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MEMORIAL:  Tiffany Johnson

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

 

 

 

 

Chisholm Native Among Dead In Colorado Shooting

 

 

 

TIFFANY JOHNSON

www.tiffanyjohnsonmemorialfund.com

NEWS LINKS 

 

Family and friends remember Tiffany Johnson of Chisholm, Minnesota,

as a person who could light up a room, simply by walking into it.

They say she dedicated her life to helping others, and because of that,

the people who love her say she'll always be remembered. 

WDIO Television

 

 

 

Family members and the Chisholm community where Tiffany Johnson grew up

continued to look for answers

and they remembered the 26-year-old

as a loving, generous person

who dedicated her life to helping others.

She even had her own personal motto:

"I'm going to change the world by loving on people," 

WCCO Television

 

 

Tiffany's Story

Tiffany’s life was dedicated to caring for and helping her fellow man. She began her work with “Youth with a Mission” (YWAM) in 2006 as a student and acquired additional training to become a staff person with the organization. During her time with YWAM, Tiffany was doing what she believed to be the two most important duties in her life: serving God and sharing her faith with others. Her stay in Colorado allowed her the opportunity to reach out to others through activities such as snowboarding and skateboarding.

 

Her work with YWAM was scheduled to end in March 2008, when she had plans to return to her home state of Minnesota. Tiffany’s goal was to then attend the University of Minnesota and pursue her passion in International Business with a focus in Japanese culture. She dreamed of traveling to Japan as she was fascinated with its culture.

 

Tiffany not only wanted a career, but also dreamed of having a family and raising children of her own. During the last several months of her life she was dating Dan Griebenow, who was also injured in the shooting. As a missionary student, Tiffany traveled to Africa, Egypt and Libya. In Africa, she furthered her commitment to children by providing eye care to the country’s youth.

 

Tiffany has always been active in spreading the Gospel, and she was very involved in Cedar Valley Church in Bloomington, Minn.

 

Tiffany dedicated her life to making people smile and making them feel loved. She had one nephew, Trent, and two nieces, Caitlin and Kirsten, who she adored and with whom she spent an abundance of time. Tiffany told them stories, colored with them, played, swam and skied with them.

 

 

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM YOUTH WITH A MISSION (YWAM) 

 

A lone gunman entered a Youth With A Mission training center in the Denver, Colorado suburb of Arvada early Sunday morning, December 9th, 2007, opening fire and hitting four members of the staff. All were taken to local hospitals and two later died of their injuries.

 

The deceased have been identified as Tiffany Johnson, 26, from Minnesota, and Philip Crouse, 24, from Alaska. Both served as staff members at the Youth With A Mission Arvada campus. The third victim, Dan Griebenow, 24, has a bullet in his neck and is listed in critical but stable condition. The fourth victim Charlie Blanch, 22, suffered gunshot wounds to his legs.

 

Peter Warren, the Director of Youth with a Mission Denver says they had just finished a Christmas banquet when the suspect arrived and asked a 22-year-old woman from Minnesota if he could be housed for the evening. When she told him they could not house him, that's when, Warren says, the suspect opened fired with an automatic handgun, hitting four people. Police say they do not know whether the shooting was random or if there was a motive.

 

Warren says, "The young man – I don't know who he is; I don't think [the victims] knew him – but he must be going through a lot personally in his own life to do something like this. Our belief is that only God is the judge and our place is to forgive and that's a difficult thing to do, but really, I think it's the right thing to do," said Warren.

 

There are about 80 people living on the Arvada campus and they have been transported to the group's mountain campus near Golden, Colorado where they will stay while the murder investigation is processed at their residence. Warren says they are trying to deal with this situation as best as they can.

 

"There's no blueprint for this," said Warren. "You know, we're just going to be honest, we're going to pray with one another and cry with one another. These kids were like our kids, you know. It's just such a tragedy, but who knows what's going on in this young man's life."

 

Youth With A Mission (YWAM) is an international and interdenominational Christian movement with operating locations in 171 nations. Launched in 1960 as a means for young people to get involved in short-term missionary service, it now has over 16 000 staff working in 1180 centers and trains over 25 000 people each year to be involved in the organization’s primary goal – to know God and make Him known. YWAM is hugely varied in its approach, operating such ministries as drop-in centers for street children in South America; hospice care for AIDs victims in Africa; literacy and job creation programs throughout Asia; and is well known for its quick response and long-term commitment to global disasters, such as the 2006 tsunami.

 

YWAM International Chairman Lynn Green released this statement: "We feel a deep sense of loss today and we grieve with the families and those who were very close friends of the victims. Our surviving students and staff are being well cared for and we have total confidence in those who are responsible for the training program in Arvada to care for those who have been subjected to this assault.

 

"Those who lost their lives had dedicated themselves to serve and we feel the sorrow of their absence. Yet we take comfort from the assurance of everlasting life for those who follow Christ in loving service to others.

 

"It is a great tragedy that our culture seems to produce so many deeply troubled people who express their frustration in violence. We forgive the assailant and we rededicate ourselves to serving young people in the hope that we might bring healing to other needy youth."

 

Dad recalls victim of shooting
Dad recalls victim of shooting
 

 

Woman Killed By Gunman Wanted To Change The World

 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) ―

As Tiffany Johnson was growing up, she loved to go fishing with her dad.

 

At twilight, Tom Johnson would tell his little girl that it was time to go home, but she always suggested they wait a little longer, try a little harder.

 

Sure enough, the wait usually paid off -- and Tiff would whisper, "Dad, I got one!"

 

"She was always such a patient person," Tom Johnson said Tuesday. "(Fishing) was something that was just our time. ... The one special thing we did together."

 

Tiffany Johnson had been working as a missionary for about three years, and was at a training center in Arvada, Colo., on Sunday when a gunman entered and opened fire.

 

Tom Johnson said his daughter survived the ride to the hospital and tried to describe the gunman to an official in the ambulance. But she had been shot eight times, Johnson said. He was told his daughter died on the operating table.

 

"I always worried about her, of course, going to Egypt, going to Africa. So to be honest with you, I just always wanted her home," Tom Johnson said. "And then I get her home and this happens.

 

"It's just not fair," he said in a telephone interview. "You just question God and say, 'Hey. Why?' There just isn't an answer that I can come up with."

 

Family members and the Chisholm community where Tiffany Johnson grew up continued to look for answers Tuesday and they remembered the 26-year-old as a loving, generous person who dedicated her life to helping others. She even had her own personal motto: "I'm going to change the world by loving on people," her father said.

 

Tom Johnson said he doesn't know what drove his daughter to missionary work, but she grew up in a Christian home. She began working with Youth With a Mission in 2006 as a student, and received additional training to become a staff person with the group.

"When she set her goals, like in setting her goals on the Lord and on teaching other people ... no one was going to change her mind," Tom Johnson said. "She was energetic for the Lord."

 

Her work with Youth With a Mission was scheduled to end next March, and she planned to return to her home state to attend the University of Minnesota. She wanted to study international business, with a focus on Japanese culture.

 

Her family said Tiffany Johnson loved working with children and wanted to have a family of her own. She was also described as an incredible aunt who spent time coloring, playing and skiing with her nephew and two nieces.

 

Tom Johnson remembered her as a cuddler, who loved Walt Disney movies.

 

"We'd always sit and watch movies, and she would just go in the crook of my arm," he said.

 

When she was in Colorado, Tiffany Johnson used her love for snowboarding, animals and horseback riding to connect with other youth.

She was at the Youth With a Mission center in Arvada on Sunday when Matthew Murray, 24, entered and began shooting. Authorities said Murray had sent hate mail to the center in the last few weeks after being removed from the program years ago.

 

Johnson's father said Tuesday that he was still waiting for his daughter's body to be returned to Minnesota. Funeral arrangements were pending.

 

The family set up a memorial fund, to help raise money for future youth missionaries. Tom Johnson said his daughter often struggled to come up with funding for her missions, and she would have wanted to give support to others.

 

"I don't know how anybody could make it through something like this without having faith," he said.

 

Tiffany Johnson Memorial Fund

 

The Tiffany Johnson Memorial Fund has been established as a tribute to Tiffany A. Johnson, who lost her life as the result of a tragic shooting on December 9, 2007, in Arvada, Colorado.

 

A native of Chisholm, Minnesota, Tiffany “Tiff” was taken from this earth while graciously serving for “Youth with a Mission (YWAM).” Tiffany’s life was dedicated to caring for and helping her fellow man. She began her work with YWAM in 2006 as a student and acquired additional training to become a staff person with the organization. During her time with YWAM, Tiffany was carrying out what she believed to be the two most important duties in her life: serving God and sharing her faith with others.

 

Tiffany was known to many as a strong, beautiful young woman whose passion in life was working with people and sharing the goodness of life while continuing to spread the Word of God.

 

The Tiffany Johnson memorial fund will grant scholarship(s) for youth that are training to become missionaries as well as future missionary work.

 

Tiffany leaves behind a loving family and the many lives she changed.

 

Tiffany’s mission has been accomplished.

 

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