Happy New Year! Although our Kansas trip was cut short in October (due to a new grand baby 5 weeks early) we still want to tell you all about it even if it’s almost January!
We love Kansas! It’s the breadbasket of America and people are salt of the earth and genuine! We were reminded about that early on this adventure as we were driving down Hwy 83 to get to Garden City and our good friend Max Meschberger was literally waiting for us on the side of the road –he flashed his emergency lights and of course we literally jump out of our car and have a reunion right there on the side of the highway!
It was a fun packed weekend—high school football, catching up with old Young Life kids (who now have families of their own), old neighbors, YL committee folks, and dear friends…our friend Lucky Luckett (and Karen too) made some mean red beans and rice—we loved that our shared meal it not only filled our belly but our souls as well.
The high light of this trip for me though was an unexpected reunion with Raymond Urrutia and his sweet wife Anna who were some of our YL kids. After reminiscing about YL camp and their high school days I returned to my seat to watch the playoff high school football game that we were attending. A random story popped into my head about Raymond (that had to be God at my age) so I nervously went back to remind Raymond of his high school playoff game some 25 years prior. You see, Raymond was a great running back and was hurt during this game and would probably be out with a knee injury. Gail, (another Young lifer) and I went to the locker room to pray for him. Raymond was on the training table with a bag of ice on his knee and in pain. We gingerly asked him if he believed that Jesus could heal him and could continue to play (he wasn’t even involved in YL yet). He shrugged and wasn’t too impressed but said “I guess so”—so we prayed and Raymond miraculously played the rest of the game. When I shared this story (ironically Raymond’s son was playing at this playoff game) immediately he teared up and said I totally forgot about that. I said Raymond, the Lord cared about you then and he continues to care about you now. He wanted me to come and remind you that many years ago He was faithful and that He continues to love and watch over you and is still faithful.
What a great reminder that many times in our lives we need to remember what God has done for us. For me, besides remembering God’s faithfulness and love in my own life, He wants us to remind each other! I was so humbled to have had that opportunity to remind Raymond.
We will never forget the relationships, love, struggles, and happiness we had while living in Garden City all those years ago. It’s so humbling to know that we had the privilege to be part of many high schooner’s lives and we pray that they remember Jesus!
Thanks to all of you who believe in Joe and I. Thanks for your continued support for us prayerful, friendship wise, and financially. Our desire is to go back (and forward) to remind and tell those about the God of the universe who never forgets.
Darlene and Joanna McGraw Schmeeckle---a Young Lifer (camper, work crew kid, and dear friend)