Just before starting this website in 2011, I met Brent Hildebrand who also became a great friend. Brent was creating ToolTip (sometimes called T3 for ToolTip 3 and then T4 for ToolTip 4 and later just ToolTip NT). ToolTip is the software tool used to author most e-Sword modules on this website, along with a few commercial ones as well. ToolTip has been used for a lot of non-intuitive things over the years, such as creating modules destined for other Bible software formats and using e-Sword only as an intermediary format. The bottom line: Brent's impact has been huge!
When I met Brent and asked if I could promote his software on this website, I asked for a few changes to the program. I was surprised that later that day that he made the changes so quickly. I've had real (paid) employees over the years (in real businesses) who weren't as responsive as Brent's volunteer work for this volunteer website. Brent would go on to manage this 82 page thread on ToolTip, answering questions and adding features.
That's really just the tip of the iceberg because over a hundred other support threads popped up over the years, and I know a number of people contacted him directly as well. I have over 1,100 emails from Brent in the 7 years I've known him! When e-Sword started using the TextControl add-on, Brent licensed a copy for ToolTip using his own money (and TextControl is not inexpensive!). Brent has invested thousands of hours in ToolTip and other non-authoring utility programs, like e-Sword Hot Key and Bible Search Tool.
What makes this most impressive to me is Brent is not a programmer by trade! Most (in real life) know him as Dr. Brent Hildebrand, an anesthesiologist in California.
With Brent's permission, I wanted to let everyone know that Brent was diagnosed with terminal cancer a few months ago. After various treatments appeared to have initially worked, the cancer is now spreading extremely fast and has impacted his mobility. I wanted to announce this publicly for a couple of reasons:
1) I am exceptionally grateful for Brent's work on ToolTip which made this website's ministry possible. With him responsible for the authoring tool, I could focus on putting together module content and assembling this site. His ministry made mine possible.
2) Absent divine healing in the next few months, there will come a day when Brent will no longer be able to respond here for support and feature requests. I wanted to let everyone know what is happening, since he interacts here so often.
I would like everyone to remember Brent, and his family, in your thoughts and prayers as they navigate the road ahead.
Thank you for reading, and thank you to Brent for your great service for so many years!