Time to Believe

pastor Tom during volunteer kitchen duty

This Veteran - Always More to Give

In 1993 a friend invited Tom Kwiatkowski to go to Billy Graham’s last crusade in Pittsburgh.  When Reverend Graham gave the invitation to come to the altar, Tom got out of his seat and went forward.  That night he prayed the sinner’s prayer with thousands of other people.  

On the ride home from the crusade his friend asked how he felt, and his response was that he was tired. Two days later Tom picked up the Bible to read and opened to the gospel of John and the story of Doubting Thomas.  His eyes fell on the words of Jesus, “Don’t go on unbelieving but believe.  ”When Tom read those words he knew God was speaking to him, “I broke down and cried for 45 minutes and gave my heart to the Lord.  I’ve been following Christ ever since and serving Him wherever he opens the door.  ”Some of those open doors include the Veterans Hospital in Aspinwall where he works with a program called No Veteran Dies Alone and more recently the City Mission. “I’ve donated money to the mission for fifteen years, but I wanted to do more.

My wife heard an ad about City Mission on the radio and encouraged me to call.  ”Tom volunteers in the kitchen every Friday and helps serve lunch.  While he’s dishing up a hot meal to the men and women going through the line, he takes the opportunity to share God’s love with a smile or a word. He believes sharing the love of Christ comes about in many ways and says he wants to be the best server that he can be. “If people see me wiping tables with a smile, hopefully they see the Lord in me.”   In time Tom hopes to serve the mission in other ways.  Tom is a Vietnam Vet and understands firsthand what wartime veterans are going through.  ”I was 24 years old and had a 4 week old daughter when I was shipped to Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division. I never expected to see her again. I came home, but I lost 80 -90 friends there.”

He feels that vets from all branches of the military need a safe place to talk with other vets about their experiences.  City Mission’s Crabtree-Kovacicek Veterans House is a place where that can happen.  The Veterans House will open this summer with a Flag Raising Ceremony on July 3.  The 22- bed residential facility is one of several shelters in the country addressing the needs of homeless veterans.Tom sees the great need to help homeless veterans and plans to help where he can with the Crabtree-Kovacicek Veterans House. In the meantime, he is content to serve in the kitchen,” Right now God has made me very happy serving lunch, but I’m open to whatever God has for me to do.”

March 18, 2018
Susan Gartland - Social Media Manager
Sue Gartland
Social Media Manager
Sue has a vast career in gospel rescue missions adding great value to the City Mission team. Sue has been in many roles in the mission and is always filling in where she is needed - which is A LOT!
sgartland@citymission.org

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