About Me

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New Orleans, LA, United States
Family from South Africa, Born in New Orleans, Lived in South Carolina. Married to Annabeth since May 2004. We have three boys (Bolt, Mack, and Birk). Currently living in Uptown NOLA and serving as Lead Pastor of Vintage Church and Camp Pastor of Student MissionLab.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homeless Man

A couple of months ago, I was approached at Vintage by Wendy McGuire about wanting to help out. She felt led to quit her job and spend the next year serving at our church. Wendy and her husband (Scott) are in New Orleans studying and preparing for the foreign mission field. Over the past few months, Wendy has served as our church and ministry assistant. On top of that she hosts a lifegroup with her husband, writes our vintage kidz material, sings with our band, answers our office phone and emails, and most importantly makes us laugh (crazy sarcastic). We are gonna die when she leaves us. Thanks Wendy for all that you do.

So then, why is this blog titled, "Homeless Man"? She just wrote a blog about an experience she had today and I wanted to share it with my blog friends. During this season, I pray this will encourage you to look for ways to give and sacrifice for those who are in need.

Today I witnessed one of the greatest acts of kindness I have ever seen. As I was exiting the interstate my eyes were immediately drawn to the side of the road where they rested upon a very small, fragile looking older man dragging what appeared at first to be an extra large “plea for help” sign. I was only half surprised when I realized it was actually a large garbage bag full of aluminum cans. As I waited patiently on the red light I watched the slow moving man. He was dirty and balding, hunching over his bag and scanning the nearby patches of grass for any treasures he may add to his collection. His left arm bore a shriveled hand and he walked with more of a hop than a limp. Moved I glanced over to my cup holder at my now empty can of coke, which I think had been sitting in its place for well over a day, and wondered if I could somehow drop it out the window without drawing the attention of other drivers and passengers of cars nearby. I thought about my change drawer, the pennies and nickels that I typically store up for the occasional White Chocolate Mocha. But before I had a chance to dismiss this thought as well I heard someone, or something for all I knew, calling out. The little man looked up and noticed about the same time I did that the driver of the van directly in front of me had rolled down the window and was summonsing the man. Expecting to see a hand holding a few dollars, or as I had originally planned an aluminum can, come shooting out of the window I was astounded when I realized what actually came from the driver was a coat. I hadn’t even noticed the man’s bare arms. But wait, I had. What I truly had not noticed was the warmth and comfort of my 1999 Honda Accord verses the cold and rainy weather to which I was now fully alerted. How could I have seen the man’s tiny shriveled hand and not noticed the misty rain droplets on my driver’s side window or my windshield wipers that I had apparently turned on some time ago. I watched the man’s face. A smile like that of a child on Christmas morning invaded his dirty, wrinkled features and I knew that this man was more grateful for that coat than I was of the warm home I was soon again driving toward. I couldn’t tell if he muttered thank you or any words at all. His face said everything. As I drove past him with tears in my eyes and a prayer in my heart I wondered about the giver. Most likely they were a seminary professor headed for the same wrought iron gates that I was. But no, the driver turned into a store and as I passed her by I couldn’t help but notice her sleeveless shirt.

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