Angels for Higher
Robert Hendershot grew up in a “dysfunctional Christian home.” His father was an alcoholic. Robert’s prayer was that he wouldn’t follow in his father’s footsteps. Unfortunately, he became a heavy drinker. In high school and college he would often black out and not remember anything of the night before. He finally stopped drinking and met and married his wife Melissa. She helped him overcome his drinking problems.
Robert’s second fear was that he wouldn’t be a good father. When his wife delivered their first baby, the doctor came into the room and said, “You have a son.” That was Robert’s greatest moment of joy. The doctor’s next sentence was, “He has Down Syndrome.” He went from sheer joy to instant depression.
From that moment God has been teaching Robert what a gift of God his son Trevor is. Robert learned to love Trevor with all his heart. Once Robert received a call from his son’s elementary school. The principal said that Trevor was caught cursing. Robert asked the principle, “what did he do?” The principle said, “He said “blank” you. My daddy loves me!” The principal said that even though Trevor had been bullied, we have zero tolerance for that kind of language.
Trevor said, “I’m sorry daddy.” Robert took his son for ice cream for standing up for himself.
Trevor wanted to go to a Christian men’s retreat but Robert didn’t want to take him for fear that Trevor would do something inappropriate. At the retreat, Trevor asked his dad to share his testimony. Robert shared about his struggle with alcoholism and then sat down. Trevor came up to the microphone and started singing “Be Thou My Vision” out of key and dancing in front of the crowd. Robert grabbed his son, embarrassed, and sat down.
The next day Robert was so embarrassed that he wanted to leave early. Men came up to him and asked, “where are you going? Why are you leaving early?” Robert tried to explain how embarrassed he was about the night before. One guy said, “are you kidding? That was the greatest moment of the retreat. I wish I could sing like that with reckless abandon. Everyone in the audience was in tears.”
Once while Trevor was in high school, the principle called Robert and Melissa to her office. Some bullies had been tormenting Trevor. They reported him to the principle for cursing at them. The bullies didn’t think that Trevor would say anything against them. At the meeting were a police officer, the principal and the vice principal. Robert and Melissa brought Trevor as their witness. His mom had Trevor write down what the bullies had done to him to make him say a curse word. He wrote, “They called me ‘tupid, they said I was ‘tarded. They pushed me down on the ground and poured water on my head..” When they left the principal’s office, the cheerleaders and the football team had made a banner that read “Go Trevor.” The football captain told the bullies, “if you ever say or do anything to Trevor, we’ll kick you all the way to Riverside.”
Trevor’s friends at high school nominated him for Homecoming King. When the votes were tallied, Trevor won the honor with the greatest landslide in school history.
Trevor had been bullied in high school but thanks to the accusation and the hearing, the school was able to put a stop to it. He was honored to serve as Homecoming King and to kiss the Homecoming Queen.
After graduation, Robert looked for a job that his son could do. He decided to bring Trevor to an audition for a job as greeter for the Angels. Trevor had worked at Trader Joe’s and Walmart as a stocker. The interviewer told Trevor, “I can teach anyone to stock shelves. What I can’t teach is an outgoing personality, genuine friendliness, and a beautiful smile. You have all these qualities. When can you start?”
The president of the Angels after a few months gave Trevor a bonus of $500. The Anaheim Ducks hockey team also decided that they needed a greeter. The Ducks’ president said to the HR Manager, “there’s a guy coming in for an interview tomorrow. I think you’ll want to hire him.” Trevor’s been working for both the Angels and the Ducks ever since.
At a retreat in Malibu, the speaker challenged Robert, “ask God what breaks your heart.” Robert remembered that 90% of Down Syndrome babies are aborted. In some countries terrorists send Down Syndrome children into public places with bombs strapped under their coats. They are then blown up by remote control. Some countries vow to abort all Down syndrome fetuses in the womb to become 100% Down Syndrome free. God broke Robert’s heart with these statistics and facts about how cultures devalue the lives of Down Syndrome children. He decided to form a charitable organization to promote the benefits of Down Syndrome children. Once Trevor asked. His dad, “Are you proud of me daddy?” Robert’s response was, “I’m proud of you son. More importantly, God is proud of you.”
Trevor reminds us that Psalm 41:2 says, “Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.”
May our prayer be that we, like Trevor could worship and serve God unashamedly with reckless abandon. Serve the Lord with a heart of gladness. Robert is thankful that God has graciously and mercifully blessed him to raise a son like Trevor.
May God richly bless you,
Your brother in Christ,