Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Newport Pizza Man and wife love on kids all the way in Vietnam

I can’t really remember the first time I met Robert Kalatschan, my host while in Vietnam. It may have been in his restaurant, Original Pizza, down near the Newport Pier or it might have been in the small group I led a few years back. But I do remember the circumstances surrounding one of those first interactions.

See, I love to memorize the word of God. There are a number of scriptures I feel are foundational for a believer. I won’t share those particular scriptures at this time, however, what I do remember is Robert “complaining” with a capital “C”...maybe more like whining :-). I think he said, “I can’t do it. I can’t memorize. I don’t understand why we have to do this, etc., etc., etc....” It took me aback...

Yet over the next weeks, the REAL character of this man was on display. He ALWAYS came with them memorized. He knew them word for word. His discipline and his determination drew me in...relationally. Personally, I get energized by someone who is willing to go ALL OUT...even though it may be hard or difficult or challenging, but they give it their ALL.

Over the course of that year in that small group, I learned that Robert is one of those kinds of people and I love that about Robert.

Well, following that group, not necessarily because of that group, God ambushed Robert and his wife, Dorothea, following the adoption of their second Vietnamese child, Christina. I use the word ambushed intentionally because Robert and Dorothea strongly feel the tug of God’s Spirit on their lives. Christina, through adoption, found a “way” out, but what about the kids left behind?

All because of paying attention to God’s tap on their shoulders, Robert and Dorothea founded Giving It Back To Kids, an organization that is strategically, relationally and lovingly caring for the kids in Vietnam who are “left behind.”

The good news is that the same determination, discipline and focus that Robert applied to hiding God’s Word in his heart years ago in that small group, he applies to the kids and people of Vietnam. I can’t thank Robert enough for hanging out with me for these past 10 days. Also, a BIG thanks goes out to Dorothea, Tommy and Christina for allowing me to monopolize their dad/husband’s time while they were off for Easter break!

Make sure you watch the video of Robert sharing his heart for the kids of Vietnam!!!

See you this weekend at The Crossing...thanks for reading,

Tim Celek
Lead Pastor
The Crossing