Thursday, June 4, 2015

Senior: Isaias Munoz

It was Freshman move in day back in the fall of 2011 and I got a call from the father of Isaias Munoz. We'd had some email interaction and I had told him to give me a call when they arrived on campus so I could meet them.  As soon as they pulled onto the grass in front of Dickson Hall I was there on my bicycle and Isaias and I have been bro's ever since!   Isaias' dad is a pastor in New Jersey and I remember hanging out in the hallway along with his uncle talking about reformed theology  while Isaias unpacked his boxes and set up his room.

That night I took Isaias with me to Walmart to pick up food supplies for one of our welcome events the next day.  The guy was serving in Cru from his first hours on campus, and he's been faithfully at it ever since.
Isaias and Dani at our Fall Getaway

That first day in the hallway, even though I had only known Isaias for 20 or 30 minutes, my main concern for him was that he would be taken out of the race by a romantic relationship.  So many college students -even those who grow up in stout Christian families are derailed by the lure of sexual sin and the party life.  I had known a number of guys like Isaias, and I told his dad specifically that of all the potential pitfalls at Cornell, the one I thought he needed to be most guarded against was hooking up with a girl who couldn't care less about Jesus!

Praise God, Isaias never got tangled up with that stuff here at Cornell.  Walking with Jesus in fellowship with a tight knit group of brothers, Isaias actually ended up dating an incredible woman of God named Dani Corona!  Today they are engaged and will be married on my birthday next fall. (October 11.)  Isaias and Dani were both leaders in Cru before they started dating and they have certainly continued to serve together this year.
Isaias and some of the sophomore guys he got to serve with.
I was talking to one of the sophomore guys yesterday and he was lamenting about how much he is going to miss Isaias.   I could never fully capture in a blog post how much this guy has contributed to our ministry and to the lives of so many of his fellow students.   Everybody who knows him knows that he loves the Word of God.  He is a man who can be counted on to speak truth in line with the scriptures.  But he's also a lot of fun!  He's got a fantastic sense of humor and he's able to ham it up and bring a lot of joy wherever he goes.  Isaias was so good at connecting with new students and helping them to feel at home in Cru.   He's outgoing and very social.
Gabe Casillo, Isaias Munoz and Sean Salmon; best friends.  
I still remember meeting up with Isaias and his best friend Gabe Casillo at the end of their freshman year; we have an interview process where we assess our future Community Group leaders.  I had no reservations whatsoever with these guys!  I remember talking with Isaias and Gabe about how grateful I was for their understanding of our mission on campus and their enthusiasm for our small group methodology.  (Certainly they had benefited from being mentored by Kyle Yost!)  Throughout his time here, Isaias has helped lead effective missional Community groups.  We will miss his capable leadership in that arena next year, but he will leave many holes to be filled.
I ask each of our praise bands to ensure that they always have a strong male vocalist in the mix. Certainly a strong female lead to accompany them is good, but I always want a strong male singer up front.  This is specifically so that when new guys come -especially someone who is "unchurched" and not a Christian, they can see that singing praise to Jesus is something men do.  It is a fact that many men who did not grow up in Church think that group singing is kind of odd.   We want a masculine role model to exemplify a heart of worship.   Isaias is certainly one of those guys!   His voice is strong and powerful and I know that next year when we are singing praise at our first weekly meeting I will miss his example and his leadership in worship.
Back in the summer of 2012 we went out to visit the Munoz Family in Jersey
I will also miss hanging out with Isaias on Friday nights.  This year we began heading out to Taco Bell after everything was wrapped up on Fridays after our main meeting.  We'd eat burritos and then hang out talking til 1:00 AM about life and mission and anything else that came up.  As the year wore on, more people began joining us and we moved the party to Denny's!  Hopefully we can keep that fellowship going as we head into next fall!

I could write forever about this guy, but one last thing I'll forever be grateful for.  Isaias used to take my son's out to Taco Bell for "man time."  They always had an incredible time together of course!  And true to form, Isaias was always purposeful and edifying in his engagements with my kids!  What a guy.

No comments:

Post a Comment