Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dustin's Story

Wow! This week has been something else! I’m going to try and tell you a little about what has happened without going on and on and on…okay I am sure you get the picture.
Geez…I really don’t know where to begin.

A Little History
Many of the youth and college students at Villebrook come from broken homes. We even have several that have never met (or can’t remember) one of their biological parents. This blows my mind because I never had to go through that. I am very thankful that as weird as my family is, we have always been together. Anyway, back to this week…

About Dustin's Past
One of our college students, Dustin, has never met his biological father. Since June Jimmy and Dustin’s girlfriend Shaina have been praying that Dustin would try to find his biological father. Shaina’s grandmother even urged Dustin to find his father for medical history because of the strong migraines he has. Dustin just wasn’t ready yet.

Dustin has had an interesting family history. During the young years of his life, he thought that his mom’s first husband was his dad. It wasn’t until after they got a divorce that his mom told him that he wasn’t Dustin’s father. Then there was a while when he didn’t have any kind of father. Later his mother re-married and the man Dustin now considers his father came into his life. All the while he thought that his biological father wanted nothing to do with him and that he wasn’t around and that he didn’t even send child support to help him out.

About Dustin Now
Now Dustin is 20 years old. He has had some real upheaval in his life. He has been supporting himself for the past couple of years and just like everyone else he has suffered from the lull in the economy. After Dustin lost his job, stopped taking college classes because he couldn’t pay the tuition, and his car got repossessed Dustin’s mom kicked him out of the house and told him that she didn’t want anything to do with him until “you get your life back together.” So for the last couple of months they haven’t really seen or spoken to each other.

I have been proud of the Dustin and the attitude that he has had even through all of these things. Although he hasn’t had a job, he hasn’t let depression win. He has stayed committed to daily Christian disciplines, his relationships, and to church. I am proud of the man that God is shaping him into. Through this process, God brought Dustin to the point where he was finally open to meeting his real father.

As Dustin talked to Jimmy about this we all secretly rejoiced inside. They talked about how to find his father and all the possible reactions that could happen when Dustin found him. When Dustin called his Grandma to find out everything that she could about his biological father, he began to prepare himself for the worst.

Through his Grandma, Dustin learned his father’s name, last known city of residence, and employer. Knowing it was a long shot; he sat down one night last week and typed his dad’s name, employer, and city into Facebook. Only one name came up in the search. Through closer investigation, it became clear that his man was Dustin’s father! Now the question was what to say…

Through his father’s profile he learned that he had two half-sisters. Thankfully they also had Facebook profiles so he was able to send the oldest a friend request. All the time not knowing how to break the ice, Dustin prayed and pondered and tried to find the words to say “Are you my family?”

What Happened this Week
This week, Dustin received a message from his half-sister via Facebook. She was SO excited! It turns out that she had originally accepted his friend request because she thought he looked familiar and might have been someone from her high school, but when she and her mom were looking through her Facebook friends her mom recognized Dustin. She knew right away that he was her husband’s son who had been lost but not forgotten. The message was awesome! Best of all it broke the ice and Dustin didn’t have that burden anymore! God worked it all out perfectly!

Since the original message, Dustin has conversed constantly with them over Facebook. Plus he also talked to his father on the phone for several hours. Then last night at church, Dustin met his dad for the first time that he could remember! Just being there and witnessing it was a truly awesome experience! Now Dustin has the opportunity to know a part of him that has been hidden all these years.

As it turns out, Dustin’s dad (Mike) has made several attempts over his life to find Dustin. He was even successful a couple of times although he was never allowed to see him. The last time he had seen Dustin he was one and half and he brought him some presents for his birthday. Dustin’s half-sisters have grown up knowing about Dustin all their lives and have even had a picture of him in their house. Dustin found out that he has three sisters that he knew nothing about but who have loved him all the same.

Needless to say, it will be a long road as they all get to know each other for the first time. BUT what an amazing road it is! Aren’t you glad that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him?

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13


  1. I cried all over again when I read what you wrote. I lived it last night, but it just came back when I saw it in print. Thank you...what you wrote was beautiful.

  2. Christiana, I loved reading this incredible story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  3. It was neat to be part of something like that. I am also glad to hear that I was able to tell it in a way that can help people to feel what it was like to be there.

  4. Your story was great. Even though I was there I cried again when I read it. It was a truly great night not only for Dustin and his new family but for those of us who love Dustin there at VBC.

  5. Thanks christiana for writing this story. I'm so glad for Dustin and his new family.God is so amazing.i'm also glad that the youth got to witness this special time for Dustin.