Thursday, August 17, 2006

Summer of 1993 or How I Met Benny

I Got My First Real Guitar
Bought It At The Five And Dime
Played It TIll My FIngers Bled
It Was The Summer of 69!!!

Ok, so none of the preceding words are true about my life at all. I have never had a real guitar, don't think I've ever been to the five and dime, and the summer of 69 I was just an egg in ovaries of High School junior.

So I want to tell you about the summer of 1993. It was High Teen week at Camp Ne-O-Tez and there were two counselors coming from York College. Their names were Benny Nowell and Rachel Forehand. By the time they had arrived at our camp, they had been to already spent several weeks together, and I don't think they were liking each other very much.

Rachel and I spent the week together and when I arrived at school that fall continued our friendship. Rachel married Wes Hanson and we still keep in touch and I still consider them (though they live like 1000s of miles away) two of my best friends.

That is the week I met Benny. I remember he taught us this song,
"Blind Man Sat on The Road and He Cried
Blind Man Sat on The Road and He Cried
Blind Man Sat on The Road and He Cried
He Cried OH OH OH Show Me The Way....."
He also taught us
"He gave me food when I was hungry, surely good to me
He gave me food when I was hungry, surely good to me
He gave me food when I was hungry, surely good to me
He gave me something that the world couldn't give.

I really don't know why I remember him teaching these songs, and yet everytime he comes to mind I go back to those memories.

A few years later, I met Niki, we were instant soul mates. It was like both our minds were off axis is such a way were meant to be instant friends. We spent every night that week staying up late talking and laughing. On about the third night I knew her, I realized she had the same last name as the Benny guy who I had met several years previously. I asked her if they were siblings, and in fact the were married. I thought that was neat since I liked Benny and I liked Niki, so I thought it was very cool they like belonged to each other.

Some of you who are reading this, (other than Niki, Benny's wife) might be thinking Benny has gone on to be with the father, or something like that. It is just not the case. I am writing about Benny because he will be in Chicago this weekend and I encourage you to make sure you hear him speak.

Benny works for a ministry, that is going where no man has gone before, he works for Dry Bones. This ministry is reaching out into the poverty of Denver's homeless youth and bringing the love of Christ to that culture. Benny is living out the mission of Jesus everyday.

This weekend he will be speaking about that mission at three different venues.

On Saturday he will be speaking at a Teen Youth rally at Cardinal Drive Church of Christ where I attend. On Sunday morning he will be speaking at the West Chicago Church of Christ, and on Sunday evening he will be speaking at the Church of Christ in Matteson, IL.

I would encourage any one from here in town to make it a point to learn more about Dry Bones and their ministry to this forgotten population.


Niki said...

Wow! Great memory...I'm impressed. Treat my awesome husby well old friend! ;)

Niki said...

BTW, I have one little correction to was the summer of 1992 that Benny traveled camps with Rachel. We were engaged that year and spending most of the summer apart sucked! The summer of '93 we were newlyweds and were busy doing things besides camp! ;)