What a Match!                                                                                       [Main Story]

Rustin and Stacy Sweeney (Atlanta, Georgia) recently experienced a double blessing when a former classmate of Rustin’s needed a place to stay. They got to practice what they preach, and the homeless woman, a recovering addict, had a place to stay where she inevitably made friends with a single mother in the apartment complex who needed a roommate and help taking care of her daughter after school. “What a match!” says Stacy. “Each of us, people needing people, and people needing God to show up in their time of trouble.” Attached is a thought from a letter she left for the Sweeneys upon their return from Australia in August 2011:

“Dear Sweeney Family,
“I really wanted to thank you for allowing me here these past two weeks. Rusty, you were right! It was all a God thing, and I am grateful for the opportunity to relax and regroup after a very trying journey. Your place gave me silence and sanctuary so I could experience and learn about God’s infinite plan, . . .  In short, your generous offer gave me much, much more than place to lay my head. In closing, I would like to learn more about what you do here in the community and perhaps one day soon I’ll be able to volunteer. Blessings and mercy to all of you.”
 


Personal Experience                                  

I met Rustin and Stacy Sweeney while covering the young adult events around the 2010 General Conference session for the Adventist Review. I was struck first by Rustin’s energy and enthusiasm, and Stacy’s quiet cheerfulness and strength. Rustin jumped on the IMPACT Atlanta 2010 bus and explained the afternoon assignments. While preparing iATL delegates for work outside, Rustin paused and offered a pair of shorts to a young man who had worn dress pants. He stopped again as he noticed a pair of dress shoes on another person and fetched them a pair of his own sandals.
 
Tape recorder in hand, I scurried to keep up as Rustin led delegates to piles of mulch and dirt and began shoveling and transporting. He took one look at my red face and the notebook I had propped on my head (it was Atlanta on a summer day!) and offered me the hat from his head. He insisted I use it—I was grateful.
 
Inside later that afternoon Stacy mentioned that they do this all the time. The sharing of their belongings, that is. And they had just gotten a huge, gently used dining room table—she was excited because they could now have more people sit around the table for meals. My little experience with the Sweeneys’ selflessness is something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                           —Kimberly Luste Maran





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