In our first year of marriage, while serving with Malachi Ministries, Dave and I had the privilege of leading a military chapel youth group in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Young and new at ministry, one of the most valuable things the Lord gave to me that year was the example of a dear woman of God who served alongside us, who reached out and deeply loved teenagers in that community.
This dear friend passionately loved Jesus and people, teaching me by example: "If you don't know what else to do, love them like Jesus would."
Nobody loves people quite like Sherrie!
We shared just one year of life together in Karlsruhe in 1987-88, but oh how she impacted my life that year. I watched Sherrie love students as a mother loves her own children. She had four of her own, but her heart was always open to love and reach out to as many as the Lord brought her way.
In God's goodness, we shared another year of life when Dave got his Master's degree from Wheaton College in 1991. She and her family lived in Wheaton, and we had sweet fellowship that year as they let us live with them for a time, and kept their door open for whenever we wanted to come by.
After that year, we moved to Czech, and not long afterward, she and her family moved to the Nashville area. We stayed in touch, but only saw each other one other time in the year of 2000.
Fast forward fourteen years. On our way from Birmingham, AL to Louisville, KY the Lord made it possible for us to see each other today!
WHAT A BLESSING!!
While she babysat her grandchildren, the children of her youngest daughter (who was the flower girl in our wedding!), we sat at the kitchen table with Sherrie and her oldest granddaughter who was visiting from North Carolina. Our fellowship was sweet, like drinking a cool glass of lemonade, as if it had only been a few months since we'd last seen each other.
We could've stayed for hours, soaking in the love of Jesus that radiates from this woman who taught us so much.
It was hard to say good-bye.
I am deeply grateful to the Lord for this precious friend who has made such a lasting impact on my life.