Musings From A Musical Mind

Posts tagged ‘Lost Boys’

Addicted To Love

Addicted to Love (song)

Image via Wikipedia

It’s so great how the ‘lost’ can be ‘found’ – if you wait long enough.  25 years ago, Greg and I were youth pastors in Jeannette, PA.  We had a small youth group – but with those eight or ten ‘kids’ we developed  deep and lasting relationships – especially with four of the boys.  They were and always will be ‘the lost boys’.  This was my pet name for them – because each one had their own unique set of circumstances and challenging home lives.  We came into their lives in that crucial part of life – when they were teenagers.

You never know how you will affect lives while you are in the middle of your own journey – or what the future impact may be.  We were just simply doing our job and it was easy to love these kids.  And with no other distractions and no children of our own yet – they became our ‘children’.

After moving away from Jeannette in ’86  – we took a position in New Castle, PA and two of the boys came to visit us.  I was pregnant with Ashlee at the time and it was so great to see them!  They told us of some trouble that one of the boys had found himself in – and we wanted to reconnect with him – even back then – but it was hard in those days with no internet.  Sadly we lost touch with all of them and some time later moved back to the west coast.  Because there was no internet yet – or at least very limited – I had no way of finding anyone – but always thought about them and wondered what had happened.  The memory of my ‘lost boys’ was always on my mind.  When we first had internet, back in the late 90’s I tried once more to locate them.  Nothing.  Years passed and I got on myspace and looked.  Nothing.  Then a few years later I got on facebook and tried again.  No luck – until….about 6 or 8 months ago.  I typed in two of the boys names and FOUND THEM!!  It was like a miracle!  I contacted them – one now lives back in Jeannette and the other is in the army and stationed in Afghanistan.  What a thrill to talk to them and catch up on their lives – there’s a whole lot to catch up – 25 years!

One of the ‘boys’ suggested that we use Skype to talk to each other using a webcam on the computer and seeing a real face in front of you while you’re talking.  We had never used it before and after a lot of bugging on his part – Greg finally downloaded Skype.  Last week we were able to call him.  I can’t tell you how it felt to see him (this was the one that had some trouble in his teens after we left) and to see that he’s all right.  During the conversation I said, ‘You know Randy – you were the original ‘lost boys’ – you were like our kids’  and without missing a beat he said, ‘Well in many ways – you were our parents’  That was so nice to hear.  That ‘lost boy’ is 40 years old now.  And he has never forgotten us.

Two of the other boys were found from this blog.  I wrote an article about a year ago – still looking for these ‘boys’ and wrote their names in an article hoping someone would see them.  Someone did.  One of the boys himself –  who was not on facebook – was using ‘google’ to find another one of these boys and my blog popped up!  He commented on the article and gave me his email.  That was amazing too!  He told me news of he and his brother and what a journey their lives had taken.  Randy and I pushed and pleaded with him to join facebook – and he finally did!

Here is a video I made for the four ‘lost boys’.  This song has much meaning – it was an ’80’s tune that played on the radio ALL THE TIME back then and Bill use to ‘sing’ parts of it and make us all laugh.  Good times, good times.

Here’s hoping that whatever  you have ‘lost’ – will someday be ‘found’.


I Will Remember You

Downtown Jeannette, Pennsylvania, looking down...

Image via Wikipedia

25 years ago Greg and I were youth pastors in a few different places.  One of them was Jeannette, PA.  The picture to the right is the downtown of Jeannette.  We were blessed with sweet memories – a crazy, fun small group of teenagers that were like our very own kids – even though we weren’t much older than they were!

Lately I’ve been blessed to find my ‘lost boys’ and connect with them again on Facebook.  One even found me because of my blog!  I’m so glad for these means of finding people today in our world.  Still looking for the girls!

I also had coffee this morning with my dear friend, Deanna.  She is the kind of friend who just loves me – doesn’t judge me or lecture – just loves.  It is powerful to have these kind of friends in our lives.  She is an example of God‘s richest blessings.

I was thinking about finding the ‘lost boys’ of my past – and today having  rich friendships – and it made me wonder if heaven will be a little bit like this.  Reunions of the heart and mind with people who are dear to us – that have been removed for a time.  What a day that will be – to ‘connect’ with all of them again!  Some who have gone on before – or some that for a number of reasons – are not ‘connected’ with me right now.  In heaven – there will be no more tears, sadness or separation.  We will be able to hold those we love – in a warm embrace.  It will complete our lost and empty feeling that we feel in relationships gone wrong here on earth.  And the Bible says, “He will wipe away all our tears” – and I believe it.

I’ve had a ‘little’ taste of heaven down here – with my wonderful friends – and with my blessing of finding something that was once lost – and now is found.

