If you’ve ever met Gary, you’ve seen his smile. Living Word member Gary Albig is continually blessing others through Living Word’s Outreach Department. As an avid outdoor enthusiast, Gary is helping others in the northwest metro trim trees, rake, and shovel. He also makes all of the pickups and deliveries for the Food Ministry while helping to maintain the Outreach vehicle.
So, it’s no surprise that Gary knows the people he serves well. On this particular day, Gary knew that Helen had just put down her dog of 13 years three days ago. He arrived early with a prearranged deal to use Helen’s mower. Ringing the doorbell was futile. Gary guessed that the unresponsive bell ringing was because she was still in bed with depression. He thought by making a lot of noise working with the leaf blower around the foundation of the house he could get her to come outside.
Eventually she did. Helen had been in bed. There in the driveway, in a housecoat, admitting her depression, she began sobbing. She said that all she had done for the last three days was sit in the house and watch TV. Gary offered the suggestion that nothing combats depression like being outdoors and being physically active. Maybe she could help him clean the yard. She went back in the house while Gary continued to work outside. A short time later, she was outside doing odd jobs and helping him clean up.
After we are finished cleaning her yard, why not invite her to go with me to the next job, Gary thought. More outdoors, more exercise, a different task… it would have to help her. But, convincing her of this idea would not be easy. But, to his surprise Gary did not have to “sell” her on the idea. Helen agreed to accompany him without any coaxing. Helen went with Gary to the compost site and helped him unload her leaves and grass. They spent a couple more hours cleaning up a cancer patient’s yard.
Gary took Helen home tired, but a lot happier than she started the day. She even offered to help with future jobs.
As Gary says, “A happy ending to another outreach project”; and for him, this one paid unexpected dividends. Romans 8:28, …and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.