“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” ~ Proverbs 18:24
Now that Kit, Graham and I are were no longer South Carolinians, but Delawareans, I thought it was time to introduce you to the people we fell in love with in this seafaring city, as you will be hearing a lot about them in these next chapters.
I love this scripture as I believe it reveals God’s heart about friendships. Many of us are fabulously blessed to have a family that we are born into that provides trusting bonds and the gift of friendship, however, some are not. I have always loved how God, throughout our lives, brings us handpicked friends who become our family. Friends who love us unconditionally, stand beside us through thick and thin, pray for us and welcome us into their hearts and home with warmth , love and hospitality. They believe in us even when we don’t believe in ourselves. Someone wise once told me, Its not the destination only that is important, but the journey a long the way. How true is that…if not for these people, such beautiful and divine gifts from God, we would not have been able to fulfill all that the Lord asked us to do nor would we have experienced such an abundance of the love and care of the Lord . For Kit and I, these non-fictional characters in Journey to My fathers heart are not only the extra added blessings and joy of our travels, but they are truly family and friends that always went the extra mile.Each of these people are rare gems of God that have blessed our lives beyond and back!
I do not know why it is that no one likes there picture up on the INTERNET. Being the ‘visual writer’ that I am, Kit and I brainstormed together and decided to come up with a way to reveal to you, the characters and personalities of these people through choosing another species God created…an animal. We all love animals, (well most of us anyways.) I chose each species to capture the personality and spirit of each of our dear friends on our journey thus far…I hope you will “get” the picture!
First off, (I have talked about her so much that I am sure you feel like you already know her,) I’d like to introduce Tina. A beautiful lady, (inside and out,) a loving mom, mischievous (in a fun way,) and a protector and nurturer to all those God sends her way. Her heart can be likened to the heart of the renowned Mother Teresa, she is witty, creative, congenial, a mighty prayer warrior, great listener, hospitable, gifted writer, totally in love with Jesus and one of the best friends the Lord has ever blessed Kit and I with. (Grahammy too.)
Tina’s husband Mark. This man would give you the shirt off his back, his heart is filled with a desire to love and serve others, and his smile is contagious. Mark is laid back, relaxed, considerate and kind. He is a connoisseur of nature as well as camping and got us hooked on wondrous bonfires in his back yard. (Some of the best summer evenings we’ve ever had.)
Mark and Tina’s daughter Melissa…(The one who was so concerned that her mom was letting strangers (they knew nothing about,) stay at their home….and we ended up being the best of friends. Melissa is a beautiful young woman, vivacious, funny, creative, a great friend, faithful and has an amazing depth and strength deep within her. She adores her family and is a gourmet chef! Kit and I adopted her as our little sister!
The youngest in this beautiful family, Carl. We met him when he was a mere 12 years old…being home schooled by Tina, he was one of the most pure, happiest, innocent and loving young men I have ever known. He, Kit and I were “best buds” during our three month stay in Milford before we left again for Connecticut.We had more fun playing all types of video and table games, watching movies and sharing wonderful chats on the porch. He is inquisitive, very smart, loves to learn and is very loving. He too became our little brother.
Couple number one, Vito and Lilian
Vito is a man with the strength and presence of a Brobdingnagian wild bear, but embodies the heart of a cuddly Teddy bear. He is humorous, brawny, wise, anointed by God, a wonderful teacher and pastor, our mentor, affable, and his heart is100 % committed to Jesus. Vito at one time, had been diagnosed with cancer and his prognosis was fatal. God miraculously healed him which created in him a passion to live life each day to the very fullest unto Jesus. He in-turn, gave that rare and special gift to all of us. (And yes, he is the kind of friend you could call at 2:00 in the morning for prayer.)
Vito’s wife, Lilian is a woman with a childlike faith, happy go lucky and has a pep in her step that makes you smile. She and Vito shared a ministry together and their home was always open to anyone who needed a place to stay. Lilian adores the old testament and loves to study the bible, she’s energetic, funny, and a lover of family.
Couple number Two! Daniele and Dustin!
