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Lakin Riley with her mom Allyson. Facebook

Mother of murdered Georgia college student shares message of faith

Laken Riley, the Georgia college student murdered by an illegal alien, was a strong Christian. Her mother, Allyson Phillips, shared a message of hope on Facebook.

“My family has faced the most devastating, unimaginable loss that anyone could ever be [forced] to endure,” she wrote. “I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for being with me and my family during this heartbreaking time. I encourage everyone to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I give him all the glory for getting us through this.”

Riley, 22, a nursing student at Augusta University, was murdered while jogging on the University of Georgia campus. Jose Antonio Ibarra, 26, was charged with her murder and mutilation of her body.

Ibarra’s status as an illegal immigrant is further igniting political conversation about America’s porous southern border and the migrant crisis currently raging. The latest figures from the Department of Homeland Security reveal that 7 million migrants have crossed the border since January of 2021. The startling figure means that 2 of every 100 people currently living in the U.S. entered the country illegally since the beginning of the Biden administration.

Phillips posted a second message thanking people for attending Riley’s celebration of life. Her note focused not on lamenting her loss but on pointing people to Jesus. She credited her pastors, Samer Massad and Chris Kim, for being the family’s “rock” and shared about Riley’s love for Jesus.

“Laken loved to invite people to go to church with her and share her faith,” Phillips wrote. “Her love for our Lord Jesus was infectious and helped many people develop or expand their relationship with our Lord and Savior.”

The grieving mom invited people to the church and even offered to sit with those who decided to come. But it was Phillips’ message to parents that is particularly emotionally stirring.

“To all the parents out there, I want to lay this on your heart,” she wrote. “I can assure you that there is no greater gift that you can give your children than to walk alongside them and help them develop their relationship with Jesus. It is the most important relationship they will ever have.

“I know my sweet Laken knew Jesus personally, and she will live eternally in his home. He never left her side until the very last second she was here on earth, and he will take care of her now and forever in heaven.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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