Sometimes there comes along in life a person, a family, that bonds us deeply and affects us to the core. Frank Duran, a man of charisma, passionately real, in love with his Lord, a heart of deep gold, is definitely such a man. Although he was not perfect, for who besides our dear Lord could ever make such a stance, and has gone through many trying times, yet, he was a man authentically made new by grace through faith, not of any work, but because God first powerfully loved him when he (like us all) was most unlovable.
And although our time living across the street from Frank and Carmen, and the family, was for a season in our life, one that was brief, blessed and often joyously intense, it was and is a time that will be forever treasured in this life and the eternal one to come.
We had many deep, passionate, and pointed conversations regarding reality, convictions, biblical truth, godly men, hope, help, love, church, humility and repentance. There were times of tears, unresolved anger and tremendous healing. Often hours of fellowship would pass by – real, raw and beautiful. Christ was always the reality of our center. And although we would drift in our speech, the Spirit of the Lord was always most gracious and merciful to bring us back to the epicenter – Jesus, the Lord and Savior, the King and Priest, the Great Physician and Rock of Ages – O’ how joyous and precious His propitiation was and is to us.
In Carlsbad our third child was born and Frank was sure to be the calming baby-rocking machine ready to ‘go-to-work’ at any moment. We had nights of Bible studies, fellowship, grilled delectables, movies, messages, sermons and more. Even a new puppy found its way into our lives from a friendly visitor who was on their doorstep one summer afternoon. Brother Frank would do anything he was able for our family. One morning we worked several hours rearranging their living room so to surprise Carmen – and what fun that was! Frank was so loyal and accompanied me when I traveled to speak about missions at a newer local church in a small town north of Carlsbad.
Below is a very rare, and at the time very unexpected, video footage of my dear brother sharing a small morsel of his beautiful redemption story. I have also included a few photos (more to be added as I find them) for the family and friends. Listen closely to the words Frank says. Listen twice and three times. Frank was able to tell stories in his own unique and highly affectious way. I truly came to love this dear brother. Without a doubt, the Lord as only He can, directed and lined our path straight to the Duran doorstep – and I will always be grateful!
May the Duran family and friends be blessed of the Lord.