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Friday, February 15, 2008

Make the most of every opportunity

For those of you that have come here for the Friday Fluff, I'm sorry but this week has been anything but fluffy. (Although I think you will enjoy the story at the end...)

Some of you may remember me talking about Alan on this post, he was an exchange student from Mexico that lived with us a few years back. He and my son became best friends and it was sad to see him go at the end of the school year.

He showed up this October for a surprise visit and we were thrilled. He also told us that he had a wife and new baby.

We were shocked to receive a phone call this week that he was killed in a car accident.

Due to the language barrier, it took us some time to get all the information and by the time we did, it was a day late for my son to fly down for the funeral.

Our hearts are broken. Especially my son who was so close to him.

I have reminisced this week about all the great times we had with Alan and how God brought him into our lives.
He was so much fun to be around, and always willing to help you do anything!

When his Mother came for a visit, he was ear to ear smiles when we went to the mall because he had his two moms with him.

I am so sad that he has died at such a young age, yet I am thankful that he came to know the Lord while he lived here. I look forward to the day when I will see my "son" again.

Let this serve to remind us that we never know the whole plan and when someone comes into our sphere of influence, let's take every opportunity to share the love of God with them. Whether it is through prayer or actions, let's love those who God brings into our lives- and maybe into our homes.

This is for Alan...

OK...I just have to tell you this story about Alan's Mom.

She came to visit while he was here and she could not speak English, and I do not speak Spanish.

I had to pick her up at the airport by was crazy.

She did not come out of the gate I was at, so she ended up wandering around looking for me. She called my cell phone, here's how it went:

Me: Hello?

She: SUE?!

Me: ...uh...yes....uh...Si'

(then we rambled for a few minutes and I realized that she was in the airport but had no idea where)

Me: (as I look up at the sign that said Exit 2, I said...) Exit?

She: Exit?

Me: si'....exit....(counting on my fingers...) exit ... dos! (of course I'm speaking louder and louder because I'm sure that if I yell it, she will understand)

She: si''

So eventually we find eachother and I show her the picture I have of her and Alan and she gives me a big ole' Mexican embrace, it was wonderful.

The car ride home was fun. We actually both thought we were communicating with one another as we pointed things out and smiled.

Later that day when we were home with Alan and he could translate we realized that she was asking about my family and I was telling her about the weather.

So a few days into her visit, Alan is off at school and she and I are home alone again. We start "talking" and all of the sudden she starts bawling.

Oh goodness! What did I say??? What is she saying???

So I bring her into my office.
I find a website that will translate from English to Spanish and vice-versa.

I start asking her about what is wrong.

Come to find out, she and her husband are about to get a divorce (mind you, all this has been happening while Alan is away from home so he has no idea).
She is crying and typing, telling me about her husband having an affair.

So I am crying and typing telling her about how the Lord will get her through this.

I find another website with a Spanish Bible and start punching in verses and having her read them.

I end up praying for her through a computer translator.

Now I ask we serve a God with a sense of humor or what?!!!

I have to say that, THAT was the most unusual experience I have ever had ministering to someone- and I've had a few crazy ones!
This verse comes to mind.

Col 4:5-6
5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.
6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

In His amazing love, He bypassed all language barriers that day.
Thank you Lord for the opportunity to love on Alan and his Mom.


Jewels of My Heart said...

That is truly heart breaking.... I am so sorry. I am certain that the only comfort to his loved ones is knowing that he is now in the arms of Jesus..... I can only imagine...
God's Peace

Anonymous said...

Oh Sue, My heart and prayers are with you and your family, and Alan's family. Tears flow at the video, great story about moms visit. You my friend were in his life to bring him to the Lord how awesome God works yes indeed.You were a blessing to that family:) Take time to grieve,I am praying for you, (((hugs))). love ya,

Tamatha said...

I am sorry for your loss:o( I pray that the Lord would be near with comfort for you and your family and for Alan's family in this time of grieving.

Chelle' said...

Hey there. I've linked from a friend's site here and am so glad I did. I'm so sorry to hear of Alan. Death at any age is unsettling to those of us who remain here...

I pray you are comforted in this time... and that your son and Alan's immediate and extended family are filled with peace as well.

I will remember you all in my prayers...

Bev Brandon @ The Fray said...

Oh Sue! Oh. No. I am deeply moved by Alan's death. Short life. Big God who orchestrated this life into your family and you opened and gave your heart to Alan and his mom. Precious story that I will hold in my heart and I think every time I see an EXIT sign, I'll offer a prayer that the family finds their way home to heaven. For only our good God is our home. Praying for you as you grieve for this precious boy. No words can express...Came by to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day before midnight. I have a string of pearls on my blog for you. I invite you to read it and hold in your heart what your beautiful God is saying to you even in this opportunity for your set of circumstances is where He intends to move. And He is so moving in your life and through you! Much Love, Bev

Joanne@ Blessed... said...


