I Had to Thank “Something”
This is David’s story
A group of pastors in Lockport, Illinois met at an establishment called Port Noir, to discuss a worship night to be hosted by David, the owner. David had been experiencing a renewal of his faith and had conveyed a desire to raise funds for various causes. He asked a few pastors from Thrive Church in Lockport for some ideas, as he wanted to know which causes or organizations by which they raised funds.
Pastor Brian Bougher began to share with David, his fundraising efforts surrounding Royal Family KIDS (RFK) camps. Pastor Brian quickly discovered he did not have to explain RFK camps any further when the 41 year-old Port Noir owner exclaimed “I was there.”
A week later, the entire story of how David was familiar with RFK camps was revealed. Wayne Tesch, the founder of RFK, was in town to speak at their Chicago LIFT Summit 2018. At the close of the conference, a meeting was arranged with Wayne and David. They met at Port Noir. When David’s eyes met Wayne’s, he pointed his finger and said with a smile, “I remember you.”
David was eight years old when he first met Wayne at camp—the second RFK camp ever held. This particular camp was hosted by Newport Mesa Church 32 years ago. Tony Choi, RFK V.P. of Finance was at that same camp all those years ago, and was also present at this special meeting ‘reunion’ at Port Noir.
David described in surprising detail, the impact that one week of camp had on his difficult life at the time. It was that particular week which confirmed there are good people in this world—contrary to his life experience up to that point, and what life looked like after camp when he returned home to a most difficult environment. For the next few decades, poverty, homelessness, and inconsistent opportunities for work compounded by single parenting, lead David to hit rock bottom.
Then, things began to change with a surprising and perhaps unexpected answer to prayer. David remarked, “I was an agnostic my entire life, but I was in such a low place that I had to ask God to get me out of the mess. It didn’t happen immediately. Within the following few months, things began to change in my life and I started to prosper.”
Some of the changes that occurred were the award of a generous settlement, a well paying job, and other blessings for which David could not account. In his words, “I’m not that smart. Something else was going on and I had to thank something!” He began to thank God for the life blessings he was receiving. It became clear that God was at work. He moved from south Los Angeles to Illinois, and eventually created Port Noir, a wine and martini bar in the old First National Bank Building in Lockport.
His inspiration to institute a worship night is evidence of his renewed faith. His introduction to Pastor Brian of Thrive Church gently placed Royal Family KIDS ‘bookends of blessing’ around David’s difficulties, as the loving arms of a loving God drew him and his family into His warm embrace.
In this day of quantifiable results and demands to assess an immediate return on investment, things like this happen. A former camper surfaces 32 years later to recount the difference a group of volunteers made on his life at a summer camp for foster children in 1986. In that, God’s promise of “I will never leave you” that took root in 1986, bears fruit years later as God receives the gratitude of a man who just had to thank “something.”
By John Schwider