By Tim Fausch, ER Communications
There are many ways to measure the value of one’s life on earth, but perhaps the greatest is to consider the lasting impact he or she has on those they encounter.
Paul Cripps, co-founder of ER Canada with his best friend and wife Linda, was someone who had a life-changing impact on the people he touched. Soft-spoken, thoughtful and selfless, Paul was a friend and encourager to people wherever they were in their life journey. And when he met people who were poor, sick, uneducated, abused, abandoned or oppressed, he showed them deep compassion and love.
Consider these words from Paul, shared on an ER video:
“I have had the privilege of spending time in all three of our regions and have witnessed first hand many stories of changed lives. There is nothing more impactful than spending time in a squatter village, or picking up a street kid in need of a hug.”
ER CEO Jerry Carnill shared Paul’s willingness to battle through obstacles in order to serve others:
“Paul set an example for all of us on many levels. He loved his wife, kids and grandkids with all of his heart, yet he also set aside personal comforts to help people in extreme situations. During the past several months Paul served others in extreme heat, with very little sleep while living with physical pain due to sickness. His legacy will live on through the lives of people across the globe.”
Paul did much more than show compassion. He and Linda turned their concern for others into a life mission. They focused everything they had on helping people in very tangible ways.
Russ Cline, ER’s Chief Advancement Officer, recently profiled Paul and Linda’s strategic use of their time and resources in the Leader Mundial eNewsletter:
“But the biggest thing they have leveraged has been their lives. Not only do they serve the staff, partners and ER family around the world, but they have invested their lives in relationship. They have visited, they have served, they have helped set vision, they have coached, they have explored, they have listened, they have come alongside so many of us (I speak for many) and just helped us to do better.” Read Russ’ blog here.
Paul impacted people around the world, including many ER partners who are on the front lines working to help people living in distress. Pierre Rioux, Director of ATAIM, an ER partner that serves indigent people in South Africa, shared this:
“Paul’s approach to life was a huge example to me. He always put others first, in spite of how he felt physically. He never wanted people to know he was suffering. Paul was a true leader that I plan to imitate. I hope I can be half the leader he was.”
“A big guy with a big heart. Thank you Paul for everything you have done for us and the people whom we love so much, especially the kids. You will be greatly missed. You will always be in our hearts.”
Paul and ER Canada were big supporters of the programs in Haiti run by ER partners Lemuel and House of Hope. This Facebook post by the folks at Lemuel captured Paul and Linda’s impact in Haiti:
“Paul Cripps was known and loved by all of us. He had a genuinely compassionate, servant’s heart and we are grateful for all the ways in which he touched our lives and served Lemuel through ER Canada.”
Paul and Linda led volunteer teams to help at-risk people around the globe, introducing hundreds to the concept of serving others cross-culturally. Paul was tireless in his dedication, working long hours at their auto dealership only to come home and work just as hard for ER Canada.
Led by his strong faith, Paul strived to bring hope to the hopeless. Those who knew him would say, “Well done faithful servant, well done.”
Author’s note. It’s rare when you meet people you immediately love and trust. That’s what took place when my wife Deb and I first met Paul and Linda. We saw their character, compassion, selflessness, generosity and willingness to sacrifice and we were inspired. We wanted to be more like them…and still do. Thank you Paul and Linda for living lives that are authentic, and for helping show the way.
The notice below was published by the Jason Smith Funeral Chapel and provides details on Paul’s family and life.
CRIPPS, Paul Kenneth (1959 – 2015) – surrounded by his loving family and promoted to the arms of his Lord & Saviour, at the Norfolk General Hospital on Sunday, September 20th, 2015 in his 57th year. Cherished husband and best friend of Linda Cripps (nee Armstrong) of Simcoe. Loving father & grandfather of Nicole La Porte (Aaron) of Waterford, their sons Jacob & Evan; and David Cripps (Angel) of Simcoe, their son Benjamin. Beloved son of Ronald Cripps (late Violet) of Simcoe. Paul will be lovingly remembered by his brother Carl Cripps (Lenny) of Caronport, Saskatchewan, their children Daniel, Samuel & Deborah. Dearly loved son-in-law of Elsa Armstrong (late Lawrence). Together Paul & Linda own and operate Aitken Chevrolet Buick GMC. Always a passion for serving others, Paul served as Chair, Vice Chair & Past Chair of the Norfolk General Hospital Foundation Board, was a member of the Simcoe Gospel Chapel and was the Canadian Founder & Director of Extreme Response Canada, a charity organization committed to changing the lives of people by providing humanitarian aid to those living in extreme, often life-threatening, poverty stricken situations. Friends are invited to share their memories of Paul with his family at the JASON SMITH FUNERAL CHAPEL, 689 Norfolk St. North Simcoe for visitation on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015 from 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. and again on Wednesday morning from 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. at the Simcoe Gospel Chapel, Hwy#3 East Simcoe. Paul’s home going service will be held in the church sanctuary at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Martin Brown officiating. Interment: Oakwood Cemetery, Simcoe. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to donate in memory of Paul are asked to consider Extreme Response Canada. Personal online condolences at www.smithfuneralchapel.com (519) 426-0199.