Last night Gil and I and the kids got to host two of our favorite people in the world for dinner and late night conversation: Bob & Debbie Wright.
Just shy of 20 years ago I was chasing Gillian (thankfully I eventually caught her) and the chase brought me to her youth group where I met Bob, her youth pastor. Bob was instrumental in guiding me to a real relationship with Jesus, discipling me through "almost" weekly meetings for the final two years of high school, challenging me to pursue ministry and (along with his wife and a few others) giving me "the late night bus-ride talk" that led me to propose to Gil when I was just 19 years old and marry her when I was 20.
Bob and Debbie are mentors for Gil and I. They are people who are ahead of us--their kids are in high school, finishing college or graduated college and they have pastored the same church for the last 13 years.
You don't find mentors just anywhere. Mentors are the kind of people who see you--really see you, even what isn't very visible--and then speak into what they see while providing an example for you to follow. Bob & Debbie have done that for us. I spent a lot of time in our conversation last night reviewing the different ways they had impacted us over the last 20 years. It was powerful to mentally total it all up.
Bob & Debbie are true mentors because not only have they ministered to and impacted us directly but they have also indirectly influenced us by living out a good example. They have raised their children well. Their kids are an amazing brood--5 surviving children who are unique, amazingly talented and very well-grounded. And they have pastored well. Their ministry is healthy, faithful, and community transforming in a rural community in Michigan.
I feel privileged to have godly mentors like the Wrights. And now that their son is renting our apartment, we should be seeing much more of them--bonus!