Over the years, I have been blessed with many friends who have not just known me, but have also challenged me to do more and go farther than I might have without having the benefit of their friendship. Rick Duncan, the founding Pastor of Cuyahoga Valley Church in the Cleveland, Ohio area, is one of those friends. Rick took a chance on Luz and me, by leading the effort to call us as inner city church planters to Cleveland. Rick and CVC could have simply called us and left us alone with token inquiries about our ministry efforts, but that’s not his style. Rick is the type of person who takes friendship seriously and is not content to let things alone, but rather attempts to forthrightly yet lovingly speak into the lives of the people God has brought into his path. Because of Rick, Luz and I were welcomed as part of the CVC family and weathered many storms that could have been our undoing. Furthermore, we benefited from opportunities that might have remained out of reach. Our experiences ranged from the lows ofdealing with ministerial misconduct on the part of a fellow missionary to the highs of traveling to Ghana where I not only had the opportunity to share the Gospel but also had the unforgettable experiencing of reconnecting with my West African heritage. These are experiences for which I will always be thankful and experiences in which Rick’s friendship played a major part.
Thanks to facebook, I have kept up with Rick through direct messages and blogging. In Rick’s latest Blog entry he reveals his personal friendship with Florida Gator quarterback Tim Tebow’s family. As many of you know, Tebow and his mom took part in a Super Bowl ad that caused a bit of controversy and stirred up some questions about just who these people are. Wanting to shed some light on that subject, Rick shares a personal story in his latest Blog entry recounting the effect Tim Tebow's parents had on his life and what he knows personally of how they live their lives, spotlight on or off. In a way, it was their mentoring of Rick and his wife Maryanne that led Rick to a life decision that had a direct effect on my life and service for the Lord. Please check out this link, and in the process, consider how you are impacting the lives of those around you. You never know, just how far the hand you lend may ultimately reach.