Heroic leadership is marked by self-less, extraordinary courage to do all things with integrity and righteousness. Heroic leaders are those who will not compromise principle for comfort or ease. We celebrate our many partners, extraordinary men and women, who bring change to hearts and lives of so many in our nation and around the world! Often, these changes start with courageous acts of compassion from one to another, and they in turn multiply …
Change Is About Me
One day nearly 30 years ago, a young Australian man was standing by the side of a long, dusty Texas road, trying to hitch a ride. His sign read, ‘Australia’, and people kept stopping and saying, “Your headed for Australia?!”. But it wasn’t until a little car sped by, and then suddenly stopped and shifted into reverse, that the young Aussie -named Andrew- got his lucky break. The car held a young man and his teenage friend that were headed back to Houston. Andrew needed a place to crash that night, and so they took him along and brought him to the little gym/community locale where they were staying. They gave him a couch to sleep on, and for six weeks he stuck around while waiting for his passport to get re-issued (his bag and passport had been stolen). You see, Andrew had been roaming the US and Canada for a year, searching for that proverbial ‘purpose in life’, and unable to find it, was now headed home.
Andrew watched and listened as a variety of down-and-out young folks came to that little gym, finding shelter and a welcome environment. The group acted like family as they went to hospitals to be with AIDS patients, hit the streets to hang out with the homeless, or participated in local runs to raise funds for a good cause. Andrew initially felt that he’d landed “with the Moonies”, but since he had nowhere else to go, he stayed. By the end of six weeks, Andrew recounts that his “life was radically changed” and he came to Christ because of the love of God in the faces and selfless actions of his new friends.
Andrew finally made it home to Australia, got married and settled down into a normal life of work and life. But the memories of his time with that ragtag group stayed with him. Deep down he knew he was meant for more. As a result, he and his wife, Lynette, started reaching out to those around them, much like that group in Houston had reached out to him. Now some 30 years later, Andrew (along with his wife) is a manager for the Australian chapter of Compassion International, helping meet the needs of thousands of poor kids and their families around the globe. He’s a casual, kind man, who walks around in t-shirts that say things like ‘change is about me’. He now says he is sure of his purpose in life, and the call of God!
This story all started through the extraordinary courage of one young man, Doug Stringer, who stopped his car to pick up an odd hitchhiker. That one act had profound consequences that turned a lost soul into a heroic leader who reaches thousands of poor and needy children in the world today.
At Somebody Cares, we believe in equipping and encouraging leaders like Andrew by helping them respond to the call on their life. And it all starts with the often simple but courageous and heroic acts of men and women like you. Know that your acts of leadership – great or small – are multiplied to change the hearts and lives of untold thousands!