to handle it on my own. That I could make decisions
and figure everything out for myself. But people who think they
have what it takes to make it through life on their own are as
deluded as I would be if I thought I could fly a spacecraft
without any training.
I grew up in a Christian home, and at a very early age asked
Jesus to be my Savior. But with human pride and the approval
of men (I was a people-pleasing first-born), I forged through
my young life with the notion that I had it all figured out.
I was a "good person" and people liked me. But at a camp one
summer, I began to realize that I wasn't satisfied with my
façade, and if the things I intellectually believed about
Christ were indeed as true as I thought they were, then there
would have to be consequences of those facts.
At that point I started, though gradually, to dedicate (or
re-dedicate, as the terminology goes) my life to Christ. That
is, to make him not only my Savior, but my Lord. At the time,
I figured that giving up doing things the way I wanted to do
them would mean I'd have a relatively unenjoyable life.
However, the facts at hand made it clear that I was to obey
regardless of that possibility.
It's not as if I really had much to lose. Living a life as a
carnal Christian (though I wouldn't have used that term at the
time) left me with few real Christian friends and without
worldly friends. The people I was trying to impress on both
sides of the fence found the part of me that was on the other
side intolerable. It was about halfway through high school
that I quit caring what people (either set of them) thought of
me. I started to care how I was living, and what God thought
of me. What a difference the Lordship of Christ made in my
life! I started to enjoy school, made friends both from the
likes of church and Bible Study, and from among the lost and
nominal Christians at school. I have peace about difficult
decisions, and in difficult times. Not only do I not have to
worry about decisions I make, I don't have to worry about
external circumstances because he is Lord of all. Making
Christ the Lord of my life has brought all the confusions of
living out of chaos and into divine perspective.
I didn't come to Christ for the benefits of being a Christian.
I came to Christ because he saved me. But I made him Lord
because he's the one who's qualified. I chuckle at the bumper
stickers that say "Jesus is my co-pilot," because Jesus is my
pilot, and I'm just along for the ride.
Nathan's Final Hours and Words
Some may wonder why I'm putting the following in writing. The
reason is that many people have asked me about this time. I
imagine there may be others who didn't want to ask because they
felt it would be difficult for me to share this. But, Nathan
lived his last few hours as he did his life - thinking of others.
So I felt you would blessed to hear this.
On the evening of July, 17th, 2006, I left Nathan's side to come
home. He was in Jackson at the Heartland Health Care Center for
rehabilitation. He had been making progress everyday in therapy
to gain strength to come home. Later that evening, we were called
and told that Nathan was having difficulty and was transferred to
the local hospital. Roy left to go there. They found Nathan's
blood counts to be low, so they gave him two units of blood and
was going to admit him there. Roy asked if Nathan could be
transferred back to Lansing where he would have his regular
doctors and be close to family and friends. They added a third
unit of blood and sent him by ambulance to Ingham Regional Medical
Center in Lansing. When he arrived, he said he felt like he was
home. Roy came home to sleep and I took his place by Nathan's side.
After hours in ER, the doctors decided to admit him to intensive
care. They told us that they didn't feel he was that bad, but that
they wanted to keep a close eye on him. His blood counts had
improved. Amy was able to join us by this time. In intensive care,
they ask you to leave from 7:00 to 9:00 pm so they can make rounds.
Roy and I left Nathan and Amy so they could have some time together
before 7:00, and told Nathan we would be back after 9:00. He said
for us to just go home and get some rest and see him in the morning.
Amy told us later, that she had offered to come back after 9:00 too
and his response was that he was looking forward to some time alone
with the Lord in this quite and dark room. For a couple of months
until now, the hospital and rehab place was all noisy and lights on
all the time. As we left, we talked with his doctor who said that
Nathan was his hero and that he felt Nathan had lived more in his
28 years of life than most people do in their longer life times.
At midnight, the hospital called to tell us that they had started a
medication to help with raising his blood pressure as it had become
too low. They told us we didn't need to come in, but that they just
wanted to let us know about the new treatment. At 1:00 am on the
19th, they called us and told us they were having more problems
controlling Nathan's blood pressure and that he had made changes in
his wishes for his care and that he would like us to come in. Amy
and her father, Tom, met us there.
When we entered Nathan's room he told us that he was bleeding
internally and that the doctors were going to start to look to find
out where he was bleeding from. He said he had told them not to
because what were they going to do when they found the problem. He
had decided to become a "no code." Up until this time, Nathan wanted
everything done such as resuscitation, feeding tube, etc. Then the
doctor came in and told Nathan that they had some blood typed for him.
He told them he did not want the blood and to give it to someone else
who needed it. (So like Nathan - to think of others.) Then the
doctor told him they were giving him medication for his blood
pressure and did he want them to continue. He said he did not. The
doctor then asked Nathan what would he like them to do for him. He
asked for more pain medication and they added that to his IV. Then
the four of us were left alone with Nathan. The first thing he said
to us at this time was, "Don't be mad at God." Next, he said, "I
want you to grieve and to morn because that is healthy to do. Then,
I want you to go on with your lives. You have done everything you
could for me and you owe me nothing more." Then he turn to Amy and
said, "I'm sorry that I could not fulfill my promise to you."
Needless to say, at this point we all cried. Then he went on to ask
us to all take care of each other. We all told him that we would and
then I said that Amy was stuck with us, that she was our daughter and
always would be. A few more things were said that I really can't
remember now. He started to sleep more and more but he would squeeze
Amy's and my hand off and on as we held his through those last hours.
Even in Nathan's last hours on earth, his thoughts were towards others
and not himself. At 5:00 am he went to be with his Savior and Lord.
He is now healthy, happy and whole.
With much love to Nathan who loved and served the Lord and others.
His Mom, Lois
Nathan David Buzdor, age 28, went to be with his Savior and Lord on
July 19th, 2006 after battling cancer for over three years. He was
born on September 11, 1977 in Lafayette, Indiana.
Nathan graduated from Sexton High School in Lansing. He attended
Toledo University for his Bachelor of Education in Mathematics and
Computer Science and Master of Arts degree in Mathematics. He
taught at the University of Toledo while obtaining his Master's
degree and then briefly at Lansing Community College.
Nathan loved people and learning. He studied in Asia and served on
the Mercy Ship for one summer. Nathan served in the children's
ministry of his church, and in campus ministry while in college.
Nathan is survived by his father, Roy; his mother, Lois; his brother,
Michael; and his fiancée, Amy Kenney.
A memorial was held at South Church, 5250 Cornerstone Drive, Lansing,
Michigan, at 10:00 am on August 12, 2006. In lieu of flowers, the
family is asking that donations be made to:
Campus Crusade for Christ
(100 Lake Hart Dr., Orlando, FL 32832),
Breslin Cancer Center
(401 W. Greenlawn, Lansing, MI 48910 : Attn: Mauren),
- or -
Volunteer Mercy Pilots
(Capital Area Airport 3121 Circle Dr., Lansing, MI 48917).