|one of Ben's multiple "photobombing"|
efforts in Santa Cruz in 2009 and
one of our first pictures together
After coming home from Santa Cruz Ben became part of my core group of friends that lasted through the next two years, but as time passed I found a special quality in my friendship with him that set him apart. Ben has been there for me through some of my most difficult times, he has received my encouragement with more appreciation than almost anyone else I can think of, and he has made me LAUGH harder and more often than probably anyone else I've ever known.
Best of all, Ben has a heart for the Lord like few I have ever seen -- so genuine, so sincere, and so eager to be a part of what God is doing in the world. Cassidy once referred to him as "the Billy Graham of his school" because he had such an evangelistic heart and influence. His best friend Alex came to Christ about a year and a half ago as a result of Ben's friendship, and Alex has grown by leaps and bounds in his faith to the point that he and Ben remind me of David and Jonathan in the Bible. It has been a JOY to witness Alex's faith journey and the part Ben has played in that. Ben has been an ENORMOUS inspiration to me and to many others who know him.
Our friendship, like any, has seen its rough patches, but Ben remains one of my favorite people I've ever met in my entire life and there just aren't words to describe how grateful I am that God has given me the privilege of having him in my life. I am SO THANKFUL God created this dear friend of mine!!!
|hiking at Donner Pass this past July|