Dave is a newer friend of mine but a long-time friend of Tuolumne City. He’s become a believer in the last couple of years and has continued his life of giving to those in the town of Tuolumne, but now he has a whole new motivation and end hope, the hope of seeing more and more friends in Tuolumne knowing Jesus Christ as their all, their Sustainer and Savior and Sufficiency and Worthy of Praise GOD OVER ALL.
Dave and his wife have an old school bus where they meet with locals and talk about life, often getting to discuss the things of God. Dave and his wife give out tents and sleeping bags from their storage space to those needing safety and warmth in the cold nights. One fun example of this was when the fire came dangerously close to Tuolumne City (The “Rim Fire”). Dave was able to empty his stock of tents and sleeping bags for the fire fighters to have safety and warmth in the long nights while out fighting the fire. He gave them some meals as well when they would come into town. At the end, they gave back all his supplies so he has them to give to the homeless he knows so well throughout the community as needed. Dave also hosts meals in the Memorial Hall in town on Thursdays, raising support from the community to cover costs, and he helps with worship nights and now the restoration of the old cabinet shop fondly being called The Warehouse. Dave is in charge of getting this warehouse back up and running with tune-ups here and there. Has has a rag-tag group of really nice guys with all different pasts working on this old warehouse. The hope is for it to be a community center of sorts, a place where the various churches from Tuolumne County can reach the community of Tuolumne City for Christ. We hope to see worship nights spontaneously and planned springing up more and more often, prayer times among believers and non-believers, encouraging a trust in God for both salvation and sustaining grace in this life, placing our full weight on Jesus Christ for both.
Dave has a joy that revives and energizes you as a new believer and as an all-around great guy. He’s tons of fun too, constantly cracking jokes and amped to talk about the goodness of God reaching all kinds of people with all kinds of pasts. He’s a real leader and bold to engage in ministry on the ground where people are hurting and tired and lonely. He’s available and knows who is where in their day-to-day needs and concerns. He’s more aware of the “lowly” and their needs than any pastor I’ve ever met, and he’s more connected to the concerns of the poorest and loneliest than any heart-bleeding philanthropist I’ve ever encountered.
This man is an example of right where each of us can be in our neighborhoods and local towns. We have grand plans and hopes for broad influence sometimes in “pop-culture Christianity” or having “our ministry” in our local churches with hour upon hour spent, and there is grace there certainly. Let’s remember though to engage at the level of real community where life is happening for those most aware of their needs, not just the homeless but certainly including these friends. Not just the criminals, but certainly including them. Not just the gang members, but certainly including them. Not just your neighbors, but certainly including them. Not just the “unpleasant person” in your life you’re thinking of when I use that term, but certainly including him/her.
May we not shy away from the people God has placed in our reach. May we reach out and be God’s hands and feet to them, and may “they” less and less be referred to as third persons. May we more and more engage with one another to the point of referring to “them” as “us”.
We are the downtrodden and broken people in need of a Savior, and the sooner we identify with those God has placed in our reach and see how similar we are to any around us and how needy we all are for saving, the more we will sing songs of salvation with all kinds of people, far slower to critique and far more ready to celebrate our Savior together in awe of His grace.
Enjoy your weekend and connect with joy to those in your life, trusting God with their lives and yours and resting in His sufficiency and worth.
P.S. This is Brent kindly working on my piano which I have donated the use of indefinitely to The Warehouse ministry. May many worship nights and prayer nights and fellowship hours spontaneous and planned spring up in Tuolumne for the glory of God and good of the lost and found alike!