Saturday, May 03, 2014

People #5--Big Sis

I'm writing a series of posts about some of the incredible people who have touched my life...

Elise and I have been friends since college. We met in 1986 at the GMU/NOVA Community College Baptist Student Union. Of all my friends, Elise has probably shown me more patience and grace than anyone.

The truth is, Elise is more like a sister than a friend You can’t dump family; they are yours for life. That’s how it is with Elise and me (not that I would want to dump her!)

We developed a great friendship in college—she really was like a big sister to me. I was a brand new Christian and she taught me about loving God, ministry, serving people. She was my mentor when I was confused, and a shoulder to cry on when I was heartbroken.

She was ALWAYS there, incredibly dependable and supportive.

We both moved to Texas to attend Southwestern Baptist Seminary in the early 90s. I was a pretty self-centered person in those days, and wasn’t a very good friend to Elise, but she was always good to me. I made some pretty bone-headed decisions, and let her down several times, but she never gave up on me and never turned her back on me.

In the late 90s Elise moved back to Virginia. A few years later, I was contemplating moving back to Virginia when Elise asked me to join her in leading the campus ministry we had been a part of in college. As He had done many times, God used Elise in a big way in my life.

I moved back to Virginia, and after several years in different places, our friendship continued. Elise was still a big sister, and a mentor, and the truest of friends.

She guided me in the new ministry, then moved on to other opportunities, as I took over the campus ministry that she had led for several years. We continued to interact in ministry over the years; some of my favorite times were preaching at her church.

Elise is, and has been since I've known her, completely sold out for God and children. She loves all people, but has an incredible heart for children, especially those in need--both in the US, and overseas. Through big projects, mission trips, teaching and training, and in everyday life, she does everything she can to make life better for children.

Elise dreams big, and makes big things happen. I wish I had paid more attention to her dreams and accomplishments over the years, and been more a part of the work she has done with and for children.

Since I’ve moved to Washington, I’ve done a poor job of keeping in touch with Elise. I am able to keep up with her on Facebook frequently. Even though we don’t often talk, I still feel close to her, like you do with family, whether you last talked yesterday or last year.