Andy's Toughest Role

Barrett Jones, the character that Andy Pessoa plays on Adventures in Odyssey, is described as "talented and easily distracted." Only half of that is true for Andy, because this teen actor is talented and focused.

Already in his acting career, Andy has had speaking parts in numerous TV shows, videos and movies, including the latest Spider-Man release, The Amazing Spider-Man.

"The role itself wasn't what somebody would think is like a dream role," Andy says. "But both scenes are with the main stars of the movie. So the coolest part was being able to meet everybody and be able to act with them. It just was really an awesome experience."

So far, that's been one of the high points in Andy's career. But four years ago, he and his family experienced an unthinkable low.

On October 25, 2008, Andy's 18-year-old brother Joshua died in a car accident. There was no substance abuse, and no other people were involved. Andy, the youngest of four boys, was 12 at the time. The loss devastated the family.

"It's definitely about relying on God and hoping that He's gonna help you get through," Andy says. "After the tragedy, we just stayed busy, stayed in prayer and read the Bible. Having family time mattered a lot."

The first few weeks were the hardest, especially on Andy's mom, Stephanie, who home schooled all of her boys. A week after Joshua's funeral, Andy found his mom crying in the laundry room.

"Mom, why are you crying," Andy asked.

"Because Joshua is dead, and we'll never see him again," she answered.

Without hesitating, Andy said: "But Mom, didn't you always do all you could so that we would get to heaven? Don't you see? Joshua is already there. You'll see him again."

Stephanie hugged her youngest son and thanked God for using Andy to allow her to see God's perspective.

Andy doesn't remember that exact conversation, because lot of events around that time blur together. But he's glad he was able to help his mom.

Andy's parents were missionaries when Joshua was born. Through the years, they taught all their sons the truth of God's Word and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. They all know the Lord as their personal Savior.

"I can't believe I said that, but it's really true," Andy says about helping his mom. "One of my brothers is already in heaven. That's the goal. We walk with God while we're here [on earth], and some get to heaven sooner than others. It's still sad for us. Some things only time can help with."

Stephanie says she still sheds tears over the loss of her son. But in celebration and in times of sadness, Andy and his family have learned to hold onto each other and trust in God.

Already in his acting career, Andy has had speaking parts in numerous TV shows, videos and movies, including the latest Spider-Man release, The Amazing Spider-Man.

"The role itself wasn't what somebody would think is like a dream role," Andy says. "But both scenes are with the main stars of the movie. So the coolest part was being able to meet everybody and be able to act with them. It just was really an awesome experience."

So far, that's been one of the high points in Andy's career. But four years ago, he and his family experienced an unthinkable low.

On October 25, 2008, Andy's 18-year-old brother Joshua died in a car accident. There was no substance abuse, and no other people were involved. Andy, the youngest of four boys, was 12 at the time. The loss devastated the family.

"It's definitely about relying on God and hoping that He's gonna help you get through," Andy says. "After the tragedy, we just stayed busy, stayed in prayer and read the Bible. Having family time mattered a lot."

The first few weeks were the hardest, especially on Andy's mom, Stephanie, who home schooled all of her boys. A week after Joshua's funeral, Andy found his mom crying in the laundry room.

"Mom, why are you crying," Andy asked.

"Because Joshua is dead, and we'll never see him again," she answered.

Without hesitating, Andy said: "But Mom, didn't you always do all you could so that we would get to heaven? Don't you see? Joshua is already there. You'll see him again."

Stephanie hugged her youngest son and thanked God for using Andy to allow her to see God's perspective.

Andy doesn't remember that exact conversation, because lot of events around that time blur together. But he's glad he was able to help his mom.

Andy's parents were missionaries when Joshua was born. Through the years, they taught all their sons the truth of God's Word and the saving grace of Jesus Christ. They all know the Lord as their personal Savior.

"I can't believe I said that, but it's really true," Andy says about helping his mom. "One of my brothers is already in heaven. That's the goal. We walk with God while we're here [on earth], and some get to heaven sooner than others. It's still sad for us. Some things only time can help with."

Stephanie says she still sheds tears over the loss of her son. But in celebration and in times of sadness, Andy and his family have learned to hold onto each other and trust in God.

Copyright © 2012 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com. Photo by Gaylon Wampler.