David Leidy, a member of Faith Lutheran in Plano, was introduced to Pastor Solomon Yadessa about four years ago. Subsequently he was asked to help Pastor Yadessa move furniture to his house. They formed a friendship and David learned about the MEMNT outreach program. David discovered that many refugees coming to the DFW area need help moving into their new homes or picking up donated furniture and household goods. Pastor Yadessa, who describes David as tireless, strong, patient, kind, and always available when needed, says, “He has been a blessing to families who receive donated sofas, beds, washers, dryers etc. Distance never matters to him. He has driven many times from Dallas to and from Allen, Plano, McKinney, and Garland. Recently he helped transport furniture in the rain from Dallas to Forney.”
David says the experience is a privilege, especially because it allows these refugees to hear and learn about Jesus Christ. He commented that he enjoys meeting people and providing some assistance to those in need. He exclaimed that helping them improve their situation in life is heartwarming! David’s personal experience helps him relate because while growing up, his father suffered from an extended illness and early death. His family received help from their neighbors and their church, thus he has been inspired to donate his time to help the MEMNT families.
He and his wife, Carolyn, first joined Faith in 1975. The couple relocated to Tennessee in 1976 but returned to Texas in 1978 and joined Faith for a second time. They have been married for fifty-eight years. Carolyn grew up in Southeast Kansas while he grew up in Southwest Missouri. They are fortunate that their four children (three sons and one daughter) all live in the Dallas area. In addition, they have eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
David retired in 1998 from a corporate job but has continued to work as a consultant specializing in the regulatory compliance of hazardous materials. His area of expertise is in the commerce and transportation of commercial explosives.
He encourages members of Faith and other congregations to learn how they can serve as volunteers for the MEMNT program. He explained that the people served by the ministry come from countries with completely diverse cultures, do not speak English, and really need our support. They tend to socialize with people from the same country. Help is needed to teach English to help them adjust to life in the US. David suggested that the church sponsor more social activities to help these refugees become familiar with American culture – not to replace their culture, but to help them understand their new country.