“I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:27). “A disciple is not above his teacher or a slave above his master” (Luke 6:24).
In the days following Hurricane Katrina, Rudy and Rose traveled to New Orleans to help. Unable to find a place to serve, Rudy walked into the kitchen of Williams Boulevard Baptist Church and volunteered. That church was strategically situated next to the Highway Patrol headquarters which was hosting hundreds of troopers from the nation, as they protected the darkened city. The church had become a hotel for the troopers and the women of the congregation were serving three meals a day. They welcomed Rudy and assigned him to the garbage detail.
Not exactly what he had in mind.
Prior to this, Rudy had been pastoring a church in southern Canada. When he saw the suffering of our people on television–entire neighborhoods flooded, thousands homeless, people being rescued off rooftops–he resigned his church, sold his gun collection to fund the move, and he and Rose came to help.
Now, after all that sacrifice, he ends up emptying garbage cans. By his own admission, Rudy was developing an attitude problem.
One day he was lifting a large bag of garbage into the dumpster. The kitchen workers had been told not to put liquid garbage into the bags, but someone didn’t get the message. As Rudy was hoisting it up, the bag ripped and all kinds of kitchen leftovers showered down over him–gumbo, red beans and rice, gravy, grease, whatever.
Drenched in garbage from head to foot, Rudy stood there crying like a baby.
“That’s when the Lord broke me,” he said later. “I told the Lord, ‘If you just want me to empty garbage cans for Jesus, I’ll do it.’”
That was a Thursday. That Saturday night late, a minister from that church phoned. “Rudy, our pastor is sick. They tell me you are a preacher. Can you preach for us tomorrow morning?”
That turned the corner.
In time, Rudy became pastor of one of our churches. He turned his congregation into a center for training teams to go into the devastated areas sharing the love of Christ and the message of salvation.
The Lord gave Rudy and Rose French an unforgettable ministry to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. But it all began with his “baptism of garbage.”
You will be a servant.
You have no choice if you are to follow the Lord Jesus.