Ty and Terri Schenzel were well known in Omaha, touching lives and changing destinies for decades.
Lincoln Murdoch watched the impact they made through the years and told us Friday, “I'm just so thankful for Ty and Terri and their lives and the thousands of people that have been touched encouraged and changed because of their influence.”
Ty and Terri Schenzel's influence is exceptional - founding the Hope Center in North Omaha at a time when there was hardly any hope at all. But at one time it was all simply an idea with a far reach.
Murdoch, a close family friend, was there from the start. He offered Ty his first job as an assistant youth minister in the 80s.
“He was an immediate hit. The kids loved him right from the start. He had a gift working with young people.”
About 10 years later he witnessed history in the making.
“I say he became pregnant with this vision for North Omaha and the needs that were there.”
Ty made it his life's work to help at-risk youth, to give them hope in a place where it didn't exist. It's clear he succeeded-
“It's really cool to have watched it from its embryonic form to what it is of young people families today,"Murdoch said. "You see the building, programs, number of young people and families being impacted it just speaks to me about the power of a vision.”
Along the way the couple didn't lose sight of another vision: building a family - with four kids and now grandkids. All while making time for each other.
“Their marriage was amazing. They loved each other so deeply. They had so much fun together."
The couple had it all and when we talked with Ty back in May, the day he retired as director of the Hope Center, he knew it too.
He said, “Have you ever seen It's a Wonderful Life with George Bailey? I feel like George Bailey - the richest man in Omaha Falls.”
That chapter has come to an end but Murdoch believes a larger plan was in place for what was to come.
“What God had next was, 'come home and be with me,'” he said.
The legacy the Schenzels leave behind will serve thousands of future children.