There are certain people who simply make an extraordinary impact on the lives they meet. Being in their presence is like warmth on a cold day. It never grows old. These people are the ones who seem to have the perfect balance of loving you and also challenging you, encouraging you and pointing out when you need a new direction. They listen well, but they also pour joy and vision into you with the revelation of God’s love, not because they need to be heard, but because they want everyone around to discover the same wonder of who God really is. For me, this describes Ed Sinke.I first met Ed during my School of Evangelism at YWAM Tyler, and we hit it off. There was an immediate connection. When I later came on staff, he became one of my Pastoral Care Leaders. Over the course of the next 8 years, over countless cups of coffee, too many trips to Starbucks, and many incredible afternoons in the Sinke living room, we became close. He was a mentor, a pastor, a confidant, a constant, a friend.
Some time ago, I made some seriously foolish choices in my life. Worse, I chose to hide them. No one knew. I continued in everyday life and ministry and pretended that it didn’t happen. However, at one point, through circumstances I don’t have enough time or words to describe here, it all came to light. Ed was the first person that I called. His voice was pained; there was disappointment. I had been dishonest. I had not lived up to who I claimed to be. But the words that came out of his mouth were like healing balm for my wounds. “Bud, you’re about to walk through a valley, and it’s going to be rough. But I promise I’ll walk with you every step of the way.” And he did. Every step.
Ed saw me at my best and challenged me to go further. He saw me at my worst and walked with me when I didn’t deserve it. This is who he was. I am one of the countless people whose lives were better by knowing Ed Sinke. He gave his own life for the purpose of welcoming young people in so they would grow in their relationship with God, in their leadership, and in their understanding of this crazy thing called life. It was difficult to find time with him during the week because he stacked his schedule to meet with multiple people who needed guidance and love, but inevitably, he always found time for me. 😊
1 Corinthians 4:15 says we have “many teachers, but not many fathers…” Ed was a wonderful teacher, but more than that, he was an incredible father with countless grateful spiritual sons and daughters. I am one.
YWAM Tyler has been blessed by the many years of love and service Ed sacrificed for our community. Seth's story is one of hundreds impacted by Ed's life. If you desire deeper connection with Jesus, personal discipleship, and faith grown in community, we invite you to begin your own story in a Discipleship Training School.