Stephen Copeland is the author of Quiet Dream, Violet Sky, which explores the history of Roanoke, Virginia’s Interstate Softball Tournament. The book is due to be released in 2017; this article presents a part of its story.

Missionary Norberto Kurrle looks out the bus window across the Paraguayan countryside, with its golden fields, scattered shrubs, and distant hills. The sun is setting. Thin, smoky clouds hang over the horizon. However tranquil the scene might be, though, it is impossible to ignore that it was on this very road—Route 1, one of the six main highways in Paraguay—that Norberto, now 44, experienced a tragedy as unexplainable as God’s own mind.

On a foggy morning in April 2012, Norberto was traveling to the capital of Asuncion with his wife Julie, their only son Timothy, and their newly-adopted daughter Anahi to finalize her adoption papers. As he drove, a truck, which was haphazardly parked on the side of the road, emerged from the blanketing haze and crunched into the right side of the Kurrles' car, killing his beloved wife and only son. In an instant, Norberto’s family was stripped from four to two.

Not long ago, Norberto’s green eyes might have burned with anger or ached with sadness while traveling down this road. Tonight, however, they are somehow at ease, matching his soft-spoken demeanor and gentle persona. In fact, his face is glowing.

Much of Norberto’s joy is because he is reunited with his best friend, Chad Briscoe, 43, an athletic director at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. Chad and his wife, Jamie, have traveled to Paraguay to visit Norberto and the entire Kurrle family (Norberto's three siblings and his parents)—all of whom are full-time ...

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