My heart is just aching for you and your family. I hope you will have time to spend with your son this weekend. What a reminder to me today that we do not know the the day or the hour of our own departure home.

Praying for you Sue, that the Lord would wrap His loving arms around each one of you.


Naomi said...

what as amazing reminder that there is nothing that can stop God...not even a language barrier...Thank God for the internet.
Love Naomi

Amrita said...

I ma so sorry to hear about your friend Alan.A young life taken away.But if he knew the lord then he is rejoicing.

We 've also had a similar language experience. One of our frind 's father came to visit us who did not know any hindi or English and he was such an animated speaker and fast too. He made his son translate for him at high speed. And his prayers too.And whjen the son grew tired he scolded him for neglecting him.

You ministered to Alan 's Mom in such a real way Sue.This lady opened her heart to you even when she did not know your language.

Sibi said...

So sorry for your loss. May you and your
family be filled with the peace that surpasses
all understanding...

Many Blessings,

Zaankali said...

How sad! I can't even imagine how hard this must be for your son. I am sure he has lots of questions about why this is God's plan. That poor little babe loosing a daddy so early in life and that poor young mother being widowed. It all breaks my heart. I am rejoicing over knowing where Alan is.

A Stone Gatherer said...

So sorry to hear about Alan! What an awesome story though about his mother and how God helped you communicate! He continues to take care of the details!

Monkey Giggles said...

Sue, You know I will be praying.

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

My heart breaks for both your families, but is also comforted by the fact that God intended everything to happen as it has. That much is clear just from your story about his mother.

Your obedience to the moving of the Holy Spirit is inspiring...


Sheila said...

That is so heartbreaking. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and yours.

This sing from Mercy Me is also very special to me for those that have gone before me.

Kimberly said...

Oh Sue, what a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it with us. I am so sorry for the loss of Alan. I will be praying for your family and for his.
So thankful for His love, His grace, and His perfect plan,

Kelly said...

Beautiful story!

Sandy said...

Good Morning Sue. Wow, what a great reminder for all of us "we don't know who God brings into our lives - or into our homes."
I will ponder those words today.
Bless you and your family.
Love Sandy

Renna said...

I am heartbroken for your family and for Alan's family. I can't begin to fathom what his mother must be feeling, though I have faced that grief his wife is going though, of losing a young husband too soon. I pray they know to turn to God for their strength, to know Him as a strong tower.

What an awesome testimony of your opportunity to witness to Alan's mom through a computer!

Natalie said...

so sad

I am sorry

sometimes we just cannot understand.

praying for your family and his.

Don and Lisa Osborn said...


I haven't visited in a while and was so sad to learn of your loss. I pray God will give you special ways to minister to his family through the special language of God's love.

So sorry for your loss. May God comfort you...


Celly B said...

I am so sorry to hear of Alan's death. I will be praying for his family and for your son to work through his grief.
That is a wonderful story about how God was able to work through you and the Spanish translation website!

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

I am so very sorry Sue!!! Your story truly breaks my heart.

Know that I will be lifting you, your son,Alan and ALL involved.

Middle-Aged Moi said...

What an amazing story about Alan's mom. But I am very sorry for your loss, Sue. I will pray that the family (and your son) will find peace.

Kimmie said...

Oh Sue;

I am so sorry about Alan. Praise God that He brought you together and that God will certainly help you now, as you grieve his loss.

Love the story about Alan's mom and you...what a precious God moment and one you will certainly always treasure.

Praying for you and his family;

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Mocha with Linda said...

I ache for you and all of those grieving Alan's loss. But I am so thankfulness for your faithfulness in ministering to him and to his mom.


Jen said...

Praying much comfort and peace on this dear very tragic. May they all feel the arms of Jesus around them as they walk this difficult path.

Gretchen said...

Sue, I'm incredibly sorry for your loss (and that of your son, as well). I think you should find comfort in knowing that you DID make the most of your opportunity with this family, and Alan is in heaven because the Lord brought him to you. Peace and comfort, I pray for you and for Alan's family.

Praise and Coffee said...

You all are amazing, I can't thank you enough for your love and prayers.


Susan Skitt said...

Oh dear friend, my heart is breaking. I will be praying for you and your family and Alan's family too. I especially feel for his young widow and baby, knowing what that is like from personal experience.

Praise God for the good memories but most of all praise the Lord that dear Alan came to know Jesus. God is our hope and our strength, a very present help in time of trouble.

Much love,

P.S. My first husband who is home with Jesus, his middle name was Alan, spelled exactly the same way. My son's middle name is Alan too. Alan means "happy".

Paula said...

That is tragic, poor kid, so much life to life. He's with the Father now and thats the most important thing. Oh, that song by Mercy Me always makes me think of my niece laura who died. I'm glad that God had you be a part in that family life.

