Diane, Matt, and Grant,
We grieve with you, but not as ones without hope. As surely as Mike lived on this earth, he lives today in the presence of His Savior.
As many have already stated, Mike had, and continues to have, a profound influence on the lives of so many including Diane and me. If he said it once, he said it at least a thousand times over the years, "no matter what you're doing in life, make sure you're investing your life in the two eternal things - God's word and men's souls." As you see the memories of Mike written in these pages, you'll see those words repeated over and over by just a small representation of the countless former students who remember those words and who, as a result, strive to live with eternity in view.
I thank God for Mike's influence in my life. He was a man who, apart from my dad, was the greatest spiritual mentor I've had.
Just this summer, I had the opportunity to spend an hour or so with Mike. He took the time to meet my youngest son, Joel, and me, at the ice rink in College Station where my older boys were participating in a hockey camp. He watched my boys with keen interest as if they were his own and encouraged me as a dad and husband.
As I shared with him about my struggle to respond to God's call and finally leave the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ after 13 years - although I didn't know what God had in store next - Mike encouraged me with his own story of the decision to leave student ministry and of the many "flush" letters he received before finding his place in the pastoral care ministry at the hospital. He asked about my family and prayed for us, then met my boys and took Joel and me to breakfast at McDonald's. It had been many years since I had seen Mike, but he made me feel as though I was his best friend...his favorite student. I know that wasn't the case; he treated everyone that way and made each person feel special. That time with Mike is a cherished memory and his taking the time to pray for me and my family means far more to me than he realized.
Matt and Grant, he also told me about you guys and how proud he was of you, of your hearts for God and for others. You could see the pride in his face as he spoke of you and referred to you as "champions."
Diane and I pray for you all...that you will experience the incredible peace of God that passes understanding and will know the sufficiency of His grace. We love you all.