I wanted to do something different for Father's Day this year. My husband can be quite picky about a few things; but when I really think about who he is overall he is a pretty easy going guy. Che in many ways is so selfless even though he might say i'm more of the selfless person. He doesn't want for much. Che has learned how to be content with little and when he has much - dude splurges! Today, I wanted to share his heart in the form of an interview concerning fatherhood, being transformed and his legacy. This is a much longer read than we typically share but I thought it was important. I desired to share pieces of Che as a testimony of how God is not through with any of us yet! I hope it resonates with you. I hope it encourages and challenges you. I hope it helps you to be grateful for whatever you have. Thanks for reading & sharing.
Happy Father's Day Che!
Happy Father's Day to the men who desire to be dads!
Happy Father's Day to the dads that have lost their children!
Happy Father's Day to all the dads that are incarcerated!
Happy Father's Day to my daddy!
Happy Father's Day to the dad's that spend all day driving!
Happy Father's Day to the guys that have yet to take
responsibility for their lives they helped create!
Happy Father's Day to the dads living miles apart from their babies!
Happy Father's Day to the dads that take care of other people's children!
Happy Father's Day to you!
T H E I N T E R V I E W
Can you tell me about a time when you didn’t know what to do? What did you end up doing?
"I have never been one to think that there is no choice to be made. Even if that choice is prayer. It's a choice. Now, a time where I felt helpless or at my lowest or a time when I didn't make a choice was when I found out my ex-wife was pregnant by someone else. I was numb. There was no choice to be made. That was a breaking point for me, because I didn't make a choice and became the person I thought I left behind. I guess I made a choice to not make a choice and go with the flow. I went back to the weed, the alcohol and that lifestyle… I pretty much didn't care about life anymore after that!"
What treasure did your father give you? The one thing Che's father (Michael Henry Burgess RIP) always pushed on Che was that he needed to be better than him. Che's dad didn't want Che to make the same choices he made in life. "My father put a lot of responsibility on my shoulders to be better than he was. My dad made a lot of mistakes, so much so that he wasn't around a lot. He was a womanizer for a lot of his life. He wasn't around during our childhood. Mom and dad got divorced when I was 8 and that changed my life radically. But people change. My dad changed." When Che was an adult his father was the dad he wanted him to be when he was a child. "He took care of me in so many ways. He was there when I needed him as an adult. He showed me in essence what a bad father was and a glimpse of what a good father is."
What's one thing you would tell your dad today if he was still alive? Tearfully Che shared "I miss him & I wish he was still here I wish he could see this. His grand-kids. I wish I had an opportunity to say goodbye. What I would do for the opportunity to have another Sunday brunch with him at his house and hear him cracking his corny jokes, sitting outside and talking about everything and nothing. I wish I could tell him I love him, that I appreciate him doing his very best, and that I am grateful for the time we got to spend with each other. I am super grateful that he made me leave Bermuda!"
When you became a father what was the single most treasure you desired to secure for your children (emotionally, spiritually, physically)?
EMOTIONALLY: "I want my children to feel like they are safe. I want my children to know this is not a safe world but that they can feel safe in it anyway. I want them to be aware of what is going on in this world and I want them to know that safety does not come from this world; that it comes from the Lord. If God can set David up in the presence of his enemies and he be safe, then I want them to know that GOD can do that for them too (Psalm 23:5). I want my kids to know that there are many enemies out there but God is bold and brave enough that they can face them...I want my kids to feel safe"
SPIRITUALLY: Che wants his children to have a firm foundation of who Christ is. He wants his children to know the love of Jesus & why it is important to love Him back.
PHYSICALLY: "I want my kids to have what I didn't have as a child, an understanding of what health is and the importance of making sure that their physical body is taken care of just as there spiritual being is."
What are you most afraid of as a man, as a father, and as a husband?
AS A MAN: Che opened up about working through his fear of failure! "I am afraid to fail and that's crippling because anybody that is afraid to fail is not going to push themselves in areas where they haven't already succeeded in. That fear keeps you complacent. That's my greatest fear. Fear of failing. I think that's why God has me on my journey. Because all of this is new to me and it is very uncomfortable."
FATHER: "I fear failing my children. I fear failing at teaching them in the way that they should go."
HUSBAND: "I fear losing my wife. My greatest fear is losing you. And not being able to completely express without fear or apprehension the love that I have for you. I have a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with you that could cause me to do that. A lot of it comes from past relationships where I have… It comes from the walls of self protection that need to be broken down. I find within myself that I am good at helping others break those walls down but when it comes to myself I don't know how to do it. It is something I pray about and I believe God is working on it. I want to love you like I know I do!"
When did you know what your purpose in life was? Have you become it yet? Che's road to becoming a pastor is very interesting to me because he basically acknowledged the call and instead of running full speed toward it he challenged God to prove it!
