I spent some unexpected time on the road this week, getting home just a few hours ago. The emotional journey began Sunday afternoon when I jumped on Facebook to repost the link from my sermon earlier that morning. Then I saw the news. One of my college friends had posted that her father, Max, had died in his sleep at about one o’clock in the morning. I read the news, paused, and the memories and emotions flooded. Deb and I served with Max and Marilyn Goins in Moscow, Russia, from 1994 to 1996. A year before, Max resigned from a 20-year, stable, and secure ministry to move to Moscow and establish a Bible College to train young men and women for ministry. I was there to help him, and, in the process, he mentored me.
That relationship continued when Deb and I finished our two year commitment and returned to the States for ministry work and graduate school. Max was indeed a significant father figure in my life, and a big part of the man I am today is due to him. (more…)