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Local man working to help others despite his own challenges
Ed Lutes is a very busy man and he says that's what keeps him young.
“He's been up on top of the roof doing work. He's been digging into the water lines to repair them and everything else in between. Pretty much, if it needs to be done, Ed can figure out how to do it,” said Pastor Jimmy Allen at Woodbine Church.
Ed Lutes is always figuring it out and doing something for somebody else. He's had a life of of service - a U. S. Marine and a firefighter for 30-plus years.
“He has a willingness to get out and get dirty, get his hands dirty. He's not one who just sits back and says, ‘You go do it.’ He says, ‘Come with me and let's do it together,’" said Allen.
Mr. Ed started volunteer work raising funds for a south Florida children's hospital when his daughter passed away at age five. It's been a continuous series of personal missions since then.
Here at Woodbine Church he heeds the signage above the exit: "You're now entering the mission field." He's taken the reins of their handicap ramp ministry called Ray of Hope.
“Five hundred sixty-eight so far to date. I've probably been involved in more than half of them myself,” Mr. Ed said.
Mr. Ed has been steadfast in his work despite some health challenges - starting with cancer six years ago.
“I'm usually not this slow trying to get words, but nine months ago, I had a stroke,” Mr. Ed explained.
He's a little frustrated that his words don't come as easily as they used to. But, even that, he brushes aside with a matter-of-fact; "It doesn't take verbage to build a ramp."
The difference he can make keeps him building. He remembers the lady who was sleeping on a mattress in a shed behind her house because she had no wheelchair access to her home.
“I went back with the measurements and within two or three days, we had her a wheelchair ramp,” Mr. Ed said.
The man is just so unassuming about it all. What might have stopped some people - the loss of a child, one health battle, then another major health crisis - it's motivated Mr. Ed. It's pure inspiration to those around him.
“A sermon in shoes. To me, I've never seen anyone show their love for Christ and their work in Christ like Ed. He is truly a sermon in shoes,” said Wayne Orr.
Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.