I met G at an InterVarsity bbq her freshman year, and upon discovering she was an ERC student, spent a lot of ensuing time invested in her dorm building. But it was not until she broke her ankle that we really started cultivating a deeper friendship. Chauffeuring someone to the hospital several times a month for many months in your roommate’s old car (RIP Frank) is clearly the surefire way to win outrageously talented friends who speak truth and stay for a lifetime. Try it!

G with a delectable dungeness crab sandwich from El Pescador.

Hurrah. Thanks for driving down to visit!

Fondue spread.

S and I have known each other since sixth grade, but technically never became official friends until we both grudgingly ended up at UCSD and in adjacent dorm halls. We have seen each other through late night paper procrastination, campus ministry, studying abroad in Spain, post-college ventures, bad decisions and better ones, insane amounts of coffee, and now she is getting married! I hope the years will treat us to many more memories to add to that list (I fully expect us to spend many an afternoon Monopoly Deal dueling on the porch far into our old age.)

The thing is, this is the kind of stuff that happens to other people. Not to you or me or people we know. Yet, this is real and he is a friend, dare I say even a good friend, from college–a fellow UCSDer and an InterVarsity brother. And he has been missing since Sunday.

Guillermo was out hiking with his family in the Anza Borrego Desert, exploring the mud caves, and in a matter of minutes, vanished. What gets me is that there has not been a single trace of him found save for a few footprints leading out of a cave.

When I think back on conversations in Sierra Summit, frequently running into him on the shuttle, and certainly not having a teeny tiny crush on him for several months, ahem, it is simply mind-boggling to put such tangibility to the current situation.

It has been a week of disbelief, uncertainty, and many prayers. (Oh my scary, if anything like this were to ever happen to my family or B, I think I’d absolutely lose my mind.) But I cling to the truth that God is sovereign, His love endures, and His wisdom prevails.

Father, You sustained Your Son in the desert for 40 days without food or water, and You promise that faith the size of a mustard seed moves mountains. We pray that You cover Guillermo in Your protection, guard him in Your safety, bless his family with strength and comfort, and fuel this community that has rallied up with hope. We trust that Guillermo will be found safe and sound soon.

[Hiker Missing in Borrego Springs]

Dinosaur Love: The Pursuit

December 8, 2011

[Long-distance stinks. Sometimes recounting stories is what I need to do to stay sane.]

My sophomore year in college, I shared an apartment with an RA and two other InterVarsity freshmen Bible Study leaders. It goes without saying that Earth Hall South 213 was a social hub with a constant stream of people flowing in and out at all hours.

B was just one in a sea of faces that year to frequent the apartment. I always thought it was strange that he would show up whenever my apartmentmates were gone (since I presumed he was there to visit them), and though I didn’t exactly consider us friends per say, I would feel obligated to entertain him nonetheless. I remember having many an awkward conversation all the while hoping he would hurry up and leave so I could continue with whatever it was I was doing before he arrived. Cruel, I know, but I was busy that year!

G and S would tease me about his consistent and recurrent visits, but I brushed their insinuations off as implausible. After all, I barely knew the guy. Amidst never-ending MMW papers, Dollar Scoop Tuesdays at Baskin and Robbins, investing in my ERC freshmen, and all the responsibilities of ministry, I had no time to draw conclusions about a certain individual’s regular habits much less think about romantic interests.

Sure, we spent a fair amount of time together thanks to Dorm Team, but then again, our entire group of leaders spent a lot of time together. There was nothing out-of-the-ordinary in it for me. Finally, as the year drew to a close, the whispers got louder and many friends started blatantly giggling whenever B and I were in any sort of near proximity. I was still completely clueless and very perplexed about the sudden uprising of commentary. As I pondered the source of all this, I started to realize how compatible we were and how much I did enjoy spending time with B.

We were always the ones left in the kitchen washing dishes and cleaning up after big events. Most of our conversations were impassioned dialogues about world injustices and how we should solve them (the others were about junk food; in retrospect, how did I not immediately notice we were a match made in heaven?). He was pretty stinking witty, and of all the things I didn’t notice throughout the year, I never forgot that he looked very much like a dinosaur. I liked dinosaurs.