Squeezing the Gospel Out of Every Orange He Grows

by DanWolgemuth on March 11, 2016

I had never met Charles before, but his warmth and gentle kindness traversed the years with ease. We were seated next to each other at a Youth For Christ fundraising banquet in central Florida. The room was full. The energy was high.

It was because of the generosity of Charles and his wife that 400 people had a meal last night. But Charles wasn’t fishing for compliments and he wan’t positioning himself for recognition… after all, there were 7,000 young people in his county to reach.

Charles had made a long and demanding life mission of turning rich and flavor-filled citrus fruit into transformed lives. His acres and acres of fruit trees had sent kids to camp and amplified the voices of staff members across the region.

His calloused and strong hands had remained open and generous. He relished and celebrated what others could accomplish on his behalf, for the sake of his King.

The microphone was wrapped around my face last evening. It was my voice that would be propelled through the banquet hall; but make no mistake, it was Charles’ life and love that spoke the loudest. It was his business that helped to fuel the local economy. It was his fruit trees and his payroll and his respect and his honor that filled the sails of hopeful staff and students.

People like Charles are a treasure. Authentically humble, deeply engaged, sacrificially generous, quietly passionate, tenderly moved… Charles.

Against the backdrop of self-promotion and rancor; in a state of heightened political intensity and focus… Charles.

At the end of the night Charles thought he was shaking my hand, but I knew full well that I was shaking his. He is what I aspire to be. Gracious at first sight. Humble on deeper inspection. Godly and honorable to the core.

It was my voice that bounded across the airwaves last evening in Florida, but it was Charles who preached… without so much as raising his voice.

The next time you pour a glass of orange juice, thank God for Charles. Thank Him for honorable and humble and gentle leaders that make communities thrive.


For the glory of His King. Squeezing the Gospel out of every orange he grows. Charles.

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. (Philippians 1:3)

Every time.

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