|If you haven't read Kirk's story, then do so before you read this post. And then you will want to come back and read the rest of the story.|
I can't even begin to tell you how Kirk's story touched my heart. I cried through the whole story. And I couldn't wait to post the story on the blog and contact the Reunion Team, so they would be sure to read it right away. Somehow I knew we were going to find the missing pieces to Kirk's story. And did we ever!
Joyce Allen immediately emailed me the rest of the story... and gave me permission to post her email.
************Thanks, Linda, for creating this blog! Your faithfulness to create this form of communication gave opportunity for this story to be told and for us to receive the blessing of additional chapters to an uncompleted story. We actually spent quite a bit of time during that season with both Kirk and Jim. Tom actually helped Jim get a job where he was working at the time with Allyson Podratz Janos's father, bailed him out of jail after he tried to rip off the place and he even lived with Tom and I for a season in our home in Mesa.
I have spent sooo many years wondering what became of both Kirk and Jim. Did the impact of that short time make a difference? Where are they now? How do you begin to look? I have prayed for them as they came to mind through the years. I hugely regret not keeping in touch, but this was long before email and cell phones and the availability that we now have for maintaining a long distance relationship.
The trip that Kirk mentions is one that he accompanied The New Beginning on, to the Four Corners. We often refer to that trip in our reminiscing because there are so many "funny" stories attached, but this is a dimension that makes that weekend even more precious. I remember hoping that as he traveled with us that he would truly see the reality of the Christian life lived out amongst people that truly loved one another and had a passion for what we were called to be about and that it would captivate his heart. His life story up to that point was obviously quite different than all of ours, so I wasn't quite sure how he would view us. Yet the TRUTH is still true no matter what direction you approach it from. The answer to all of our needs is found in one Source. I prayed that that would shine through and nullify the difference.
To hear the "rest of the story", to see God's faithfulness to pursue and protect his journey, to know that we played some small part in God's purposes is beyond humbling. This came at just the right moment for me. I have emailed him and look forward to reconnecting!
If this were the only story resulting from years of hauling equipment, endless hours on the road traveling to every nook and cranny in Arizona... it was more than worth it!
We all have played parts and continue to in this amazing journey. We could have never even envisioned ALL the reasons that God had for the reunion. God planting the seed in Nancy's heart to HAVE a reunion... and you, Linda, blogging the stories... God had far greater designs than just a get together of old friends and a time to reminisce over music.
************WOW! Thank you Joyce!
How cool is that! Tom & Joyce now know the rest of the story... and Kirk can now reconnect with them and "express my gratitude to those who reached out to me in my darkest hour".
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm a mess! (in a good way) I mean seriously, what are the chances of this happening without the internet... without the reunion... and without the blog as a result of the reunion. Wow!
Ok, speaking of the Hand in Hand Reunion ~ be sure and register HERE.
We have several attendees coming from all parts of the country. And I know they would love to see all you locals there! Come on, it's going to be so fun!
And help us out by spreading the word!!
And please keep those stories coming ~ firstname.lastname@example.org