Chris's story

"February 13, 2016 I had a close encounter with the ‘widowmaker’. The doctor told me my surgery would be March 4th, and I come to find out from him after that I could’ve been dead on March 5th had I not had this surgery. People called to check in on me, and I remember, at the same time, my friend Tim from Knoxville experienced the same heart attack and lost his life. So, why me?

Just after this, the Red Bird House was coming up. That’s where churches come together to build a house for a family in the Redbird Mission area in Kentucky. I had several conversations with Paul, who was leading it, because I was excited to be able to help with this build. I’ll admit – I was worried about missin’ this chance to serve. They may just have to go on without me. I probably shouldn’t have gone – but I made it to the house. I felt blessed to do that work. But, it hit me, one day… on that build, climbin’ up the ladder… my friend Tim and the Aaron Tippin song, ‘I Guess God’s Not Through with Me Yet’. I’m here for this. There are reminders all around me every day.

 We are called to be the doers; the hands of Christ. It’s my gift to offer. The Lord gave me these talents to share and it lets me go do my thing. Working with the St. Mark’s Red Bird Mission team feeds my heart. I keep working with this mission because of the fulfillment you get afterwards.  This allows me to witness and be thankful for what I have. Helping others keeps me going back. The Red Bird people are genuinely grateful, but you have to be around them to know. You can’t be on the sidelines. 

Honestly, I wish I could do more. Time – I feel like I sometimes want to do more – but I fight time. The more I do, the better it makes me feel. It feeds my heart. I really wish more guys and gals could help with this ministry. Imagine going around pickin’ up wall panels from other churches and you seein’ the love other church families and communities write on the wall sections – the prayers and scriptures – the uplifting words. Seein’ God in other people really touches you.

I talk about this ALL the time; I probably mention it once a week. I love to tell the story of the whole process. You don’t have to swing a hammer or know how to operate a nail gun to help. When you go serve with Red Bird, it’s not about you. It’s always about others. I’ve got to tell the story! There are lots of good people out there – I want to talk to them. Connecting with people, just by talking.  And, I like to make people laugh. If I can make 10 people laugh, I feel like I have done good.”