Jeremy Earnshaw

From YWAM Newcastle via

On Monday 16th June 2008 YWAM Newcastle experienced a terrible tragedy. Two of our staff were walking along the coastline on their day off when a freak wave washed them into the water.

One was winched to safety by rescue helicopter but despite extensive search and rescue efforts by several different local authorities, Jeremy Earnshaw from Fairbanks, Alaska was not found.

Jeremy has been a wonderful, passionate caring member of our family in YWAM Newcastle. Having completed his DTS here in 2003, and an SOE in 2006, he returned in 2007 to serve with us full time in our Youth Street ministry.

He worked specifically with our cafe and skate teams, reaching out to youth and engaging them at their level, loving on them, representing the heart of God and being a “big brother” by helping them to navigate through their teenage years.

Jeremy’s family is asking that the commemoration be a celebration of his life. Green was Jeremy’s favorite color. We are inviting everyone to wear a lime green armband on Tuesday. On the armbands we are writing “1.21”, which represents the verse from Philippians that Jeremy had tattooed on his chest. “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

A tribute to Jeremy Earnshaw from skate park Newcastle

1 thought on “Jeremy Earnshaw”

  1. The youth in Newcastle, Australia wore 1.21 armbands to Jeremy’s tribute from that symbolic act we now have wristbands and postcards that share Jeremy’s testimony. Through our tragic loss we have seen many come to know Christ, relationships formed through the internet across the ocean, and people’s lives changed. Here are a few examples:

    *The Newcastle Herald in Australia ran a thankyou note for our family and the base for the generous outpouring from the community. The thankyou referenced Philippians 1:21. A grandmother reading this article contacted her daughter about the story. The daughter in-turn contact me and shared with us about the loss of their daughter Anna. You see when Anna passed away in 2005 she had just completed drawing a poster for the back of her bedroom door which read, Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ to die is gain”. Anna also had a diary and in her diary she wanted to help the poor. The family took Anna’s money and on one of their mission trips to India took a group of lower caste Indian children swimming. They were also able to share Anna’s testimony. By faith we had Jeremy’s testimony cards translated into Telegu the dialect of this village. The pastor in that village said, “”I love to receive as many as cards Ruth can send. I will distribute all cards in my village to each and every house and also I will give them to near by village churches and pastors to distribute in their churches and villages as well. So please ask her to send as many as she can. Please give my address to her. Thank you so much for letting me know this.” Over 900 cards have been mailed so far. Pray for this village.

    * My name is Kyle, and I’m an intern with the Chapel on the Campus Youth Ministry in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I have the privelege of serving alongside of Matt, who was able to share Jeremy’s incredible story last night with our youth group. I just wanted to let you know that the room was completely and totally quiet as Matt shared your son’s passion and love for the Lord, and I know the kids were moved. God definitely spoke to my heart last night as well, and I wanted to thank you for allowing Matt to share Jeremy’s story. God is using your son’s “new birth” to glorify His name and draw young people unto Himself. Thank you for being an encouragement and inspiration to me as I strive to point these precious teenagers to their Creator. I’m praying for you and your family, and I know that God will continue to get glory through this situation.

    *From Candace: When I heard about Jeremy I realized how angry at God it made me. Being angry at God made me realize I believe in him and I finally felt something. Prayer the last few years has felt like I was talking to a brick wall. Everyone keeps telling me everything happens for a reason. Sometimes it is so hard to see that or even believe it, but it amazes me the impact a sweet boy from Fairbanks has made in only 23 years and if it wasn’t for Jeremy’s love for God and his incredible talent of sharing that love he wouldn’t have created such a huge ripple affect in his disappearance. I wrote Philippians 1:21 on my hand in green sharpie and it has made me really think about what the scripture means. I truly want to take it to heart.

    *From Sarah: i came across your story on the band leeland’s blog. it touched me very much. it really encourages me to live every moment to work to be closer to God, and to let Him guide my life. i wanted to write to thank you for sharing and i would love to get a band to wear and share with my friends the wonderful story of jeremy.

    *Sydney, Australia – Baptist Youth Convention Last Friday night 5 of us from YWAM Newcastle had the privilege of joining the band Angela’s Dish at a huge event in Sydney called Revive ’08. We had a table next to Angela’s Dish and were able to hand out wristbands and share the 1.21 message with over 1,000 kids. This connection was made through myspace.

    *Barbie (his high school friend): But man I miss him SO much. The whole situation still seems so surreal to me. Though you’re right Ruth, Jeremy has changed so many people’s lives just through his trip to heaven. It was really a win-win situation in the sense that he gets to be with Jesus, people have come to Christ through his message, and in the end we only have to be without him for a little bit, even though time on earth can feel like an eternity.

    *Doors have opened up for Darryl and I to share in churches and Women’s Aglow our experience and Jeremy’s testimony.

    *We now have Jeremy’s testimony printed up glossy postcard material in English, Spanish, Telegu and are working on Hindi and Arabic. These are mailed free. Click here to send us an email

    Please continue to pray for us his family Please continue to pray for us his family (Darryl, Ruth, Samantha, Jenna, Hunter and Jaclyn and Christina). His friends in YWAM and around the world as we work to share the gospel of Jesus Christ through the testimony of this young man who had a deep love for the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Love Ruth (Jeremy’s mom)

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