My friend’s friend was said to have stolen an airplane from a Miami airport and delivered it to Colombia. That’s the bit of information that first grabbed my attention.
It had been years since I’d heard from my friend Karsten, but he surprised me with a phone call to tell me about his friend Fern who’d supposedly stolen a plane. I knew Karsten from ten years before when I lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana and attended a weekly Bible study at his house. Fern was now a regular at the Bible study and kudos to the guys (and God) that the Bible study is still going strong!
Click Above to Listen or Subscribe on iTunes
Not too long ago, Karsten noticed a number on the side of Fern’s Bible and asked about it. Turns out it was Fern’s prison number. Fern didn’t get too deep into his story at that time, but as the weeks passed, Fern shared more and more of his story. This was all going on unbeknownst to me.
In my writing life, I’d finished a sequel to Love on the Big Screen and submitted the short film The Mushroom Hunter to festivals. I had in mind that I would write about dad and his hunting of mushrooms as a way of exploring father / son relationships. For about six months, I’d been praying regular to God that if He wanted me to write about something else, I was open to hearing it. I haven’t really quite put that the right way. I believe God has given me the power to use my mind and make choices about the way I spend my time. However, I am open to the idea that God (sometimes working through his people) might tap me on the shoulder and point me in a different direction. I should have written that I was proceeding with my plans but staying on the lookout for something different God might have in mind. I think Karsten’s phone call may have been a part of that tap on the shoulder.
Let me say a bit more about Karsten and his wife Kim: they were very good friends to me during a time of my life when I did lots of things I didn’t want to do and I could never do the thing I wanted. For example, I wanted to do a lot less drinking but I continued to drink too much too often. That might be a vague line I’ll unpack a little more of later. I love and trust Kim and Karsten. It’s how they feel about this man Fern, and I think it’s Kim and Karsten’s love for me that helps Fern to be willing to share his story. Kim and Karsten are the good people that bring Fern and I together.
Thus far, as far as sharing his story, Fern has been willing to attend some churches and give his testimony. It’s a story that includes selling drugs, getting caught, going to prison, and then getting out and using his life to help others. I don’t know where the conversations among Kim, Kar, and Fern and I will lead, but we’ve all decided to talk and see what happens. So far we’ve logged two conversations of more than three hours each. My plan is to edit these into 45 minute bits and share them with you through the podcast.
I’ve been listening to Fern and have started to read more about the role of cocaine in Colombia and the United States. I’ve started reading the book below:
I’ve started my background reading here