I am so excited to announce the publishing of my son’s book, Lessons on the Way to Heaven: What My Father Taught Me. The book tells the story of Mike Fechner, my late husband and founder of H.I.S. BridgeBuilders, from the perspective of our son, Michael, Jr. Mike’s life dramatically changed in his early thirties, which of course greatly impacted the life of our entire family. Because Michael was the oldest, around 7 at the time, he was the child who saw the greatest transformation, the change that the Lord was developing in his dad’s life.
Michael shares so many stories about Mike, including events in Mike’s childhood that showed his bent in life. All of these stories and events shaped who Mike was in adulthood and had an impact in revealing his true character as he looked in the mirror to see who he had become.
The change in Mike’s life was the catalyst to start BridgeBuilders and to commit his life to community transformation and changing the lives of the poor and the least. Michael shares how Velma, our co-founder, played a strategic role in the formation of the ministry. He gives a wonderful timeline of how God can use the life of one ordinary man to do extraordinary things.
Michael also shares the roughest season of all, when his dad was diagnosed with cancer and the battle that ensued for the next years. He tells how during this battle, Mike continued to fight for the poor, committing his life to love the least of these.
This is a story of hope, of vision, and Mike’s enduring legacy. It is a story of a man being used by God to help change a city. I am so proud of Michael for honoring his father in this way and in glorifying the Lord by sharing stories of lives that He has transformed.
You will be encouraged in reading the book to understand how God can use all of us to change lives.
Below is a link to purchase the book, a link to a recent interview with Michael about the book’s release, as well as a short excerpt.
Looking back, my father had emerged as an individual microcosm of Plano—full of unabashed pride, unchecked growth, and unlimited potential. But he was so miserable he would stay up nights in anguish. Deep in his soul, he knew he was living a lie.
“It was a façade,” he wrote. “I worked long hours, day and night. Friendships were all about comparing what we had with others and affirming each other’s material possessions. On the outside, we were beautiful people living in a beautiful place doing beautiful things, but inside, the pit opened wide, and it was asking more and more of my soul.”
At age twenty-eight—just a year older than I am now—he looked in the mirror and didn’t see Mike Fechner; he saw the rich young ruler Jesus had admonished to sell all he had, give to the poor, and “follow me.” Or the prodigal son, who had turned his back on God’s ways. Or the one he identified with most—Jacob, who was known for his deception.
“I was a deceiver,” he wrote. “All showroom. No warehouse.”