Medina smiles again when talking about the opportunity to be guest chaplain for a day in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003. He was 42 years old.
He was nervous and proud.
“It was one of the biggest honors of my life,” he said.
His wife, Susan, and children couldn’t be there, but his neighbor, Brian Tyler, originally from Central City, attended.
For a few seconds before the prayer, Medina and Tyler were the only ones in the House Chamber.
They saw it as the fulfillment of the American dream — a poor kid from San Diego and farm boy from Nebraska were inside the place where members of Congress debate and pass laws.
Through the years, Medina has had many adventures.
“I have the best Bucket List in the world,” he said.
At this point, he’s already done 69 of the things on his list, which included going on an African safari and seeing a rocket launch at Cape Kennedy.
He has yet to visit Machu Picchu in Peru or Iceland.
The Medinas came to Nebraska in 2007. He worked at the Episcopal Cathedral in Omaha and was the dean for urban mission for two years.
“We fell in love with Nebraska,” he said. “Within two weeks, we knew we had moved home. It’s not that it’s perfect, but integrity still means something here.”