BY LEANN DILBECK –
It’s been a year and a half since a flood that claimed the life of Arkansas Game & Fish Wildlife Officer Joel Campora. Thousands watched daily as his fellow law enforcement officers combed the area to recover him and then watched as he was given a hero’s farewell… all heartbroken at his loss and for his adoring wife and two young daughters.
It has been through much prayer and counseling that his wife, Rebecca or Becca as those close to her call her, has found her voice and purpose from this life-altering tragedy. Becca told The Pulse, “After a year of counseling, I’ve come to realize that God chose me to go through this because He knew I would use it to glorify Him.”
This Friday, January 9, Becca will be speaking at the Clinton Presidential Library for ROCK THE BLUE hosted by C.O.P.S. (Arkansas Concerns of Police Survivors), an organization that was near and dear to Joel and something he was very active in prior to his passing. “Joel was passionate about Arkansas C.O.P.S. I want to continue to bring awareness for them and LEO (law enforcement officer) families. When I speak, I talk to the cadets about talking to family members about their final wishes… sitting down and doing it together… having a will, making sure beneficiaries are in order… things like that.” A conversation Becca explained that she and Joel had just a month before he was killed. She said he always knew that every day could be his last and that she now knows God instrumentalized to prepare the family for what would come.
Becca explained that she’s found her voice over the last year and has done a lot of speaking since losing her husband. “I can tell my story without shedding a tear,” proof, she says, that she feels God is using her. “I plan to briefly tell my story… talk about how C.O.P.S. has impacted me and the girls lives and to thank all the LEO living and passed for their service.” The real challenge she joked is not being too long winded, “I have the gift of gab. I have so much to say. They haven’t told me my time limit yet.”
She and the girls (ages 5 & 9) now live in Greenwood, “I decided to take a year off of teaching to focus on me and the girls more. The year after he died was so busy. I attended so many events that recognized or honored him. I have 3 totes of awards he received, traveled all over… Brinkley, Oklahoma City, Nashville, Tennessee. I felt I needed to move to be able to move on. I just needed a change. I now realize God moved us here so I would rely more on Him. I had to let go and let God.”
Very active in multiple organizations, Becca spends her time as an advocate for families of law enforcement. “I’ve also organized an event for game warden wives for two years in a row… guest speaker lunch. This past year we made it a two day thing at Mountain Harbor.”
Loving the move, Becca is still unsure about the future but does know that she doesn’t plan on sitting still waiting for it to come to her, “I’m not the type to sit at home. So I really need to find something to do. Our lead pastor’s wife wants me to help her with women’s ministry. We attend First Baptist Greenwood. We love it.”
Two particular scriptures have carried her through the days and months that followed losing her husband, Psalm 29:11 – The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace. And, Matthew 6:34 – So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
For now, she knows her future includes speaking Friday at ROCK THE BLUE, an event that is open to the public and begins at 4 p.m. For more information on C.O.P.S., visit their website at:National COPS. You can also look for Becca Friday morning on THV 11’s morning show as she promotes Friday’s event and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Other related stories:Campora Named Wildlife Officer of the Year
Campora & Atkinson Honored at VBS
Honesty Goes a Long Way – BY JOEL CAMPORA
County Morning Loss of Two Law Enforcement Officers