Celebrate Father’s Day – Carla

Joe Webb

This morning I wish to reflect with you – on the presence in our midst of an unassuming man of very great compassion…..our Friend, Joe Webb

I would like to reflect with you—on his ministry…..He might be surprised at the word “ministry”, because he would say…. “I was simply living my life-just doing my thing”, but deep down, I believe, he would have liked the word.

Looking back today – those to whom he reached out in his own inimitable way-would feel they had been ministered to.

Joe reached out to so many kinds of people….to Youth…..to Adults….particularly to Youth, and especially to those who were struggling to find themselves and their place.  Yesterday, a friend of his said to me, “you know, Joe never gave up on the “losers”, not just the first and second time, but the third and fourth time “losers” – those hurting, acting-out kids.  He believed in them…..and I remembered the Scripture, “I was hungry and you gave me food.”  When they were hungry for acceptance and someone to care…..Joe fed them.  When they were lonely and in the prison of their own despair, he visited them and called them forth.  When they were naked of self esteem and acting out their self-hate, he clothed them with warmth and his faith in them….and he did it in his own way – with courage, and humour, and patience…  sometimes with tough love and some pretty strong language….and when they could not accept or understand his caring – he still tried to reach them.

There must be so many young people, now adults, through the years, whose hearts lift and whose eyes light up when they remember Joe Webb.

…And there were adults of all kinds and all ages that he reached out to, or brought together in small groups.  The staffs of his schools come to mind…the well know Youth Services (his brain child) were active and creative in the climate of growth that Joe fostered.  He wanted the community of Port Alberni to be a better place for people to live and grow in.  He wanted people to know “who they are” and fulfill their potential.

…..Along with his concern for the community, was an eager concern for his own growth.  He had his own struggles, too, and grappled with his own feelings of inadequacy.  He was sometimes blamed and doubted, but he did not falter in his belief in the essential goodness within everyone-and in the astonishing possibility of change…..”Joe Webb started me on my Odyssey,” said a friend, yesterday.

For myself, Joe’s friendship and faith in my helped to guide me through the first difficult years in Port Alberni-and my heart lifts up when I think about him.

….And he enjoyed people so much – and laughter and little anecdotes.  And everyone knows of his passion for incredible pieces of old junk.  He was a philosopher, too, and delighted to ponder and discuss the great issues with his friends.  We know his home and his family were central to him.

How could one man encompass so much?

He simply lived – and cared.

And I believe Joe Webb would like to have this said of him.

He was one of those important, – quiet – unsung persons through whom the Spirit brings about a new world.

We were blessed to have him with us all these years…..and we are blessed now – through the ever-widening influences of those he helped to bring forth.

As we remember our beloved friend, his eternal human qualities are with us, marching on….while for him…..is the peace and joy of Resurrection!

By Pat Kahr

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