I have grown up in the shadow of some exceptional people. Smart, talented, passionate people, one of whom is my uncle.

Uncle Harold is one of the smartest people I know. If you knew him, he’d be one of the smartest people you know, too. He’s one of those people who is always working out a problem in his mind. Ask him anything and the wheels begin almost visibly turning. His field of interest, the little I understand about it, is energy-efficient housing. He’s lived and breathed outside this box for his entire career. (Google him, Harold Orr, and you will see what I mean.)

My husband has had the chance to work with Uncle Harold on a few occasions, and he’s loved it every time. The reason, more than anything, is because Uncle Harold is a smart guy who also loves to teach. And Lyndon is a guy who loves to learn.

Last Friday, Lyndon spent the day helping on a home renovation project in the heart of the inner city of Regina, Saskatchewan. This ambitious project is part of the dream and mission focus of two organizations: Gentle Road Church of Christ (a community of believers living and ministering in the inner city of Regina) and Esperanza, a non-profit organization committed to the betterment of living conditions in this area recently described as one of the most crime-ridden centres of the country.

CTV News coverage of inner city Regina home renovation project

Uncle Harold was there, too. He’s played a major role in the planning and executing of this ambitious undertaking.

When we showed up at the Regina house on Friday morning, Uncle Harold was the only other person there. For a few minutes, Lyndon was given the opportunity to sit at the feet of the teacher. It was a beautiful thing to watch. And when the rest of the team arrived and they began the work of the day, it continued to be a beautiful thing.

At eighty-one years young, Uncle Harold spent the day instructing, organizing, decision-making, and delegating. And hammering. And sawing. He was up and down the ladder (they were roofing that day), like a kid. He was an inspiration, especially to my husband. I heard all about it, the questions Lyndon asked and the answers Uncle Harold shared, on the drive home. Lyndon’s still talking about it.

Uncle Harold is a great teacher for a lot of reasons. Here are a few:

1. He loves his subject. He found his passion early in his life, and he’s kept it.

2. He loves people. He’s used his knowledge and his passion to help people.

3. He gives back. He shares his ideas freely with anyone who is interested. Like my husband.

4. He loves the Greatest Teacher. He has lived and continues to live a kingdom life, using his gifts to serve Jesus the best way he can.

Thanks, Uncle Harold, for being so willing to be a teacher. Lyndon is storing up questions for the next opportunity he might have to work and visit with you!