A Generous Flood

At the final session of a leadership training summit earlier this year, Erik Hofmann, one of Young Life’s senior area developers, told the story of Dean Field. Years ago, Hofmann sat with Dean in the stands at his daughter’s soccer game in Medina, Ohio. Dean didn’t want his children to graduate high school without experiencing Young Life. He decided to open his home and offer his gifts to help bring Young Life to their tiny hamlet in Northeast Ohio.

While Hofmann told the story, Adam Goodreau sat in the audience. Flooded with memories, he began to weep. He knew Dean Field; he had even become friends with his daughters. In fact, Dean’s wide open heart, and the love of his family, had led Goodreau to the very seat he now occupied.

“I was going to a Young Life club with a high school I was not a part of,” Goodreau recalled. He was a senior that year at Cloverleaf High School. His ideal Friday night consisted of playing guitar in his bedroom. Though he lived half an hour away, friends from Medina High School invited him to club in the basement of Dean Field’s house.

Like a King

One evening at club, Goodreau’s future turned on the whims of the weather. “It started raining like I’d never seen before,” he said.

The streets flooded. Rising waters carried stray trash cans down the road. Goodreau’s peers, most of whom lived nearby, chose to leave their cars and run home. A 30-minute drive through lonely country roads, however, separated Goodreau from his bed that night.

“I started to get a little concerned, because I didn’t know how I was going to get home.”

The Fields offered to let him stay in their basement for the night. Dean’s wife, Lori, brought him blankets and even offered him a change of clothes.

“The next morning when I woke up, Mrs. Field was making breakfast,” Goodreau said. “She offered me fruit, offered me cereal, offered me all kinds of things.” The family’s unexpected generosity affected him in a profound way. “I was treated like a king ... it really blew my mind,” he said. “I was like, ‘Whoa, who does that?’”

Goodreau had grown up in the faith. Under the guidance of a mother who read the Bible with him regularly, he accepted Christ at a young age. “I had really awesome ‘head’ knowledge of Jesus,” he said. His overnight stay in Dean Field’s home, however, touched his heart. “I experienced the love of Jesus in such a tangible way. From then on, it was like, how can you ever be the same after experiencing that kind of love?”

Continued Influence

Sadly, Dean Field passed away from cancer the next year in 2014. “He was a very loving, compassionate man who used his resources to bless others,” Goodreau remembered. “The way he loved his family, and the way he loved his community, the way he loved the Lord was just amazing.”

His legacy endures today as Young Life continues to grow in the community. WyldLife ministries began this past fall, a first step in touching the lives of Medina’s middle school students.

Goodreau, meanwhile, will enter his senior year of college this fall at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Dean Field’s legacy of abundant obedience continues to influence Goodreau’s outlook on the future. “We are to follow the Lord obediently,” he said, looking back, “but we’re also to live abundantly and share the love and blessing that He’s gifted to us — that’s exactly what the Fields did.”