A Father's Gift
by Mike Gmetro
“I need help!” The words were coming out as a painful gasp. The pain was excruciating and mere seconds seemed to take an eternity as I was rushed to the hospital. I knew what was wrong with my body, because I suffer from Crohn’s Disease. Upon arriving at the hospital on December 10, 2008, the only option was emergency surgery to save my life. The doctors removed eight inches of my intestines. This was the third surgery in the past nine years, resulting in more than 46 inches of my intestines having to be removed. But this time impacted me more than any other time in my life. As I was being carried out of the house en route to the hospital I looked over my shoulder to see my two-month-old daughter, Lila Hope, lying peacefully in her baby carriage. The thought crossed my mind and pierced my heart: “Would I ever see her again?”
Unfortunately, near-death experiences are commonplace in the city where my family and I live and minister. In the city of Hamtramck, Michigan (located in the middle of urban Detroit) violence, poverty, and drug abuse have ravaged our city and its people. It is here that my wife and I have been ministering the hope of Jesus Christ for the past four years. One of our ministry’s goals is to meet the critical needs of our community in such a way that our city would be literally transformed for Jesus Christ. In a city where it is estimated that more than 60 percent of its residents are Muslim, the need is great. A specific way that we are meeting needs is by providing beds for people in our city. I have personally met and ministered to 20 families who are currently sleeping on the floor. Fifteen of those families are Muslim and will hear and see the Gospel of Jesus Christ lived out in front of them for the first time.
One of the little girls who attends our ministry recently asked me, “What do you want for Christmas, Pastor Mike?” It did not take me long to answer, but with tears in my eyes I said: “All I want is to hold my family and thank the Lord for the gift of life.” In the tumultuous times we live in, it is easy to be distracted, discouraged, and overwhelmed with despair. But may this Christmas be a reminder to you and me that we have a precious gift of life in our Lord Jesus Christ, and a wonderful hope to give to this world.
Mike and Liza Gmetro graduated from Michigan Theological Seminary in May of 2005, each of them earning a Master of Theological Studies. Please remember to pray for them as they serve the Lord by sharing Him with the people of Hamtramck, Michigan.
If you have sent in a recent donation to Michigan Theological Seminary, thank you for your commitment to this ministry and your continued prayers, gifts, encouragement, and dedication. The impact of your gift will multiply as MTS alumni like Mike and Liza share the Gospel in our area and throughout the world.
If you would like to support the training of leaders like Mike and Liza, please consider giving a gift to Michigan Theological Seminary this Christmas. In order to stay on track with this fiscal year's budget our goal is to raise $154,000 by December 31st. God bless you and Merry Christmas!