July 1, 2012

From the Pastor,

I’ve shared with all of you how the time when I first became a Christian was pretty difficult. It wouldn’t be too much to say that even though I had a relationship with God, it was the loneliest I’d ever been in my life.

There was one person though God really blessed me with during that season: Elwyn Ordway, a first grade teacher in the classroom next to mine (I’ve mentioned him in a number of sermons). He was very instrumental in my salvation and in helping me grow in my faith. In particular I learned how to read the Bible from him. I remember picking up his Bible and seeing how it was covered with notes from beginning to end. The way I study today, including how I prepare for sermons stems from what I learned from him.

During the years I taught near Elwyn, neither of us were married, so like most Christian bachelors we sat around feeling sorry for ourselves wondering if we’d ever get married, have children, etc. A few times we tried to help each other find spouses…with disastrous effects (ask him about the time I set him up with a woman in a cult…how was I supposed to know?). Somehow God protected us (from each) other and blessed us with great wives.

Elwyn was the one person who really supported me during that difficult season; he was the one person who stood by me. God used him greatly in my life, and I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for his friendship. He believed in me when it seemed like nobody else did. Very early on after my conversion he said he could see me becoming a pastor.

He’s visiting us this weekend with his wonderful wife Britta and their two children, and there’s an amazing sense of joy and thankfulness I feel with him here for two reasons. First, having our families together reminds me of all the times we whined to each other about never getting married. Second, since he talked to me about being a pastor nine years ago I’m glad to have him see the fulfillment of what he expressed to me before it ever crossed my mind.

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