While many (including myself) in the Texas Panhandle are beginning to look forward to the 2017 holiday season, a cloud of unknowing continues to hover over Canadian, a picturesque community nestled in the rolling hills of the High Plains.
This coming November 23rd will mark the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Thomas Brown, 18 year-old-son (at that time) of Penny and Chris Meek of Canadian and Kelly Brown of Perryton, Texas.
Today’s post is about a mother’s heart for her dearly beloved, deeply missed son and a longing for the truth about what happened last Thanksgiving Eve and the following early morning hours to come to light.
I am blessed to know Thomas’s parents personally. I taught with Penny for several years at Perryton High School and Kelly attends the same church we attend here in Perryton.
My heart goes out to both of them—along with Thomas’s older brother, Tucker, his stepfather, Chris, and the rest of their family and friends—as they continue to pray for answers.
To be honest, this is the kind of story you might watch on Dateline and 48 Hours, not something that happens in rural America, population around 2,500.
And especially not something that has happened to people you know and love.
My son, his wife, and two children live in Canadian. I’ve always said, “If there was any other place I’d want to live in the Texas Panhandle besides Perryton, it would be Canadian.” It’s so quaint and beautiful.
Quaint and beautiful, but not immune to heartache and tragedy—no matter how much we might like to believe we live in a protected bubble.
We live in a fallen world—a world where hurting people hurt people—a world that has been in existence since Adam and Eve first declared their independence from God (see Genesis, chapter 3).
As an outsider observing how the family is walking through this ongoing cloud of unknowing, I continue to be amazed at the faith and strength I see and hear in both Penny and Kelly.
A faith in their Heavenly Father, who sees all things—who is omniscient—who knows every detail about Thomas’s disappearance.
And a sustaining strength that can only come from Him.
When I asked Penny if there was anything that she would like to share through this post, this was her response:
We always ask for prayers for the family and Thomas. Thomas is very much loved and missed.
My mom often referred to Thomas as Ferdinand the Bull. Thomas beat to his own drum. He never bothered anyone. He is the most tenderhearted young man that I know.
We pray for those who know and/or have information about Thomas’s disappearance.
I’m not judging, but making an observation about those involved that they do not have a relationship with Christ. If Christ truly lived in them, they would not have committed this act. We pray for their salvation. We pray that any hindrances that stand in the way would be removed.
We are very thankful for the communities of Canadian and the whole Texas Panhandle and beyond. This situation has been far-reaching. We are thankful for everything everyone has done. We are mostly thankful for prayers.
This season of my life has been life changing. I have a much deeper relationship with Christ.
I have a much much deeper relationship with Christ. Only God can bring this kind of redemption in the midst of a mother’s worst nightmare (see Genesis 50:20).
In my recent conversations with Penny, I have come to learn that she is no stranger to tragedy. Her dad committed suicide June 17, 1998 and her mom was killed in a car accident October 10, 2011.
Yet, through it all, Penny’s faith in Christ remains unshakable. What an amazing testimony of God’s sustaining love through such heartrending circumstances!
If this story has touched you and you would like to help the family, please pray for Thomas, the family, and that those who are involved and/or have information about his disappearance would come forward.
Another way you can help the family is to support the upcoming Thanksgiving Day fundraiser at Smokehouse Restaurant in Perryton, Texas, November 23rd, from 11:00 a.m. till 2:30 p.m.
They will be serving a free, traditional Thanksgiving dinner and accepting donations that will go to the Thomas Brown family.
If you have any information that could help solve this investigation, please contact one of the following:
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC): 800-843-5678
- Texas Missing Persons Clearinghouse at Texas DPS: 800-346-3243
- Texas Rangers: 800-665-7168
- Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office: 806-323-5234
- Klein Investigations: 409-729-8798