He shared "People would notice it and I believed what those people said about me. I knew there was something God wanted me to do that I didn't want to do. I didn't want the responsibility of whatever God was calling me to do. I didn't want to be responsible for other people. I didn't know what it was exactly until I started reconnecting myself to God." He said "I always wanted to lead, once I started answering God's call He would put people in my path to lead. I was giving bible studies in my apartment. I wasn't fully converted and I didn't even know what that mean. I told God if you want me to be a pastor then you need to give me a glimpse of what that looks like by opening up a door for me to preach somewhere. The next day I was invited to preach a sermon the very next day! That's when I knew without a shadow of a doubt in my mind that GOD wanted me to pastor.”
Che says he is still in process. I love how he thinks that being a pastor is not something you suddenly arrive at.
"I have not become it (pastor) yet. I am enrolled at Washington Adventist University studying theology. I just completed my 2nd year with a 3.85 GPA, interning at Restoration Praise Center SDA but then there are ministry and life experiences that have prepared me to be a pastor. It's more than going to school and being educated. It's being in a position to let God lead you. I know people who have told me that I am their pastor without the official education. Even with the credentials and the degrees, I think a pastor is always becoming. It is a constant learning process. You're serving people, people are different and there will always be something that will come and challenge you. There is always something that makes you look in the mirror and tells you that you need to change. I think that's part of the process of being a leading sheep; it’s following the great shepherd (God) so I will always be in process."
If you could be anywhere in the world and with anyone or group of people where would that be? What would you be doing? "The place doesn't matter to me. But the people I want to be with is my wife and my kids. I don't care where we are as long as I have my wife and my children with me I’m good."
Che is such a family guy! That was one thing that surprised me as his wife. Even though my dad was not a "go out with your homies" type of guy; I just assumed that men have to spend time away from their families with their "peoples" with their "boys"! I think this idea came from the guys I was used to dating (who were not like my dad at all). I am grateful for this family guy - he is exactly what I needed from a husband and father to my children!
What was the last dream you had that you can remember? Che doesn't remember many of his dreams. One of the funny things about Che (shhh don't tell him I told you lol) when he does dream he laughs & talks a lot! It is hilarious. Sometimes I try to converse with him as if I am in the dream to see if he will engage me, it never works hahaha!
"It was a weird dream I had last night and woke up like ‘what the heck?’ “ I was fixing a picture frame for Kassie (fellow church member), and I don't know why. It was weird because she had this picture frame and I was putting it together. There was a clear plastic film material, but she didn't have it on top of the picture, it underneath the pictures and she was asking me if I can help her put the picture frame together. I told her “you know this plastic film goes over the picture not underneath it.” That was funny because I usually don't remember my dreams but I remembered that one… I don't get why I had that dream…”
What’s your favorite song?
Before giving your life to Christ
Reggae or Dance Hall: Luciano “Good God"
R & B: Al B. Sure “Oooh This Love Is So”
Hip Hop: KRS ONE “My Philosophy”
Gospel: JJ Hairston “You deserve It”
Country: None “not my thing!”
What is one thing you want your children to know about you? Think of something they don’t know already. “There isn’t much my kids don't know because I'm an open book, but at one point in time I used to have hair. Michael and Gabriel don't believe that I used to have long hair.”
As I was wrapping up the interview I asked Che if there was anything else he wanted to openly share. He said this "it is funny you asked some of those questions because of where I am in life. One day Che was listening to Donald Lawrence “The Best Is Yet To Come” when he was introduced to that song and can now look at where I am now. When i first heard that song I was in the fight for my first marriage, a marriage I should not have ever been in. The person I was married to was not the person God chose for me. But “I have my best now” I have 3 beautiful kids that have changed my world. They changed my worldview. I have been given a glimpse of what God being my Father looks like and what being his child looks like. And having a woman who loves Jesus and is my ride or die she ain't go in nowhere. I can see God giving me a glimpse of what the best is. Based on the situation he was in. He can now look at where God pulled him out of. “I am blessed, in every area of my life. I am blessed in order for me to be here; I had to be healed mentally, spiritually, physically... my prayer was for God to choose my wife and to not present her to me until I was ready. So, Ii know He has more for me because GOD operates in BEST but I am super grateful for where God has brought me. I would not trade this in for the world."
Che is a regular dude, he likes regular things. This is important to me as a 'becoming Pastor's Wife" and as a veteran Pastor's Kid! I wanted to share that men who are also Pastors are people who are trying to love, live, laugh, and be just like the next guy. Church people and non-church people tend to place this extremely rigid framework around men and women who are Pastors, locking them into these cage-like cells. Can we just stop boxing people in! Because I guarantee that the box we created is the very one that someone built for us!