A Week with Robert

A Week With Robert

I had gone to the area north of St. Charles to help with the flood damage in Missouri in 1993. When I arrived at the area where I was to work the first people I met was the family of Robert, a young man of about 20. I noticed when I greeted them that Robert was just a little different and his parents seemed so very protective of him.

In fact his first words after meeting me were, “They have a nudist park just across the mountain.” With that a great grin came across his face, his parents looked very embarrassed and the rest of the team members just looked the other way. Well you know me I said, “Hey let’s go over and see if it is real.” With that his parents looked more frightful at me than they had at their son when he had told me about the park.

Of course I was kidding but did not realize how very literal they were and so our start was not the best. I spent the rest of the day working on the house we were stripping of all the interior walls getting it ready for new sheetrock and treatment for mole. Robert’s family was staying in their camper parked in the lot at the church and I was staying in a hotel in St. Charles.

I had invited the pastor and his wife to dinner so I was off to meet them and spend the night preparing for the next day. The pastor told me at dinner that he understood that Robert was challenged and that they had a miserable time with him for the past couple of days.

The next morning I arrived before anyone on the flood scene and learned from the authorities that because there was so much trash from the tear out that we were being allowed to burn it in the area between the homes where we were working.

God used that to give me a great thought. When Robert and his family arrived I asked him if he would like for us to work together; I told him that I was not any good at putting up sheetrock but that I knew how to take out the trash and we could pile it up and later in the day burn it. He seemed thrilled as I told him I would be his helper and he could be in charge of trash removal, there was plenty of it, his family gave their approval and for the next several days Robert and I spent our time cleaning out the houses, piling up the rubble and then to his delight burning it late in the day until after dark.  I returned each night exhausted to my room and Robert with his family to their camper.

A couple of weeks after I returned to Franklin I receive a lovely letter from Robert’s family thanking me for the best week they had ever had while on a trip with their son. They said that he talked about ‘his helper’ each night until he fell asleep and all the way back to their home in Atlanta. They said how grateful they were and how they praise the Lord that the ‘Let’s go to the Nudist Park guy’ came along.

I wish I still had that letter; it was more than enough payment for the week of flood relief; for what a joy it had been to spend a week with Robert as his assistant.

Ivan

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Published in: on November 15, 2016 at 10:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

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