The Hunter’s Story
Kevin Hunter was a fortunate man.
He’d lived long enough and well enough to check everything off his to-be-attained list: beautiful and accomplished wife, two children who’d grown into adults he was proud of, a son in-law, good friends, beautiful home, successful business, time for hunting and fishing, and financial security.
If having it all is all, then why did Kevin find himself planted on a bar stool with increasing frequency?
Years before, his father had answered the question Kevin didn’t know to ask. His father told him he was missing something very important in his life. “Dad told me I have family, career, and success. Then he told me I was missing Christ. At the time, I didn’t know what he meant, but looking back he was right.”
When the Hunters’ youngest child graduated from high school and left home, the family dynamics changed.
He explains, “Suzanne began to travel more with her job, because she finally could. I found myself frequenting drinking establishments because I didn’t want to go home to be by myself. The relationship of our marriage shifted. Something inside said I needed a change, and I was willing.”
It was the Hunters’ daughter Megan and her husband Tim who invited Kevin and Suzanne to join them at Veritas.
I was terrified,” admitted Kevin. “I didn’t know what to expect. From day one though, I felt like God was talking to me. It was a miracle. That was almost five years ago.”
Suzanne said she was immediately comfortable at Veritas: “The funny thing was that a week prior to going to Veritas, Kevin and I had attended a wedding reception, which was in a bar. There was nowhere to sit accept with another couple sitting in a booth by themselves. We asked if we could join them. The following Sunday, there they were, at Veritas! Now we‘ve been through three connection groups with them and have become very close friends.”
Kevin and Suzanne agree that since their first visit to Veritas and decision to follow Christ, life has changed. They’ve been given a child-like faith and infusion of joy that’s renewed their relationship, steadied them through a life-altering medical diagnosis, and given hope while their son was serving in the army. Kevin’s description of their new life is peppered with words like “incredible” and “amazing.” He’s in awe that after fifty years, he’s found God.
The Hunters have been married for almost 34 years. According to Suzanne, making a commitment to Jesus made their commitment to each other “a whole new thing.”
“Our marriage hasn’t been perfect,” said Kevin. “But I can tell you this. I love this woman as much now if not more than the day I married her. (Suzanne interjects: ‘I should hope so!’) She stands by me. What we share is incredible.”
“Kevin’s opened his heart.” Suzanne smiles. “There’s humility–it takes humility and courage to ask for more from God and to keep changing.”
One impetus for change has been significant medical challenges. In addition to making a major lifestyle change, diet, exercise and quitting drinking, Kevin has responded with a new urgency to pray for others who face similar threats.
“It’s amazing to be asked to pray for others, even though I’m a new believer,” Kevin explained. “I love it. I carry CDs with songs about healing to give to those who are sick. There’s a reason I’m facing what I am. I can feel others’ pain and express my peace. I can encourage them to follow their faith and to know God. My business takes me in peoples’ homes every day. I look for any indication they may want to talk, or need prayer. Praying helps me make relationships with people.”
“Faith changes perspective,” added Suzanne. “We’re not hiding our fear of our circumstances in alcohol. We’ve found a different way out. I rest easy knowing God will never leave me.”
As a mother, Suzanne’s greatest fear was faced when their son Sam enlisted in the army at 21, and volunteered to be deployed and serve in a third world country.
“It was the most painful thing,” she said. “There was so much grief in my loss of control but knowing and establishing a relationship with Jesus, I made it through, and Sam returned home safely.”
The Hunters’ definition of all has changed, as Jesus, their all in all, has changed them.
“It took me over fifty years to find God,” concluded Kevin. “I’m proof that it’s never too late. Being baptized at the age of 59 was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Now you can’t keep me quiet. All I think about every day is talking to people about God. This is the most amazing transformation.”
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