More than 20 years ago, when we moved to our present apartment, the Garbage Collectors among whom my wife has been ministering offered their services to move us. Since they daily collected Cairo’s garbage, they had the muscles and the experience for moving heavy things.
But when they came to use the elevators in our new building the janitor stopped them (the building has a rule that hired workmen carry stuff up the stairs and don’t use the elevators). “But they are our friends” my wife Rebecca exclaimed. “Your friends?” said the surprised janitor. “Yes, they are from my church and are volunteering to move us just because they want to help”, she added. The janitor was amazed and let the men use the elevators. The young church leader who coordinated the move was himself carrying heavy boxes on his shoulders along with all the others.
On Saturday we attended the wedding of that man’s son. I wished our janitor could have been with us! It was lovely, in one of the most beautiful Churches in Egypt. Many leading Coptic Orthodox priests and bishops were in attendance and the many who attended from the Garbage Village were all dressed in their Sunday best!
Little could we have imagined on that moving day many years ago that this young man would become one of the Priests at the Garbage Village and that God would use him to bless thousands with his gracious and wise ministry.
When Rebecca told the janitor that he was our friend, it gave him prestige in the janitor’s eyes and made him feel proud that we considered him our friend. But at the wedding the tables were reversed, we were the ones who were proud that this successful and well known pastor would consider us his friends!