I will be walking one day
Down a street far away
And see a face in the crowd and smile
Knowing how you made me laugh
Hearing sweet echoes of you from the past
I will remember you

Look in my eyes while you’re near
Tell me what’s happening here
See that I don’t want to say goodbye
Our love is frozen in time
I’ll be your champion and you will be mine
I will remember
I will remember you

Later on
When this fire is an ember
Later on
When the night’s not so tender
Given time
Though it’s hard to remember darlin’
I will be holding
I’ll still be holding to you
I will remember you

So many years come and gone
And yet the memory is strong
One word we never could learn
True love is frozen in time
I’ll be your champion and you will be mine
I will remember you
So please remember
I will remember you
I will remember you
I will remember you
I will remember you

Memories and Lost Boys

Greg and I have some very fond memories of a youth group that we were in charge of as youth pastors in Jeannette, PA for one year from 1985- 1986.  We had already had a previous youth group in Juneau, Alaska when we were fresh out of Bible School – from 1983-1984.  Wow.  Was it EVER a learning experience for us – not too many fond memories of that place – but there were a few kids from the youth group that have followed us as we have lived around the country.  It was a hard first experience in the ministry and we found ourselves “wanting out” for a season – so we took an entire year off and moved to Fairbanks where Greg is from.  When we were settled there and in secular jobs (making really good money) we had an encounter with a pastor from Jeannette, PA and he was looking for a youth pastor.  We were pretty sure we didn’t want to do that again – but he was so kind and generous to us – had us flown to PA to look it over and meet the kids – and after praying about it and weighing our options we decided that it was the right thing to do.  It is a year that we will never forget – for many reasons – but I would say that working with LaVerne and Beverly Clute (the senior pastor and his wife) was a rich and wonderful experience that we will never forget.  They taught us what it was like to really love and care about people.  They became like our parents and we had many good times at their house.

The youth group was an amazing group of about a dozen young people and we had so many good times with them!  I would LOVE to find them online – but so far have not been successful – but I will keep trying – they are all in their 40’s now!  Unbelievable.  There are 4 young men in particular that we were especially close to – I called them “my lost boys” and I became their “Mom” – even though I was not much older than some of them.  Two of them were brothers being raised by a single Mom.  Two of the other boys had interesting home lives – one of those boys lost his Dad while we were there and that was Greg’s very first funeral service.  Man – was that HARD.  I am listing their names here in my blog in hopes that someone will read this and be able to tell them to get in touch with us.  They names are as follows:

Bill and John Hermansen

Todd Yurt

Randy Kepple

And for those of you that enjoy classic rock – here’s a song from 1985 “Addicted to Love” that our youth group in PA used to listen to and these lyrics just used to CRACK us up!!!   Many good times!

Be kind – this was 1985 and the kids in the youth group loved this stuff!

How Do You Love?

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”  I Corinthians 13:4,5

As we approach Valentine’s Day – the above scripture verse comes to mind.   Greg uses this scripture quite often at wedding ceremonies as well.  It is the perfect model of what true love is all about – we all strive for it in our lives – very few succeed.  I mean – who could ever be that perfect?  So unselfish all the time. It simply isn’t possible.  I mean – “not easily angered” and “keeps no record of wrong”  what’s that all about?  Just when we think we are pretty good at putting things behind us – keeping no record – something will come up and remind us that we are not completely over something that someone did to us.

My husband calls me a “bleeding heart” because I have a rare ability to be able to embrace and love – emphathize and become  involved with others who need a little extra love and reassurance.  When we were young youth pastors living in Jeannette, PA – there were some teenagers that really needed extra love and attention.  Two of them were brothers being raised by a single Mom.  Life was tough for them and we did our best to get them involved at the church and we loved on them as best as we could.  There were some others as well – we had a group of a lot of troubled young men.  I was like their “mom” for that year we were there – and I wasn’t that much older than they were!  They became my “lost boys” – and the nickname stuck.  Throughout all of our ministry years – there have always been young men that allowed me “in” to their world and they became part of my “lost boys” over the years.  I still pray for many of them today and wonder where some of them are.  In fact – I have tried to find some of them on facebook – because so many people are on there now.  I keep hoping and praying that I will see some of them again.

There are some that we have been able to reconnect with recently via the internet – and it’s been great to see what has become of all of them that were once a part of our lives and ministry throughout the various places we have lived in ministry.  More recently it has still been with the same heart that I have reached out to young men and women – needing just a little extra love from another “mom” – and though it’s just as important for the young woman to feel that extra love – I would have to say that I have always had a special ministry for the “lost boys”.  Having an 18 year old son and a 22 year old daughter – has lent itself for both of them over the years to bring their friends home and it has allowed me an opportunity to show special love and acceptance to them – young or old.

It is always a risk to have that kind of love.  It is sometimes difficult for others to truly see your heart when it comes to loving others.  But despite the obstacles associated with it – I have found that for me – it is the only way to live.  I have had to move past any hurt or rejection or misunderstanding – and not let it affect just who I am. I have had to be willing to open my heart and let God lead me me to the next person who needs a little TLC in their life.

I try to live by the scripture above.  I fall short.  Everytime.  I am not patient by nature – but I have always tried to be kind.  I hope I am never rude – but I’m sure I have failed at that one too.  I try to love from pure motives – try not to let my emotions get in the way – but I sometimes fail at that too.  I have blown it so many times.  But I will not give up – or let a bad experience from embracing people – stop me from being what I feel God has led me to do.

How do you love?  Is it hard because you are afraid of hurt?  Me too.  But is it more important to love anyway – because it’s the right thing to do?  Yes.

I am thinking about all my “lost boys” and “lost girls” today.  Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you.  ♥

God Bless

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