A springtime San Antonio breeze caressed IBC’s Hallelujah Hill as I strolled about her dome. I would savor some memories these parting moments, taking in a view of which I never tired. A myriad twinkling city lights stretched to the southeast below. My reflective mood wakened images – faces, scenes – of our recent years, Ann’s and mine. We would soon move from this place. Distant Africa felt suddenly less distant.
What have I specially treasured along the way, about and atop this hill? Two highlights, among others, surfaced.
The Means to make it through. Yes, for sure, God’s provision, the means. . . Pumping gas at Bandera Road’s Philips station. . . Hauling Middle-schoolers by yellow bus to and from their own academic haunts. . . A long-retired, overly-generous Kentucky teacher. . . My bread-and-butter news-print employer, the San Antonio Express – towering opposite the Alamo. And praying friends believing in young people’s dreams.
I also prized the Instructors pointing the way. I smiled at the medley of talent and personalities.
• Mr. Irwin. Health-food-eccentric whose relentless compassion often drew him off campus, serving up coffee and (ironically) donuts to homesick entry-level soldiers and airmen from the numerous bases encircling the city. Men in uniform needed friends and Mr. Irwin readily introduced them to One ‘sticking closer than a brother.’
• Bob Lauver. The faculty’s youngest, our class sponsor.
• Ray Troyer. Wisdom of a sage whose penetrating eyes seemed to mine your soul.
• Bill Hamon. Energetic, high-volume Pentateuch instructor whose prophetic bent propelled him later to a bigger platform.
• David Coote, Japan-raised college president. His Life of Christ dramatizations coming with such grasp of material and energetic flair that student’s regularly laid aside their note-taking ball points to relish the scenes.
• Ruth Bell. Sister to David, who as a little girl entered Japan’s outdoor icy waters to get baptized. A children’s ministry power pack championing time and again a spiritual vision for the young.
• John Hagee, master orator. When preaching a chapel service his keenly-honed sermons and powerful deliveries seized heart and mind of every preacher-wannabe in earshot.
• And J. Andrew Freeborn. Calling his work ‘memorable’, comes close. But only close.
©2017 Jerry Lout