Why Would this Kid Run Away from People Who Said They Loved Him?

Dave's harsh treatment of his son resulted in a life-changing journey to find a runaway child.
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Article Summary: 
Dave's harsh treatment of his son resulted in a life-changing journey to find a runaway child.
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CBN.com - “I noticed there was this yellow piece of paper on his bed. I picked it up I started reading it and it had said that he had left.” Without warning, Dave and Dorinda Moore’s 19 year old son disappeared – leaving only a note. “It just went on to say how he was flunking out of college and how he couldn’t face us with this failure,” Dave said. “I began to have chest pains; my heart was pounding so hard. It was the worst moment of my life.”

The note said that he had left his car at a Greyhound bus station in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but didn’t say where he was going. “I just yelled at Dorinda to grab her purse and I grabbed my wallet and grabbed my keys and we just jumped in my vehicle and left. (I was) running stop signs and running red lights. (I was) just trying to get there as fast as I could get there,” Dave recalls.

They found the car, but their son was nowhere in sight -- and the bus station was closed. “We knew he'd gotten on a bus and we knew that wherever he got off that bus he'd be broke and he'd be homeless,” Dave said. Dorinda was also concerned for their son’s welfare. “I was afraid that someone would hurt him, and that we would never see him again.”

They called his girlfriend, who said she didn’t know that David was leaving, but that he had mentioned Dayton, Ohio. Dave sprang into action. “I just decided right then that if he had gone to Dayton, that that's where I had to go.” Thoughts raced through David’s mind; “Every thought imaginable of ‘How will I find him? What will I do when I get there?’ (I felt) Anger at him, but more anger at myself,” he remembers. “(I was) at times, swinging and hitting the dashboard with my fist. It was terrible. I was falling apart.”

On the 4-hour drive, Dave thought about how his anger and discipline had driven a wedge between he and his son – and he blamed himself for his son leaving. “My fear was that I would never see my son again, and it was all my fault. I’m the type of parent, that was more of a ‘my way or the highway’ kind of a parent,” he recalled. “I began to think, ‘Had I pushed him too hard? How important college is, you have to do well. You have to excel.’”

Once in Dayton, Dave stopped at a local diner to eat. He shared his story with a police officer who was there. Then, a stranger approached him. “He had tears streaming down his face, and he said, ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘I’m really sorry I overhead your conversation. Can I pray for you?’  and I said, ‘Please do.’ And he prayed this just amazing prayer over me and over my son that God would move mountains to bring my son home safely.”

Dave wasn’t a Christian, but he welcomed the stranger’s prayer – especially if God could help find his son. Afterward he went to the bus station in Dayton. “I told him my son's name and the city he bought the ticket at, and he looked it up on the computer, and for the first time I found out that my son's ticket was purchased to Atlanta, Georgia, which was now an 8-hour drive from where I’d been all night long.”

He called a friend in Kentucky, who made the eight-hour road trip with him to Atlanta; but after hours of searching, they gave up. “We decided that this was nearly impossible and we headed back to Michigan. It was the hardest decision I ever made in my life.”

Four days passed, and still no word from their son. Dave hung up posters at school, talked to his friends, and Dorinda checked his computer. “I just thought, ‘Well, who would he be talking to?’  But nobody, nobody knew nothing because it was so not like David to do anything like this. We all felt helpless,” she said.

Dave even planned to consult a psychic. Instead, he made one more call – to a church in Atlanta. “A lady named Paige answered the phone. And I began to tell Paige everything about my story. This lady had touched me so deeply, this Christian woman who didn't even know me,” he said. “I looked in front of me sitting there on the table and there was a Bible sitting there. And I just held it up to God. And I said, ‘God,’ I said, ‘I want to be just like this lady.’ I said, ‘I always want to be part of the solution, never part of the problem again.’  I said, ‘If You'll save my son, I’ll serve You for the rest of my life.’

Within minutes after Dave said that prayer, the phone rang -- his son was back in town. “I cried out to God, and when He answered that prayer I just fell on my knees and I just threw my hands in the air and began to thank God,” Dave said.

Dorinda was speechless. “There really wasn't any words. Everyone was just crying,” she said.  

“It’s a miracle. My son, who was lost, is found. It completely changed my life. It was like from walking in the dark to walking in the light,” Dave recalls. 

That following Sunday, he and Dorinda went to church. “As soon as he finished his sermon and made an altar call, I literally jumped out of my seat and ran to the altar. I literally dove head-first at the altar and just cried out to God to thank Him for what He had done. Not only bringing my son home safe, but what He had done in my life. He had changed me,” Dave said.

Also that day, Dorinda rededicated her life to God. During an Easter service later that year, their son David gave his life to Christ. He also graduated from college. “It was a great restoration in my family. Not only with my son, my wife and I – but even my two stepsons,” Dave said. “He gave me a new heart. I became a new man. And not only that, but because I was searching for my son, I never realized that God was always searching for me.”

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