The Character of Matt Harrison – He will Go to the Brink for the Gospel, Literally, by Pr. Joel Brondos

(Editor’s Note: This comment was left on our “Haiti Relief Efforts” post. You can see the post and all the comments by clicking here.)

January 27th, 2010 at 00:48 | #16, by Pastor Joel Brondos

Too dangerous for Kieschnick to go to Haiti?

During the January thaw about 12 years ago, water was streaming into my office on the second floor. Papers were getting soaked. Books were being ruined. It was being caused by ice clogging the gutter two stories up. Something had to be done.

Soon after this discovery had been made, I cautiously climbed onto the roof and made my way over to the side of the building where my office was located. There I found the senior pastor, four stories up, sitting on the parapet with one leg over the side, kicking away at the ice-jammed gutter. That pastor was the Rev. Matthew C. Harrison.

I had the privilege of serving with Pastor Harrison for several years in a neighborhood that wasn’t very safe. Perhaps he had gotten such a work ethic from his upbringing in rural Iowa. Perhaps he gained it from braving previous winters in northern Canada working with the Lutheran Association of Missionary Pilots (LAMP).

Whatever the case may be, it is no doubt the same attitude towards pastoral leadership which moved him to deliver aid personally to Haitians at a time when our synodical president deemed it too dangerous to go himself as was published in the synod’s official news media, The Reporter.

I suppose I shouldn’t fault Dr. Kieschnick. I wasn’t prepared to approach the edge of the roof on that wintry day any more than he appears ready to go to Haiti. But I do want to commend Pastor Harrison for representing us personally to the Haitians with pastoral care and much-needed aid.

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