Ordinary Heroes

We live in a fast paced world that is often negative, materialistic and disconnected, but every once in a while we see that rare story telling of a hero.  Sometimes they make national news, which we all see and revel in, and sometimes they are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Dave Miller is one of those people who appears on the surface to be ordinary, but is doing extraordinary things.  Dave and his friend, Susie Durnell, have already been on one mission trip to Mexico, and touched hundreds of lives.  They are now in the process of planning their second trip, coming this May. Susie is a member of the Northhampton Community Church, which will make its 24th trip to Mexico this May.  This mission project was born in the heart of Stephanie and Paul Smith.  They have been going to the same town in Mexico all those 24 years.   In that time they have helped build two churches and supported countless families. A man of great faith, Dave has a heart for those less fortunate than himself.  His whole face lights up when he talks about his last mission trip and how excited he is to go in May.  His interest in doing a mission project was piqued when he was invited to fly three dentists to Africa.  Unfortunately, the State Department claimed the trip to be too dangerous, so they were unable to go.  There was a planned trip to Haiti that did not happen either.  Dave began attending church with Susie when he moved to Springfield Masonic Community a little more than two years ago.  He was immediately drawn to Mexico and this mission.  “This is from the man upstairs,” he says, pointing to the sky. When Dave attended church with Susie, he saw an opportunity in this mission trip that he would not let pass him by.  So they signed up and prepared for this next phase of life.  “In the two years I’ve lived here everything has come together,” Dave said.  “The friendships I have made here at SMC have been terrific.  I get to do just what I want to do.  And this trip was one of the things I wanted to do.” While in Mexico Dave and Susie had the privilege to stay with a host family that had been helped by the mission in many ways.  At one time they were a family that “worked on the beaches.”  Those that work on the beach peddle their wares to tourists, and are a very poor segment of society.  Through the support of the mission they now own an acre of land, run their own shop and are sending their children to college. Dave and Susie also participated in a birthday party for hundreds of children that have never eaten cake before.  They did the typical children’s party games such as the piñata, and enjoyed one of many cakes.   Part of the mission project is each member of the team gets a suit case and they fill it with clothes, shoes and even a few toys.  These suitcases can weigh in excess of 50 pounds!  Dave took 100 harmonicas in his, as well as clothes and shoes for the orphans.  He was blessed to see those harmonicas in action at one of the churches. Dave’s passion for the mission shines through as he talks about the orphans in Mexico.  Those children have touched his heart in many ways.  The smile that lights his entire being,says more than any words of his love for those children. Dave talks often about the many blessings he has received in his life and how important it is for him to share those blessings with others.  When asked about why he does this, Dave looked away, and with a crack in his voice said, “It’s payback.”  While the world may not see David Miller as a hero, there is a family and hundreds of orphans in Mexico that do.

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