A Teacher's Legacy

A Teacher’s Legacy


Tammy Waddell was an educator. This beloved teacher passed away at the age of 58 on June 9, 2018, after a battle with stomach cancer. She had served the children and community of Forsyth County, Georgia, for thirty years as a paraprofessional and elementary teacher. Those who knew her well extol her generosity, selflessness, and unconditional love. Part of her legacy was what she wanted done at her funeral.

In her obituary in the Forsyth County News was this request: “In lieu of flowers, please bring backpacks filled with school supplies to honor Tammy's passion for children in need or make a donation in memory of Tammy Waddell to Project Connect.” Project Connect is a local program in Cumming, GA that provides backpacks and school supplies to needy children.

At Waddell’s funeral on June 13, a number of teachers lined up outside the funeral home displaying dozens of backpacks full of supplies that had been donated in her memory.

Waddell’s son, Kevin Waddell, 35, who is also a teacher in Forsyth County Schools, told ABC’s Good Morning America that it was no shock to learn the backpacks were one of his mother's final requests.

“Part of what I loved about my mom was the passion she had as a teacher. It's one of the inspirations that led me to the profession,” he said. “She lived life by loving others and she was never worried about attention … she was just focused on the love,” he added.

Even in her last days, she was thinking of others, especially needy students. What a wonderful legacy of a loving educator!

There was Another who died thinking of others. In fact, He died for others. He died on a cross for the sins of others, including yours and mine (1 Corinthians 15:3). He died for us because our sins separate us from God and put us on the path to destruction (Isaiah 59:1-2; Matthew 7:13-14). He died for us so that we can be saved from our sins and receive the gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Romans 6:23).

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7).

Reflecting on the death that Jesus died for us, the Apostle Paul wrote: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

As YOU and I consider Jesus’ death on the cross, YOU can say the same thing: “He loved ME and gave Himself for ME.” Think about this: “He died, not only thinking of ME; He died for ME.”

Now, won’t YOU accept God’s loving offer of salvation and eternal life on His terms?

David A. Sargent


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