Last week, I received a welcome phone call from an old friend, John Culp. John grew up the street from my mother -- he and my uncle were best friends and got their Eagle Scout award together. My grandparents always took a special interest in John, and loved him as one of his own.
As a boy, John had a terrible speech impediment -- I'm told he could hardly be understood at all. I'm not talking out of school here -- John would tell you the same thing, because he attributes it a miracle of God's grace that he overcame that impediment and went on to become a Methodist Minister. Now he's serving Virginia Wingard UMC church in my hometown of Columbia, SC.
I got to know John through the Salkehatchie Summer Service program, which he had started years ago. I remember the first time attending this summer mission camp; when I met John and told him who my family was, he simply said "It's like things have come full circle." And that's an ongoing truth. My grandparents invested in John, John invests in me. Now I find myself investing in others, and maybe someday, the circle will turn again.
There are no self made people -- we all stand on the shoulders of giants. Thanks, John, for being a good friend, and an inspiration in ministry.
Soli Deo Gloria