Last night, Vanessa and I had supper with some of our close ministry friends here in Michigan - Bryan & Robin Johnson, Greg & Anne O'Boyle, Doug & Kathy Blackwell, and Dan & Martha Kohns. What a wonderful time we had with these wonderful people. Driving home, I wished I had made a toast. If I had, I would have said something like this:
Never in my life have I had so many close friends who loved me and got me. Each of you have been an encouragement and a help to me. And I like all your wives too - and that's saying something!
Doug - You have made me laugh and think. You have been at the other end of the phone line encouraging me and across the table challenging me. Thank you for being my friend.
Dan - I met you less than a year ago but knew instantly that we were crazy kindred spirits. It has been amazing saving the camp with you. Thank you for being my friend.
Greg - You constantly amaze me with your steadiness and your faithfulness. Your courage to go to Hong Kong has helped to give me courage to go to Arkansas. Thank you for being my friend.
Bryan - When I met Aaron, I thought that I had found the only brother I would ever have. But then I met you. I can't put into words what you have meant to me, especially in the last year while I have struggled through depression and eventually emerged with a new dream and new hope. Thanks for being there every step of the way. Thank you for being my friend.
I love you guys.
The night went the way it should - junior high puking stories, comparing war wounds, ice cream, and a loud and heated theological argument. It could not have been more perfect.