Remembering Bob

We remembered and celebrated Bob Vanzante’s life today. It was a beautiful service filled with people from every corner of the world who had been touched by Bob’s life. It’s hard to believe it was just 4 short years ago we moved here to be with the Vanzante’s and receive our staff training with The Navigators. Both Barb and Bob had become such a part of our lives, it’s hard to remember life without their love and influence. It was actually just a few weeks ago I pieced together a very vital information about how Bob’s ministry had touched my own life long before we moved here to Madison for staff training. It’s the perfect story for today…

Bob and Barb Vanzante were leading a Navigator ministry on the campus of Wheaton College in the 80’s and 90’s. I grew up in Wheaton, but our paths didn’t cross there directly, but even during those days, their investment in people would touch my life without my even knowing it until much later. Turns out Bob was discipling a Wheaton student who would somehow cross paths with a guy from my highschool, Dave. After the Wheaton student shared Christ with Dave, he trusted Christ and shortly after that, Dave and I started dating. Dave was very passionate about his new found faith, and really encouraged me to grow. Dave went to college the year before I did, and quickly got involved in the Navs at Illinois State University, probably because he remembered the Navs being influential in the life of the guy who had led him to Christ. And so, I followed him to ISU and to the Navs a year later. The rest is history.

Isn’t that amazing? Bob was an incredible man and we feel so blessed to have spent time with him. We are also very tired from shedding many tears of joy and sadness. I have a little file of giggles going from our harrowing trip across the country and back which I’ll share soon. Thanks to all of you for your prayers.

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