I lost track of Miguel around 1973. He had married Carmen Maria and moved to Boston to pastor, where I paid him a couple of visits. Then they went to Latin America as missionaries and I didn’t know how to contact them.
As the years went by Miguel was on my list of people that I wished I could reconnect with. As with George and his family, so with Miguel and his family, they remained in my prayers.
In the summer of 2001 Vickie and I were in Toronto at a pastors’ conference sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. There were around 500 or 600 people there and the format consisted of plenary sessions and workshops. On the second afternoon I was in a meeting room for a workshop on worship music. I was seated and chatting with the man next to me, waiting for the workshop to begin, when I heard a deep distinctive voice, “Are you Robert Withers?”
I looked up and saw Miguel Diaz – 28 years since I had last seen him, I was looking at Miguel Diaz – he was a bit more then than 185 pounds (sorry Mike!), but it was Miguel Diaz.
After our embrace he said, “Last night, in the worship meeting, I heard a laugh, and I looked at Carmen Maria and said, ‘Withers is here. That’s his laugh.’ ”
Ah what a blessing, what a treat to see Miguel again, to have a wish fulfilled – how sweet. Vickie and I had lunch with them and spent time with them before the conference ended. A year or so later they visited us in Virginia while on a ministry trip.
In the years since 1973 they had served as missionaries in Central America and pastored in Philadelphia, which is what they were doing when we reconnected. We exchange emails from time to time and now that I’m writing this I think I should probably give him a call and do some more serious catching up. After all, it isn’t everyone who will wipe bird poop off your head.