What father who loves God doesn’t love his son or sons. Children are a blessing from God and are to be treasured and nurtured. Gabriel Adam is my son and I am proud to call him that. God has used him to bless me in so many ways and I’ve known since he was very young that God has placed upon him a calling and has a wonderful plan for his life.
When Gabe was four years old he was kidnapped by his mom, who suffers from mental illness, and taken down to Massachusetts. I knew something wasn’t right when she hadn’t returned him home by supper time. Later that evening after exhausting all possible places she could have taken him, I called the police and put in a missing persons report. I remember spending the night on my office floor crying out to God that they would be found. I couldn’t stand the thought of never seeing my little boy again. So many others were praying as well. At just after 10 am the next day I got a call from the police. They had been found in Springfield, a small city in the south of the state. My wife had taken the train down there at the directions of some people who had promised her that they could make Gabriel and her disappear. Before she got to call or meet them however she suddenly felt ill and got it in her head she was dying of AIDS. She got the people at the train station to call an ambulance to take her to the hospital. At the hospital when they started questioning her she became guarded and began acting in a suspicious manner. Because of this and a hunch the doctor had, they checked the missing persons report and sure enough their names came up right away. They took my wife into custody and placed her in a psychiatric hospital and my son was given to child services until they could reach me. They told me that it was really a miracle and that if my wife had not gone to the hospital and had called the people she was supposed to I never would have seen them again. There were groups operating in the area that were into human trafficking. God had his hand on my son that day. It was a miracle!
A few years ago Gabe turned 17 and stopped coming to church. He developed a relationship with a girl he met online. It was a stormy relationship and I watched him go through much hurt and turmoil. He told me he didn’t know if he believed in God anymore and asked how he could pray to someone he didn’t know was there. He told me he had been asking for a long time for God to reveal himself to him but God was so silent and wasn’t answering his prayers. As a father all I could do was pray and look for opportunities to talk with him where I could put in an encouraging word. He also through this time began drinking and tried pot. There were times where this girl really seemed to care about him and then the next day be so distant. At the same time she was dating my son she would be having relationships with other guys as well. She would tell Gabe she needed him but didn’t feel anything for anybody. I would hurt as I would see my son in tears or filled with rage at the hurt he was experiencing.
A couple of weeks ago he noticed an old friend from school online and decided to say hello. She asked him to go to CJYC, which is an annual youth conference held here in Montreal. Gabe had it in his mind that he just didn’t want to go but his friend was persistent and when he said he didn’t have the money to go she told him if he went she would pay for him. Her persistence paid of and he agreed to go. The night before the conference he said his final goodbyes to the girl that had caused him so much pain and confusion and yet he loved so much. It hurt him, but he knew it had to be done.
The Friday night of conference he said was exhausted. He had only slept 2 hours and kept falling asleep but when the alter call came at first he hesitated but finally went down to the front. It surprised him when a single tear fell from his eye and he asked himself where’d it come from. He didn’t know if he believed in God or not. So the next day he decided he was going to go to every concert and every workshop he could. He was determined to hear God’s voice. At the end of the day the alter call was given once again and he didn’t hesitate this time. He prayed God if you are real, please reveal yourself to me. He then heard a voice say, “Gabe I am real!” It was like a dam burst in Gabe’s heart and he began weeping. The Lord showed him that he had written his story long ago and that the way that his girlfriend had treated Gabe was the way Gabe had been treating God. Gabe finally understood the pain that he had been causing God and what it felt like when we ignore Him and run after other lovers. My son recommitted his life to Christ then and there and the Lord told him to go back to the church and bring his message to them.
My son gave this testimony this past Sunday at church and I marvel at the change in him. God never lets go of those that are His. He is patient and nothing catches Him by surprise. God still has a lot of work to do in Gabe as he does in all of us. He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6b (NKJV) His testimony touched us who sat there and listened to him as he told it. God is amazing. I love my son and I pray that he will be an inspiration for others. God is the one who named him and as the angel Gabriel brought a message to those who needed to hear it, my son also brought a message as well.
Don’t give up on your children. If you have trained them up in the ways of the Lord, they will come back. Have faith and persevere in prayer. Trust God no matter how dark things may get. God has a plan.
Kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. Luke 15:23-24 (NLT)