Serving and Sacrifice2 min read

Ron Kuczera walked away from his career as financial consultant to serve as Shepherd’s Gate Church’s Local Missions Coordinator. “If you would’ve told me that I’d be doing this work now 10 years ago, I’d probably say you’re a little crazy,” said Kuczera.

As he drives through the city of Detroit on a summer weekend checking on crews of volunteers he helps coordinate, Kuczera shares why he loves his current job. He organizes and serves on Shepherd’s Gate missions that help people in Macomb County and Metro Detroit. “For me, this is not work,” said Kuczera. “Don’t tell Pastor Tim, but he could probably not pay me for this.”

Shepherd’s Gate Pastor Rev. Tim Bollinger knew being Shepherd’s Gate’s Local Missions Coordinator was the perfect fit for Kuczera. “He has one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever met,” said Bollinger. “I’ve been on mission trips with him, I’ve served so many local projects with him. It’s in him.”

Kuczera meets with people and organizations that need help. Whether it’s Elli’s House, Samaritan House, or shut-in members of the church, he calls on his team of volunteers and gets the yard work, construction, or other labor done and needs met. “Two, three times a weekend he’s somewhere, doing something incredible in a practical way,” said Bollinger.

Kuczera also organizes Shepherd’s Gate Step Out and Serve weekend. That’s where more than 400 members work like the hands and feet of Jesus. They go out into the community and help around 40 families and organizations. Kuczera plans it all. He makes sure the materials are where they’re needed, the work gets done, and the volunteers are fed. With Kuczera’s lead, the weekend of serving has turned into a yearlong event, and Shepherd’s Gate’s volunteers do this whenever and wherever it’s needed.

Right now, he’s setting up and getting ready to give shelter to several homeless women and children in Macomb County. By working with MCREST, Kuczera will help Shepherd’s Gate transition into a temporary shelter—a safe place to stay, eat, and sleep for a week in October.

As he checks in on the final crew that is working in Detroit, he ponders what his future will look like. “Who knows what I’ll be doing in a year, or ten years, but I have a feeling this is going to be a big part of it,” said Kuczera.

Photos and video by Jeff Heisner/Michigan District, LCMS

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About the Author

Jeffrey Heisner is the video journalist and digital media director for the Michigan District, LCMS.

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