When we first began talking to the Pastor Search Committee in DeLand, we began to share with some of closest friends outside of Vidalia what we felt God was doing in our lives. Dan & I both had conversations with friends and mentors. We wanted/needed as many people praying with us about this as possible. One of the couples we called were Rogers and Shirley Redding. They were members of our church in Northern Kentucky and have remained dear friends to us since then.
When I talked to Shirley about DeLand, she immediately told me about Rog's sister and brother-in-law who are retired IMB missionaries now serving on staff at FBC, Orlando. She felt sure they could offer us some information on Stetson Baptist Church. Dan called Bro. Bill but he was out. His sweet wife, Mrs. Lucy Pat knew all about DeLand and was able to share all about SBC and the area with him. They even made plans to meet up at the SBC in Louisville in late June. Dan walked away from that meeting with such fondness for the Curls because of their passion for our Lord and willingness to help him. He said that if we happened to end up in DeLand I had to meet them.
Well, as you know, we did end up in DeLand but I had not had the opportunity to meet Bro. Bill or Mrs. Lucy Pat yet. Then, out of the blue a few weeks ago, we got a call with an invitation to their home for brunch on the Saturday morning that our friends, Rogers and Shirley were in town. They were scheduled to be there the Saturday of the UF/Vandy game so he could do his work for the SEC.
We had a couple of things planned but quickly rearranged our schedule to see them. They are the kind of friends who just make you feel good. So, why on earth would we pass up that opportunity? We got to their house and Jonah quickly made friends with all of them. I think he knew instantly they were grandparents. After all, what is better than a grandparent??
Mrs. Lucy Pat entertained Jonah in the sunroom while Dan & I visited with Rog and Shirley. Dan controlled himself this time and didn't totally goob out while asking Rog questions about SEC football. He got a few in though (what do you think of Dan Mullen, What about all these SEC referee issues this season, was that LSU/FL call right or wrong, etc) and that satisfied his SEC hunger enough to let Rog just enjoy the morning instead of being grilled.
Bro. Bill offered to take us out on the boat and we happily obliged. Jonah let him know rather quickly that he knew how to drive. Guess who drove the most?
You can look at the next picture to see a picture my mom took of me with Rog and Shirley back on November 12, 2006. Or, you can read the post about that visit and see all the pictures by clicking here.
Please note: All three pictures of Jonah with Rog & Shirley have major shadows on them. I actually deleted one because the shadows were so bad but went back to find it when I noticed the shadows on the other two that were taken 3 years apart!! Hey, I'm nothing if not consistent!
We love visits like this with old friends. One of the hardest things about life in ministry is leaving people you love. But, one of the greatest thing is meeting new people and having the opportunity to develop relationships with people you would have never otherwise met. We only spent a short time with them but developed a lifelong friendship. What a gift!