Brandy said...

What a beautiful story! I am so sorry to hear of Alan's tragic death, but thankful that God put his family in your path. Thank you for sharing!

Brenda said...

I am so sorry for your families loss of this son and friend. It is so wonderful that God used you to bring him and his mother to the Lord. You are a true blessing to me. I love to read your blog. The Lord has spoken to me through you as well. I will be praying for you.

Susan said...

Sorry for this tragic loss for your family and son. You, my dear Sue, are one amazing woman!!!!!
God is using you greatly.

Denise said...

How very sad, you are in my prayers.

Denise C said...

Oh Sue,
I am so sorry about this tragic loss. I, too, will be lifting all of you in prayer, as well as his family in Mexico. I am thanking God that HE put Alan in your home and for your family's faithfulness to introduce Alan to our Lord and Savior!
May God bless your hearts really good for your strong commitment to HIM!
Because of you...dear Alan is "dancing with the angels....walking in new light"!

Love you my friend!
Denise Crockett (wiping tears)...

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

Sorry to hear of your loss! I can't imagine what a shock it must have been for you.

Thanks for sharing the story of Alans mom with was a great one!

Roo said...

oh soo sad. my heart goes out to his young family.

your col. scriptures really spoke to my heart. thanks for the reminder.

happyhome said...

Oh, I am so sorry for your family's loss. God is certainly close to the broken hearted and saves those crushed in spirit.

Thank you for sharing Alan's story and his mom's story as well. We serve an amazing God...with a great sense of humor! Thank goodness for the web translator. I didn't know there was such a thing.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, comforting prayers said for all family and friends.

Cheryl said...

This is an amazing story! God using you to spread HIS word. I am so sorry to hear about his accident. I know your heart is broken. May God Bless you and your family!

Toni said...

Oh, Sue. I'm soooo sorry about Alan's death. How truly heartbroken you all surely are. Please allow me to pray for you and for his wife, child and family. That baby. Sigh.

And your translation project, in contrast, had me giggling. It reminds me of some of my days in the airline industry; struggling to speak enough Spanish to get a bilingual relative's phone number when one of my Spanish customers missed a flight.


It is so true that we cannot see the bigger plan....God allows us to be a part of that plan in small yet significant ways...through Alan's contact with your family, he came to know the Lord...who would have dreamed that his life would be taken at such a young age? Yet, because of you and your family, sharing the gospel with Alan, he is now in heaven! How awesome God is!! (and the mom's visit was precious!)

Karen Hossink said...

What an incredible blessing you have been to this family. God has used you. Thank you for making the most of those opportunities!

Dionna said...

Sue - I'm so sorry about your young friend.

Rhonda said...

Oh, Sue I am so sorry for your loss.

That is an amazing story of how your family was able to minister and love on Alan and his family.

Blessings to you.

Unknown said...

A life snuffed out at so young an age is never easy to understand. But what a great God to have put both Alan & his mother in your life. Parise Him for the celebration of life here & the gift of eternity.. You are all in my prayers.

Praise and Coffee said...

You are all so sweet, thank you. I haven't had much time to be online lately, but your sweet comments make my day when I pop in.

Talk to you soon!

Debbie said...

Oh I am so sorry for your special exchange student son!! I hate to hear that!!! I know how special they can be, we have had several over the years!!
Though you did make me smile about his mom!

God bless!

Missy said...

i'm so sorry :( how awful. i'm so thankful you have such wonderful memories with alan. praying for peace during this sad time.


Melissa in Mel's World said...

You, your family, and Alan's family are in our thoughts and prayers. It has been a tough week indeed for you all!

Much Love and Prayers,
Your Friend,

ruth at comfort cafe said...

I'm so sorry. It sounds like he was such a blessing in your lives and that you were in his. May the warm memories you have bring comfort and the Lord's peace sustain you.

Anonymous said...

how sad for his family and you guys....praise God that he knew the Lord! I pray that you will be able to continue ministering to his family left behind. And that was such a cute story about his mom!

LadySnow said...

((((HUGS & PRAYERS))))

Nikki said...

Sue, this post just broke my heart. I'm so sorry for your loss. But, I love how much of an impact you all had on each other's lives and how you WILL see each other again.

Diane Meyer said...

The story about sharing with the Mom was just wonderful! I;m so glad you were there for her, as well as her son. We do serve an amazing God!

mariel said...

What an absolutely incredible experience for you! Praise the Lord for how He works!

I am so sorry about Alan, even as I was reading I did not expect that out come to what I was reading on your blog! How tragic! Praise the Lord he knew Jesus! I am praying for his dear, young wife and child!

Praise the Lord for women like you that are willing to go the extra mile for the cause of the Kingdom!

Blessings, mariel

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