Meet the Heidi Search Center ~ San Antonio, Texas
and the two angels behind their mission
In the midst of the search for Heidi, another child, 7-year-old Erica Marie Botello was abducted while playing at her apartment complex playground in Southwest San Antonio. Within a matter of hours, team leaders were dispatched from the Heidi command post to assist in the search for Erica. This team included Heidi’s father, Curt Seeman.
On August 25, 1990, fear became reality when both girls were found murdered. Heidi’s body was found in a rural area in Wimberly, Texas, 60 miles from San Antonio. Erica’s body was found in a storm drain less than one mile from where she lived." to read more - click on Heidi Seeman or Erica Marie Botello's photos above.
Shortly after the school year came to a close earlier this year I received a Facebook message from Crystal, the Heidi Search Center's executive director, in San Antonio, Texas. Only God knew where this initial contact would lead. As I stood on the sidewalk outside the pet store while Mags pet the cute puppies, Crystal and I talked, laughed, and encouraged each other.
At the time of this conversation, last week's banquet was still in its early planning stages. I never dreamed that between June and September I would receive an invitation to be their keynote speaker at the very event Crystal and I shared ideas on ways to encourage families of the missing.
The day my phone rang with a very excited Crystal on the other end, I couldn't believe my ears. "Lisa, we would like to invite you to San Antonio to share a message of HOPE with families of the missing at our annual banquet in December. Is this something you might be interested in?"
I was speechless, to say the least. I couldn't speak! (and this doesn't happen often, lol) Crystal spoke again, "Lisa, are you there? Are you okay? You don't have to, we just thought..." and I tried to speak.
With tears rolling down my cheeks and with a choked up and froggy voice, "Yes, I would love to. I'm just...."
Crystal laughed a little and said, "Oh my, you're crying You must stop because I don't let people cry alone." Then I laughed. Once I got myself together, the excitement of the planning went into motion. There were different things that needed to happen to make this opportunity a reality, all of which God orchestrated and made possible.
Most people are afraid of something and my fear stems back to April 3, 1994 when my only sister was abducted while working along on Easter Sunday at the local convenience store. What is this fear I struggle with?
On some levels it might seem silly to some of you yet it is still very real to me. Since God opened the door for me to speak, this has provided times for me to face my fear. I typically don't travel to speak or for book signings by myself, my family or friends almost always travel with me. Some of this is because it's more fun to travel with someone else yet the underlying and honest reason, I fear traveling by myself.
Now you know the bitter truth - I'm forty-something and the idea of traveling, even an hour from home by myself creates great stress and anxiety within me. So you can imagine the turmoil accepting an invitation to speak in Texas created. Yet, on some levels, there was such a peace and knowledge I was doing what God planned. I prayed right up until days before my flight was set to depart for someone to bless the center with another ticket so I wouldn't travel across the country alone BUT this wasn't God's plan for me.
I am happy to say I didn't let fear stop me from traveling to Texas. If I stayed home, satan would of won the battle and I can't let this happen. There are other challenges we are facing in our life right now, to pass up an opportunity to share Jesus, HOPE, and Heidi with others far outweighs the fear, anxiety, and doubt that weighed on my shoulders prior to this adventure.
I won't bore you with the "Murphy's Law" flight adventure to Texas I had but know this, I never gave up, and didn't say "Forget it, I'm not going." Two trips to the Syracuse airport to fly out, three different flight plans, and many tears equal one woman facing her fears to share hope and stay obedient. What a joy this weekend was.
My time in Texas was and will always be a blessing to me. I'm grateful for each of your prayers in the weeks and days leading up to my departure, while I was in Texas, and for the return trip home. God is good and I pray the people I met in Texas are as blessed, encouraged, inspired, and motivated as I am because of the time we spent together.
During the next week I will share the message of HOPE I shared while in Texas. I hope you'll visit the blog throughout the week and be encouraged...there is always HOPE!