Faith and Good Works are Alive in Lakewood!
This is a guest post by Donald Leske, Sr., Property Manager at BCI Properties, LLC, in Lakewood. We thank Donald for his spontaneous outpouring of several stories like this one and his willingness to open his heart and take risks that change lives–his own and others’.
I do not go to church, but I am a Christian. Here is a short story about the power of caring for those less fortunate and in true need of a helping hand. For the record, I do not really trust the habitually abused system of welfare and billions of dollars that are defrauded every year either directly or indirectly by giving to those who have become experts at cheating the system. That is why my wife Emily and I give with our own hands to ensure our hard earned dollars go directly to those who are really in need.
One day in January, as I drove my work truck in a rush to get to Lowes for materials, my mind was on how many board feet of flooring I had to purchase for several apartments I was trying to make rent-ready in an aging apartment complex near the McChord JBLM main gate in Lakewood. As I drove down Bridgeport Way from I-5, I noticed a young man, his wife and two very small children struggling to build up their courage to cross the busy street and yet carry what appeared to be all their worldly belongings. My first thought for a brief second was “how sad”.., my second thought was “I really cannot just drive by and do nothing”. So without hesitation I made a quick turn into the corner gas station just several feet from where they stood and tooted my horn, gesturing for them to come to me. I rolled down the window and asked the man “What is going on, young man? Where are you going?”
I introduced myself and he did the same. He briefly told me about how he lost his vehicle to mechanical failure, then he lost his job and he, with his wife and children, stayed with family as long as they could. But in the end they had to leave on foot walking down the street with their last $200 in pocket for a couple of days in a motel. I asked what skills he had and he said he could do most anything, including some electrical, plumbing, sheet rock repair, painting and other remodeling work.
As it happened I had just lost such a worker and really needed a replacement. This man had been honest about their family’s hardship and seemed like a nice fellow, so I asked if he had a valid driver’s license and a clean record. He said yes. So, I left it in the hands of God and offered him a trial job for 50% more than minimum wage, a company van to drive, plus a remodeled apartment we had just finished. I told him if he did not work out as planned then he would be let go. He agreed. I told him to keep his $200 for food and he could pay me back for rent over several small payments to catch up.
Over the past two months as of this writing he has been one of our very best maintenance workers ever. The property managers and our operations manager, Maria, found out how good he was and took him away from our apartments, to work directly for our office on badly needed higher-end rentals.
I pray thanks to God for bringing him to me that day and he said he has prayed thanks to God for bringing me to him in a time of need when all others, including family, had turned him away. Imagine the power of God.