Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I admire Aaron Cloud

Aaron Cloud was one of those quiet students who gently participated in class and seldom attracted attention to himself. I had Aaron in three classes, LCE, Adult CE and leadership. He graduated in 2008 and is now in IWU's seminary program.

Aaron spent his first year after graduation as an isolated unmarried solo pastor at Davis Wesleyan Church here in Indiana. I trembled a bit when he went because I know solo pastoring can be isolated and lonely work even for a young married couple, let alone for a single guy. But Aaron stuck with developing friendships and loving the people. Aaron has a great heart of compassion and developed quite an effective ministry at Davis Wesleyan to the poor and to widows. That is the kind of thing Aaron does--love people like Jesus loved.

Taking a small church right out of college dumps a graduate into the deep end of the pool. Aaron discovered that in his first year. No college course can fully prepare a 22 year old to minister to a Father who just lost his son in a tragic train accident. Aaron survived and that man actually eventually became a Christian and Aaron baptized him.

Aaron has always had a burden for the poor, neglected and marginalized. I remember in his leadership class there were small groups who designed church plants—as an example of the sort of leadership-management things a minister would do. His group designed a church for the poor in Marion—Aaron was even tempted at the time to launch out and actually plant that church! So it is no surprise to me that Aaron (with his new wife—they get married in a few weeks) are headed off soon to pour their lives into work with abused, neglected, and abandoned children in Chicago. On weekends he will be preaching around the Chicago area so if you are nearby I hope you will invite him to your church—you won’t be disappointed with his compassionate and tender sermons that will bring a tear to your eye and a lump in your throat.
Aaron is one of the increasing numbers of the young people I get to teach who are willing to put their life where their mouth is. It is easy to say you have compassion for the poor, or even open a food pantry at a subburban church. But Aaron plans to do mroe than that--he plans to live with the poor. Rather than just tossing a few coins to Dives while passing by, or just taking a one-week tourist-ministry trip to take pictures of himself with the poor, Aaron is willing to go down in the gutter and live with the poor and anguished—learning from them and loving them where they are.

I admire Aaron because he reminds me of Jesus. It is what makes my teaching worthwhile. —Aaron is my joy and crown. I'm proud of you Aaron!

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? 1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NIV)

1 comment:

Joel Liechty said...

I like Aaron too. He's a great man.