I am a young pastor but there was a time when i was even younger. It was a time when all I knew was that I needed to serve at FSBC Anaheim and to do what God led me to do. I worked hard, prayed harder, and God’s grace helped me through. At that time, I didn’t have many friends in the ministry. My congregation was still unsure about me but who could blame them? I was unsure of myself at times. Therefore I looked for some friends who might be able to understand me and after a time of prayer a newletter came from the Orange County Southern Baptist Association (pre-email editions) and through that pamphlet I got invited to a pastor’s luncheon.
I don’t remember what church it was at but I know I haven’t been there since that day. When I walked in there were three tables. One was full of older Caucasian men who were at least a foot taller than me. Another was empty. The third had a Filipino man sitting there and so I sat there. I was intimidated because I didn’t know anybody but that Filipino man just gave me a peaceful smile of assurance and 10 minutes later our table filled up with Hispanic, African American, and Filipino pastors. It was soon after that that the man who gave me that assuring smile introduced me to a huge man named Doyle Braden who is one of the greatest men I have ever met. After that I felt the warmth of all the pastors there. It was great!
Who was that wonderful man that made a young, green pastor feel welcome amongst his peers? It was Pastor Tim De Fiesta. I don’t have many memories with him but the ones that I have were pretty great and life changing for me. Towards the end of his life, he fought cancer for with courage and faith. He never lost that smile with me that reassured me and encouraged me whenever I saw him. He kept working and fighting for God until the very end. Thank you God for such a wonderful man and thank you for the opportunity to know him. Thanks Tim, you’re the best. Rest now. We will see each other soon.