As a parent, just the thought of one of our children disappearing is enough to send a fear through us like nothing else. That is exactly where I found myself in December of 2002. After coming home from work on a Friday night, my wife Dorinda found a letter my son David had left on his bed. The letter began with apologies for falling behind in his studies in his first semester in college. It would go on to explain how David could not face me with his failure and how he was leaving on a bus to an unknown destination. Dorinda and I knew that wherever David would end his journey he would be broke and homeless. His letter ended by telling me that his car was parked at the greyhound station in Ann Arbor, Michigan about a 20 minute drive away.
We immediately drove to the bus station only to find it closed and David’s car parked two streets over. Tears that had been flowing nearly continuously began again as we realized that our son was gone and we had no idea where. One cannot imagine the pain and heartache that descends upon you. The physical and emotional pain becomes overwhelming. Time stands still. Everything else in your life - food, water, your job, everything - becomes unimportant. You begin to ask yourself Why? What have I done? Is he suicidal? Will I ever see him again? It must be my fault for pushing him too hard or not listening.
After driving David’s car home Dorinda and I would now begin our frantic search for our son. Unable to contact greyhound to find out the tickets destination we started by calling every one of David’s friends. No one knew anything and in fact most thought that this was some kind of prank. Ashley, David’s girlfriend finally called us and said that David had mentioned the city of Dayton, Ohio. I grabbed a few things filled up my truck with gas and left for Dayton. This would begin a journey that would take me through Dayton, Lexington Kentucky, and Atlanta Georgia and eventually back to Ypsilanti Michigan where we live. I would arrive home without David and without a clue to what happened to him. Back home we started by filing a missing persons report. This would start a process that brought crime labs into our home to search our computer, David’s picture being faxed to every police agency from Michigan to Florida, and calling homeless shelters all over the Atlanta Georgia area. After four days we still had heard nothing.
While on my cross-country search Dorinda had been in contact with her father, brother, and brother-in-law, all ministers. I would find out later that they had begun something called a prayer chain. This prayer chain would begin by people calling each other to pray for our son’s safe return. I would find out later that people across America had been praying for us. Having never been involved in church I did not fully understand the strength and power of this prayer chain. These people, most of whom did not even know us, where calling upon God to move mountains if necessary to bring David home safely.
It was now day 5 and we still were no closer to finding David. Feeling desperate I called a friend to set up an appointment with a psychic. Though I did not believe in it I would try anything. I made a trip to David’s college to talk to people and post flyers with his picture on them. Friends and family kept calling with offers to help but we were running out of ideas. It was almost time to go to the appointment with the psychic. I had been calling shelters but I needed to leave to be there on time. Something seemed to draw me back to the shelter list. Looking at list the next name on was the Atlanta Church of God. I dialed the number. A nice lady named Page answered. I began to tell her the story of David’s disappearance. I felt the need to go deeper this time. I told her everything and we were both crying. When I was done Page said this; “Sir, I don’t know you, but if you come back to Atlanta looking for David you come straight to this church. You can stay here with us, we will feed you, we will give you a car, we will put someone in the car with you that knows the streets of Atlanta, and if your son is here we will find him.” Thanking her, I hung up the phone, broken, face covered with tears, at the very end of myself. There in front of me on the table was a bible. I picked it up and held it up towards heaven and said these words;” God I want to be just like this lady. I want to always be part of the solution, never part of the problem again. If you will save my son, I will serve you for the rest of my life. I will never leave you; I will always be part of the solution never part of the problem again.” As soon as I sat the bible down the phone rang. David had come home. I fell on my knees and lifted my hands up to God, thanking and praising Him for this miracle. I have never gone back on my vow. I have worked in our food ministry to the hungry for 8 years. I am a Chaplain and I go to hospitals, jails, prisons, nursing homes, anywhere people need hope. Dorinda is in the dance ministry at our church and David is a Pastor and leader in the Mission Florida, a discipleship program that raises up leaders to serve God. I have written a book about this story called “The Father’s Love.” We have seen many more miracles since then, some of which I write about in the book. You can find out more about it at thefatherslovebook.com. God is so good! He is still performing miracles in these times. I would like to leave you with these 2 scriptures. Numbers 30:2-If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. Psalm 65:1 Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Zion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed. I WILL SERVE YOU FOREVER LORD!
By Dave Moore