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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

 We will not call him by name  ( He is a very private sort of guy )

During the month of April, our neighborhood church takes in  homeless men, gives them a place to sleep, has dinner for them, a warm  breakfast,  and then sends them off in the morning with a lunch. Many volunteers help with this project 

. About five years ago we were on a team to provide food for a dinner, help serve and clean up. It is just one night,  there are many volunteers who help with this. It's an opportunity to give to those who do not have much.

So on this first opportunity that we had. it was pretty obvious  they are very organized and the   evening passed  quickly. 

As we were getting ready to leave a gentleman who had been in conversation with my husband asked if he would like to see where the men  sleep.  So he gave him the tour.  And as we were walking out together  the conversation turned to church and church upbringing and it seemed like both  were coming from a very similar background. And he seemed quite interested in coming to a Bible study that we participate in.

 So it was arranged that we would pick him up on Thursday evening and he would join us. And we did. And he did.  For many weeks he came with us and also on Sundays. When he moved to another church we were able to make connections and for quite a while he was part of our group.

His job  searches finally paid off.  The interviews  looked like a perfect match for him. He had Bank experience and there were two banks  quite interested in him. The interviews went on for some time and as it is usually does the numbers went  down and finally  there were just two of them and in the end he got the job. He was even called by  another  bank and they were disappointed they didn't get him.    

  For  several months he was being  trained and his new job was pretty high security and involved  some traveling. He began doing  a lot of traveling. So we did not see him every week . But he stayed in touch and he   sometimes sent pictures of where he was working. He was in England when the little prince was born.   In his travels he was able to get home to Kenya to visit his parents and his future was  looking very good for him.

His lifestyle changed quite a bit. His bank had clients who were  well known.  Often he was entertained in the home of a famous  coach, the owner of an airline, and even  the wealthiest man in America.

 But his personality seemed to be just same.. Even when the time came to purchase a home and though he felt it was nicer than he deserved, he was very humble.

Houses in Bellevue come on the market and are sold quickly.  There are several large companies here and   housing is  difficult.  Finally, the house of choice seemed to be accepting his offer.  The owners were in no hurry to sell, so the deal took a long time to go through. It is summer now and he is travelling quite a bit.

In the meantime, he was back  in town and able to attend a weekend retreat with us.  He was able to get acquainted with some new friends and seemed to have an enjoyable time, that Labor Day weekend.

He was travelling again and we did not see him from Christmas until February or March.  At this time he was finalizing the house.  There were some roof problems and also something under the house that needed to be corrected. More delays.   During this waiting period he was staying in a hotel downtown Bellevue, in a suite the bank reserves.

There is another retreat that we attended, just my hubby and me, and one of the friends attending had also been to the Labor Day weekend.   He asked about our banker friend  and then he said, " I think he is a fraud".
The conversation he had, the way he was dressed, his vocabulary, did not match up with a high security bank position.  We  were shocked, but then not so shocked.

Rereading my story, I can only see little glimpses of question.
We did notice that his wardrobe had not changed in 5 years.
His schedule seemed to be controlled by his "boss" who was always at the other end of his phone even though we did not hear it ring.
The pictures he sent could easily have been from the internet.
He did not participate in our Bible Study, but if he was asked a question, he seemed to know where to look in the Bible.
His email messages always had a word or two misused or a sentence that was not correct.
The house he was purchasing was in a very exclusive neighborhood, but he did not want to share the address.

So, the time had come to gently let him speak the truth.
It did not happen.
He claimed that everything he had told us was true, in fact he wanted us to meet his boss.
And that is when things changed.  His boss was never available.  Emails became very delayed and the messages were confusing.

Without at least a small conversation acknowledging  what is true, it feels like the story is not ended. We want to believe that he really is a Christian and the rest of the tales he told are not important.

Since the ball is in his court, perhaps this is the end of the story.

There has to be a reason, maybe a lesson, that we can learn from what has taken place.
and I am still searching for an answer.

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