Danielle. In meeting this lovely lady for the first time, she reminded me of a stunningly beautiful and famous movie star. Her eyes sparkle with the love of Jesus…her spirit is one of a little child and her walk with God, rare and intimate. If God says it, she’ll do it. Pretty, artsy, fun, inviting, a faithful friend, determined and always makes me smile.
Her husband Dustin is like E.F. Hutton.You know the saying when “E.F Hutton speaks, everybody listens?” He is a quiet man, but the depth of his walk with God is beyond most. He has endured an abundance of hardships and never complains. He is full of wisdom, deep faith, a great since of humor, is sincere and would also give you the shirt off his back or his last dime. He is kind, loving and is a man committed to his family, friends and Jesus.
Couple number three, Sam and Dina
Dina . I liken this beautiful lady to a rare and authentic songbird. She knows no stranger as her heart is filled with a love for everyone she meets. She is vivacious, a musician and singer, charming, patient, kind, thoughtful, hospitable, comical, and a bright ray of sunshine and warmth, straight from the heart of Jesus.
Sam, Dina’s husband, is like no one I have ever met before….on the outside, he can be a little gruff and keep others at a distance, but inside, he is one of the most lovable people I have ever known. Sam is a friend who would do anything for someone he loved, a gourmet Chef, a lover of the Lord and someone who makes everybody laugh and feel welcomed.
And three beautiful women of God who blessed our lives with an abundance of love, smiles and joy!
Remember the song on the show Sesame Street they always sang? “One of these things in not Ike the others??? Well, that is Clarissa! (In a beautiful way.) Clarissa is a unique, (you won’t find any one like her on this earth no matter how hard you try.) She is funny, beautiful,caring, sensitive, eminently prophetic, a gifted writer, a pure and true lover of Jesus and a tower of encouragement for those God places in her life. She walks with the Lord in such an intimate fashion, and is a friend who is there for you, day or night, no matter what! Truly one of Gods favored sheep!
Monroe. This pretty lady is a true delight. She is one in a million, bringing laughter and big smiles to every one around her. God blessed Kit and I tremendously with her gift of humor, kindness and laughter. Have you ever met someone, who without even trying, makes you laugh, smile and feel uplifted? That is Monroe. She is a charming woman of God, innocent, lively, refined and brought an abundance of color to our lives.
Pamela. A lovely lady who brings the comforts and feelings of home, joy and love to everyone who knows her. A beautiful woman of God, kind- hearted, funny, congenial, inquisitive, a great listener and wonderful friend. (At our ladies teas and luncheons, she always brought the most creative gifts, expressing her big heart to bless others.)
You know how there are always a few teachings or lessons the Lord graciously gives to you as you walk with Him, that stand out in your mind forever? They are life changing as well a fountain of water for your soul when it is parched and dry.
One in particular I remember hearing, that has stayed with me for a long time, was from a teaching I heard. This pastors sermon was on ‘why the Lord waits to fulfill the promises He has chosen to tell us about, that are ahead for our futures.’ He used Sarah and Abraham as his example. His theory and belief was that God purposefully told Sarah and Abraham about the son He had for them, to give them a hope for their future. This teacher went on to say that he believed the Lord waited 13 years to bring Issac to them because God wanted to use that time to make Abraham into the father that He desired Issac to have.
It is such a beautiful thought that God cares so much about His children. It makes me ponder and wonder how many people and character changing experiences the Lord brought into Abraham and Sarah’s lives to mold them into the people HE wanted them to be when Issac was born. This teaching truly ministered to Kit and I, especially when God first gave us our promise and calling for the prayer retreat and we, (in our romantic and idealistic way of thinking,) thought He’d give it to us right away. (I smile about that now and realize the Lord has had much to do in our lives to prepare and make us the vessels He will one day use, as well as how much He wanted to bless us with so many wonderful new people that would end up being trusted friends.) If God had given us the Kings Tavern and our ministry immediately, we would have never met all the wonderful people on our journey that we have.
Kit and I both thank God for all the unique and exemplary people and friends we met living In Virginia and working in downtown Washington DC, the cherished new memories we were able to make with my southern famiy in the Carolina’s and for all our beloved friends in Milford Delaware. God waits to fulfill His promises, as He so desires to bless us in even greater amounts than we could ever fathom.
PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your computer mouse upon any of the photos or graphics, it will display where the picture originated from.