In the Brunswick and Camden churches in southeast Georgia, you will find a very active member named “Mike.” Mike is legally blind and a devoted and committed Adventist who is a faithful member of the Brunswick Church family. His pastor, Chris Hufnagel, describes Mike as “a member with a phenomenal heart of service.” Mike developed his condition due to the side effects of oxygen in an incubator after his premature birth. Now at the age of 67, he humorously states about his eyesight, “I can see enough to get in trouble and run, hoping I don’t get caught.”
Mike has worked at convenience stores for more than 40 years, and though he has never had a driver’s license, he does not allow that to impede him. While he can take a taxi, each day finds him walking many miles. He walks a portion of the distance to work, and often makes long walks into town.
When attending church, Mike faithfully arrives early in the morning to ensure that the sanctuary and church rooms are clean and ready for use. He collects the mail, checks the phone messages, and picks up the trash from loiterers on the church property. Along with attending his church faithfully, Mike enjoys sharing the Advent Message at his workplace, where he deposits literature for those who enter, and he witnesses to those willing to entertain a conversation about the Good News of salvation and coming prophetic events.
Mike was married for 23 years before his wife passed away. Hufnagel shares that “he is a great blessing to our church family here at Brunswick. At Christmas time, you’ll find him handing out gift cards to local restaurants. On Mother’s Day, he has gifts for the moms. On Valentine’s Day, he provides chocolate and flowers. Things just wouldn’t be the same around here without him. He has been a great blessing to me as a partner in ministry and companion throughout the trials of life.”
Hufnagel shares, “If there were a Bible verse that sums up Mike’s attitude, it would be Acts 20:35 – ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ While I appreciate all of our members at Brunswick SDA, Mike is a special addition to our group. Even though his vision is blurred, Mike, hasn’t let his vision stop him from serving the Lord and leading a productive life in every respect. His fortitude and perseverance are an example for us all.”
Georgia-Cumberland | July 2023