love this story Seth – so true – had a couple people who invested in me as a young person – their love and concern kept me from making some choices as a teen that could have adversely affected me forever – so grateful for those folks who spoke truth & cared for a little red neck girl in NC. – like to think that because of that investment I’ve been able to pour into others and that for some it will have a ripple effect. And you Seth, no ripple there -your life has been a tidal wave -To God be the glory!
You never know the impact you make
In 1974, I was a punk high school kid. For all the things wrong with my life at the time, one of the things that I could do OK was wrestle.
Gil Waterman was an all-American Wheaton College wrestler who I met at Honey Rock Camp in Wisconsin one summer. Subsequently, Gil used to write letters encouraging me. It was a hard time in my life and I needed the encouragement.
Eventually I decided to go to Wheaton College and to wrestle for their team. And it was in large part because of Gil. He was a big shot and I was a nobody trying to figure out life in a small Midwestern town. He helped me believe that that wouldn't always be the case.
Years passed and I completely forgot about Gil. My life turned around and I started to better understand who God had made me to be and where I should be going. My time at Wheaton had been formative.
Then a few months ago, I was leading a trip to Thailand with a couple on it named Doug and Nancy Waterman. Their daughter Julia was a racer. Something about the name Waterman seemed vaguely familiar – and then I remembered Gil. Turns out, Doug is his brother.
Think about Gil's influence in my life. He took an interest in me and made the time to reach out to me. Because of his encouragement, I went to Wheaton. Events cascaded out from that one decision – had I not gone there, who knows whether I ever would have started Adventures.
There are more than 100,000 people who have had their lives impacted through our ministry and many hundreds of thousands have given their lives to Christ as the result of Gil's investment in my life. And every day I seek to invest in people who are at their own crossroads in lives.
Moral of the story: We little realize the impact that we may make in the lives of others through our small investments of time. It didn't take Gil a whole lot of time to reach out to me, but it's made a world of difference.
Your influence on others may be similar. You may never see it, but the ripple effects may be far greater than you ever imagined. Who has invested in your life at a pivotal time? Who do you know that may need your encouragement and influence?
Why not reach out to them and encourage them today?
That’s sweet, Wanda. Thanks for the kind words.
Thanks Gil! Who knows if I would have even been born if not for you!!!:)
This is good. Thank you for the reminder, Seth.
Thanks for this reminder. Something I am aware of, but easily forget. It inspired me to spend just a little bit longer giving input today to a young person who came across my path this week.