Such a day of mixed emotions.
Last night we were blessed to take part in celebrating Pastor Walt Rattray's 70th birthday. What an amazing man he is. Pastor Walt is the man God has used to establish Church on the Street a ministry that has been duplicated across our country and overseas as well.
Truly I look to Pastor Walt and see the heart of God. He has ministered to the down and out, the crazies of the world, those who no one else gave the time of day. He has done this day in and day out with an amazing sense of energy and zeal that most certainly comes from the Lord. When other men may have been enjoying retirement for 6 or 8 years now this man of God has not even shown signs of slowing down. Paul and I were both snapping pictures from the front row but were hard pressed to get a good one - most came out in a blur because the man does not stand still.
His wife Louene, my friend, has been by his side through out the years of ministry and is truly one of the role models of a christian woman for me. She too is amazing and words will never be adequate to describe the woman referred to as "Miss Louene" by all the disciples of Church on the Street.
The birthday cake was ablaze but more so were the hearts of those in attendance - ablaze with love for a very special man. My hero, Pastor Walt!!
Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of one of my heroes and on the same day grieve the loss of my other hero. David Wilkerson 79 years old was killed in an automobile accident in Texas and his wife badly injured also.
This is the man that established Teen Challenge Ministry that is very similar to Church on the Street. He was the "Skinny Preacher" that led Nicky Cruz to the Lord and was the basis of the movie, The Cross and the Switchblade". I watched this movie when I was a teenager in our little youth group in California.
David Wilkerson too had an amazing heart for the hurting and an amazing ministry. I have kept all the newsletters I received from his ministry and they are never old or yesterday's news because they are full of the Word and full of God's encouragement to the hurting. They spur me on in my faith.
Yes, I have mixed emotions this morning but so thankful to God for such godly examples to me for these many years. David Wilkerson is basking in the Lord's presence today for which I praise God and Pastor Walt is again today doing what he does best, loving and winning people for the Lord.