Keep Your Face to the Sunshine

Dave Huebsch

Today, Bernie and I will go to the cities to attend the memorial for John Huebsch, cofounder with his father, Dave, of Common Hope which does work among the poor in Guatemala. As I prayed this morning, I expressed deep gratitude for having known this man. We were not friends that reached out to one another, but we encountered one another each time we went to Guatemala. He had a sense of balance that I so wanted for myself. Conscious of the world’s problems, he chose to focus on the problems in front of him. Aware of the suffering of people all over the earth, he chose to be present only to the person in front of him. He used to talk about “Changing the world one person at a time.” When people would bring up world issues, he’d say, “I just attend to my little corner of the world.” This was managable for him, it seems, and he taught me that when you put your energy and soul into that which is before you, miracles happen. And a miracle happened in Guatemala. He and his parents planted seeds that have grown into huge, life-giving trees. He was a saint in the truly human sense of the word.

I read this in my spiritual reading this morning, remarkably by Helen Keller who was blind and deaf: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.” Guatemala is called the land of eternal sunshine. I think John kept his face to the sun.

For more about Common Hope, the ministry to Guatemalan children John headed, see

10 thoughts on “Keep Your Face to the Sunshine”

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  2. 8/3/’14
    I knew John Huebsch for many years- He was a wheatie with me on Agassiz Valley TEC#11 in 1978 in Mahnomen, Minnesota- He was a kind and caring friend and person. He always gave of himself and put others needs before his own. He just was the best kind of friend you could ask for- if you were troubled about something you could always talk to John and things would always be better. My life is a lot richer for having known John and I am very blessed. May His Light Shine ON in Heaven Forever- Godspeed Johnny- you have earned your wings are now at home in heaven. I will miss my friend John a lot even though its been many years since I have seen him. Rest In Peace Always John. With Sympathy, Prayers and Hugs to the Huebsch Families, Mark J.VonBank-Park Rapids, Minnesota.

    1. There is a website where people can post their thoughts and they will go directly to the family. Just put in John’s name and the link is one that will come up.
      Your TEC goes back a long way. Bernie and mine was #130, I think. Dave and Betty were our leaders. They had just returned from Guatemala after their lives had been threatened. When (then) Godchild got restarted, we took on a child and the rest is history. We visited four times, went through two godchildren. We encountered John each time we went. Our sense of him was the same as yours. I guess that is because that is who he was.
      Thank you for commenting. If I get enough comments here, I will see that Dave gets them. He lives not far from us.

      1. 8/3/’14 Yes John Made Agassiz Valley TEC#10 in Bemidj, Minnesota in 1978- I think it was in July or August of that year as I remember going to the welcoming reunion- I think Father Opat was on that weekend as well and I think Dave and Sally Maurer worked on some Agassiz Valley TEC weekends. John was a person who cared so much about others. He had a kindness in his smile and wanted nothing better than to make people happy. I can still remember many reunions at CM TEC when they would say “Huebsch, Huehsch Horray” and Everyone including John would just smile- I don’t ever think I saw John without a smile. I loved him very much in the Lord and will truly miss him. I wish that I could have gone to his Memorial Service. I know he is resting in Gods Arms now and God is saying “Well Done my Son”. Rest In Peace my friend John Huebsch- You are an inspiration to Many and we all will never forget you- God Bless You Always in Heaven my friend. With Sympathy and Prayers and Love and Hugs too, Mark J.VonBank-Park Rapids, Minnesota.

        1. Oh, my. I am thinking some of you are really old (TEC # 10?) but it just occured to me that Bernie and I went after our teen kids did…in our 50’s. You all were probably teens when you went. This is lovely to be able to connect with such nice people.

          1. 8/3/’14 Yes John would love this outcome very much. Agassiz Valley TEC was always called the “Gypsy TEC” as they traveled around the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota till in 1982 and then they had all their weekends in Crookston at the Mount St. Benedict School. It use to be a boarding school for young people- the last class to Graduate from there was the Class of 1979. The kids all go to High School in Crookston, Minnesota now. The New High School is out by UMC in Crookston on Highway 2. Yes I was 19 when I made my first TEC in 1977 and I am 56 years old now. I worked on quite a few Agassiz Valley TEC’s and one CM TEC and also went to a CM Fiat weekend in 1982 and also worked on some Wadena Area Koinonia’s- otherwise known as an “Adult TEC”. Wadena Area Koinonia has disbanded and now its joined with Central Minnesota Koinonia. I haven’t been back to Koinonia since 2004. Its hard for me to travel as I don’t have a car right now but if I did I would go to the CM Koinonia weekends once and awhile and also a CM TEC Reunion. John would be so happy to know that TEC is alive and vibrant and still going strong- it would definitely make him smile. Gods Love, Mark J.VonBank-Park Rapids, Minnesota.

  3. ”To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people
    and the affection of children;
    to earn the appreciation of honest critics
    and endure the betrayal of false friends;
    to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
    to leave the world a bit better
    whether by a healthy child, a garden patch,
    or a redeemed social condition;
    to know even one life has breathed easier because
    you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    God bless him.

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