I know this wonderful, incredible man who has earned my respect and admiration. I watched him grow from a 12-year-old with the sweetest personality into a man of incredible strength and capability. His heart is still generous and warm to all he meets. He knows the harshness and cruelty of this earth yet refuses to bow to the desperation of the human hearts he deals with. Without meaning to, he sets a standard for those he is trying to inspire to become their better self and, thus, sets one for all of us.
As a pastor, his congregation is the homeless, the addict, the chattel of our time. He gives them food, a place to sleep, and a message of hope. The lines of those who need help are endless and have grown in these days of recession. He believes that the funds will be there to meet the need. His only question is where it will come from not if it will be there.
He married all three of my children counseling them through this major passage of life giving them solace in a time when the world is scary and emotional. Now, he says he is available for baptisms with a twinkle in his eyes. I rarely have the opportunity to talk with him since his days are filled by his pastoral demands not to mention his wife and family, but he knows I am here if he needs anything.
He turned down a secure career in the Air Force to follow what his heart was telling him to do. It takes a lot of courage to walk away from security, family approval, and all that is known to venture where you must provide your own path for yourself as well as your new family. Having the courage of his convictions, he pushed on until he was enrolled in a seminary, completed his ordination, and, finally, established the Shepherd’s Heart Church.
In addition to pastoring his church, Mike is a chaplain for the local VA and has a homeless shelter for veterans in his church. He and his team go to known homeless enclaves seeking out those who would be open to help. His innovative source for down and out veterans has become a model for other cities since it provides an interim place for homeless veterans to remain until they can be placed into the VA programs.
For those of us who know him, Pastor Mike is a quiet miracle in this maelstrom we call life. He cares for those who have shunned all others and gives them a productive life. He gives meaning to those who have no means. While he supports me and my family, I help in the support of his church and urge others to help at www.shepheart.com. So, Michael, thank you for all you do and keep following the path you have made. You truly make a difference.