Last week I wrote about the importance of retirement plans — not the financial part, but the activity part. We should never retire from Christian activities, though they may change over time. We should finish strong, just like Moses, Joshua, Paul and so many others. Don’t succumb to temptations. Don’t destroy what you’ve worked so hard for. Don’t sit back in self-indulgence.
Then on Saturday I was reminded of two of my favorite ministry role models. I was doing a monthly visit as part of Kairos Prison Ministry and got to see Mike and Vic (pictures below).
You might think that white guys in their 80’s wouldn’t be able to connect with much younger guys (roughly 50% black, 25% Hispanic, 25% white), but you’d be wrong. The prisoners seem to instantly bond with them and develop meaningful relationships over the course of the weekend and the follow-up sessions. They have an authenticity and a genuine love that you just can’t miss.
They are as humble as can be, even though they are the most popular volunteers in the unit. The prisoners go nuts whenever either one is introduced.
Neither are in perfect health, so they could just stay home on Saturday morning. But month after month they get up early to come out and serve. And when they work the Kairos weekends they work very long days, often getting to the prison at 6:30 a.m. and not leaving until 8:30 p.m. But they do it with a smile and never complain.
They are both quick-witted and fun to listen to, having lived full and exciting lives. Mike has been married for over 60 years (to the same woman, as he likes to add!), and I think Vic has been as well. I’ve seen Vic’s wife working on the outside teams during the weekends, and I’ve seen Mike’s wife come to the closing ceremonies.
These men never fail to encourage me. If they can keep marriages intact for 60+ years and still love and serve in the name of Christ into their 80’s, so can I (God willing!). This is how it is supposed to work.
Mike & Vic, I pray that God blesses you with the strength to serve many more years!