Pastor’s son missing, feared drowned after capsized kayak found in lake

Jared (R) and Rowan (L) Boria
Jared (R) and Rowan (L) Boria | Facebook/Jared Boria

Search teams are looking for the body of a New Hampshire pastor’s son who's believed to have drowned in an Oregon lake last Tuesday after his kayak capsized during a late-night ride. 

Bruce Boria, the senior pastor at Bethany Church in Greenland, New Hampshire, released a video message last week explaining to the church’s followers online that his family was recently informed that one of his four sons, Jared, 37, is missing after his kayak flipped over in the frigid waters of Diamond Lake.

Jared Boria lives in Vancouver, Washington, and is reported to have gone out on a kayak while on a trip to the lake located a few hours' drive from his home.

According to The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, a call was received around 10:20 p.m. about a man crying for help in Diamond Lake. Although a search team was able to find the kayak, flip flops and paddle the next day, Boria’s body has not been recovered. 

In an update Monday, Bruce Boria said that search was continuing for his son's body, nearly a week after he was reported missing. 

In his initial video message last week shared by the church’s Facebook page, Boria explained that it was not uncommon for his son to be out on a lake or skiing on a mountain later in the night as he was a bit of a thrill-seeker. 

“It was not uncommon for us to hear that he would be out on a lake close to midnight,” Boria said. “But it went tragic. His kayak capsized. The reports that we have been getting from people at that camp as they have been doing a search and rescue for him have told us that people did hear him crying for help. It didn’t last long, according to the testimonies of those who gave it.”

Boria explained that the waters were “very cold” that night and it's likely that hypothermia could have set in quickly.

“Putting all those things together, we are left with the conclusion that my son drowned in Diamond Lake; 37 years old,” Boria said. “Nobody ever wants to hear those kinds of news.”

Boria said that his family is coming to terms with the fact that his son is likely dead.

“Now we are waiting for search and rescue to find his body,” Boria said. “They brought in some sonar equipment. It just makes it long days because we want to have a little closure.”

Boria called for supporters to pray for his son’s wife, Rowan Boria. A GoFundMe account has raised nearly $23,000 to help support the family during this difficult time. 

In an update to the GoFundMe page Tuesday, friend Kendra Deselms explained that there is not much of an update available relating to the search for Boria’s body.

“Jared’s family is flying in to Portland from New Hampshire on Wednesday (July 8) so the entire family can be together,” Deselms wrote. “The search is continuing at the lake to find Jared. Please know that Rowan is receiving lots of love and support.”

Bruce Boria’s online video message last Friday was released as part of his social media series titled “Seize the Day." In the series, Boria posts videos designed to help people apply biblical truths to their own lives. 

“This whole intention was to help us to seize the day by taking God’s Word and applying it to your life. Little did I know that this path would lead us to where we are today,” Boria said. “I am sharing from a very sorrowful place. But I am grateful that I have a revelation that God has given me that is meant to bring peace.”

Boria cited Psalm 23, which in part reads: “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”

He contended that while many people may think 37 is too early for his son to die, his son’s likely death at the age of 37 appears to be part of God’s divine providence. 

“[My wife] understands that in the providence of God, it is His will, not ours,” Boria said.  “Sometimes it is a mystery to us. It is only a mystery because we don’t know the end from the beginning. If we had the full knowledge that God had, it would make more sense because the pieces would seem like they fall together.”

Boria added that there are countless families who lose loved ones at an early age to a number of different reasons. 

“Just because I serve God as a pastor of one of the best churches on the planet, I am not exempt,” Boria assured. “We are in this world and our days are limited. Here is the truth, not one of us, me included, knows how much sand is in our hourglass. So when we say we are cheated, cheated from what? Who promised us tomorrow? Who said that your life would be 80 or 90?"

Boria noted that two of his brothers and his sisters have died while his father is 93 years old and still putting up windows in his house. 

“This is all in the providence of God,” Boria said. “Because things don’t work out exactly as I think they are, I am supposed to point the finger back up into the celestial and say, ‘Yo, what’s up?’ No, [that’s] not how this works. If I am accepting all the blessings that God brings into my life … is it going to be in my purview to tell God what he can do and can’t do?”

Even though Boria said that his son had aspirations of what he wanted to do with his life, God likely could have decided that 37 was the age in which he would take his son. 

“I have to believe that God had good reason for that,” Boria said.

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmith

or Facebook: SamuelSmithCP

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