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June Reese at La Madeline after an evening service at University Avenue.

I am forever thankful to my friend, Dr. Suzy Thompson, for inviting me to serve in the first volunteering role where I worked directly with people in need, the weekly breakfast for the homeless at the University Avenue Church of Christ. We learned so much in that role. I think of that wonderful season in our lives and the people we served and served with.

I went every Wednesday morning at 6am for about half a year, until I got recruited to go work on an extended consulting gig in Princeton, New Jersey. I am also thankful to my boss at the Austin-American Statesman, down the road from the church, who coincidentally scheduled our team’s weekly pow-wow at 8am the same day.

I remember my friend Suzy once told me after serving breakfast: “I hope we are like Dan and June (the two mostly responsible for putting most of the breakfast together) when we are 80.”

My heart’s desire is still to be like Dan and June when I am 80. June Reese would get up at 4am to cook breakfast and love on those society considered the least. Dan Watson frequented homeless meals as a volunteer. He would cross any denominational lines to give someone a smile, a piece of fruit. And a mustard seed with a Bible verse.

Dan and June became who they were because they spent their lives trying to be like Jesus in the truest sense.

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

Every time I hear or see Matthew 25:40 I think of June Reese, she lived that verse and truly tried to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I can still see and hear her recite it aloud from memory. I think it’s the first time I heard the verse. I know it’s the first time I really heard it.

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