Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Over 20 years ago a handsome young soccer player from California showed up at the college that I was attending. I had met him earlier at his cousins wedding (she was my roommate and remains one of my favorite people) and his easy going manner made me smile....
I cant' remember the timing of all this, but I do know that that it didn't seem like college was going to be a good choice for him. He would forget to go to class, literally, and he confessed when I saw him this summer that after his freshman year he had a .3 GPA. Yes, you read that correctly. Not a 3.0 GPA, but a .3 GPA....
But God had plans for him and I could see that he was worth investing in. Later as I served as Dean of Students I made sure I did what I could to inspire him. I don't take full credit -- it was a team effort and I know that several of my good friends and coworkers took a special interest in him as well...
His mom, an incredible detail person, and his dad, quite laid back and someone who would do anything he could to help anyone, moved to town a bit later and I created a position to hire her. She was so awesome and we have so many good memories. She still holds the position today! I wish I could have cloned her and brought her with me to take care of details in my life every day since then!
Anyway, I'm getting off the subject. So Eric managed to somehow pull things together and graduate. He ended up going to seminary and was involved in some sports ministries. In 1999 he got married 30 miles from where we were living. I vaguely remember his wedding as being a scattered disaster as we attempted to take 6 kids under 10. It didn't go well.
Another decade passed and he became the Outreach Pastor at Heritage Church in the Quad Cities, a place where some of my favorite people pastor Vida Nueva congreation within that church. (a story about them can be found here) We reconnected and began to talk about their church's efforts to start an orphan adoption ministry. He had me come speak, and we have had a chance to visit a couple times in the past year.
Recently they finally brought Hope home -- after a three year wait and tonight I got to watch the video of them sharing their experiences. I had tears in my eyes at the weird and wonderful ways that God brings things full circle.
Eric now shares my passion -- you can see it in his eyes -- the passion that all kids have a family. Who would have known 20 years ago that we would both arrive at this same place? And that is just the tip of the iceberg of all the ways in which God has worked in their lives and ours and the lives of others -- ways that are beyond cool.
You may not want to watch the video -- but you probably should -- just to see what a fine man Eric has turned out to be -- what a great wife he married -- and the incredibly cute kids they have -- two by birth and one by adoption. The edited version is here, but if you want to hear the whole thing you can click here.
I love how my life is a tapestry that is made up of so many amazing people who are now connected to one another and to me. I am amazed at how God has used others to make me who I am and then in turn how he has used me in the life of other people.
Watch the video. You'll see why it made me cry.