Kim’s Sermon

And now the inspiring words of wisdom spoken by our dear friend and pastor, Kim Botto:


Welcome. I’m Kim Botto and I’m a pastor here at Crossroads. I’m also a friend of Aleisa and William and my life, like yours, has been impacted by Nora Rose Yusko. On behalf of Aleisa and William and Nora’s big brother Gavin and big sister Greta, thank you for being here. Today we honor and celebrate Nora while we support her family. In evaluating a life based on years, Nora’s life was short – way too short, but that little bitty life made a huge impact on those of us here today as well as people across the nation and literally across the world.

Nora overcame so many obstacles during her two-years here on earth. So it seems surprising that she is gone. We believed that this was another challenge where once again God would miraculously intervene and she’d bounce back and be back at home enjoying her baths, milkies and her family.

But that’s not the way it played out. The Bible refers to our bodies as an earthly tent. Here’s what scripture says:

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down — when we die and leave these bodies — we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.

These verses call our bodies earthly tents. Just imagine living in at tent instead of your house or apartment. Tents can be really fun. But would you really want to live in a tent every day? Tents often leak when it rains. At night they get very dark and cold. And there are no bathrooms in tents. Tent living would definitely have some problems.

So even though we like our tent, we know that there is a better place to live. And that’s what God says it’s like living on earth in these bodies, our earthly tents. I like living in this body, but I know there is something better. Our bodies have limits. They can get hurt. They need food. They get sick. And they die.

But one day we’ll trade these earthly tents, for a new and amazing body. It will be a body that will never die, never get sick and never hurt.

Early Tuesday morning, as her mom and dad stroked her precious little head, kissed her chubby cheeks, rubbed the creases in her adorable little wrists and whispered & whistled in her ear, Nora left her earthly tent, and God gave Nora her heavenly body, one that will last forever. Nora’s new body doesn’t need tubes to supply oxygen. No tests are needed to evaluate her heart function or oxygen levels. Nora is pain free. And while we miss her physical presence immensely, we’re celebrating that Nora is home and in the presence of Jesus.

God thank you for the precious gift of Elanora Rose Yusko. Her life blessed us. Her hats made us laugh. Her squeals delighted us. We grew in our faith as we prayed for her.

Today we celebrate the richness of her life. We don’t understand why she had to be taken so soon. There are a wide range of emotions in this room – confusion, anger, disbelief and unbelief. My prayer is that the time we spend together this morning is a comfort to everyone gathered, and in our grief that we are drawn closer to you.

As we reflect on Nora’s life and the legacy she leaves, may we be encouraged and reminded that we too have the opportunity to positively impact those around us. God we ask that you comfort Nora’s family, who love her deeply and miss her greatly. We ask that they feel a peace and a hope that is only possible through your son Jesus. Amen.

This morning, we’ll remember Nora and celebrate her life by hearing from those who were closest to her.

{Tribute – Sarah ward}

{Tribute – Kelly}

{Parents’ Tributes}

{Eulogy – Kate Rewwer}


While we have heard beautiful tributes today, there are two people who were very special to Nora that we have not yet heard from. Nora’s brother and sister, Gavin and Greta have written some of their favorite memories of Nora that I’ll read.

Gavin wrote: I used to smell her fuzz, giver her kisses, say silly voices to her, played with her xylophone or piano with her. I sometimes fed her milks. I’d go on walks with her, carried her upstairs to the “baff, squeeze her knee muffins, played some of Nora’s games on the Ipad with her, and before bed she used to come up and say goodnight and cuddles with me in my bed.

Greta’s letter is titled “Nora’s Project” What I like to do with Nora is read her books and sniff her fuzz. I like to talk to her and play with her toys and with her! I like to hold her and squeeze her “litter” arms! She is so pretty and sweet. I also liked to play the piano with her and she would always smile. I liked to carry her up to the bath. I liked letting her fall asleep on my lap. I liked to rock her in her little chair.

Greta and Gavin, you loved your little sister well. And we know that there is now an empty place in your life where Nora used to squeal and laugh and splash in the bath.

Aleisa and William, thanks for being so generous and for sharing her with us.

In the midst of our grief and uncertainty, scripture says: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Faith to take the next step. While we’re broken hearted and not sure how to go on – it’s taking just one step forward in faith.

And hope. Hope beyond the world that we live in now. We have hope because we trust in Jesus and know that one day, you will experience an amazing reunion with Nora.

And love. We experienced love through Nora’s life. And as we leave here we have the opportunity to continue to love the Yuskos.

We can love them by sharing our memories of Nora and how she impacted our lives. We can send them cards, cook casseroles and let them know that we remember Nora.

Lives were changed because of the life of Elanora Rose Yusko. People came to know Jesus as they read about how your family praised Him in this storm. People who were losing hope, found hope again, their faith fortified. Some talked to God for the very first time, thanking him when Nora once again defied all odds and experienced another miracle. People who didn’t even know each other came together to pray for healing. And our prayers of healing have been answered. Nora is now fully healed. And we thank God for that.

Aleisa, William, Gavin and Greta your life will never be the same without Nora here on earth. But also, your life will never be the same because of Nora’s time here on earth. Take a look at the people sitting in this room. And know you are loved. And Nora is remembered.

God thank you for the gift of Nora Rose. Thank you for her family who openly shared their hopes and dreams for Nora as well as their fears and challenges. Through Nora’s family, we’ve seen faith in action. Real faith. A faith that isn’t always pretty, is sometimes shaky, but is built on your promises.

Your promise that this is not our home. That one day, we’ll leave these earthly tents and enter into a place that we can not even imagine. A place that no man can comprehend. A place where Nora now resides with you. Give her family the strength to carry own. Help us, their community, to be your hands and feet. Hands that comfort and feet that serve and ears that listen. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for giving us a hope that never fades. Bless and comfort Aleisa, William, Greta and Gavin. Give them peace. Be their refuge and strength. Amen.

2 thoughts on “Kim’s Sermon

  1. Kim, Your sermon was beautifully given to not only those who attended Nora’s celebration but people you will never meet like me. Thank you for your obedience in His service, Charlene Benton

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Beautiful words as well!!! Thank you again for sharing. I love how Greta and Gavin were able to include their special things they loved about Nora and did with her. I think about the relationship my children have; how much they all truly love one another and take care of each other. I have been praying for precious Greta and Gavin as I know how much they must MISS their precious baby sister. Praying for all of you all continually!!! xoxo

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