by Kyle De Boer, Gallatin Valley SERVE Host Team Coordinator

“The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same” (Luke 3:11).

For a high school student from the Gallatin Valley, a Tuesday at Grandma’s house turned into a life altering encounter with a servant of Christ.

Johnathon had just finished his sophomore year of high school. Since his brother and mom were working, he had to keep an eye on his little sister who broke her arm a few days earlier, so they ventured down the road to Grandma’s house.

As they arrived mid-morning, a group of students and adults with Gallatin Valley SERVE were hard at work, repainting and repairing Grandma’s house. Johnathon and his sister began to get to know this group of strangers from across the United States. Lunch time came quickly, so Johnathon brought his outside to join this group from SERVE.

Tyler, a senior from South Dakota, connected with Johnathon as they ate their sandwiches under the hot noonday sun. Tyler was curious about life in rural Montana. Johnathon had questions about SERVE. The conversations continued as they picked up the paint brushes for an afternoon of work. The singlewide home began to take on a new look after a coat of paint and repairs to the fascia.

Before departing, Tyler asked Johnathon, “Do you want to join us on a hike tomorrow for our day away?”

SERVE Shoes- Gallatin Valley

Johnathon was hesitant, unsure of how to respond. During the pause, Tyler noticed the ripped and tattered Converse shoes that Johnathon wore.

“Do you have any other shoes than those?”

“No, this is my only pair.”

Tyler walked over to the 12 passenger van, pulled out a pair of gray and black Nikes and handed them to Johnathon. “Try these on.” Surprisingly, they fit perfectly!

“You can have them,” Tyler said, “These are my extra pair and I have sandals along.”

The message of the gospel was communicated clearly to Johnathon when Tyler gave him a pair of shoes.

Nearly one year later, those gray and black Nikes have just been replaced, but that act of gospel generosity is clearly etched in Johnathon’s mind and informs how he lives today!

This is an excerpt from the Fall 2017 magazine. To read more stories click here: