VAN WERT – A crowd of 250 people gathered at Willow Bend Country Club
for the community’s annual Good Friday Morning Prayer Breakfast at 7
a.m. on Friday.
Following breakfast, Van Wert educator Bob Spath
told the story of his family’s efforts to adopt a Haitian child, a
journey that lasted for two and a half years before Eli, now age five,
was finally secured.
“We knew that God had planned for Eli to be
with us since the beginning of time,” said Spath. “Sara (wife) and I
decided to adopt. We prayed about it; we read a book, God kept pushing
us toward adoption.”
“I believe that adoption into a family
teaches children how much God loves us,” continued Spath, an engineering
teacher at Van Wert High School. “It took two and a half years to get
this done. We never realized the time, energy and expenses that would be
“Those of you that are here, you know how much you
would do for your children,” added Spath. “We felt the same way about
Eli and all of our children. This was our son and we were willing to do
all that we can to bring him around. We were willing to go to the ends
of the earth to get him here.”
Earlier in his speech, Spath had
referred to the passing of his own father several years earlier at Van
Wert Manor. Spath said that God’s timing in taking his father was
perfect. He had been asked to make a decision about a feeding tube for
his father. The night before he was to give an answer, his father passed
away, relieving him of the tough choice about the feeding tube.
think about my relationship with our children and my relationship with
dad, right up to the time that he passed,” said Spath. “It reminded me
of the relationship Jesus had with His Father and how He went to the
ends of the Earth for us.”
Spath and his wife were both involved
in the U.S. Navy, Sara for five years and Bob for eight years. Following
their wedding during a major
snowstorm in January of 1999, they each went to their respective deployments.
had little knowledge of who God was,” said Spath. “When she left, I was
struggling with a lot of things. I felt like I was the only one on the
planet struggling with the garbage that I was. I had placed a big wall
around me and I was embarrassed about it.”
It was while he was in Virginia one night, Spath said, that God opened His eyes.
“That evening changed my life forever; God gave me an understanding of who Jesus Christ was and what He was to me,” noted Spath.
days, the experience of that night still kindles the fire of faith that
He shares with His family, Bible Study group and those God leads into
His path that He prays with.