In the fall of 2018 I was in a very difficult place in my life. After almost 20 years of vocational ministry I was in the land in-between. I had taken on some speaking in writing, and was trying to figure out God‘s next step in my life. One day I got a message from Chris Zeigler out of the blue. I did not know him, but he introduced himself as the Director of BASIC College Ministries and asked if we could meet up in New York City for dinner while he was in town. We met at our favorite Italian restaurant, Carmine’s, in Times Square. Over dinner he and his wife Cheryl Zeigler introduced themselves to us and talked about their work with students on college campuses. He said he had been given my name by some mutual friends and was wondering if I would be interested in joining their staff in a newly-created position as Director of Development. I had never done any of this kind of work, but after couple of weeks of prayer I decided to take a leap and try it out. Over the next year and a half I learned this new field and enjoyed working with Chris to reframe partnerships and fundraising for the ministry. In 2020 I decided to go back to work in the local church. Five weeks after I began, Covid shut the world down. Interestingly, so much of what I learned doing development work suddenly came in to play. Phone calls, checking in on people, developing systems for connection, etc. A few weeks ago God really put Chris on my heart. I was thinking about him and was so thankful that he took a risk on inviting me into a role even though it was uncharted territory. I am currently doing work at the church in which I am leaning into so many other things that I learned in that brief season with BASIC. Additionally, two weeks ago I was in Las Vegas and was thinking about him as we drove by the Raiders’ stadium. He was a diehard Raiders fan. Then Ady and I saw a sign for a Carmine’s. We couldn’t believe there was one out west. As we were eating , Ady said, “The last time we were at Carmine‘s is when we went out for dinner with Chris and Cheryl to talk about you possibly joining BASIC.” It was only a few days after that when we heard the news about Chris’s diagnosis and learned the devastating news that doctors told him he only had weeks to live. Last week I am so thankful I had a chance to call and pray with him. Hearing that two people received Christ in the hospital as he witnessed to them was not a surprise at all. He was full of faith and trust in God all the way to the end. Chris, it was a privilege to know you and serve Jesus with you, my friend. Well done good and faithful servant. Our deepest condolences to Cheryl and his three wonderful children. Praying for God’s grace, peace, and comfort. 🙏

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