Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A very special reunion

11 years ago, young Shawn Niles from Yakima, Washington made his first visit to Casa Shalom. Every teenager in his youth group got paired up with a "little pal" from the orphanage to mentor during their trip. Shawn was paired with Edwin Garcia, a little boy with whom he bonded quickly. Before he left Casa Shalom, Shawn gave Edwin a baseball with his signature and the signature of the other youth group members. Neither knew that in 11 years, they would be reunited. On June 15th, Shawn returned to Casa Shalom, this time as a youth pastor leading 14 members from his church. He was thrilled to find out that Edwin is not only still at Casa Shalom, but that he is an intelligent, thriving, successful college student who is pursuing a career in business and marketing. Shawn also couldn't believe it when Edwin showed him that he still has the baseball he'd given him 11 years ago. Edwin remembered Shawn well and told everyone that Shawn had made an impact on him as a young child.

Shawn and Edwin's story is a great real-life illustration of the parable of the sower Mark chapter 4. Shawn sowed seeds of caring and kindess into Edwin's life. These seeds along with others sown by different visitors to Casa Shalom helped Edwin develop into a successful man of God. Please keep Shawn and Edwin's story in your mind as you minister to those around you. God can use your small acts of kindness to make a lasting impact on those you minister to!


Amy said...

What an amazing story with a valuable life lesson. Thanks for sharing.

Lynn said...

You never know what seeds you're planting. We usually don't see God's work from something we started through Christ. This story is encouraging!