It’s amazing to see the way God equips someone for ministry, perfectly suiting them to the task that they will undertake to glorify God and serve Him. Such is the case with Otto Lubrich, the deacon who oversees the Love Thy Neighbor ministry.
To see Otto in action is to see a man who, seemingly, never grows tired or discouraged and all the while abounds in praise. These are perfect attributes for a deacon who rallies church members to help others, such as single moms, widows, or anyone who has fallen on misfortune. Pausing after church just long enough to catch his breath, and in between praying with other members, Otto says, “One of the biggest highlights for me is seeing God build individual lives through the bonding that occurs when people serve together. And it’s a joy to be on what I call the front lines, and see how the Gospel penetrates unsaved hearts.”
Serving the saved and the unsaved, some recent projects that Otto helped oversee are a wheelchair ramp, refurbishing a house and its yard, moving a single mom and her children into a new home, and any number of small fix-up and repair projects.
And the Lord has equipped him with at least two other attributes, one is a seemingly inexhaustible ability to quote the bible, especially the book of James. And the other is his ability to find a pun in nearly any situation or circumstance. Of course, this humorous attribute will cause his team of volunteers to groan or to fire back with a pun of their own, but trying to out pun Otto is a lost cause.
But this man is as thoughtful a servant as he is humorous. He constantly reminds and exhorts his troop of volunteers to glorify God in their work. “We serve not out of compulsion, obligation or novelty,” Otto will often say, paraphrasing Hebrews 12:2: “All the while we look to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” “We come away more blessed than those we serve,” he adds. “When we run away from our past in an effort to escape misfortune or pain, God runs toward us, like a fireman rushing to aid someone attempting to escape a burning building. God uses our broken past and does something awesome with it. He redeems it, and us, giving us a brighter and better future.”
And in those gracious hope-filled words are an encapsulated view of the Love Thy Neighbor ministry and a summary of the joy in serving others.