Lost and Found: 
Friends Reunite at the Walk for Unity 

Have you ever been saddened by losing something of value? The loss of something particularly cherished can fill you with regret.

Imagine if what you misplaced was a best friend…

That’s what happened to Steve Obenhaus and Kevin Butler, who met more than 30 years ago while earning their degrees in education at University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Back in the late 1980s, the two men bonded quickly over their passion for education, strong Christian faith and shared sense of humor. After graduation, Kevin was a groomsman in Steve’s wedding.

“We truly were best friends,” Kevin explained.

Different Journeys

But as their careers took them to different school districts and different parts of the city, the friends saw less and less of each other.

Both men tried to locate each other over the years. “Every time I saw the name ‘Obenhaus’, I got excited,” Kevin said, “but it was never him.”

“I searched for Kevin on social media,” Steve said, “but he wasn’t there.”

A God Moment

Fast forward to July 17, the day of Unite KC’s Walk for Unity.

“When participants were gathered at Urban Youth Academy, my wife noticed a man with a T-shirt that said ‘Black Educators Matter,’” Steve described. “She suggested I talk to him because of my interest in education. I tapped him on the shoulder and while I didn’t recognize him at first (we both have much less hair now!), I knew it was Kevin as soon as he spoke.”

The two men were shocked to be standing across from a long-lost friend.

“Once we recognized each other, we were so excited,” Kevin said.

Steve and Kevin pose for a picture at the Walk for Unity

Catching Up

One week after the walk, Steve and Kevin sat on Kevin’s patio catching each other up on the years they’d spent apart.

“We spent four hours together and still didn’t cover it all,” Steve said.

Needless to say, the chance encounter at the Walk for Unity renewed a great friendship, which both men are determined not to let slip away again.

As Kevin wrote to Steve in an email following their time together: “What a divine appointment in seeing you, beloved brother, after so many years. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

Thanks to Unite KC, something lost is now found, and a friendship, once misplaced, is now stronger than ever!

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