Tuesday, March 27, 2012
How'd I get here?--Linden Malki
My name is Linden Malki, and I came to Calvary/Northpoint after the summer that God picked up my life and totally changed it. I grew up in an American Baptist church in Spokane, Washington; and the year after I graduated from college (Linfield College, near Portland, OR) I had half-baked ideas but no plans. My mom had passed away five years earlier, my dad was retired. His brother, a long-time missionary to China, was retiring from teaching in Taiwan, and coming home via the Holy Land, where his son was a missionary doctor in Jordan. My uncle suggested that Dad and I join them in touring Lebanon and Jordan (which at that time included the West Bank and Jerusalem), and then go on to visit Sweden. Dad and I were on a 10-passenger Dutch freighter between New York and Beirut, when the only other person under 50 struck up a friendship with Dad. This was a Lebanese-American from San Bernardino whose mother was taking him back to Lebanon to find a wife. We found out that his family was originally Orthodox, but he had been raised in Protestant mission churches--and his family knew my missionary cousin. We found that a shared faith was a great basis for a friendship--and more. We were married that summer in Beirut, and spent the summer there in the Middle East. When we came back to San Bernardino, I found that John was already attending Calvary Baptist Church, who at that time had an associate pastor who had been the senior pastor in the church I grew up in, was one of my dad's best friends, and had introduced my parents. God simply took away almost everything in my life (Dad passed away that summer) and gave me a whole new life, and opportunities to serve, teach, write and produce children's plays, sing, accompany children's choirs, raise four kids in this church, and deal with a whole bunch of paperwork. I could never in a zillon years have imagined what God had set up for me and am incredibly grateful for where He put me and what He has enabled me to do.