Friday, February 15, 2008

From pumping gas to gotta go to Ghana

The picture above is a picture of some anonymous guy pumping gas back in 1958 - the year I was born. I think we actually owned a car with a set of fins on it not unlike the one in the picture. When I came across it on the internet, this photo took me back in time, but it also reminded me of a success story that got its start at a gas station right here in Grafton. Back about 1994 I pulled into the local petrol pusher to purchase some fuel. A young man practically tripped over himself as he literally ran from the station to the pump to the windshield, and back again. As I settled up with him for the fuel, I made a point of complimenting him for his enthusiasm for his somewhat mundane job. A few weeks later he turned up at Ste. Anne's looking for work. It turns out the owner of the gas station was grumpy most of the time, (his nickname was Pickles; apparently he liked to drink), and was paying his staff below minimum wage. At the time, the only job opening we had at Ste. Anne's was in housekeeping, a role that not many young men would feel comfortable in, but this lad jumped right in. He went on to work in various other departments, he got himself fired once, (but then profusely apologized and meekly asked to have his job back), met a girl, got married, became a father to 3 beautiful children and put himself through school all the while working at Ste. Anne's. Today he manages our facilities department, oversees all of our computer systems and coaches a tikes hockey team. A couple of years ago he commented to me that he had really wanted to join a Youth for Christ mission to Africa, but missed the opportunity. When the chance came up again this year, he and his wife (who also works at the spa as an esthetician) joined the Ghana mission. For two and a half weeks they, along with several other members of the Youth for Christ movement are helping to make life better for Ghanaians. The Gotta go to Ghana 2008 team are sharing their thoughts with the world through a blog. Like many young people, this couple's lives could have turned out much differently. I'm proud to count them among my friends. I thought you might find their story to be interesting and inspiring.

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