Pastor for Schwab family: ‘Just no way to prepare for this’

The pastor for the Schwab family on Monday thanked the community for the outpouring of support as they grieve 10-year-old Caleb, who died riding the Verrückt water slide at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City, Kan., on Sunday.

“It’s just been amazing the people who have come together praying for them, encouraging them and supporting them,” said Clint Sprague, the lead pastor at LiFeMission Church in Olathe. “They feel it.”

Sprague said he spent the last 24-plus hours with the Schwabs.

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“As you can imagine, it’s been devastating,” Sprague said. “It’s been devastating at every level. You know leave church, you go to a water park to be with family and to enjoy. And then you hit tragedy. There is just no way to prepare for this.”

Sprague said he has known Scott and Michele Schwab for more than 20 years and he said they are people of incredible faith and strength. He said they are relying on those to help through this difficult times.

The Schwabs have three other young children, so Sprague said you can only imagine what they are going through at this time.

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“Caleb was an incredible young man,” Sprague said.

He was 10 years old and was full of life. He loved baseball, basketball and soccer.

“He was always doing something,” Sprague said. “The thing I know as a pastor about Caleb was that he loved Jesus.”

Caleb loved to talk about Jesus. He loved to pray. Sprague said Caleb’s mother said that anytime someone had a need or something like this happened to someone else, Caleb was the one to say that they had to pray.

“Caleb was a 10-year-old child, but in many ways, he was a man of God,” Sprague said. “He’s going to be missed for his energy, for his life, for his smile, for the way he lit up a room.”

Caleb was an affectionate young man who loved his dad and was a hugger, Sprague said.

Sprague said he didn’t have details about the accident that took Caleb’s life. He referred questions to authorities.

“What I can tell you is that this family is coming together and grieving together,” he said. “We are asking everybody to give us space to do that.”

Visitation will be held 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at LifeMission Church at 16111 S. Lone Elm Road in Olathe. Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the church.

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Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb.

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