Meet the Author's Author

Meet the Author's Author
Live for Jesus! That's what matters! That you see the light in me and come along! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Humble Man

Sitting in front of the lectern the final day, watching Mr. S. stand there and thank us all for being part of OYAN, for being who we were, for wanting to change the world through our writing and being willing to let God use it, the word I'd been looking to describe him struck me.


Most of us would describe Mr. and Mrs. S. as totally awesome, epic, amazing, pirate-ninja people, and lovers of writing - and writers. All of which is totally true. But there's something different about the Schwabauers that has impacted all of our lives in a way that most authors fail to.
Sure, one part of it is that they created the most phenomenal writing curriculum out, because, not being content with creating his own people and world, Mr. S. had the passion and creativity and calling to share his gifting with others. Something that most authors wouldn't do, but would just be content to sit back and collect their laurels.
Another part of it is that they have the most epic writing Workshop out, once a year, which brings kids from all over the globe into one place to share life, love, joy and laughter, to learn and to experience, to develop and to grow, to share our hearts and our talents and our callings with one another.

Ever wondered, though, just why OYAN has the greatest community out? Why it hasn't stopped growing and died? Ever thought - it might be the Hand of the God that the Schwabauers serve, blessing it? And do you know why He blesses it? Because they're willing to be willing to be used of God.

Mr. S didn't just sit back with satisfaction as an author and collect the money. He didn't carry on writing to satisfy the inner drive. He created a curriculum that would reach out and inspire a young, a new generation with a passion for writing. He didn't just stop there, happy to collect the profits and sit back and lecture his young students with techniques of writing.

OYAN lives. Because of God's blessing. Because of the humbleness in Mr. and Mrs. S.

At the Workshop, several things were noticeable.
Mr. and Mrs. S.'s dislike of praise and applause, although they accepted it uncomfortably because they knew it would hurt us for them not to let us show our appreciation, love and respect.
Their down-to-earthness. They weren't high and mighty on a pedestal. The "I'm an AUTHOR! Bow down to me!" attitude which quite a few authors have; provoked, one must admit, by adoring fans like us aspiring writers. If you caught Mr. S. signing a book, it was usually a hasty scribble while talking to a group of students. They MINGLED with us. Laughed with us. Joked with us. Lived with us. And they love us.

I have several very vivid memories of my time with the Schwabauers. Most of them are not to do with writing.

The first memory was the day I met them. The Lucchis were around at the Garners, and Mr. and Mrs. S dropped by with "Little S", as we nicknamed Gabrielle. I stood there, looking at the huge group of about fifteen kids sat together on the sofa and the floor, and looked over at Mr. and Mrs. S laughing and chatting with Mrs. Garner, just before leaving (without Gabrielle), and thought, "Wow. If God hadn't used Mr. S. to create OYAN, and if the S's hadn't been willing to be used of Him, then this wouldn't be happening now. None of these people would know each other. I wouldn't know them. And I wouldn't be here in America."

The second strongest probably is when we all (ignore ringleader's guilty cough) set up a chant of "Mrs. S., you are awesome!" followed with "Mr. S., you are awesome!" Their reactions were distinctive to the person, but similar. Mrs. S. waved for quiet, faintly, before pretending to run out of the room, and Mr. S. turned a faint shade of red as he headed down to the front.

The third memory I have is of that last night after Mr. S. finished his talk. The whole group of OYANers, in one last attempt to show how deeply grateful we were for everything they'd done for us, rose to our feet to applaud him - and then climbed chairs and tables.

The fourth memory is of when we were waiting for my baptism of Andrew Beals with Coke. Yes, an entirely different story, but it was an event highly enjoyed by OYANers. I wanted the Schwabauers present, but we had to wait a while - because a student needed to talk to Mr. S. privately. (I don't know who or why and don't want to, just in case that person reads this.)
Not only were they and did they come to participate in the fun of a lively bunch of young people, but they made time for those who needed it above everything else.

The fifth memory would be of when Mr. S. explained the comic that he draws and writes for prison inmates, and stories of people saved - from crime, death and hell - by reading them. Letters they had written him. And the awe and near tears as he said how wonderful it was that God used a little thing like that to reach so far.
He wasn't proud God had picked him. He was awed. Humbled. Amazed. And praising.

The sixth memory has to be of when Mrs. S. and he stood there and thanked us for being who we were, and for being part of OYAN.
There was this great but _humble_ couple that God has so mightily used, thanking us, a group of wild, crazy, fun-loving young teens that long to serve God and change the world, when he inspired us with that vision.

The seventh memory is when I said a final goodbye to all of my wonderful friends. I left the Schwabauers til last (Laurale was second to last) and then said goodbye to Mr. S. before realising the Garner girls were still talking to Mrs. S. Mr. S. and I began to chat, and I asked him to pray for my family back home and the stuff we're going through. I don't care to share the majority of the conversation, but the one thing that stuck with me that I want to share was his explaining of God's love to me. That God doesn't love us because we're more special than everyone else, but because He made us each individually and loves us as we are.
That also struck home to me; that he was willing to take time on the final night to talk to me and try to show me the love of God.

And Mrs. S? She who is epicness and awesomeness in one amazing human? I'm willing to bet she has been supporting and encouraging Mr. S. every step of the way, in both his writing and the forum. We all know how active she is on the forum (which is a lot for someone as busy as she is), but she never shoves her weight around. She always takes time for those who need it. And no one could imagine Mr. or Mrs. S. without the other. There's a match made in Heaven for you.
Behind every good man there is a good woman. And I'd like to ask you to join with me in thanking God for creating and using the Schwabauers, and that God's blessing would be mightily upon them for their willingness to be used of Him, and for everything that He has done through them, that whatever they touch would prosper.

Thank you so much, Mr. and Mrs. S., for everything you've done for me. There's so much more I wish I could say in tribute, but words fail me. God bless you both. God bless you.

With love, respect and thankfulness,